Yesterday (or the day before?), I was pretty happy to be informed by Steve Mokris that Particle Tools was seemingly working in QC4/SL, when you boot it in 32-bit mode. This is a giant "George, you are a dumb-ass", not from Steve, but to myself, from myself, because I've been running QC4 in 32-bit mode well over half of the time that I've been using QC4. I probably should have noticed this. Eh.
All of my initial QC4/SL testing (well, the large portion, not all), was in 64-bit. This is why I didn't really pick up on the 32 bit exception, and didn't think to work too much with Particle Tools given my initial 64 bit head scratchers.
A few caveats remain. Replace Mode is still going to put out a "Dark" look, and the qtz's setup with the patch that bridges Particle Scenes to GL Tools, the Structure Render, are also going to have Replace blend mode issues. This pretty much doesn't matter to me, as I can just as easily use Over or Add modes in 99% of the scenarios I would want to use Particle Tools. The Alpha mode may very well be being affected as well, but I'm not 100% sure, as I simply haven't setup a test with proper methodology.
In any event, this is a pretty nifty workaround for running many of the old Particle Tools setups in QC4 without much ado, with some pretty minor limitations. This is probably good news for running Particle Tools stuff in Quartz Builder in some scenarios as well.
While I was vetting the Particle Tools, I decided to "whip up" something I'd been wanting to for quite awhile.
When it comes to computer generated, modern art, I really think Flight404 has some happening stuff going on. I always piddle away on Processing on the side, mainly because I really like his results... but QC is my "thang". I saw some clips of his months ago where he takes a 2d picture, extrapolates some normals, and sets up a particle scene with collision and some physical properties.
That has stuck in my mind! I like his work, and it's kind of a fun thing for me to try and backwards engineer it into QC sometimes. I have to say, more often than not, when it comes to QC, my inspiration is NOT other digital artists... it's classic art, nature, a movie... a million different things besides digital art, but Flight404 tends to do things that are of a similar spirit to some ideas that lurk in my "noggin", so my hat goes off to him (Zeitguised and Glenn Marshall are two other non-QC other digital artists/programmers that I really think have some great stuff going on).
Soooo, here are my twists, in a similar spirit, but using QC, with Kineme Particle Tools, and Kineme3D:
These two renderings/compositions took quite a great deal of tweaking to look right, and there really isn't one thing that's been untouched, but the root of the compositions comes in large parts from Steve Mokris's and Chris Wright's Particle Tools compositions, and in addition, I used the Parametric Sphere from Chris's Kineme3D example DMG as is ... no re-inventing the wheel :) That said, it did take quite a bit of time to place the colliders in a way that would make this simple 2d picture of an alley appear to be a 3D setting. I truly love perspective tricks like this though! If looked at from another angle it would totally fall apart illusion wise (as would Flight404's samples of the technique!)
The rendering of the bouncing balls really benefitted from the motion blur... the fish scene looks great on my computer, but Vimeo is killing me by adding some extra re-compression mush to the visual. Yay for lossy codecs!