Context matters: Using weightmaps with point clouds

A weightmap is per-point, but it’s per-point on the emitting geometry, not the point cloud. So you can’t just do a plain “get weights” if you want to use the weightmap to control particle values like Velocity or Speed.

Instead, you use get a location, like the particle emit location, and then get the weightmap value at that location. Then you’ll have a particle per-point context to work with.
When you get the weight at a location, you get an interpolated weight value.

Accumulating values in a weightmap

Courtesy of Vladimir Jankijevic on the XSI mailing list, here’s how to accumulate values in a weightmap:

The nice thing about his tree is how it sets things into per-point context so nicely. My own attempt seems crude in comparison:

The thing about setting weight map values is that you can’t do it like this:

ICE will evaluate this tree just once, even if it is in the Simulation stack. Perhaps this is a case of mistaken optimization? (branch is a scalar constant, so no need to reeval?)

If you replace the scalar node with any of these branches, then the weightmap values will change as your play through the timeline.