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-   -   Classical Ribbons vs Emitter Ribbons (http://www.wc3c.net/showthread.php?t=87288)

Daelin 09-13-2006 09:12 AM

Classical Ribbons vs Emitter Ribbons
2 Attachment(s)
Classical ribbons vs emitter ribbons

1. Introduction
Even though blizzard’s classical ribbons have become extremely popular and they are being used by many modelers, in some cases, regardless the low number of polies, their quality can be really poor, and simply not serve the purpose you seek. Deciding to experiment with blizzard particle emmiters, I have succeeded to come up with a new way of creating ribbons.
In order to be able to complete the tutorial successfully, you will need 3dsmax with Art Tools. I will not teach you here modeling, ribbons, or particles, but just this technique I have come up to, step by step.

2. Setting the particles ready
Go to geometry – Particle Systems. Select BlizPart and create a group of particles.
Having them selected, apply the following settings (blue are fixed values, red vary)

Emitter Options
Speed: -0.5
Cone Angle: 0

Timing Options
Life(sec): 1.00
Parts/sec: 50.00

Size Options
Width: 5,0
Length: 5,0

Particle Options

Other Options
Particles in model space: off
XY Quads: off

The important parameters here are the variable ones. Be very careful how you change them.
I usually keep speed to a small value. I also find the ribbons better when the value is negative. Never give speed a value of 0 because then the ribbon will look flat.
Life also depends a lot on the speed. If you add a longer lifetime, make sure that speed is smaller and vice-versa.
Number of particles/second is also very important. On them depends the number of polies your effect will have. Too many will mean a highpoly model. Too small may make your ribbon look like it has been cut into pieces.

3. Creating the ribbon
If you keep the particles in place you will obtain the head of the ribbon but no tail. In order to give the effect of a ribbon you must move the particles around.
Note: Moving the particles too fast may require more “particles/sec” unless you want to obtain an interrupted ribbon. You can lower in this case polycount by reducing their lifetime.
Here two examples comparing the two types of ribbons.

Zoom (requires log in) Zoom (requires log in)

4. Which to choose?
It’s a good question. You can choose any of them, since both will do in most situations. Here are the differences between the two types of ribbons:


Classical ribbons                                  Emitter ribbons
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Always uninterrupted                              Interrupted when moved too fast.
Invisible when staying in place.                  Head visible when steady.
Excellent for long textures.                      Excellent for ribbons made out
                                                    of smaller pieces.
Lower polycount.                                  Higher polycount.
Stretched texture in some situations.              Always good mapping.

I cannot tell you where to use one or another. This is totally up to you and your needs. Experiment with both a little and then decide which one would fit better the model (and the poly limit you can afford).
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, do not hesitate to post them here.


Pheonix-IV 09-13-2006 09:44 AM

Each is viable depending on what you're trying to do. If, for example, you're after a blade effect like the blademaster has, something to show that something is moving really quickly though the air, then normal ribbon emitters are what you're after. If you want a sort of firey, flashy effect then particle emitters are more appropriate. It's entirely situational.

Also, the particles per second doesn't help much past about 100 or so. I tried making one with something like 1000 a second to see how fast i could move it, but there was no noticable difference between 1000 and 100 or any numbers between, both in number of particles visible and in what speed it began to 'stutter'

Daelin 09-13-2006 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by Pheonix-IV
Each is viable depending on what you're trying to do.

That's what I said, that it depends on your needs. :emote_smile:


Originally Posted by Pheonix-IV
Also, the particles per second doesn't help much past about 100 or so

I never needed more than 70 particles per second. Not only they can turn into increasingly highpoly stuff, you won't need emitters for moving stuff SO fast. Particles are more useful for detail stuff, while ribbons are damn good for quick, sharp effects.

Pheonix-IV 09-13-2006 11:03 AM

I've had a couple of times where really really fast moving particles would have been an improvement, trying to do a magical sniper shot for example, i wanted to have a sort of traily cone effect go away from it, but if i put the speed past about 2000 then the cone got screwed up, and since i wanted it at about 3500, that was annoying.

TDR 09-13-2006 12:20 PM

I say, this is pretty usefull. It should be approved.

erwtenpeller 09-13-2006 12:41 PM

I'm all for approval as well.

PitzerMike 09-18-2006 08:21 PM

Great. I've edited changed the colored text to bold as it was hard to read on some forum themes.


MaD[Lion] 09-25-2006 10:14 PM

emitter ribbons just looks like particles, like the frost wyrm attack. It can look nice in some way, but not always. Cus classical ribbon is alot better for a motion effect.
Emitter ribbons cant do this motion effect on instant movement, but it is nice to use for moving projectiles, but u need alot of particles to make it look good, which will decrease performance on old comps, but at this age i think performance on wc3 isnt a problem anymore.

JetFangInferno 09-26-2006 04:32 AM

darn it, i dont have 3dmax or art tools -_- and gmax is a pain in the ass!

ArchWorm 10-18-2006 05:42 PM

Daelin what do you think about merging of these two methods?

Daelin 10-19-2006 12:50 PM

Never tried it... if you want, you are welcomed to try. You could get something interesting I guess. Special effects are not limited to a method or another.


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