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particleIllusion: Tutorial 1

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 1 The Easy Stuff We’ll start with something really simple. Select the “Star Trail 2” emitter from the library window if it's not currently selected (the library window is #5 from above).

Simply L-click (click the left mouse button) on the words “Star Trail 2” and it will be highlighted. This action is called selecting a library emitter. An emitter stays selected until you choose a different emitter, and only one library emitter can be selected at a time. It's also possible to select a library folder -- in that case the previously-selected emitter stays selected. Note that when you select a library emitter the preview window activates and shows you what the emitter is going to look like when it is animated. (If a library folder is selected, the preview window will not change.)

Here the "Star Trail 2" emitter is shown in the preview window. Click and drag around the preview window to get a feel for what the selected library emitter will look like when added to the stage.

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particleIllusion: Tutorial 1

In the stage window there are 2 main "modes": Select mode and Add mode. One of them (and only one) is always active at a time. In Select mode clicking in the stage window will always select an object (if you clicked on one), and the mouse cursor will be the standard Windows arrow pointer. In Add mode clicking in the stage window will always add an object (usually an emitter, but can also be a deflector or blocker which we'll talk about much later), and the cursor will change to a small emitter symbol (a circle with a dot in it). The arrow button on the toolbar also indicates which mode is active; the Select button will be pressed when in Select mode:

Since we want to add an emitter to the stage now, make sure we're in Add mode (make sure the Select button is unpressed). You can either click on the Select button or use the keyboard shortcut of A to toggle between Select and Add modes. Now move your mouse to the stage. Click once near middle of the stage and a small white circle will appear. (If nothing appears then make sure you're not in Select mode.)

This circle is the symbol for an emitter (a “point” emitter actually, but we’ll cover that later). Now for the fun part. Click the Play button on the playback toolbar.

Next to the Play button is a small window with a number in it: the frame box. The frame box indicates the current frame number, and will change during playback. The stage should be showing you the sparkle particles emanating from the emitter that you added, the numbers in the frame box should be going up, and you should be reasonably pleased with your performance so far. Stop it!
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particleIllusion: Tutorial 1

You have probably noticed that the Play button changed to the Stop button when you clicked to start playback:

Click on the Stop button now. Your animation will stop and you will see what frame it stopped on in the frame box. (The Stop button will now have changed back into the Play button.) There are some other buttons on the playback toolbar. The button to the left of the Play button is the Rewind button. The smaller black arrow buttons to the right of the frame box move you forward or backward one frame at a time, and the button that is a red circle is the Save Output button (it looks like the "record" button on a VCR or tape recorder -- more on that button in a minute). The other two number boxes in the toolbar indicate the project start and end frames, and the button between them is the Loop button. During playback you may have seen the frame counter reach the project end frame, then jump back to the project start frame and continue playing. The start and end frame controls define the area of the project in which playback will occur, and the Loop button controls looping. Click Rewind. You should be at frame 1. Using the mouse, select the number in the frame box and type “30”. This will jump you to frame 30. (There are other ways to jump to different frames which we will cover later.) Now press Play again. Playback always starts from the frame number that is displayed in the frame box. Stop the playback (using the Stop button). Now, press the Rewind button once. You’ll see that the frame box displays 30. Click Rewind again. Now the frame box displays 1. What’s going on? The Rewind button jumps back to the frame that playback last started at when clicked the first time, then jumps back to the project start frame when clicked again. (Clicking it again alternates between the playback start frame and project start frame.) Now let’s make a movie. This will be a short movie just to show you how to make one. Making The First Movie Click the Save Output button and you will see is a dialog box that looks something like this:

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In the file name area at the bottom of the dialog you need first to decide on how you are going to save the movie. “sparkles movie” and click OK. As you can see the first option is AVI.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 This is a standard Windows Save dialog. The options for various file formats are found by clicking on the Save as Type. For this tutorial you will save it as an AVI file. (Note that the AVI format is assumed if you don’t choose a file format. down arrow. At the top choose the folder where you want to save your first movie. Now type into the file name area. There are also several image formats from which you can choose.htm (4 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 .) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. The AVI extension will be added for you. which will show you a dialog that looks like this. so use it as you would in any other program. but for future reference you can also save animations as image sequences (a series of numbered images). Move the mouse down until the AVI format is selected.

Each codec has different controls so we won’t cover any of them here. set alpha channel and compression options (based on the file format you're saving in).particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 This dialog is the Output Options dialog. You can leave the start frame at 1 and the end frame at 120. The next dialog you will see is the AVI Options dialog. Just use the codec that you are most familiar with for this tutorial. as well as other compression settings. Now click on the OK button.htm (5 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. Using the default project settings (assuming you haven't changed any of particleIllusion's defaults) this will result in a 4-second animation (120 frames at 30 frames per second). which allows you to set the codec (compressor/decompressor) that you wish to use. You can use this to set the start and end frame numbers of your animation (if you want them to be different than the project start and end frames which were set in the playback toolbar). and other options which we'll ignore right now.

Now change the current frame from 1 to 30. You could do this by typing 30 into the frame box as before. Let’s move it around the screen a little and create our second movie. but let’s try a better way. you will be asked if you want to stop the output. The fastest way when there are few emitters on the stage is to click on the emitter symbol (small circle on the stage) and drag it around. In this example we’ll want to make the emitter start at one point at frame 1. So click and drag the emitter to somewhere near the upper left corner of the stage. but not bad for your first particleIllusion effort. and set the other functions as you see fit. then move to another point over the next 30 frames. If you answer “yes” the movie creation will stop (the movie will still exist) and so will playback. It really doesn’t make much difference for this tutorial. Not the most interesting movie ever. Now move the emitter to the point on the stage that you want it to start at. First click the Rewind button until you’re back at frame 1.avi" . To make an emitter move in particleIllusion you simply create position key frames (or “position keys”) at the position and frame that you want. right? Click on OK and playback will start. We’ll cover the other ways in a minute. you will see particleIllusion create the file: "sparkles movie.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 Choose the compressor you want to use with the drop down arrow at the top of the dialog. The window below the stage window is the graph window. After a few moments depending on the speed of your computer.htm (6 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. all we really want is a movie to look at. At most times the graph window will display a series of numbers along the bottom of the window. There are three different ways to move an emitter. Note that the Save Output button has been replaced with the Stop button. The difference is that particleIllusion is saving the AVI during playback. Let’s Get Moving! Well now it’s time to get a bit more creative with the emitter. If you answer “no” then the movie creation (and playback) will continue. If you press it.

(You must click on the frame number and not the graph area above the frame numbers. This indicates that a position key (or position key frame) has been created at frame 30 (there is always a position key at frame 1). If you don’t get exactly the frame you hoped to (for instance 29 instead of 30) there’s an easy solution: you can drag the current frame indicator left and right until it shows the frame number (in red) that you want. You can jump to any frame shown in the graph window by just clicking on the frame number you want. Second.htm (7 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . You should see the current frame indicator (the gray button with the red number on it and the vertical red line) jump to the frame you clicked.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 These are frame numbers. First. so now we are at frame 30. Each dot represents the position of the emitter at a frame. Okay. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. You should notice two things.) So click on the 30 in the graph window. Click and drag the emitter (on the stage) to the upper right corner of the stage. the graph window now shows two points and a horizontal line. there is now a dotted line on the stage connecting the positions of the emitter.

there may be times that you want to turn them off. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. (Note that during playback the Show Particles button does not have any effect. Click the Show Particles button to turn off particle display temporarily so we can more easily see the emitter's position path.htm (8 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . The main toolbar has a Show Particles button that controls this.) You can also use the key shortcut of P to toggle the Show Particles setting. Although it's usually preferred to view the particles while you're working in the stage window.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 Let's allow ourselves to be sidetracked for a minute to remove a distraction: the display of particles on the stage.

