Vortex Space Warp
 
 
 
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Create panel (Space Warps) Forces Object Type rollout Vortex

Create menu Space Warps Forces Vortex

The Vortex space warp applies a force to particle systems, spinning them through a whirling vortex, and then moving them down a long, thin spout or vortex well. Vortex is useful for creating black holes, whirlpools, tornadoes, and other funnel-like objects.

The space warp settings let you control the vortex shape, the well characteristics, and rate and range of particle capture. The shape of the vortex is also affected by particle system settings, such as speed.

Particle stream caught in a vortex

Procedures

To create a Vortex space warp:

  1. On the Create panel, click (Space Warps). Choose Forces from the list, then on the Object Type rollout, click Vortex.
  2. Determine which world axis you want the vortex to spiral around, and then drag in the appropriate viewport to create the space warp. For example, if you want the vortex to spin around the vertical world axis, create the space warp in the Top viewport. You can rotate the warp later to change the vortex direction, and animate the warp orientation.

    The Vortex warp appears as a curved-arrow icon in the plane you drag in, with a second, perpendicular arrow indicating the axis of rotation as well as the direction of the well. This second axis is called the drop axis.

    NoteThe position of the space warp plays an important role in the results. The vertical position affects the shape of the vortex, and the horizontal position determines its location. If you want the particles to spiral around the particle emitter, place both at the same location.

Interface

Timing group

Time On/Time Off

The frame numbers at which the space warp becomes active and becomes inactive.

Vortex Shape group

Taper Length

Controls the length of the vortex, as well as its shape. Lower settings give you a "tighter" vortex, while higher settings give you a "looser" vortex. Default=100.0.

Taper Curve

Controls the shape of the vortex. Low values create a vortex with a wide, flared mouth, while high values create a vortex with nearly vertical sides. Default=1.0. Range=1.0 to 4.0.

Capture and Motion group

This group contains basic settings for Axial Drop, Orbital Speed, and Radial Pull, with Range, Falloff, and Damping modifiers for each.

Unlimited Range

When on, Vortex exerts full damping strength over an unlimited range. When off, the Range and Falloff settings take effect.

Axial Drop

Specifies how quickly particles move in the direction of the drop axis.

Range

The distance from the center of the Vortex icon, in system units, at which Axial Damping has its full effect. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Falloff

Specifies the distance beyond the Axial Range within which Axial Damping is applied. Axial Damping is strongest at the Range distance, decreases linearly out to the limit of the Axial Falloff, and has no effect beyond that. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Damping

Controls the degree to which particle motion parallel to the drop axis is restrained per frame. Default=5.0. Range=0 to 100.

For subtle effects, use values of less than 10%. For more overt effects, try using higher values that increase to 100% over the course of a few frames.

Orbital Speed

Specifies how quickly the particles rotate.

Range

The distance from the center of the Vortex icon, in system units, at which Orbital Damping has its full effect. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Falloff

Specifies the distance beyond the Orbital Range within which Orbital Damping is applied. Orbital Damping is strongest at the Range distance, decreases linearly out to the limit of the Orbital Falloff, and has no effect beyond that. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Damping

Controls the degree to which orbital particle motion is restrained per frame. Smaller values produce a wide spiral, while larger values produce a thin spiral. Default=5.0. Range=0 to 100.

Radial Pull

Specifies the distance from the drop axis at which the particles rotate.

Range

The distance from the center of the Vortex icon, in system units, at which Radial Damping has its full effect. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Falloff

Specifies the distance beyond the Radial Range within which Radial Damping is applied. Radial Damping is strongest at the Range distance, decreases linearly out to the limit of the Radial Falloff, and has no effect beyond that. Takes effect only when Unlimited Range is turned off.

Damping

Controls the degree to which Radial Pull is restrained per frame. Default=5.0. Range=0 to 100.

CW/CCW

Determines whether particles rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.

Display group

Icon Size

Specifies the size of the icon.