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I'm trying to use Boid particles to create an ant-like insect swarm that moves towards a goal and climbs over everything in its path. My operation and collision tests have been successful so far, with one big exception: I can't get them to climb goal objects.

My approach - based on research - has been to create an obstacle mesh for climbing, enable its collision physics, then set it as a Goal object in the Boids operation stack. The particles do travel towards the goal (in this case, a pyramid), but then they simply bounce off the side and move around.

Here is a screencap of my test setup:

Here is a screencap of my test setup

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Assuming that 'goal' is where the boids should end up, and the pyramid is an obstacle to climb over, this is the desired outcome. In this case, the pyramid should not be a goal for the boids.

Sticky pyramid

The key to get the boids to climb over the pyramid is to make it 'sticky' using the stickiness collision parameter for the pyramid and plane.

enter image description here

If the stickiness is set to 0, then the boids will flow around the pyramid like below:

Non-sticky pyramid


The basic setup to get this result is as follows:

  1. Create a scene with a plane, a pyramid, a particle emitter (an icosphere in this example), and a goal object (the text).

Geometry setup

  1. For the icosphere, add a particle system. Set it up as shown.

boid particle setup 1 boid particle setup 2 boid particle setup 3

  1. Add collision physics to the plane and pyramid, set the stickiness as shown.

collision physics

  1. Play the animation...

The blend for the animation above is here:

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