Here’s a little animation I made in 1h to play around with particle systems and bloom rendering in Blender!
This article is also available on Medium.
The final result is a 4-seconds animation that loop 😉
About this render…
My goal with this render was to make a simple but repetitive and mechanical animation that could loop indefinitely. From a technical standpoint, it was an opportunity to brush my skills on particle systems in Blender, and I also had to do some very basic keyframe animation.
Moving the spheres
The movement in itself is really simple: the spheres are simply rotating around the origin point. The only thing I had to be careful about was the pivot point – instead of rotating around their own anchor, the spheres had to take the central axis as reference.
To do this, I just parented the spheres to empty 3D objects and had those objects rotate around the central axis:
From there, I could easily have two keyframes on the parent anchors to mark the start and end rotations, and directly have the spheres move around this central point.
Scaling and colouring the spheres
To add some pep to the animation, I also scaled the spheres down and back up slowly and changed their colour from red-ish to white.
This was a quick way of making the animation a bit more interesting while still keeping the overall “repetitive” feeling.
Of course, the most interesting part in this challenge was the particle system that creates the trails behind the spheres. Since Blender has a pretty user-friendly particle system, creating the particles in themselves was straight-forward. The tricky thing, however, was to get a looping animation, even with these particles.
In my case, particles are emitted by the sphere over the course, meaning that at frame 0, there are no particles at all. This also implies that, if you just let the default settings and run the animation, the particles will disappear suddenly at the end of the loop: although the movement of the sphere themselves loops them back to their initial position, the particles don’t “fade-out”.
To fix this, I actually animated the amount of particles in the system and their lifetime so that, at the end of a loop period, the system is virtually empty and it looks similar to the first frame.
Once again, this 1-hour challenge was an excellent way of learning more of Blender’s features and improving my skills in VFX, particularly with particle systems. I also had some fun making a simple keyframe animation and the glowy effect of the shader.
I hope you like this render! If you do, don’t hesitate to check out my CG-dedicated Instagram, and as always, feel free to suggest other ideas of renders in the comments! 😉