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Link Light To Plain Effector


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22 minutes ago, mattide said:

Is this possible?

No, I suspect not, because a light is not a mograph object, or a polygon object, and can't be in a fracture, all the things a plain effector can affect. A light has nothing that can be affected by a plain effector AFAIK. Cloners do work with lights though, so you might get a little further along by cloning the light with a count of 1, but still no idea how you'd connect that's effectors to light intensity, unless perhaps Xpresso would help here.


Not that I see a way you could link them via Xpresso either, but that's hardly my area of expertise, so it may be possible. I'll be interested to read what everyone else suggests...



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38 minutes ago, mattide said:

Any ideas?

Hmmm. Not so far, but then I have been up for 30 hours, so brainpower is a long way from optimal until I've had some sleep :)

Will have a play with your file when I'm next here if someone hasn't beaten me to it...



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8 hours ago, deck said:

You need Cerbera to wake up :)

Sort of. Ideally you need Cerbera to have a slightly better knowledge of this area of Cinema ;) Or someone else who does...


But I think the crucial difference between your setup and the one in the second video is that you are using a Fracture, and he is applying the effector directly to the polygon object that is generating the vertex map. Your vertex map isn't even part of the Fracture setup, so I'd guess that means that this plan is doomed to fail using that method. 


But what if the fracture (or rather the things in it) were made one editable mesh that could itself get the vertex map instead, which would theoretically allow you to use your plain effector as matey in Video 2 did ? Would it work then I wonder ? Well, yes and no.


We should briefly enjoy the fact that this is working below, before we worry about why it's done 'that'...




So, why has it all gone awful ? That, I'm afraid is what happens when you try and apply a vertex weight map to terrible topology. Because this has been made with splines in extrudes, Cinema has been left to do its own thing with topology, so you have hideous uneven triangles everywhere. In the example above I tried manually painting a weight map on the connect + deleted mesh (just to test the restriction tag), but the woeful result I got will be no better had I got that from the light instead.


So, what can we do about that ? Not alot while it's an editable object like in your example file ;)


But, if you had the extrude object that made this originally from your splines, then you can go back and do things about that which will help.


Firstly, in the Extrude Object's cap settings change the type to Quads, and Regular grid, and turn down the value until you have nicely sized even squares all over the model. Now, select all the component splines, and change their spline interpolation mode to Subdivided, and set the same maximum length as you set in the Extrude object's regular grid size. This will give you as close as you can get to all quad regular topology, which is more suitable (though still not perfect / some tris remaining) for vertex maps.


Once you've done that, then make the extrude editable, optimize points to get rid of any weird ones, and proceed as above, dropping that object into your Xpresso setup so that the vertex map is generated on the object, and you can now use the plain effector, with its restriction tag as a child of the object itself.


Does that make sense ? The question remains - is that revised topology good enough for a smooth even vertex map that will smoothly transform the object in the way that you need ? And can we get it to move individual pieces of it without the fracture object ? 


We also have to consider the deformation mode of the plain effector when it's used like this. Points Mode or Polys Mode seem the most obvious choices here, but it's difficult to tell which one we need while I can't fix the geometry. 


Anyway, such as it is, I hope it helps !



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I have had a look at this too. Fundamentally, as @Cerbera says, there are a number of things wrong with what you have so far, it's complicated and even if you correct them, you'd still not get a great result because of your geometry.


Honestly, if I was given this task and had to use your geometry and assuming you need the light and you're not just using it to rig this up, I'd do some basic Xpresso to tie the Light brightness to a Cone Falloff on the Plain Effector so that as the light brightens/darkens the Cone Falloff expands/contracts. Put the Plain Effector as a child of the Light so when you move or rotate the Light, the Plain Effector moves with it. You will need to experiment with the Cone Falloff size and the Cone Shape dimensions etc. to get it positioned initially. Tie brightness to Cone Falloff and/or size of the Cone Falloff shape using a Range Mapper/s in your Xpresso.


This method allows you to use the geometry you've got and remove all the Vertex maps.




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I like your lateral thinking there AB, although I do wonder if that cone falloff is translatable to the light falloff along the length of it, if you see what I mean ? I don't know how important that is to OP.


I had another idea involving making the original extrude have ngon caps, so that you'd get one poly per segment, and then using PolyFX, which can use Effectors in this way to replace the function of the original Fracture Object. I haven't tried it - what do you think ?! :/



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