I’ve been feeling slightly nauseous those last two days and my head has been mostly spinning with headache (which are either signs of yet another infection on the horizon or some other weird thing rummaging through my decaying body), so I haven’t really gotten anything done, but at least I’ve managed to upload some videos done with Element.
The first example is your good old text logo animation. The text was created in Cinema 4D using MoGraph cloners and then disassembled in Element by using the multi-object mode on 2 groups. In the second group particle size is simply set to zero, so as the falloff expands, particles disappear into nothingness. By using negative values for scattering and position offsets it also appears that the particles implode rather than explode. The reflections of course had to be faked by using multiple comps and turning things upside down. That’s the part where things got ugly, since on my GTX 285 I just can’t render it in full HD.
The second animation is a different beast. Here the individual parts are assigned to separate groups and the rotation and position are animated directly with expressions. Using a few extra sliders that influence the underlying math it’s quite easy to adjust the number of elements as seen in the video.
Now while all of this is fine and dandy, both projects reveal some of the limitations I spoke about in my last post, for me the biggest gripe being the seeming impossibility to get this rendered in all its beauty at a standard production resolution. Now I’m willing to blame this on any weird driver issues and my card not being top of the line, anyway, but it’s nonetheless frustrating. Another of those annoyances are the various alignment issues. Especially in the engine project there are some things that irk me. Despite modeling everything to scale in Cinema 4D and turning off the Normalize Size option in Element, the only way to get the pistons to match the rest was to use a smaller particle size, which is weird considering that the crank element and the beam would come in at the default size and align correctly. As a result, you can see the axis that is supposed to hold the piston drift beyond the mounting hole. On some level that also is true for the text project because in some areas you have to use a few extra pixels in the position values to make things align. So watch out for those potential gotchas when you do your own animations.