(Note that the Up/Down arrow keys will jump between position keys only if the emitter's position graph is displayed in the graph window. Jump to frame 60 (using any method) and click the Move button on the main toolbar: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. we can also use a keyboard shortcut to jump between the position key frame numbers. The Left Arrow key on the keyboard will move to the previous frame. Rewind to frame 1 and click Play (Ctrl+R is the keyboard shortcut for Rewind.) Okay. the stage updates to show the position of the emitter at each frame. Since we now have more than one position key for this emitter.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 The larger dot at the left end of the dotted line indicates a position key (the position of the emitter at frame 1 in this case). You should see the emitter moving from the upper left to the upper right corner of the stage. 3) click on the frame numbers in the graph window. Now grab the current frame indicator (the red frame in the graph window) and drag it to the left. and the Spacebar is the shortcut for Play and Stop). As the frame number changes. emitting particles as it goes.htm (9 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . Want to know another way to change the current frame? So far we have 3 methods: 1) use the frame box. Use the Up Arrow to jump to the frame of the previous position key for this emitter. 2) use the frame box up/down buttons. and the Down Arrow key to jump to the frame of the next position key for this emitter. The smaller dot immediately to its right is the position of the emitter at frame 2. and the Right Arrow key will move to the next frame. etc. Stop playback and we’ll make another position key at frame 60 using one of the other methods of moving an emitter: the Move function. the next dot at frame 3. There are two more ways to change the current frame.

We’ll look at this in a later example. Click Move again (or use the key shortcut of M) and position the emitter at the lower right corner of the stage. One thing you’ll notice is that the dots connecting this new line segment on the stage are closer together that the dots on the previous segment. Don’t click any mouse buttons yet – just move the emitter around the stage. one will always be created. If you move an emitter and a position key does not exist at that frame. so why would you ever want to use Move to position an emitter when you can just click on it and drag it on the stage? Well there may be cases where you have two emitters in nearly the same location on the stage and you just can’t click on the one you want. but we’ll cover that later. This time L-click instead of R-clicking and a new position key has now been created. Another place where Move comes in handy is when using Copy and Paste. A quick summary of making an emitter move in particleIllusion: 1) set the frame number 2) set the position of the emitter on the stage.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 The mouse cursor changes to a crosshair shape. but for now just realize that the “density” of dots gives you some indication of how fast the emitter is moving. the position will be modified.htm (10 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . This tells you that the emitter will move more slowly over this second segment. If you move an emitter while at a frame for which a position key already exists. Move is very useful in this case. Okay. Save Me! file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1. and jumps to the current position of the emitter on the stage. R-click to cancel the move operation and you’ll see the emitter move back to its original position. Okay.

) Project Thumbnails When you save a new project for the first time. The Save As function will always open the standard Windows Save dialog so you can choose an existing filename or enter a new filename. or select Open from the File menu. (Note that this will wipe out the previous version of the file. This thumbnail is used when opening a saved project file. If it has been saved or has been loaded from an existing project. To open (load) a project file. click the Save button on the main toolbar. the stage window is captured and used as a thumbnail image for the project. then using the Save function will just save the project without letting you change the name. click the Open button on the main toolbar: You can also use the key shortcut of Ctrl+O.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 One last thing we need to do to wrap up this tutorial: SAVE the project! To save the particleIllusion project (which is not the same thing as when we created and saved an AVI earlier) select Save or Save As from the File menu. or use the key shortcut of Ctrl+S. The Save function will open this same dialog but only if this is a new project that has not been saved yet. so be careful. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1.htm (11 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 .

The first time you save a new project.whatever the stage window shows when you hit Ctrl+T is used as the thumbnail. then using the key shortcut of Ctrl+T. clicking in the stage window. the thumbnail image is automatically created from the stage window. The project thumbnail image will be created from the current contents of the stage window -.particleIllusion: Tutorial 1 You can see that the project thumbnail is displayed for every particleIllusion 3 project file. Previous: Intro Next: Tutorial 2 file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide1.htm (12 of 12)2004-05-14 18:21:51 . to help you remember the contents of each file. What if you change the contents of a project so that its thumbnail no longer gives a good representation of the project? You can manually update the project thumbnail by switching to Select mode.

The following context menu is displayed: For now ignore all of the other menu functions except for the Curved item. R-click on the middle position key in the stage window (the one at frame 30).particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Tutorial 2 Tutorial 2 In the first tutorial we made an emitter move between a few points on the stage. click the OPEN button on the main toolbar. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. 3) There are two spline control handles visible. 2) R-click on the emitter again – the Curved item is now checked. load the project that you saved at the end of the first tutorial. Select Open from the File menu.htm (1 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . There are three indications that a key is curved: 1) The path is now visibly curved on the stage. Now let’s make a curve. Click the Curved item to convert the position key from a linear key to a curved or “spline” key. but only in a straight line. What if we want the emitter to follow a more complex curved path? To pick up where we left off. or select the filename from the list of “most recently used” filenames on the File menu.

If you R-click on the handle or the position key. Similarly if you Alt-Click on a control handle. it will toggle between linear and curved. Click on one of the controls (the small points at the ends of the dotted line) and drag it around. Notice the difference in the way that the path segment between the first key and the key you’re moving behaves? file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. If you Alt-Click (hold down the Alt key while Lclicking) on a position key. the only way to get it Connected again is to toggle it linear then Curved again. Notice that the path segments between the first and last position keys “followed” the key you were moving? Not sure what that means? Change the position key at frame 1 to Curved (so now there are two position keys that are curved).) Make sure the middle position key (the one at frame 30) is Curved and move it around. the control points become disconnected. it will change from connected to disconnected. then back to Curved again.htm (2 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . If you select the Connected item. the Connected menu item is now checked. How do you make the controls Connected again? You need to toggle the key linear (non-Curved).particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 These control handles can be clicked and dragged to change the curve of this key. There are shortcuts to the Curved and Connected functions that do not require the use of the context (R-click) menus. and no longer move together. You can see that the controls move together when one of them is dragged – this is due to the fact that they are Connected by default. You’ll notice that once you disconnect the control points the Connected menu item is no longer enabled. (Remember that once it is disconnected. Now move the frame 30 position key again.

