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Have you ever wanted a particle based water spray for a scene in Poser or Studio? Have you wrestled with particle systems only to achieve frustration? If you want a quick easy way to create a particle like effects without the headache this tool is for you.
The Nerd3D Sprayer Tool gives you the power to create a spray of water (wine, acid, whatever!) with out the complexity of a real particle system. Still it does a lot of the things you expect from particles without the mystery or problems. There is an emitter where the droplets originate. There is a target where they are directed and removed from the scene. The droplets are really added and removed from the scene not just made invisible. This makes the tool very geometry efficient with little impact on render times. There is no need to calculate particle simulations.
So how does it work? As far as Studio and Poser care this is just a figure. There are no scripts, no plugins, nothing weird. Well nothing too weird anyway. This is all done with slaved movement channels, geometry switches, fancy math and a little Nerd3D Magic. Don't worry the math is hidden deep inside you won't need to bother with it.
All you have to do is place the emitter where the stream starts then use the dials in the control group to place the target where you want the stream to go. Spin the “Spray” dial and watch the drop fly from the emitter to the target. You can see in real time where the drops go and how fast. The set includes several poses and animations to help you get stared using this powerful tool. The set also includes a tool to create little splats where the stream is directed. This adds to the realism of the scenes you create.
So what doesn't it do? It's not real gravity the drops move at a constant speed. The drops don't obey physics so the don't collide with anything. They Just fly to the target and disappear.
The Sprayer Tool uses 100 “Drop Layers” to control the 5000 individual “drops” in the Tool. All of these elements are controlled from the control body part which also serves as the emitter for the droplets. Poser users will see this as a triangular handle above the Tool. Studio users can select it from the Scene tab. Use this easily accessible handle to place the Sprayer in the scene and control the style of the spray and the simulation.
The 100 drop layers are enough to produce 5 - 10 seconds of spray. If you need a longer spray just loop the dial back to a point where the spray just reaches the target. Keep repeating till the spray animation is long enough. Of course the for a still image you would just pick the best frame and render only that one.
This Tool also includes a selection of materials for realistic water drops and fantasy scenes. There are also “blur” settings. These are specifically designed to simulate a motion blur in the Sprayer Tool. This saves having to set up “real” motion blur in the render.
Let's begin by having a look at the Sprayer Tool's controls. Load up a Sprayer Tool from the library and select the Control Element. Yes, there seem to be a lot of dials there, but it's easier than it looks.
The translate and rotation dials place the emitter and control the direction the spray will go.
The Spray dial is the one that actually launches the drop from emitter to target. As you spin the dial, you will see what it does. If you are creating an animation this is pretty much the only dial you will need to animate.
Starting Diameter and Collimate do opposite things. The Starting diameter makes the whole simulation bigger around. The Collimate dial puts all the drops in a line to form a nearly solid stream.
Droplet Interval sets the space between drop groups. Smaller numbers cause more droplets to be on screen at any given time.
Target Range is how far the target is from the emitter.
The target position dials move the target relative to the emitter. Don't move the emitter separately it must be placed using the dials in the control handle.
The Gain Dials effect become greater as the drops travel to the target. You'll use these in nearly every simulation. The Gain Spread will give you the familiar cone effect of a shower.
Drop Thickness makes the drops chunkier. Drop length Stretches them longer. Tear drop creates a cartoony tear drop shape. Droplet Skew angles the tail of the drop towards the emitter. Skew is useful in wide sprays to make the drop align with the direction of travel. The length morph can be used with the blur materials to simulate a motion blur.
The Randomize Size controls are how you create an effect with random sized drops. The Random rotation dial spins the drop groups a sizable spin of this dial goes a long way toward making a realistic simulation.
Now let's take a look at the splat tool. It's purpose is to simulate the effect of rain drops hitting the ground and making a small splash. Load a Splat Tool from the library and select it's control element.
The splat tool should be positioned so the little splats are just barely below the ground. If the ground is not level you can rotate the entire tool using the control element. If the ground is rough you may want to position the individual splats just below the surface. Each splat can be posed, if necessary.
As with the rain tool the Size group sets the overall size of the effect.
The uniform setup section allows you to rotate and scale all the splat emitters the same way. This can be used to aim the splats if you are doing a driven rain scene, or to make them larger or smaller to match the scale of the rain effect.
The randomization controls are also very much like those in the Rain Tool. It's unlikely you will ever need the Randomize Y control as it would move the emitters above and below the ground.
The Randomize twist dial can make the splats appear different by randomly rotating them. This makes a different part of each one face the camera. The randomize size can really help sell the effect by making the splats slightly different sizes.
The Splat Emitters are grouped in to 10 sections plus a set of controls the operate them all at once. For still images you will only need the All Splat controls. The “splat” dial raises the emitter above the surface of the ground and shapes the splash. The radiate control increases the diameter of the splash.
