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Starlings Study - flocking using Trapcode Particular

Starlings Study 01 from Peder Norrby on Vimeo.

Starlings flock experiment with Trapcode Particular
Download AE CS4: AE project file

In this first test I emitted 40K particles (using a large Box emitter) on the first frame and they are affected only by the Turbulence Field (a 4D perlin noise fractal that is used as 3D displacement). The "birds" are simple black circles.

30 seconds is probably pushing it a bit, a 3-5 second clip would sell the effect of starlings much better. But I wanted to see how it looked during a longer time. The effect could be improved by keyframing Wind and/or using a motion path to move the flock and perhaps animating the camera, adding some handheld shake and zooming in/out. I'll leave that for future experiments.

Vimeo's compression really doesn't like this clip, download the original file from the Vimeo page to see it without artifacts.

All movement was made using Physics>Air>Turbulence with a rather large displacement of 4000 px. Then I set down Turbulence>Scale to 1.0 and increased Evolution Speed to 150.

For comparison, here is some real footage of starling flocks:

Download AE CS4: AE project file



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