PIPELINE TECHNIQUES: Reimage an Animated Character with notch
Tricks for mastering Notch Builder
Working in real-time enables artists to focus on their creative ideas all through the creation process. in this tutorial, notch’s particle engine was used to re-create the surface of an animated 3D character using 120,000 cubes, as well as motion-tracking features and post-processing effects to produce a high quality shot. This tutorial uses an animated deer from Truebones Mocap studios: truebones.com/free-demos. We will also be adjusting lighting and post processing effects to taste. For brevity, these steps are not covered in the tutorial, but can be seen in the accompanying DFX file when opened in notch Builder.
Import and place your 3D model notch can import models and scenes in FBX, c4d, ABC, LWO and OBJ formats. Drag the model from the resource panel to the node graph and connect it to the Root. expand the node to show the contents of the imported FBX scene. Add a Directional Light into the scene to get a better sense of the form by dragging a Direction Light node from the node list. Let’s also add an Orbit camera node to look around.
Add a Cloner node to the Mesh next, add a clone To Mesh node, with a Randomise effector and a 3D Primitive (in this case, a sphere) as its children. connect your 3D Object from within the scene to the clones To Mesh’s source Object input. Adjust the Randomise effector properties by setting uniform scale to ‘On’ and scale X to -1.15.
Add the particles Add a Particle Root, Mesh emitter, Mesh Renderer and a 3D Primitive. connect the 3D Object you wish to emit particles from to the Mesh emitter node’s Object nodes input. set the num Particles property on the Particle Root to 125,000. in the Mesh emitter node, set spawn Mode to ‘Polygons’ and set the Max Particles count to 120,000. in the Mesh Renderer node, set use colours to ‘On’ to colour the particles using the colours of the deer texture. set the Rotation Mode to ‘normal’ and play around with the Particle scale and size Randomness properties.
Bring the particles to life Let’s make those particles come alive through the use of a Velocity Affector node with Velocity Amount set to 1.8 and a Turbulence effector with Velocity Amount set to 3.8 and noise scale set to 5.0. in addition to that, let’s add a Fluid FLIP Affector node with the following properties:
• solver Mode: FLIP
• Velocity scale: 2.4
• incoming Velocity scale: 0.07
• surface Tension: 41
Add ground for the deer to run on Add another Particle Root, Primitive emitter (type: Plane) and a Velocity Affector, as well as a clone To Particles and a Randomise effector and another 3D Primitive (cube). Parent the emitter, Velocity Affector (Velocity Amount 3.0, Radius 100) and the cloner node to the Particle Root, and parent Randomise effector and the cube to the cloner. set the num clones property to 15,000, and mess with the effector Transforms in the Randomise effector and scale. use the Velocity to move particles to cover a ‘ground plane’ under the deer.
Motion tracked HUD Add a Parent To Vertex node and parent it to the original 3D Object (we’re using vertex #43 which is near the eye). Add a Ring 3D Primitive to the Parent To Vertex node. Repeat this step for vertex #118. hook up the Orbit camera into the target input on the rings which will make them always point towards the camera. using the steps described in this tutorial, you can do any kind of hud.
You can create them directly in notch or import existing assets. in this tutorial, i’ve used the built-in 3D Primitives (Radial cloner and circular Text).