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[TOOL] Blender Vector Field Editor

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  • #16
    Sadly, the closest thing to seeing how Epic's vector fields work I've found was to place them in a map as global vector fields (or a particle system as local) and enable Vector fields under the visibility options.

    It's weird that you have to click Update Data before exporting, since the only time the saved velocities should be reset is when adding another vector field to the scene. The reason it's there at all is that the script stores the velocities in temp arrays/lists that are faster to access than the property collections used to store the velocities permanently (a bit like short-term vs long-term memory, in a way).

    I'm actually looking into removing the need for the button altogether, but performance during calculation could suffer. I'm currently playing around with building the arrays each time Calculate is used, which would be closer to the standard way of accessing them anyways.


    I think I briefly mentioned this earlier in the thread, but here's some more info on animating vector fields:
    While fgas can't be animated, it is possible to fade in/out the intensity of a global vector field in Blueprints or C++, and you're able to enable/disable them, as well, so you could switch between two different vector fields in engine to achieve the effect you mentioned (with global vector fields anyways, not so sure about local ones contained in a particle system).
    You could start out with only the first vector field being active and enable the second one when it's needed, or start with the first being at 1.0 intensity and the second at 0.0, then use lerps to fade out the first while fading in the second. I know the number of global vector fields that can overlap is limited, but don't have the source code atm to check what the current limit is (I seem to remember 8 or 12).
    I've played around with this kind of thing a little bit to get a character to push around leaf particles on the ground with its feet and have its body push particle smoke around while walking through.
    - My Blog - Github -

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    • #17
      Apologies for the late reply. "It's weird that you have to click Update Data before exporting, since the only time the saved velocities should be reset is when adding another vector field to the scene."
      After further inspection it seems this most likely was my fault. I started a new blend and couldn't get it to happen. Yeah, it's weird - before I reported the issue I verified it at least 3 times. Anywho, please pretend I never said it.

      I don't think it's a prob at all to have to push the update asset button, just granted the player knows that it need be pressed whenever they put new forces in the mix. I read most all of the wiki docs you provided, but since it was all new to me, in the end it's more like I just glanced over it. Regardless, whatever you could do to make it more awesome would be appreciated. The latest update is sweet as is, imho.

      You're right, you sure did hint at animated vector fields (fading global VFs on and off). Hehe, when I saw that note, I didn't even know what a static one was. Now it all makes sense.
      What you mention seems a like a great workaround for the lack of animated VFs Epic talked about implementing some time last year. I gotta hunch it might have some limitations over animated VFs, but then again they don't even exist.

      When I get some time. I will refer to the info you provided about global VFs to see if I can get GPUsprites to seemingly seamlessly/naturally transition from one state to another.

      Thanks again, Isathar. The thorough response is much appreciated.

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      • #18
        Woot! This is awesome!

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        • #19
          Great, and many thanks for your effort, i will try this now!!

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          • #20
            Does anyone know how to create something like this? (It's in the example project) :

            Click image for larger version

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            I see that these are Wind forces placed along the curve... But on Curve modifier I can place only meshes, since forces don't have modifiers... Any clues?
            I've wrote to Mr. Isathar, but he seems to not be on forums quite often, so maybe some other users of this awesome tool will help me?

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            • #21
              Hey, I just saw your message. The setup in the example was created with the Wind Curve Force tool included in this editor (under tools).

              To use it, add a curve to the scene, perform any edits and subdivisions you want, and click Create New in the Wind Curve Force box with the curve selected. It works best on highly subdivided curves. It will place a force object at each point along the curve, each pointing towards the next (with some smoothing). You can tweak the strength, falloff distance, and falloff power of the force fields by selecting the curve during creation (or edit existing values by selecting the object named CurveForce(.X) in the scene tab, editing the values in the tool's box, and clicking Edit Selected).
              Last edited by Isathar; 04-15-2016, 06:51 PM.
              - My Blog - Github -

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              • #22
                Thank you very much! Now I get it
                Awesome tool, gj!

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                • #23
                  Is there a way to see how vector field would affect particles right in Blender? Or would I have to export-test-export-test-etc. until I am satisfied ?

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                  • #24
                    Sorry about the delay, I didn't see your post until just now.
                    There's no way to get a preview like that with the addon in its current state, but I'm going to experiment to see if I can get something like this working. I don't think there's a way to directly modify particle movement through Python but force fields should work (if not very efficiently for performance). Barring that, a custom Blender build may do it, though.

                    Not sure if anything usable will come out of it, but I'll definitely try
                    Last edited by Isathar; 09-08-2016, 02:53 PM.
                    - My Blog - Github -

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Isathar View Post
                      Sorry about the delay, I didn't see your post until just now.
                      There's no way to get a preview like that with the addon in its current state, but I'm going to experiment to see if I can get something like this working. I don't think there's a way to directly modify particle movement through Python but force fields should work (if not very efficiently for performance). Barring that, a custom Blender build may do it, though.

                      Not sure if anything usable will come out of it, but I'll definitely try
                      Thanks!

                      So basically there is no way of knowing whether vector field works or not unless I export it and test it in UE4 ?

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                      • #26
                        Pretty much. Displaying velocity lines in Blender is sadly the closest thing to seeing the final product at the moment.

                        Baking the vector field's particle system transforms and advancing the timeline is also a good way to get a general idea of how the vector field will behave in the engine for simple systems, but this will only work if you're using force fields to set up the vector field to begin with. Any velocities created by the vector math functions in the tool won't influence the particles at this point.
                        - My Blog - Github -

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                        • #27
                          Has anyone had success getting this to work with Blender 2.78? I can't get Blender to find the addon, either by putting it in the addon folder or by installing from file.

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                          • #28
                            I just tested it again to make sure and it looks like it's still working for me.
                            Assuming it's in the script folder, it should show up in the addon manager as 'Object: FGA Vector Fields'. Manually copying it to the scripts folder works, but I haven't tried installing it with the 'Install From File' function.
                            Last edited by Isathar; 01-16-2017, 01:38 AM. Reason: wording
                            - My Blog - Github -

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                            • #29
                              I finally got it to work, thanks. And just in case anyone else is as clueless as me... When I unzipped the files into the addon folder, I guess there are two layers of folders: ...\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.78\scripts\addons\Blender_UE4_VectorFieldEditor-master\FGA_VectorFields. It would not recogonize it that way. By copying the 'FGA_VectorFields' folder to the 'addons' folder, it pulled it right up: ...\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.78\scripts\addons\FGA_VectorFields works just fine. Thanks again, I'm having fun with it.

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