Creating Foam

What was the task?

As our animated short centred around the relationship between Coke and Mentos vending machines, I took on the task of animating foam. I found this difficult as the task didn’t involve key framing a basic polygon primitive but an effect instead, and there were no tutorials online dedicated to making the type of foam I wanted.

Nparticles in Maya

After some research online, I found that Nparticles would be the best method to create this animation. One particular tutorial explained how to make a fountain so I decided to follow this then experiment. The tutorial for this can be found below.

The above tutorial explained how to make an emitter in a directional path. Other details such as the cycle emissions, distance direction attributes, max, min distance, and speeds greatly effected how the water moved. After modifying these, I went into my channel box and modified details like my spread, random speed, random range, and life span. The most significant changes I had to make probably came from my particular render type and how I could modify this to make it thicker. After following all of these steps I converted my Nparticles to polygons which gave the animation much more density.

Other Useful Tutorials and Techniques

The most useful piece of information in the tutorial below was the use of collides; this was something I used in my final animation. The rest of the tutorial explained how to use nparticles to create a different type of water effect which treated phyics differently to my previous video (this was due to the creator’s use of particle fill).

The tutorial below uses bifrost to create liquid. This video seemed quite simple relative to others I had watched but I found problems whist using it due to the biofrost software.

Additonally, I researched fluid particles through Autodesk. Through this, I realised that I cold make fluids through the FX menu in Maya, and get examples of different types of fluids. The notes section in the attribute editor provides information on particular fluids, pointing their key aspects and giving information on their construction.

Below is a link to the page I researched:

Mentos and Coke Foam Research

Below are some of the videos I used as references to accurately represent the chemicals combining and foaming. I these videos made me realise how liquid-like the foam was, but also the speed and sound in which it made. For a more comical effect, I opted to thicker foam. I also decided to place my emitted from the centre of the vending machines.

Foam Experimentation

Changing my foam from a water effect to something thicker waas quite difficult so I had to experiment before I found my end result. Below are some of these examples.

The image below was one of my first experiments with nparticles and turned out much more bubble-like than my other results; this was probably because I did not convert my nparticles to polygons. I quite liked this stylistically but my team did not so I changed it.
bubbles 2
Artist: Lauren Bell

The image below explore a more dense explosion with bubbles in a smaller space; after doing these two experiments I had to learn how to densely populate a large space.
Artist: Lauren Bell

In the experiment below the nparticles were to thin and were spaced to far apart resulting in a snow-like effect.
foam render 3
Artist: Lauren Bell

The image below shows one of my first experiments with converting my nparticles to polygons; this resulted in quite a small blobby shape but significantly more foam-like than before.
foam render 2
Artist: Lauren Bell
The image below shows my exploration with with scale and how I could stretch the size of my nparticles. This seemed to segregate my foam and appeared to emit similarly to fire.
foam render 4
Artist: Lauren Bell
The image below more similarly reflects our final foam effect; the density and mass of the foam was much more suitable as I manipulated the size of the particles but also their spread etc.
foam render 1
Artist: Lauren Bell

Final Product

Below are two images of the final foam effect. In order for the foam to collide and emit the way in which we wanted, we made other items colliers whilst also caching the original foam animation.
foam 2foam




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