How? By changing the keys to Curved. Here’s one way it could look: So it’s possible to approximate the acceleration that we wanted. for instance if it is slightly out of position from where we want it to be? That’s where we use the Nudge buttons (on the nudge toolbar): file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Note that this will only work in certain cases. Now move the control point for the first key so it is approximately on the line between the first and second position keys. What if you want the emitter to start moving slowly. Do the same for the spline control of the second key. Okay. and farther apart near the second key) we just need to drag the control point for the first key closer to the first key. Now to get the evenly-spaced dots the way we want them (closer together near the first key. you’ll see that they are equally spaced. and the control point for the second key farther from the second key. and adjusting the spline control handles to get the frame spacing you want. then move more quickly? (Some applications refer to this as “ease in/ease out”. That is. What if we need to make precise adjustments to a position key.) In particleIllusion there is no specific setting to accomplish this – but you can get the same results in some cases. Start by reloading the same project file you loaded at the start of this tutorial. Easy does it! Let’s go back to linear keys for a minute. the emitter moves the same amount at each frame. and is about 1/3 of the way between the two.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 The image on the left is with the first position key Curved and the image on the right is with the first position key linear (non-Curved).htm (3 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . The result should be a very close approximation of a linear segment between the keys (as if they were both non-Curved). or as acceleration. Change the first and second position keys to Curved. If you look at the frame positions (dots) between two linear keys. so now we know how to make an emitter move both linearly and along a curved path. Make the control handles of the second position key Disconnected.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Clicking one of the Nudge buttons moves the emitter one pixel in the direction the button indicates. If your existing project hasn’t been saved. moving them. Note: you might find that turning off Show Particles before using this trick makes things more responsive and therefore easier to position. use Shift+Up Arrow for example.htm (4 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Then the project will be reset to its default state (the stage will be cleared). or just want to play around a little. or select New from the File menu. to nudge up. You certainly don’t want to take the time to set up a spline path for the emitter. but a position key will have been created for it). It would take too much effort to move each individual position key. A message box is displayed letting us know what is about to happen: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Note that this is another way (besides dragging or using Move) to move an emitter. If you need to create a position key at the exact spot that an emitter is currently at – don't try to use Move or drag the emitter. Let’s say we’ve just spent quite a bit of time adding position keys. and select Record Position. There may be a time when you don’t need precise placement and movement of an emitter. This will move the entire emitter path without creating any position keys. Use NUDGE instead (you can Nudge the emitter up then down and it will be at the same position. nudging them and adjusting them until they were just right. but want it to start at a different location. so what do you do? Start a new project by clicking the New button on the main toolbar: You can also use the key shortcut of Ctrl+N. so what can we do? The solution is simple: hold down the CTRL key while you click and drag the emitter. Now we’ve realized that we’d like the entire path of the emitter to move some amount – we want the path to keep it’s same shape. a position key will be created. R-Click on the emitter on the stage. Now add an emitter to the stage. Remember that whenever an emitter is moved (even if only one pixel) and it is not at a position key. Perhaps you want some sparkles moving around a logo. You can also use the key shortcuts of Shift+arrow keys. you will be asked if you want to save the project first.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 After we click OK. or forces. Use the mouse to “draw” the emitter position path on the stage. with a position key being created at each frame. After position recording has stopped. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Also. blockers. Note that when you use the Record Position function. If you made quick movements while recording position. Record Position only works for emitters. not deflectors. Note that playback will also stop when the project end frame is reached. noting the effect on the emitter path on the stage. we position the mouse cursor where we want the emitter to start. then you’ll probably want to use very little or no smoothing. Playback will start and the mouse position will be sampled at each frame. all position keys following the frame at which you started recording are deleted and replaced with the recorded position keys. then click the Left mouse button again to stop playback. then click the Left mouse button. If you made a slow curving path. you may want to use more smoothing. Move the dialog away from the stage and adjust the slider. a dialog box will be shown with a slider control that is used to smooth the position keys that were created.htm (5 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 .

Undo a few times in a row and you’ll see the last changes you made being reversed. it simply reverses the last change or changes that you made. Now move the emitter to another location on the stage (still at frame 1). now try Redo. Redo is available until you make some new change to the project. Select Redo from the Edit menu. so the concept is probably not new to you. press Ctrl+D. just as you can’t Undo Open or Save. To Undo. making them no longer available for Redo. you can’t delete the first position key (every stage object has a position key at frame 1). Ok. (Note that you can’t Undo New. This will delete the position key. If you are not familiar with Undo. One of them is to just delete the key from the stage. How can you get rid of that key you just created? There are a few ways to do it. or click the Undo button on the toolbar: Do it now and see what happens to the emitter on the stage. and ended up creating a position key when you didn’t want to. which restores the change – essentially an Undo of the Undo. Redo until you can Redo no more. A little example to illustrate this.) So we now have a clear stage. Note that if you press Ctrl+D when the emitter is not at a frame that contains a position key.htm (6 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Most applications include some sort of Undo. With the emitter at the position key. Only changes made to the stage or to the graph window can be Undone in particleIllusion. The most “universal” way of fixing any mistakes you make (such as creating a position key that is not wanted) is to use the Undo function. Let’s start a new project (click the New toolbar button or use Ctrl+N. Now jump to frame 20 and move the emitter somewhere file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Select the "Star Trail 2" library emitter again and add it anywhere on the stage. but we’ll cover that later when we talk about the graph window in depth. particleIllusion supports multiple Undo/Redo actions. There is usually a Redo function that goes along with Undo. or click the Redo button. or Ctrl+Y. use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Z.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Undo what you do Suppose while you were trying that last trick of moving the entire emitter path (by holding the Ctrl key) you released the key too early. When you use Undo. The new change “overwrites” the actions that were Undone. nothing will happen. select Undo from the Edit menu. Also. There is also a way to delete a position key using the graph window.

You should be able to use Undo three times. It has been overwritten by the action of adding the second emitter. You can Redo three times as well to get all of the changes back.htm (7 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Click on the Project Settings button of the main toolbar (or use the key shortcut of Alt+P): This will open the Project Settings dialog: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. At this point we have three actions that can be Undone: 1) Adding an emitter to the stage 2) Moving the emitter 3) Moving the emitter and creating a position key. It is now: 1) Adding an emitter to the stage 2) Moving the emitter 3) Adding a second emitter.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 else on the stage. and end up with an empty stage again. Note that setting this value higher requires more memory. you can change this number in the Preferences dialog (which we’ll talk about in a later tutorial). Now Undo just one time – you should have the emitter at a single position on the stage. Now just L-click somewhere else on the stage (not on the emitter) to add a second emitter. Project Settings We’re about to start digging into the “guts” of an emitter. Our list of Undoable actions has just changed. Use Undo and Redo to see that the action of moving the first emitter to create a position key is no longer available. By default particleIllusion is set to keep 20 actions in the Undo list. If you want to be able to Undo more actions. Use Redo until all changes are back. but before we do let’s take a look at something completely different: the Project Settings dialog.

In many cases. The achieved frame rate is determined by the speed of your computer. or you may not get the results you want. and the preview window when displaying a library emitter) will attempt to match the project frame rate.htm (8 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . the actual frame rate may be lower than the project frame rate. Therefore. it is important to set the frame rate before you start doing any work on the stage with emitters. output frame rate for the project. The status bar at the bottom of the particleIllusion window displays the achieved frame rate followed by the project frame rate in parentheses. the file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. The windows that animate (the stage during playback. A note about frame rates. background color for the stage and preview window. and several other options. stage size.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Here you see the settings for Motion Blur (which we discuss shortly). Important: some emitters look quite different at different frame rates. The frame rate value determines how many frames per second particleIllusion will display for playback and when saving output.

and background images all have an effect on playback speed).htm (9 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . enter the values for width and height. The color setting shows the current color of the background of the stage (and preview window if desired). You can acheive some beautiful organic and artistic effects using this option. Don't erase will not work when you are using background images or when using High-quality motion blur (neither of which we have covered yet in these tutorials). the stage window will not be erased before a new frame is drawn. blockers. The Stage Size settings determine the size of the stage. but it doesn't work under all conditions. If there is a stage size that you would like to add to the drop-down this to sample the color from anywhere within particleIllusion. then click the Add button file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. the number of particles. The result is that each particle leaves a "trail". Also. and is the only area that displays particles. which is the area that will be saved when saving output. A note about background color: some particles (flagged as “intense” which will be covered later) look best on black backgrounds. just click on the color box and a color chooser dialog will be shown: You can select the color by clicking and dragging in the two color windows. and (especially without supported 3D hardware) the size of the particles being drawn.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 presence of 3D video hardware. The Don't erase option has a dramatic effect on your project. There is also a button that looks like an "eyedropper" -. Don't erase only works during playback. To change the color. You can also directly enter the width and height values. The drop-down list shows several common stage sizes. There are other factors involved too. or by entering the color component values directly. but they involve things that we have not covered yet (the presence of deflectors. as if it's painting itself onto the stage. When checked.

