Flock Helper Object
This object adds additional functionality to the flocking system in X-Particles. To use it requires a Flocking modifier.
In X-Particles 4, the Flock Helper object can only be added by clicking the 'Add Flock Helper Object' button in the Flocking modifier. This will create a new Flock Helper and make it a child of the modifier.
You can have as many Flock Helpers as required.
The object's interface looks like this:
For the 'Groups Affected' tab, and for the buttons at the bottom of the interface, please see the 'Common interface elements' page.
If this button is unchecked, the object will be disabled (inactive).
This drop-down selects the main mode of operation. It has three settings:
The helper will attract the particles to itself. The object icon in the object manager is blue in this mode.
The helper will push particles away from itself. The object icon in the object manager is orange in this mode.
The helper will actively chase particles. See below for more details on how to use this mode. The object icon in the object manager is red in this mode.
This drop-down controls the scope of the object (note: 'Attract' and 'Repel' modes only - in 'Chase' mode the scope is always limited). It has two options:
The helper is active across the entire scene.
The helper is only active within a spherical region defined by the 'Radius' parameter.
The on-screen colour of the object. You can change the colour to distinguish between different helpers.
This setting is always available in 'Chase' mode but only in the other two modes if 'Type' is set to 'Limited'. It defines the radius of the sphere of influence around the object.
The overall strength of the effect.
This drop-down controls the falloff of the strength of the helper object. It is only available for 'Attract' and 'Repel' modes. It has three options but not all are always available.
There is no falloff and helper strength is constant across the scene.
Inverse Square ('Infinite' mode only)
The strength diminishes rapidly as the distance from the helper increases. You may need to start with a very high strength value for the helper to have any effect.
Linear ('Limited' mode only)
The strength falls off in a linear fashion. You may need to start with a moderately high strength value for the helper to have any effect.
Parameters in 'Chase' mode
In this mode the helper will actively pursue particles. As a result it works rather differently to the other modes. Additional settings are available as seen here:
Drag the emitter whose particles are to be chased into this link field.
The speed with which the helper moves. If it is less than the particle speed it may never catch them!
Acuteness of Turn
When turning to chase the particles, this is the sharpness of that turn. Low values produce wide, looping turns but if set too low, the helper may never catch the particles.
This is denoted by a red sphere inside the main object. When a particle enters this sphere any actions in the 'Actions' list will be triggered for that particle. This value cannot be higher than the 'Radius' value.
Chaser Also Repels
If checked, this switch will cause the chaser to repel particles as well - so if you want your flock to try to avoid the chaser, check this switch.
Set Initial Position
The chaser will move during playback to follow the particles. When you rewind the scene to the start, it will move back to its initial starting position. If you want your chaser to start in a specific position, move the chaser to that position manually and click this button. On scene rewind the chaser will move back to that position.
Actions When Particle Caught
When the chaser catches a particle, it will trigger any Actions in the 'Actions' list. For example, you could add an action to kill the caught particle.
The Actions to be executed when the particle is caught.
Clicking this button will add an Action to the scene and drop it into the 'Actions' list.