Particle System - Animated Texture Generator
 

 

Use the Particle System module to create seamless animation loops of textures and special effects. Like the name already states, the module works with particles, which are sent out by Emitters and diverted by Attractor elements.

 

Definition Surface:

You can add, move and delete particle emitters and attractors  at the Definition Surface. Click on an empty position to add an element. You can move the element with the left mouse button and copy or delete one with the right mouse button.

 

Emitters:

Emitters are objects, which send out particles. They are marked with a capital E at the definition surface.

Emitters have the following properties:

Position: These two values are the x and the y-coordinate on the definition surface.

Interval: The number of frames between two emitter cycles. For example if you set the interval to 50, the emitter will start to send out particles every 50 frames.

Interval resets Random Seed: You have to enable this option to get time-seamless animation loops. It forces the emitter to send out the same particles during each interval.

Emission Period: This is the duration during each interval, when the emitter sends out particles. For example if you set the interval parameter to 50 and the emission period value to 10, particles will be sent out every 50 frames for a period ten frames and after that the emitter will wait 40 frames until the next interval starts.

Time Offset: Delay the start of the emission periods to later frames by increasing the time offset parameter.

Particles/Cycle: Increase this value to get more particles. The number defines the amount of particles, that are sent out every frame during the emission period.

Direction: The direction value controls the emission direction of a particles. 360 degrees form a full circle with the value 0 placed at the right side. The direction is varied by the noise parameter. With a noise value of 360 the emitter will send out particles to all directions.

Impulse: These parameters control the initial velocity of the emitted particles. The average speed is regulated with the impulse value. Increasing the noise parameter varies the particle's velocity at their birth.

Dispersion: The initial coordinates of the particles are not forced to be placed at the position of the emitter emitter. Increase the Dispersion parameters to displace the particles randomly. Dispersion values of e.g. (100,100) make the particles to start at arbitrary coordinates all over the image.

Color: The color and opacity of the particles is controlled with the color selector and the alpha scaling value. For effects like e.g. fire, that combine many small particles, low alpha values are recommended.

 

Attractors:

Attractors are elements, that make the particles move towards them. You can customise them with the following parameters:

Position: These two values are the attractor's x/y-coordinates.

Radius: This value defines the size of the attracted area. The attraction is strongest at the center of the attractor and zero at its edges.

Homogeneous Attraction: Enable this switch to make the attraction strength to be the same all over the attractor's area.

Strength: The power of the attractor. Increase this value to raise the diversion force. You can also set this parameter to negative values. This will make the attractor be repulsive.

 

The Particles/Misc options:


Fire as color channel, alpha channel, combined and with background

The rendering mechanisms and some options, which affect all the particles, can be adjusted here.

Life Time: This is set globally for all the particles and controls the number of frames a particle lives before it is deleted. The corresponding noise value defines the variation of that life time. A value of e.g. 50 for the life time, along with a noise value of 50, will create particles that live between 25 and 75 frames long.

Position Noise: The particles are shifted by the position noise every frame (max. 10% of image width and height). 

Direction Noise: These two parameters make the travelling direction of the particles vary. Increase the values to get random trajectories.

Particle Size: All emitters send out particles, that feature a size chosen randomly between the min and max parameters. The unit of the parameters is pixels.

Motion blur: Defines the number of copies, that a particle is rendered on its flight path for each frame. This makes e.g. fast particles to be rendered as lines.

Keep of Last Image: Previous frames will be faded out at the following ones. You can control the fading speed with this parameter.

Output: The width and height of the output animation is controlled here.

Channels: For 3D rendering and animation software, it is helpful to have the output separated to color and alpha channels. You can achieve this by setting the channels switch to the desired output channel. The default setting is both channels which creates the combined images.

Background: The default color of the particles' background is black. You can select another color, a texture from the editor or an image file. Background textures are scaled automatically to fit the output image dimensions.