Note that selecting certain options will change the ratio value of Overlay A. Two different overlays can be defined and displayed: A and B. or type a custom value into the box. You don't need to open the Project Settings dialog in order to turn display of the aspect overlays and safe areas on or off. As with the aspect overlays. etc. The overlay is drawn semi-transparently in the stage window. first select it from the list. title safe and action safe areas are indicated in the stage. "Academy". Similar to the Aspect Overlays is the Safe Areas display: When selected. The final control in this section is the Y offset value.) are defined. the overlays let you see what parts of the frame will not be visible. You can use this to shift the overlays up by entering a positive value. A few standard options ("Full Frame". If there is a stage size in the list that you will never use and want to delete.htm (10 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . You can select a value from the drop-down list. where parts of the original frames will never be seen on the screen. and shift them down by entering a negative value (using the up/ down buttons to the right of the number box). then select the aspect ratio to use. then click the Delete button (button with an "x" on it).particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 (button with a "+" on it). The Aspect Overlays section allows you to "mask off" parts of the stage window that will not be visible in the final version of your output. check the ratio option. This is most useful for film work. and can be selected. you can set the color of the safe area displays by clicking the color box. To turn display of an overlay on. and Ctrl+Shift+S to toggle display of safe areas. and you can set the color of the overlay by clicking the color box at the right. You can use key shortcuts of Ctrl+Shift+A and Ctrl+Shift+B to toggle overlays A and B. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2.

This file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. field rendering is disabled. To turn on field rendering. when displayed on the correct equipment the display will be much smoother than an image produced with no field rendering displayed on the same equipment.htm (11 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Which you should choose is based on the video system that will be displaying the final output. select either the Upper first or Lower first options. With Off selected.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 The Field Rendering section of the Project Settings dialog lets you create "field rendered" (or "interlaced") output. such as broadcast television in many countries. Although the output has horizontal lines through parts of it when viewed on a computer monitor (the right image above). Field rendering is useful where the final display medium is interlaced.

htm (12 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . The Motion Blur options that we skipped earlier can be used to add more realism to animation. Click this button to get the OpenGL texture memory usage information: You will normally not be concerned with memory usage when using particleIllusion.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 is especially true with fast-moving particles. This can be useful if you have a few "standard" settings that you need to switch between. There are a few buttons located under the Cancel button of the Project Settings dialog: The Save and Load buttons are used to save and load the Project Settings.". you know that the image appears blurred. Fast-moving objects whether on film or viewed with the naked eye are usually not sharp – they are blurred. The Project Notes are a great place to store information about the project. If you start experiencing problems (random crashes. You can also view or edit the Project Notes using the Notes button. etc. or if you want to make sure that several computers all use the same Project Settings. and can hold quite a bit of text.) memory usage might be an issue.) The last button is the Memory Usage button. sudden slowdowns. (The Project Notes are also accessible from the main View menu. If you’ve ever seen a photograph of something that is moving quickly. Because we file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. shown as "Mem.

Now let's go back to the motion blur settings in the project settings dialog and see what they all do. To add motion blur to the project. you get the sense that the particles in the right image are moving more than the particles in the left image. Start a NEW project and add the "Super Whirls 01b (mb)" emitter to the stage (it's in the "Group 5" folder). Preview: Motion blur (when enabled) will always be shown while playback is occurring. but the Preview option is used to display motion blur on the stage when playback is not occurring (as long as "show particles" is active). We’ll see a few more options appear. Regular and High-quality: You can choose between these two methods of motion blur calculation.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 understand this fact. simply check the Enable box in the motion blur options section of the Project Settings dialog. Note that turning on motion blur preview may slow down stage redraws. When using Regular motion blur with particles that have very low visibility. Now start playback to see the effect of motion blur on the particles: Even from these still images. fast-moving particles in particleIllusion should also blur in order to look more realistic. but for now just click OK to close the dialog. "banding" artifacts can occur: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2.htm (13 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 .

If set to 50%. but since the High-quality method uses an OpenGL feature that is not hardware-accelerated on most graphics cards. For that reason it is recommended to use High-quality motion blur only when using Regular blur gives unwanted visual artifacts. Add a single emitter anywhere on the stage. Intensity Adjust: When particles flagged as “intense” (covered later) are motion blurred (with Regular blur). the particles are blurred over only the first half of the interval between the current frame and the next one. the result may be a change in intensity of these particles.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 High-quality blur will correct this problem. Now select the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter. Now turn your attention to the Hierarchy window: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2.htm (14 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Extra Frames is the number of frames that are averaged to produce the blur effect – the higher the number the smoother the blur. Make sure Show Particles is on and jump to frame 30. Blur amount controls the amount of the frame over which the blur occurs. it will probably be much slower than Regular motion blur. Emitter and Particle Type Properties Okay. Clear the stage using the New button. and also how the particles they emit will look and behave. the particles are blurred over the entire interval between the current frame and the next one. now we’ll start digging in to the “guts” of emitters and look at the properties that determine how they act. When set to 100%. but the more time it takes to draw them. The Intensity Adjust slider is used as an additional scale factor to be applied to the visibility of “intense” particles only in order to help counteract this intensity change due to blurring.

You can rename the emitter to something more meaningful to the project by clicking on the emitter name in the Hierarchy Window.htm (15 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . The emitter properties (life for example) are a global “scale factor” that applies to the life settings of each of the particle types in the emitter. but let’s take a quick look at the particle type properties. This is to try and keep things straight when more than one emitter is on the stage. We’ll discuss this in depth in the next tutorial. It should show: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Okay. forget about the particle type properties for now. Now look at the graph window. Now we’ll see how the hierarchy window and graph window work together. and the particles that this emitter will emit are based on the settings of those particle types. What’s important to note right now is that some of the particle type properties (the ones with the cyan and purple icons) have the same names as some of the emitter properties. and this emitter has a single Particle Type called “fiery”. (When emitters are added to the stage. there is a single emitter on the layer called “Heavy Fire Sparkles 1”. We won’t cover them in depth here. Either double-click the “fiery” particle type or L-click on the little plus sign to the left of the work “fiery”.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 From this we can see that there is a single layer in the project (we’ll cover layers in a later tutorial). Click on Heavy Fire Sparkles 1 in the hierarchy.) Remember that emitters are made up of one or more particle types. they will be given a name that is the library emitter name plus a number. Now you should see all of the particle type properties.

the emitter would move more quickly over the first segment. What if you want the emitter to move at the same speed over both segments? You can approximate this by dragging the middle position key in the graph window until the dots in both segments (looking at the stage) appear to have the same spacing. You’ll notice the stage change as well when you make this change – the density of the dots on the path segment will change because you are changing the number of frames over which the position of the emitter changes.htm (16 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . One way to do that would be to Undo. Note that when the position keys are being displayed in the graph window.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Jump to frame 30 and drag the emitter to another point on the stage. then more slowly over the second. and the graph is shown as a horizontal line graph. Select the emitter Size property in the hierarchy window. That’s it. the graph is titled “Position” with the current position value. and jump to frame 30: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. If you had a motion path of 2 segments (let’s say the one key is at frame 30 and the other is at frame 60) but the distance moved in the second segment was much smaller than in the first segment. Let’s look at the graphs of some other properties. You should now see a second position key in the graph window: This should all be familiar from the earlier examples. then move the emitter again. not using the graph. then jump to frame 40. An easier way is to use the graph window. Suppose we wanted that position key to be at frame 40 instead of frame 30. The position graph is a special case – position keys are added via the stage. Just L-click on the position key at frame 30 (in the graph window) and drag it until it is at frame 40. Now something new. nothing happens. If you click on the graph.

