Hello all! I have watched the tutorial on the basics of lightning, and I am able to accomplish what I need to do with this knowledge...but the results are not quite as pretty as they could be and what I'm doing feels rather inelegant.
What I want to do is have a lightning effect follow a pre-drawn curve. It needs to be lively and jumpy looking, as all electricity should, but I need it to occupy the entire curve at once, as it is a string of text that needs to be read easily. Does anyone have any suggestions?
If you need any clarification, I'm happy to give it. I have been up all night so I don't doubt that my post is hard to follow.
Hey Erotosthenes! Welcome to the DT community! I think I understand what you're wanting and its pretty straight forward to set up. If you check out this lesson in the Introduction to Maya 2011 you'll see that when you create your lighting effect, you can select two objects to connect the lighting together and it'll follow along with those objects: http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/training.php?vid=18167
So using that technique, all you'd need to do is to set up a couple curves in the path that you want and attach an object to each curve as a motion path. Then use those objects to create the lighting. I've attached an example scene to show you what I mean. In there, I turned off all of the render stats for the spheres so they don't render but they follow along with the curve and as a result the lighting follows along with the curve as well. Hope it helps!