The motion graphics tools have been chanting the way that a lot of work is done in Maya. What used to be done with particles, forces and goals can now be set up much easier using MASH. An example of this, is having a flurry of objects form into a single coherent shape. If you consider using the MASH toolset, it is just a matter of having two MASH nodes work together. This is easily done with the Merge Node. That is what Merge Node is there for, to merge two networks together.
The beauty is that you can animate between those two network “states”. This give us the opportunity to bring order to chaos. We can literally have a mess of objects form into anything that we like.
Showing how all that comes together is Autodesk’s Lee Fraser, who has a look at creating the entire effect. Lee shows how to create two MASH networks and bring them together with Maya’s Merge Node. There are some nice tips in this one, so even if you have the concepts down, it is worth a view!