Animating a School of Fish With the MASH Flight Node

Maya’s Motion Graphics Toolkit essentially gives you a bunch of nodes that you can connect and do with them what you like. That is all well and fine, but sometimes, it might take a bit of thought to create something particular. What if you wanted to create a school of fish that moved around a path? What if you can make them follow an object around that path? All of this can be one with the MASH Flight Node.

The Flight node allows yo to create basic flocking, swarming and schooling motion wishing MASH.

How to use the Flight node in MASH to create a basic school of fish.

Here, Ian Waters, one of the brains behind MASH, shows how you can create a school of fish that follow a locator around a curve. If you have some objects that already have animation to them, you can use the MASH repro node to get them into a MASH network as geometry. Originally MASH only had the ability to work with particle instances, having a geometry instanced Repro node makes the whole thing much more flexible. However, the workflow for using the Flight Node will be slightly different than previous particle-instance-only versions.

For a more detailed look into the Flight node, here are some previous tutorials from Ian Waters, covering a bunch more of the features involved.