Okay. and it will usually be at frame 1. very similar to the position keys that we’ve already created. we can also tell that the size value remains constant over all frames – more on this shortly. Data key is the generic term for these keys created in the graph window – we’ll refer to them more specifically as the type of data they represent. You’ll see that a new graph point has been created.htm (17 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . this example shows that the size of the particles will be 100% of whatever size they were set to in the particle type size property. What does this mean? Since this emitter size graph is a scale factor that is applied to all of the particle types it contains. Drag the second key so it is at frame 60 with a value of about 10%. Important: Graphs that show file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. L-click in the graph window at about frame 60. at least one data key will exist for each property. What you should see is the particles eventually getting smaller and smaller. While you’re dragging it. The difference is that this key is a data key instead of a position key since a data value (size) is changing instead of position. This is a key frame.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 You can see that the size graph is a horizontal line with a Y-value of 100%. now drag it to about 100% again.) Now L-click on the red point in the graph window and drag it up and down. Drag the current frame indicator so you can see what happens as the frames increase. notice the effect it has on the particles on the stage – they’re getting bigger and smaller. (Since the line is horizontal. In this case the key will be called a size key. As with position keys. So now you should have a graph with two size keys (points) on it.

particles created at frame 1 will have a size scale of 100%. We’ll discuss that when we get into the particle type properties. Also note that the first data key is fixed at frame 1.htm (18 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Now why is one key selected (red)? Select any key except the first and then Rclick anywhere in the graph window. Understand? Most of the graphs of emitter and particle type properties represent the values at the time the particle is created only. In our example. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. The data key that is red is the selected data key. They say nothing about what an individual particle will do over time.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 frame numbers along the X-axis show values of properties for the particle at the moment the particle is created. Notice that it can’t be dragged past any neighboring keys. just click in the graph window and create a few more size keys – you can position them wherever you want. You’ll see this menu: Select the Delete menu item. Particles that were created at frame 1 that may still be around at frame 60 still have a size scale of about 100%. The selected key has been deleted (remember that you can Undo changes made to the graph window). The only exception to this is the particle type graphs of properties "over life”. Particles that are created at frame 60 will have a size scale of 10%. Okay. which will be important in a minute. Right now just L-click a data key and drag it left and right.

you can change the particleIllusion preferences so that curved keys are created by default. You can also Alt+click on the data key to convert it between a curved and non-curved key. The Scale function displays the following dialog: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. but it also positions the emitter in the exact center of the stage. you'll see that the Curved menu item is now available: Select Curved and you'll convert the data key to a "curved" key -. and sets the first key to a default value. The control handles work just as they did in the stage with position keys.htm (19 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . We'll cover preferences in a later tutorial. What do the other menu items do? Reset simply deletes ALL keys from the graph (except the first). so curve a few of the keys: Note that if you find yourself using curved data keys almost exclusively.just like we did in the last tutorial with position keys. An interesting thing about using Reset when the position graph is being displayed – Reset causes all of the emitter position keys (except the first) to be deleted.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Now if you r-click on a data key instead of in an empty area of the graph window.

With the current size graph selected. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. If we wanted the changes to occur over a shorter number of frames (compress the time) we would select Scale Frames (x) and enter an appropriate scale factor – we’d use 50% to make the changes occur in half the length of time. Let’s look at an example. Then in the hierarchy window select emitter Velocity. R-click and select Reference. set the scale factor to 200% and click OK. Note that you can also use the key shortcut of Alt+Z to activate the graph window zoom function.htm (20 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . then Create A. Selecting Values and setting a scale factor then selecting Frames and setting a different scale factor then pressing OK scales the frames only. For example if we wanted to double the values of each key of the graph we would select Scale Values (y).particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 This function allows you to either compress or expand the values or frames of the graph. you'll see the graph window update to the new zoom level(s). Zooming out allows you to see more of the graph. while zooming in is useful for more precise positioning: As you change the sliders.) The Zoom menu function allows you to interactively zoom in or out either Y (values) or X (frames). The Reference menu function allows you to create a visible copy of the graph so you can coordinate the graphs of other properties to the graph of the referenced property. (Note that only Values OR Frames are scaled when the OK button is pressed.

and can delete keys. Moving Multiple Keys What if you want to move more than one data key at a time? You can’t select more than one data key at a time in particleIllusion. When a reference graph has been created it will be displayed in either light purple (A) or light green (B) and its title will show in the upper right corner of the graph window. you can also use the scroll bars to scroll the window. Note that the reference graph is just a snapshot image of the graph. Now it will be a lot easier to coordinate changes in velocity to changes in size. you no longer need to hold the Ctrl key. When dragging a data key. Now just drag as usual. but it is possible to move all of the keys in a graph at once. Obviously.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 There are two reference graphs available. Once you’ve clicked. You can drag data keys around. The mouse cursor will display the word “all” so you’ll know that you’re moving all of the data keys. One other thing to point out about the graph window that you may have already noticed. Back to the Hierarchy file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. You can zoom the graph. it can be toggled on/off using the Show A (or Show B depending on which graph you’re interested in) function.htm (21 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . the window will scroll automatically when you reach its edge. the reference graph we created from the size graph would not change. To do this. In our example you can see the size graph drawn as Reference A. If a reference graph has been created. You can also scale the values or frame numbers of the data keys in a graph. hold the Ctrl key before clicking and dragging a key. Here’s a quick summary of the graph window. If we were to go back and change the size graph. and the velocity graph as the current graph. For the majority of graphs (except for position) you create a data key by clicking in the graph. and create reference graphs. A and B.

It will not activate (start emitting particles) until the frame that you added it at.) The Zoom property is also a scale factor. let’s take a look at some of the things it will show. Let’s start a new example to demonstrate this. we can just click on it on the stage (when in Select mode). Spin is the amount of rotation that the particles have. jump to frame 50 and add a third emitter near the right side of the screen.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 Now that we know how the graph window works. Every emitter we’ve added so far has been added at frame 1. but it doesn’t always work. You can add an emitter to the stage at any frame you want.htm (22 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . If the corresponding particle type property is set to 0. Now add an emitter toward the left side of the stage. (Don’t double-click it or you’ll be jumping ahead to the next tutorial. (Remember that these emitter properties listed above are “scale factors” that are applied to every particle type of the emitter. Now select the "Explosion 3" emitter (from the "Group 2" library folder). There are three different ways to select an emitter (when multiple emitters are on the stage). Motion Randomness is how much randomness is applied to the particle motion. There is a lot of data in the hierarchy window right now.) This is the most common way of selecting an emitter. let’s try something new. You should se a series of three explosions. it can be impossible to use the mouse to select the file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. time delayed from each other. The first group of properties are the emitter scale factors for the corresponding particle type properties. Finally. First. We’ll end this tutorial with the emitter properties that are available in the hierarchy window. Jump to frame 10. but there is no particle type Zoom property. Now jump to frame 30 and add a second emitter of the same type near the center of the stage. Velocity is how fast the particles travel. and start the next tutorial with an examination of the rest of the emitter properties and the particle type properties. Before you add it to the stage. Just ignore it temporarily. Weight controls how fast the particles fall or rise. Life is how long a particle exists. and let’s adjust the zoom settings. and the values (y-axis) are percentages. then it does not matter what the emitter property is set to – the result will be 0. Selecting Objects We want to select the first emitter we placed on the stage. Number is how many particles are created. When two or more emitters are right on top of each other. but it is an important point. and that each emitter contains five particle types. but that’s not necessary. You should see that the hierarchy window now has three emitters in it. Bounce is how much the particles bounce when hitting a deflector. Start a new project (click New). So what does it scale? Zoom scales both the particle type size and velocity to give the appearance that the particles are farther or closer to the viewer. This will become apparent later. Rewind to frame 1 and start playback. Size is how big the particles are.

