Experimental Scripting for Animation in Maya
Arts Col 694, 5 credits
Professor Alan Price


Assignment #5 - Create a script that generates and creates custom connections with dynamic properties or particles with expressions

Save your script(s) to an external file ("your_user_name_project5.mel") and put a copy in "Y:\Courses\AC694_Price_Fall_2005\project_5"

Based on the examples from the book, design a variation on controlling dynamics with expressions, and setting up the initial conditions with a script. A GUI for this project is not required, but you might consider creating one to select options for creation or continuous control over the scene.

Keep the project simple. The main idea here is to experiment with solid body or particle dynamics and see if you might be interested in using ideas that come out of it for your final project. If not, chalk it up to experience and design your final project using previous techniques.

Possibilities are

  • Control a particle system with expressions on influence fields or on a per-particle basis, or both. Can you make the particles take on a specific pattern that changes over time?
  • Create an effect using per-particle goals, changing weights between multiple goal objects.
  • Set up individual particles with the particle tool, or on a grid, and influence the motion of particles with velocity or goal weights.
  • Using solid-body dynamics, control the motion of active rigid objects with the impulse attributes and/or create expressions that control the magnitude of forces in the world.
  • Experiment with procedures that can be called upon by a collision event.

Evaluation will be based on:
-- Successful completion.
Does the script do what it is supposed to do without errors?
-- Creative application. Was attention given to a creative approach for user control of the event?
-- Structure. Is the script properly structured using procedures and methods for passing values between them?