If you are doing an animation, you'll want to cycle through the 10 groups. The frequency of the cycle will be dictated by the amount of spray. If you're thinking this will be a tremendous pain, you are right. That's why 2 animated poses to setup animations of the splats have been included. So, if you are doing animations choose one of the included splat tool animations. The animations are 30 frame cycles. Simply apply the animation every 30 frames to cover whatever duration you need.
Several utility poses are included. I think the shadow on and off poses are pretty self explanatory. Most times you will not want the drops and splats to cast shadows. It increases render times and is practically invisible in the scene.
The Smooth on and off are for Poser only. Poser's Polygonal smoothing can be a bit of a pain at times. In some cases with spray tool you will want it on. If you are doing a scene with very big tear drops for example. But if you are doing a scene with very long motion blurred drops it will need to be off or you'll get unexpectedly fat drops. DAZ's Studio does things differently and this isn't needed for studio.
The materials are pretty straight forward except the Blur materials. These work in conjunction with the Long Drop morph in the rain tool to simulate motion blur in the drops. Real motion blur in Poser takes forever to render and it's not even available in studio. To use these set the Drop Length dial up to 3-5. Then apply one of the blur materials. Ray Trace Blur isn't available in Studio because it handles refraction differently than Poser and it's impossible to make refraction and transparent happen at the same time.
We're going to make s shower. Load and pose your figure before the Sprayer Tool if possible. It's many parts may make it hard to select the figure for posing. Once you're happy with the figure load a Sprayer. The control group is a transparent triangle (green in Studio) select it and place the spray where you want it. The bottom is where the spray will emanate from. The Target must be placed using the dials in the control. Don't try dragging it into place it that won't work.
Once the target is roughly where you want it spin the Spray dial until there are drops showing all the way from emitter to target. Now you will be able to see the effect of the settings dials. First add some Gain Spread. Fiddling with this dial should make it obvious how the Gain dials work. Use the Rotation dials in the control group to angle the emitter. Notice the target rotated with the the emitter. This is necessary for the internal math in the tool to work right. Now you'll need to use the Target dial in the control to place the Target so it's parallel to the floor and just a bit below it.
Go ahead twirl the Spray dial. I know you're just itching to see this work. The drops fly from the emitter to the target in a natural looking curve. It's just a parabolic curve but it's pretty close to what gravity's effect would have on the spray. Close enough to sell the effect to anybody who's not using a slide rule and micrometer on your scenes.
OK the drops need to get mixed up some start with the Random Y, XZ and Twist dials adjust them to fill out the space between drop layers and get the drops thoroughly mixed up. You should add a little of the Gain Random dials too. This gives the droplets slight variations in speed and trajectory.
Now if you are going to use a motion blur you'll want to make the droplets longer, much longer. Set the droplet lengthen dial to 1 or maybe more. The droplets tails don't look right now do they. Especially around the edges. They point straight back, not towards the emitter like they really would. The Skew dial fixes this. Adjust the dial until the tails of the droplets look to be pointing at the emitter. If you are using poser you may want to apply the Smoothing Off Special Pose. While we're at in apply the Drop Map Blur material.
Now load a Spray Splat Tool and position it so it centers about where the target is. Apply one of the Splat Shower poses. You'll need to adjust the Length and Width of the effect to approximate the size of the water spray where it hits the ground.
Now let's apply the materials. For this choose Drop Blur. Apply it to each of the tools. Be sure to apply Drop material to Drop tools. The splats need to get the Splat Rain material. Poser 5 users will need to use the MAT-Pose files. Poser 6 can use the Material collection presets.
Wait, don't hit render yet. Remember the bit about Utility poses. Well, we should probably remove the shadows from the rain tools and maybe even the splats. Poser folks will definitely want to apply the Rain Smooth Off utility to both rain tools. Otherwise you'll get big swelled up drops.
These tools use a lot of transparency, but not much geometry. You will see some increase in render time, but not a lot unless you use the Ray traced materials.
The raytraced materials look really good and are the more accurate reproduction. They take longer to render but it's worth it. To get the maximum from these you need to use the software render in Studio and FireFly in poser. The ray trace bounces needs to be set to at least 4 to a good effect.
This tool was built with animation in mind. It is very simple to animate a spray once the parameters are setup. In most cases the only dial you will need to animate is the Spray dial. To create a continuous spray you only need to reset the spray periodically. When you run out of drops jump back the a setting where the drops have just reached the floor. The shower Animated Pose is setup this way you can use it as an example or starting point for your own animations. The Splat tool works in a similar way. Just keep applying the splat animated poses end to end until you have a long enough animation. Happy rendering and don't slip in the shower.