It should appear much larger as if it is closer to the viewer. Make sure you select the zoom property for the correct emitter. Cut/Copy/Paste them. Now look at the graph window. So select the first emitter using any of the three methods you prefer (but don't select multiple emitters. It is also possible to select multiple emitters at a time.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 emitter you want. and the third is right in your face! file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. You can Ctrl+click on each emitter you want to select. or you can click on no emitter and drag to create a selection box. it becomes selected and will highlight. If you don't Ctrl+click the emitter and only click it. You may also use Shift+Tab to cycle through in the reverse order. you can use Ctrl+A (or on the Edit menu "select all") to select all of the emitters on the current layer. If you want to move them by dragging them (instead of using the Move function). Now jump to frame 60 and select the third emitter (the one near the right side of the screen). etc. Jump to frame 20 and make sure Show Particles is on. the second is closer. as if it is farther away. then it becomes the only emitter selected. you must Ctrl+click on one of the selected emitters. release Ctrl (unless you want to move the entire emitter path) then start to drag. the emitter will be selected on the stage. Note that these keys only cycle through the emitters that exist on the same layer (layers will be covered later).) The third method for selecting an emitter is to use the keyboard shortcut of the Tab key to cycle between emitters. You should see the same series of time delayed explosions. The second method of selecting an emitter is to select the emitter in the hierarchy window. As the selection box touches the "center point" of an emitter. Now select the zoom property in the hierarchy window. (In the same way you may have noticed that when selecting an emitter via the stage the emitter becomes selected in the hierarchy too. Now Rewind to frame 1 and Play. Once the objects are selected. Grab the key at frame 1 and drag it down to a value of about 20%. If you don’t then you will see a different emitter selected on the stage. Notice that the entire explosion appears to get smaller. delete them. you can move them using the Move function. The zoom graph should show a horizontal line at 64%.htm (23 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . because that doesn't make sense right now). By clicking on the emitter name or any of its properties. but now the first appears to be far away. Change its zoom graph so it is a horizontal line at about 120%.

so we actually have to drag the topmost emitter down one position. When dragging an emitter in the hierarchy (and everywhere else in particleIllusion that drag and drop is possible). Then change the zoom of the second emitter to 120%. which added to the illusion that the third blast was “closer” than the second. and the third appear to be further away? First let’s change the zoom of the third emitter so it is 64% again (you can just use Undo). (This is often referred to as "drag and drop"). If you press Play you’ll see that it’s just not right – we need to change the order of the second and third emitters so the second emitter draws last (is the topmost emitter in the layer). What if we wanted to make the second explosion the “closest”. you drag and drop them into place in the hierarchy. (Click on each of the small minus signs. the same rule will apply – layer on top is drawn last (it’s closer to the viewer). The topmost emitter in the hierarchy is drawn last (on top). This is easy.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 You probably noticed that during playback the third explosion “covered up” part of the second one. Drag the topmost emitter ("Emitter 3 2") and drop it on the middle emitter ("Emitter 3 1"). The hierarchy should update file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. When we discuss layers.htm (24 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . the emitter is placed below the emitter it is dropped on. just collapse the hierarchy so it’s easier to look at. In this example we want the middle emitter to end up on top. It’s important to note that emitters are drawn in the order they appear in the hierarchy window.) In order to change the order of emitters on a layer. First. The same goes for the particle types in an emitter – the topmost particle types are added last – although this usually does not make a difference with particle types.

The visibility of each particle type can also be set. so the emitter visibility is again a scale factor that is applied to each particle type. The Tint Strength property determines how much of the emitter tint color is file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Change the "Shoot Smoke" emitter's visiblity and see how that affects the particles. and save this file as “Tutorial 2”. Now that we’ve covered Zoom. Place it near the center of the stage.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 to this: Play and the second explosion should now appear to be the closest. Start a new project. let’s get back to the rest of the emitter properties in the hierarchy window. then select the "Shoot Smoke" emitter. Jump to frame 40 or so and make sure Show Particles is on. Save this project now: select Save As from the File menu.htm (25 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . The Visibility property controls the overall transparency of the emitter.

Now click on the graph window at frame 120. Drag the new data key up to 720. The default tint color is gray (we’ll see how to change the tint color in the next tutorial) so you can adjust this value and see how the particles get tinted gray. Tinting can also be used to help simulate distance – applying a slight blue or gray tint to an emitter may make it appear to be more in the distance (when used in combination with the visibility and zoom properties).360 (degrees). you’ll see the stream of particles sweep around.htm (26 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . How can an angle value be larger than 360 degrees? Well.) Try increasing the emission range value and see the effect on the emitter. Emission angle and Angle have graph value ranges of -2000 to +2000. Select the emission range property. (Note that the title of the graph shows the units for the values on the y-axis of angle graphs are degrees instead of percent. The data key is at10 degrees in order to confine the particles to a narrow "stream". You should see the stream of particles create a spiral pattern as the emitter makes two complete revolutions. Emission range has a graph value range of 0 . The Emission Angle and Emission Range properties determine the direction in which particles are emitted. Tinting is usually the easiest way to change the color of an emitter’s particles. First drag the initial data key down to 0 degrees. As you drag the data key up and down. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Rewind and Play. it can't really.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 blended into the particle type colors. That's two revolutions (360 x 2 = 720) in 120 frames. Set the emission range value back to 10 degrees and select the emission angle property. but the larger values allow you to easily do multiple rotations. Let’s do a simple animation of the stream of particles completing three complete revolutions in 120 frames.

The active graph for the second emitter looks like this: Since the emitter was added at frame 30. The Active property determines when an emitter is on (creating particles). the emitter doesn’t go active until frame 30. make it rotate slower by making the data key value smaller (500 for example) or moving the key to a different frame (200 for example). we added emitters at frames 10. 30. Back to this in a minute. The active graph is different from the other graphs in that the first data key is not tied to frame 1. and 50. Also. If the active graph is used to turn an emitter on and off. Here’s the number graph for that emitter with the active file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 You can easliy make the emitter rotate in the opposite direction by moving the data key at frame 120 from 720 to -720. Load that project now and look at the active graph for each emitter. why doesn’t the graph above show the point where the emitter turns off? The explosion emitter obviously stops emitting points 15 frames or so after it starts emitting. every additional key added causes a toggle between active and inactive (on and off). In the “Tutorial 2” example with the three explosions. How can this be? The "Explosion 3" emitter doesn’t stop emitting points by using the active graph – it uses the number graph.htm (27 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 .

There is one more emitter property that is currently not visible. The reason the active graph was not used to stop emitting particles in this case is that when an emitter goes inactive. all of its particles immediately disappear. and by 10 frames after the start of the explosion there are no more particles being added. The final emitter property visible in the hierarchy window is Angle.htm (28 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . If you uncheck Lock Aspect you will see a change in both the hierarchy and the graph window. r-click on the emitter size property in the hierarchy and look at the Lock Aspect option: You can see that Lock Aspect is checked. This indicates that the particle X and Y sizes are "locked". we couldn’t use active to turn the emitter off. In order to make it visible. the particle size increases horizontally and vertically at the same time.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 graph as a reference graph: You can see that after only about 5 frames the number of particles starts decreasing to 0%. This property does not usually apply to point emitters. so we’ll come back to this in a later tutorial. and we haven’t talked about line and elliptical emitters yet. The hierarchy now has size x and size y properties instead of just a single size property: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. Since the particles created in the explosion need to linger and fade out. There will probably be very few cases where you will want to use the active graph to turn an emitter off. so when you adjust the size property.

and now displays the size x graph instead of the size graph: The particle X and Y sizes can now be adjusted independently of each other.particleIllusion: Tutorial 2 The graph window has also changed. Previous: Tutorial 1 Next: Tutorial 3 file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide2. We’ll continue our look at the emitter and particle type properties in the next tutorial.htm (29 of 29)2004-05-14 18:22:08 . Not the best choice for this explosion emitter. but you'll certainly find a use for this function.they're stretched. Changing the size x graph value so it is at about 80% results in particles that are no longer square -.

You should be familiar with many of the parts of the emitter properties dialog (props file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. We mentioned some properties such as tint color that we don’t yet know how to change. 1) You can double-click on the emitter on the stage. but we don’t want to get too complex right now. 3) you can R-click on the emitter on the stage and select Properties from the menu. select the "Simple Sparkles" library emitter. So start a new project. and add it to the stage.htm (1 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . In order to discuss these things.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Tutorial 3 Tutorial 3 In the previous tutorial we looked at some of the emitter properties that are accessible in the hierarchy window. We’ll need an emitter on the stage. There are four ways to open the emitter properties dialog for a stage emitter. we need to open the emitter properties dialog. and we skipped over the particle type properties completely. 2) you can R-click the emitter in the hierarchy window and select Properties from the menu. or 4) you can use the keyboard shortcut of Alt+Enter. Use any one of these methods to open the emitter properties dialog: Don’t click on anything yet.

