6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2016 2:45 PM by Colin Dawson

# Show fluid path through pipe?

Hi, returning animator / AS amateur here...

I want to produce a series of training resources that symbolically show fluid moving along a pipe. I have in mind something simple, e.g. the pipe content changes colour as the fluid moves through it. I don't want this to happen all at once, which would be very easy. I want the fluid to follow the path of the pipe, which could be have many bends.

I tried something like this in the past with animated text that had to simulate handwriting, and ended up just tweening a mask along each character. This was really tedious and not practical when I have a lot of drawings to animate. Whatever technique I use, it will be linked to AS logic to determine when the pipe should be pressurised. I will make the rate of change parametric, and that will also vary according to system conditions.

I've see animations for comet trails but that doesn't look like it would be precise enough?

cheers

Colin

Sydney

• ###### 1. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

You lost me at the jump from fluid in pipes to dust in deep space.

If the pipe layout is fairly loose and without much overlapping, you could make the insides of the pipes see-through (either by turning the entire layout into a PNG with the pipe interiors transparent, or by faking it with a mask matching the pipe interiors), then programmatically "fill" the pipes by turning on a sequence of individual blocks behind the pipes. The blocks themselves could have a looping animation indicating the direction of motion. This would result in somewhat chunky initial flow animation depending on how large of blocks you use, but I doubt most people would be bothered by it.

• ###### 2. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

That would work well for me if there was a way to automatically create the segments.

The reference to comet trails is based on the fact that a moving point can leave a "tail", and the trajectory of the point can be determined by lots of different method, including AS. Suppose the "tail" was solid colour and did not fade, and the comet followed a geometric path (e.g. the pipe). Suppose the comet is just a point, and the tail is the fluid. That's where I want to be. Not sure how to tell the leading point to follow the path of the pipe though.

• ###### 3. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

Colin Dawson wrote:

That would work well for me if there was a way to automatically create the segments.

Well you'd create one master segment in the library, then manually place and name instances. Expecting some mechanism whereby Animate would automatically know where to put them would be a bit much, don't you think?

• ###### 4. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

Still ... that's what I want

Think of a complex system like a factory with loads of pipes, valves, connections and so on. Nobody is going to slice it into segments manually.

• ###### 5. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

So, you're wanting to just import a screenshot of a bunch of twisting, turning, overlapping pipes and expecting that Animate can do some sort of human-level visual analysis of it and automagically know where to put everything?

• ###### 6. Re: Show fluid path through pipe?

No.

Just display persistent points (or segments) along a sequence of defined paths.

I have not tried it, but if AS can iteratively move a point along a path, that should do it. Your idea of the segments led me to this, but masking is not the solution.

It's been a while since I did any AS but I'm going to investigate whether it can place a sequence of symbols along a path. It should be pretty easy to lay out a path that follows each pipe.