A few questions about particle system effects

CalebKCalebK Website User Posts: 435
While working on designing effects for a movie I'm making i ran into a few snags.  Fortunately their are similar effects to this film on youtube.  I was wondering if you could help me break them down.
1.  At 2:16 Voldemort shoots black particles at Dumbledore however he produces a shield that stops them when they hit the shield.  How do you get the particles to appear to dissolve into a plane?
2.  At 2:43 Dumbledore produces yet another shield. However how did they get the particles to turn to sand apon hitting it?
3. At 2:43 How might one produce a spherical shield with edges that gradually disappear?
Also some from this movie
1.  Through the movie how did they create smoke that was pushed down faster than normal and that whent out just like it should once hitting the envornment?
2.  How might i simulate the death eaters flying??  I see tutorials for After Effects but not for hit film.
I understand that these movies were made with massive software, and lots and lots and lots of hours.  All I'm asking for is a breakdown as what effects/ particle settings i might use and or related tutorials to create a similar effect.


  • AxelWilkinsonAxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,243 Staff
    The shield stuff is done using Mobile Emitters and deflectors.  You can set up the mobile emitters to die or to activate when they make contact with a deflector.  This fireworks video is a nice intro to Mobile Emitters, I hope: http://youtu.be/k-u92LzAuUQ
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,307 Ambassador
    One thing to remember in these kinds of effects is that the VFX artist's aren't just using a single particle simulator--they are stacking and laying many many different layers to make these effects work. It would be nearly impossible to recreate these effects using a single particle simulator, or even a single technique.
    1) The black particles hitting the shield was likely done with multiple effects layers--you could use an emitter for the black particles and set up a deflector layer where the shield would be and set the deflector to kill particles. The shield itself was probably a completely different element. There's all kinds of shields you can make with a simple plane using fractal clouds or noise and your choice of color grade effects to generate glows and masking to fade edges.
    2) In Hitfilm, there are two ways to get the particles to dissolve into sand--first, set up particle emitters and use a deflector or force where the shield is and set that to kill emitters---have the moble emitter spawn "sand" upon death.
    The other way to be to prep your black particles, embed that as a composite shot, then apply keyframed atomic particles to the everything the break apart.
    3) a spherical shield--well, again, you can use a plane, fractal noise, color grades and glows to get a neat textue and the spherize effect to bend it--using masking where needed to fade edges.
    4) Smoke pushed down faster, then normal speed--One of the things happening here is the smoke is being pulled along with the magicians as they fly around--it's no so much that the smoke is travelling faster--it's travelling with them. In Hitfilm you could try a single particle sim with a high degree of attachment to emitter and velocity from emitter. Set up a deflector plane where the floor would be and let your smoke billow--once the emitter layer stops moving, future smoke will slow down. Alternately, try two particle emitters--one for flight, one after landing. Make the "landing" particle emitter have slower speed than the flying one, and keyframe the active and/or particles per second properties to blend the two emitters.
    5) Death Eaters---just look at the After Effects Tutorial. Most After Effects Tutorials translate nearly exactly into Hitfilm---Yeah, AE will use a "pick-whip" and in Hitfilm we parent layers--same thing.
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