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I know how to use a driver to, for example, make an object rotate as an empty is brought closer to it. But I am wondering if I can use an empty to amplify the keyframe Y values more the closer it gets. This way I can have a forest of trees swaying gently in the wind but for only the tree particles in close proximity to the "wind" empty the sway will intensify to a heavy rocking motion. I would somehow need to specify minimum and maximum amounts of animation. I have no idea what sort of Python expression I would need for this, or if it's even possible to use a driver to amplify keyframed data. Any help appreciated!

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you interested in a only a python driver or any mechanism that achieves a visual result? $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2015 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'm open to other methods as well, as long as it doesn't involve heavy calculations that would slow down an already large and complex scene. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Sep 6, 2015 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Are the tree particles instanced from a few animated tree objects? Or is the swaying animation done with particle physics? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Sep 6, 2015 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 I haven't animated the trees yet. In retrospect it may have been a good idea to take advantage of the animation feature of Sapling, but at the time animation seemed like overkill. Now after making the scene the thing that hurts the believability the most is that nothing moves enough. So, no animation has been added to the trees yet and I'm open to any method that's not too demanding on the CPU, and which allows control by proximity. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Sep 7, 2015 at 12:50

1 Answer 1

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Weights on a lattice.

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Armature controlling lattice and lattice controls particles.

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  • Particles can be affected by a lattice. This might prove to be the least CPU resource consuming. Lattice can be affected by armature or shape keys et cetera. Higher UVW specifications may produce more controlled effects.
  • Particles can be affected by forces attached to an empty. You can use an effector group to minimize force calculation
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the great ideas. I wouldn't have expected that particles can be controlled by a lattice like this! Unfortunately the shapes of my particles don't deform as yours do. Instead my particles remain stiff and only shift position. What have I overlooked? Also when I tried using a wind Force Field it just blew my particles away (and they still remained rigid). I have very little experience with Force Fields, so please explain to me like I'm a noob on this one. :-) Finally, how does using an effector group minimize force calculation? $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Sep 7, 2015 at 12:38

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