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Amy Sterling

How to melt away a block of images?

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Hi all,

 

I am not sure where to post this.. 

Our neuroscience lab maps 3D neurons. I am trying to make an animation like the beginning of this (from our old designer who worked in Max) that shows a dataset (stack of pngs or video file) that “melts away” to reveal neurons that have grown within it. Is this possible in Cinema 4D? 

 

I’ve so far only imported 3D neuron models, which render nicely, but the professor wants one showing the volume of brain it came from and I am totally stuck. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

 

Amy

 

Thanks for taking the time to read. Here are some synapses for you!  

 

 

 

D1EF902D-C3B4-4C6C-A391-7879E084EE80.jpeg

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This goes in Modelling / Sculpting, and I have just moved it there for you :)

 

The specific effect in your reference video is ludicrously easy to create, so that's good news...

That is just a cube surrounding another model, and then getting its height animated from the top down, revealing the inner structure. In the case of a cube you could even do that parametrically, but we have to think again if you want to do it with an editable mesh such as your 'brain-volume'...

 

Fortunately we have the volume builder so we don't have to resort to booleans for the effect, although practically speaking either would probably do it.

So I'd get my brain model, put that under a Volume Builder, then get a cube above it, set its mode to subtract, and simply animate that downwards.

 

If you want to make the revealed mesh look connected to the bit that is melting away that should go in the volume builder too, at the bottom of the stack in union mode with the brain section, or you could keep the 2 elements entirely separate if you want a cleaner result - in this case polygon intersection doesn't matter.

 

CBR

 

 

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  • Thank you @Cerbera

     

    I’m still confused on how to make the cube show our real microscope images. In the case of the bigger neurons I’m trying to show (see attached image) the cube is a stack of something like 30,000 images. So when it melts away the top of the cube effectively reveals a scroll throug  a cross-sectional electron microscope image and the sides would be the edge of our dataset, which is a little more jagged than perfect cube. So would I just take the 30K images and put them under Volume Builder then use Subtract? 

    32C59905-D9A7-4AF9-A781-81D0C00B8D75.jpeg

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    Oh OK, I had misunderstood you there - I thought you had a model of the thing being revealed. If that's photos this isn't going to work at all and we'll have to think again.

    first question is - do your pics have an alpha channel that would enable  you to remove the background ?

     

    CBR

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  • You’re correct - I do have a model of the thing to be revealed. We also have the “brain volume” for it to be revealed from, that is the 30k images. 

     

    Here’s A short version of the scroll. The image in #2 here is maybe a good example of the images stacking into a volume from which we map neurons. The raw images don’t really have a background persay, they are all greyscale. Could we  export them as a video and put that in a cube? 

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    9 minutes ago, Amy Sterling said:

    Could we  export them as a video and put that in a cube?

    No. There is nothing in Cinema that can take 30,000 2D images and magically generate a 3D model from that. Do you guys not have specialist software to do that ? 

    Otherwise you're going to have to find a way to stack all those images, Fracture them and then use something like a plain effector to make them disappear incrementally...

     

    CBR

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  • Damn. It might be possible to generate a 3D cube filled with the volume. If we could do that then could I use the subtract modifier to melt it? 

     

    Each of the images is effectively a plane with xyz coords - maybe I could use a script to hide them in sequence? 

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    11 hours ago, Amy Sterling said:

    Damn. It might be possible to generate a 3D cube filled with the volume. If we could do that then could I use the subtract modifier to melt it? 

     

    Can't say without seeing it. It would need to be a true 3D object, not thousands of layers for it to be able to work with the VB or booles - neither of those things do well with non-volumetric objects.  But there might be another way round this if we think out of the box, or should I say cube ?! :)

     

    You have a video playback of the image sequence right ? If so, why not assign the video as a texture to just the top face of a cube, and then animate its Y-scale as the video plays ? By syncing the 2 shouldn't you be able to give the impression that the stack is moving down as if stepping through a pile of photos ? So basically faking it. You would just park your other model in the middle of this and wait for it to be revealed by the diminishing cube...

     

    CBR

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  • Thank you, yes adding as a texture worked! 

     working on a closeup version of this now. Thanks! How should I cite you in the video description @Cerbera?

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    • Imperial Archon :lol:

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    1 hour ago, Amy Sterling said:

    How should I cite you in the video description @Cerbera?

    Some guy off the cafe ? :) Anything you like, but most know me as Cerbera.

     

    CBR

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