To the right of the tabbed pages is the preview window.htm (2 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . It shows what the emitter or selected particle type looks like in action. The achieved frame rate is displayed above the preview window. Preview The props dialog preview window works exactly like the main preview window. Of course you already know that you can click and drag in the preview window. let’s click around a little. Select one of the emitter properties in the hierarchy view (don’t select the particle type or any of its properties yet) and you’ll see its data in the graph window. (When we are discussing the props dialog. let’s see what the preview window can do. and it doesn't move during playback (while the preview window animates that is). but it only displays a single emitter. deleting keys. Did you know that you can drag an emitter so it is outside of the preview window? If you do this only the particles that make it back into the preview window area will be visible. It can be disabled using the Enabled checkbox if too much is going on and the system is not responsive enough. All graph windows work the same – adding. When a particle type or particle type property is selected in the hierarchy the preview window shows only that particle type. The Particles page will be displayed when a particle type or a particle type property is selected in the hierarchy window. The frame rate box can be used to see what the emitter will look like at different frame rates. On the left side of the dialog is the hierarchy window. When we are not discussing the props dialog. zooming. The only difference is that the current frame indicator in the props dialog graph window is a little simpler than the one in the main graph window. the preview window shows the entire emitter. When an emitter or emitter property is selected. The Full Emitter option below the preview window can be checked to make the preview window show the full emitter at all times. Sometimes we will specifically refer to the props dialog hierarchy window or the main hierarchy window for clarity.) To the right of the hierarchy window are two tabbed pages: Properties and Particles. (We’ll come back to the Particles page. It is very similar to the main hierarchy window. Okay. but this feature can be useful. scrolling – it’s the same in all graph windows. you should assume that any references to the hierarchy window mean the one in the dialog. The Properties page is displayed when the emitter or the emitter properties are selected in the hierarchy window.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 dialog for short). If you R-click in the preview window you’ll get the following menu: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. moving. you should assume that references to the hierarchy window mean the main hierarchy window – not the one in the props dialog.) The graph window works with the hierarchy (just as the two windows work together when not in the props dialog) to display and edit the emitter properties that can change over time. and since we haven’t talked about any preview windows yet.

You don't have a choice of any color. Repeat applies to emitters in which some property changes over time -. The available settings are in "seconds". When editing a library emitter (which we haven't talked about yet.of course you can change the setting at any time. You can put your own images into that folder and they will be available for use in the preview window. Motion Blur allows you to choose either Regular or High-quality motion blur to be disp. you can also zoom in to get a magnified view of the emitter.) are the project motion blur settings. Color allows you to easily change the background color of the preview window.if Motion Blur was turned on in the main Preview Window. Note that you'll most likely always want to use Regular motion blur for performance reasons. use this to zoom out and make the emitter appear to be farther away. Of course. or something happens late in the emitters life that you want to see. The motion blur settings used (number of frames. when editing a stage emitter the props dialog preview window "Motion Blur" will be on (checked) if motion blur is enabled for the project. The Image option is good for getting a better idea of what the emitter will look like when used on a background image.they will stop emitting and restart after thir properties stop changing and after an additional delay. etc. Grey. but you can choose between Stage which uses the stage background color. but is also essential to see emitters that contain particle types using the get color from layer option (to be discussed toward the end of this tutorial). Use this to see what the particles will do when they hit a deflector (deflectors will be covered in a later tutorial).particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 The Edges menu item turns the edges of the window into a boundary that particles will collide with. so just file this little piece of information away for now). and White. Select the Zoom menu item to show a list of the available preview window zoom levels. layed in the preview window. it will be on when editing a library emitter. Black. Repeat specifies what this additional delay time is.htm (3 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . the props dialog preview window motion blur setting will default to whatever the main Preview Window was set to -. then set the Repeat delay longer. which lists all image files that were in the "Preview Images" folder (found in the particleIllusion program folder) when particleIllusion was run. Note that when you change the color of a preview window. This is just the initial setting when the props dialog opens -. If you have an emitter that is “too big” for the preview window. Finally. as long as they are in a format that particleIllusion can read. You also have the option of choosing Image. Similarly. If you have an emitter with longlived particles. the other preview window file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.

Open the props dialog for the emitter again (remember there are several ways to do this) and look at the Emitter properties section in the middle of the props dialog: The Shape choices show the four emitter shapes that are possible. Also note that this setting is saved when you exit particleIllusion. Cancel the props dialog (by clicking the Cancel button in the lower right corner of the props dialog). This will convert the emitter from a point emitter to a line emitter. we’ll need to start with a slightly different emitter. In order to look at all of the properties. Since the emitter file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. Now R-click on the emitter on the stage. Particles will emit from all along the length of a line emitter instead of at a single point. Okay.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 (in the props dialog or the main preview window) will use that color as well. now let’s take a closer look at the emitter properties on the Properties page. Select the Make Line menu item. and restored every time you run it.htm (4 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . That’s all we’ll say about line emitters at this time.

we can’t change the shape here – the emitter shape must be changed on the stage (as we did a few moments ago). Before we look at the Emission options we’ll need to make a change to the Emission Range and Emission Angle properties otherwise changes to the Emission options will not be visible. Select the Emission Range in the hierarchy window and drag the data key to 0 (in the graph window). because at least one of the boxes must be checked. The Shape choices are available when editing an emitter library. which will be covered in the next tutorial. To uncheck Out you’ll first need to check In. which is perpendicular to the emitter.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 we’re looking at now is on the stage. Now try to uncheck the Out box. Since both the In and Out boxes are checked. Okay. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. which is due to the emission range being 0. Select the Emission Angle and drag the data key to 90. The number box that appears determines the number of points used for emission.htm (5 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Also drag the life data key to about 150% to make the particles live longer. When this option is checked the particles will emit at discrete points along the emitter instead of anywhere along the emitter. particles emit from both sides. make sure both boxes are checked and now check the Emit at Points box. You’ll also see that the particles are all travelling parallel to each other. The preview window should show something like this: The particles are emitting directly away from the emitter. You can’t do it. That’s what the In and Out emission options do: control the side of the emitter that particles emit from. Finally you can see that particles are emitting from the line emitter in both directions (from both sides of the line). That's due to the emission angle being 90 degrees. Uncheck the In box and you’ll see that particles emit from only one side.

Note that the Emit at Points option is only available when the emitter is a line. "Up" and "Down" may be choices for a line emitter. With the Emission options set as shown above. or area emitter. Let’s do a quick example that may change your mind. Select the "Explosion 3" library emitter and add four blasts to the stage so they all start at frame 1. What good is Tint? Remember when we talked about the Tint Strength property in the last tutorial? It works together with the Tint Color to “colorize” an emitter. ellipse. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. there will be 2 number boxes to set the number of points. close the props dialog by clicking the Cancel button. Those names make sense when used with an ellipse (or circular) emitter where there is an inside and outside to the emitter. You may be wondering why the options are called “In” and “Out”. so you can create an array of emission points. Notice how the emitter changes. Now start a new project. First. and drag the data key up and down.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Change the number of points to three and see how the emitter changes. A point emitter is by definition already emitting at a point (so Emit at Points isn't possible). so "In" and "Out" it is.htm (6 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . since they don't have 2 sides to emit from. The In and Out options aren't available for point or area emitters either. Open the props dialog for the second emitter (we’ll leave the first emitter untinted) and change the tint color by clicking on the small color window and choosing the color from the color picker dialog that opens. You may think that tinting an emitter is something that you will very rarely use. but not if the line is vertical. Make the color bright red. or rotates. One thing to keep in mind about the Emit at Points option is that when used with an area emitter (covered later). select the Emission Angle property in the hierarchy window.

