Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I started out making an exhaustively detailed post about the whys, hows, and wherefores of a nifty little particle effect recently installed in the Garden. But, frankly, even I lost interest in it about halfway through. (The tech version sat in my draft folder for three weeks before I gave up on it.) It's nothing new, technology-wise. Basically, it's a simple particle generator, set to slowly push a particle insect away from itself, then draw it back in a graceful arc. This has been done by a variety of people. The emitters are linked together in a merry-go-round configuration, and the follow-wind tag turned on, to give some variation to their flight paths. Again, nothing new, but it's kind of a cute effect.
By day, the emitters (a total of 16 of them shown, in four bundles of four, max combined particle count of 160 at any given time) send out one of three Monarch butterfly images. These images are changed at random, every 60 to 120 seconds. By night, they switch to glowing, pale green fireflies. I'm especially proud of the night time effect. Combined with the pre-existing cricket chirps and owl hoots, and the rural SL night sky in my backwater sim, and it paints kind of a pretty scene.