I want to make an animation that explains laser scanning. It will consist of two videos. One of the videos is rotating duck with a laser on it. You can see the animation here. The animation is by me and the first of the two videos is already done.

enter image description here https://media.giphy.com/media/iDJOi8TmgXrHKRQuoA/giphy.gif

The other is supposed to be a sort of point cloud that is generated by the scanning laser from the first video. So wherever the laser hits the rotating duck, there should spawn points.

What I have tried so far: I tried to make the point cloud with a particle system. It worked well except that I could only generate points over the entire duck faces and not only at the "laser line". Ideal would be to have an emitter that is the intersection between the rotating duck and a face.

I hope I stated my question clearly. Thanks

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps I didn't clarify enough. The GIF I posted is from me and that is the current state and only here to clarify what other video I want. The question is not about creating the laser. It is about creation particles/ point cloud that emit when the laser is at that spot. $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2019 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ A clear title and clear text will make it easier to connect with those users who might know how to help you. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Jun 24, 2019 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the feedback! $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2019 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ I think using a Shrinkwrap modifier on a line of vertices should help here. This will let the vertices map to the surface and you can then have the vertices emit particles. Rotate the camera and string of vertices around the object instead of rotating the object and the particles will appear to cling to the surface instead of being left behind. Hope this is enough to go on - can’t post a proper answer. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2019 at 21:34

2 Answers 2



Dot pattern texture with appearance controled by Radial Blend texture.

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enter image description here Laser line is shrinkwrapped line, just for illustration, you will use your laser :)


They looks better, since there is not a deformation on surface curvature. I wanted to use the same Radial blend texture as factor for Emission, but I had some dificulties to get it work for particle system. So here is a version with particles emited from Shrinkwrapped line of vertices suggested by Rich Sedman

Works nice like real one in term - light string follows surface and keeps empty places where light cant touch surface (like in tail part).

Issue is distribution. I wasnt able to set even release particles from vertices.

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2 years later ...

Appearance of particles can be also controlled by Dynamic paint. Just add a plane (as laser) and use this object as a Brush in DP ... Duck as Canvas in DP.


Please be aware that this is not the technical most beautiful way, and that it's a half blind guess of mine. I am not too familiar with particle systems, but my first attempt to emit particles at the intersection zones is to emit them from vertices generated by the boolean modifier.

What you see here is a plane, representing your "scanning laser", passing through the object that is supposed to be scanned.

If this works out how I think it will, the boolean modifier is generating a "ring" of geometry/vertices at the intersection around your object, which can then be used to emit particles from. Sadly I couldn't set up a particle system myself because I have too little experience in that area, but I hope this will halp a but.

As I said, this is supposed to offer you a direction you could try, but I'm not quite qualified for particle system stuff.

Particle emission plane with boolean modifier passing through target mesh. Target mesh is transparent to make the proces better understandable.


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