Only when the tint strength is set relatively high does the blue really take over. Do the same for the last emitter. You can see the effect of the tint on the emitter – it is getting more of a reddish hue.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Close the props dialog by clicking the Ok button. Don’t forget to click OK to close the props dialog or your changes won’t be saved. Go back to each emitter and change the tint file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. It would probably have been easier to set the tint strength in the props dialog for each emitter so you could see how the tint affected the entire explosion.htm (7 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Now select the tint strength property for the second emitter and start dragging its data key up. Clicking Cancel would have discarded ALL changes we made in the props dialog). The first thing you’ve probably noticed is that you don’t always get the colors that you expected. you probably wouldn’t want to set the tint strength too high – lower settings give a subtle variation in color to each blast. Select the tint strength of the third emitter and set it to about 40% as well. The second thing you may have noticed is that too much tint is not always the best looking effect. (This saves the changes we just made. assume that Show Particles should be on unless otherwise noted). and the tint color of the last emitter to green. The third emitter was supposed to look blue. Jump to frame 10 so the explosions are all in progress. Now we’ll adjust the tint strengths of each emitter so the tint color actually does something. Now change the tint color of the third emitter to blue. but it got more of a white tint than blue. Why? Remember that the tint color does not replace the original particle colors – it is blended with them. Set the tint strength to about 40%. Make sure Show Particles is on (from this point on. which can help to add realism to an animation. In the case of explosions.

we saw the emitter start with no particles and saw the first particles emerge. That is. Close the props dialog. Let’s do a simple example. Add an emitter to the stage.0.." option is checked. You should not see anything at frame 1. This says that when the emitter first activates (at frame 1 in this case) it will look like it has been active for 60 frames already. The use old number calculation method option needs a little explanation. and use old number calculation method. Frames to Preload. you'll file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.htm (8 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . and "old" refers to version 1. If the "use old. jump to a higher frame so you can see some particles. Notice the more subtle color variations between the explosions? Of course. What if we wanted to create a scene in which we see a waterfall or a smoking fire? We need the emitter to be “fully emitting” the moment we see it.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 strength to about 20%. and add a Heavy Fire Particles emitter to the stage at frame 1. The number entered in the box is the number of frames that you want the emitter to have been emitting before it activates. start a NEW project. then drag the first data point of the Number graph up and down. "Number" refers to the number of particles.. That’s exactly what the Frames to Preload (or just Preload) option does. Now open the props dialog for the emitter and set the Preload value to 60. Back to the properties dialog -.the last three options on the Properties page are Keep Particles in Order. Close the props dialog (using OK) and you should see the difference at frame 1 – there is now a trail of particles showing. we’re not saying that you shouldn’t use high tint strengths. but when you’re going for realism subtle is usually better. In all of the examples we’ve done to this point we’ve used emitters that started emitting particles from the frame the emitter was added to the stage.

In order to conserve memory. If you uncheck the "use old. When a new particle is created by an emitter.0) and improved method of calculating the number of particles is used. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. this option will be checked by default. and the newest particles are drawn last. The new particle remains in the same place in the drawing list though. In some cases though. so why not just use it all the time? The new method will usually create more particles (not a lot -maybe 10 . the particles will be drawn in a specific order – oldest first or newest first. which means that now some of the newest particles are being drawn before some of the older particles – the drawing list is no longer “in order”.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 see the number of particles change in "steps" -. it was new in version 2. then you'll keep moving the Number graph and nothing will change. the Keep Particles in Order option can be checked.. This list is used to when drawing the particles – drawing starts with the first particle in the list and ends with the last. etc. In these rare special cases. In most cases this mixing up of the drawing list makes absolutely no difference – the particles appear the same no matter what order they are drawn in. Before we look at the last option – Keep Particles in Order – we need to understand how particleIllusion draws particles. Oldest in Back (left image below) makes the emitter appear to be coming toward you. As more time passes and more particles die. First." option.. the Oldest in Back and Oldest in Front options become visible. At first this means that the oldest particles are drawn first. What determines the order in which the particles are drawn? When the Keep Particles in Order option is checked. unless the library emitter from which the stage emitter was created had the option unchecked. and you should see the number of particles change continuously and smoothly.20% more) but in some emitters this change will be very noticeable. Drag the Number graph again. then you'll reach a point and it will change again. a new (well. more memory will be used since dead particles will not be reused. This does a few things. Second. and Oldest in Front (right image below) makes the emitter appear to be going away from you.the number will change. the drawing list gets more and more mixed up. In order to prevent any existing (old) emitters from changing. the life of some of the particles expires. This seems to be an improvement over the "old" method. particleIllusion will reuse these “dead” particles and create new particles from them.htm (9 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . the particle is added to a “list”. the order that the particles are drawn does make a difference. After some time.

For a relative indication of how much more memory this option uses.htm (10 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . At the bottom of the Behavior page there is graph window (for displaying the particle type property graphs): file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. When the emitter or one of its properties is selected in the hierarchy window. The preview window may also change when you select a particle type since the preview window will show the entire emitter (all particle types) when the emitter is selected. and open its properties dialog. Since "Heavy Fire Sparkles" has only a single particle type you won’t notice this change.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Remember that you should only use the Keep Particles in Order option when necessary as it uses more memory. Start a new project. the Properties page is automatically displayed. you can see how much larger this number will get – it varies based on the emitter. After checking the Keep Particles in Order option. look at the number of particles displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the particleIllusion window. Just select the Particles page before you do anything else (click the Particles tab). add a "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter to the stage. Jumping in to Particle Types! We are finally ready to start looking at the real low-level stuff in particleIllusion – the particle type properties. Notice that the particle type has been selected in the hierarchy window. It works the other way too – selecting the Properties page will select the emitter in the hierarchy window. and selecting the Particles page will select the first particle type in the hierarchy. When a particle type or one of the particle type properties is selected in the hierarchy window the Particles page is displayed. Look at the Particles page now. but only the selected particle type when a particle type is selected (unless the Full Emitter option is checked as discussed in an earlier tutorial).

If you R-click on the shape preview window you'll see: You can uncheck this option to display the particle shape against a solid black background. Since Intense particles are additive. Uncheck this option and see the results in the preview window. The Preserve Color option can be used to prevent this. The Intense option is used to make particles appear bright. they tend to "wash out" on lighter backgrounds. (You can choose whether to Show Alpha or not by default in the Preferences Dialog which will be covered later.htm (11 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . You can use the Flip X and Flip Y options to flip the particle shape but in this case it won’t make a difference since the shape is symmetrical. The shape preview shows the shape transparency (which reveals the checkerboard image) so it can be difficult to see the shape at times. One important thing to note about Intense particles – they are additive. an Intense particle on a white background will be completely invisible. For this reason Intense particles look best when on a dark background. Turn on the edges of the preview window (R-click the preview window and select Edges) to see this more clearly. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.) More on particle shapes shortly when we cover the Change Shape page. they add until they saturate.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 We’ll cover the particle type properties (that display in the graph window) in a while. Where the particles overlap. In fact. which can make it easier to see the shape. At the far left you can see a small preview of the particle shape – what particles of this type will look like. a black background is best.

The Apply to All checkbox is used to apply the current attachment settings to all of the particle types of the emitter – very handy when the emitter has several particle types. The slider is used to control how attached to the emitter the particles are. It has reached the end of its default 10000-frame life. Now check the Attached to Emitter box. the particle type velocity. If you check the Single Particle option you’ll see a single very small particle in the preview (if you're still using the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter).htm (12 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Before checking this option. To use it. A slider becomes visible to the right.) The Attached to Emitter option is used to connect the particles to the emitter so when the emitter moves the particles move with it. When the slider is far right (the default) the particles are 100% attached. The particles should now move with the emitter. Checking the Apply to All option after making the settings will not affect all particle types. This option is used to place a single copy of the particle at the emitter position. then check the Attach to Emitter option or move the slider. Usually you will leave the slider at the far right. first check the Apply to All option. Just click the preview window to recreate the particle.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Note that using the Preserve Color option will decrease performance. Also. You may notice that if you just watch the preview window for a long time. weight. but ignore it for a second and drag the emitter around the preview window. the single particle will eventually disappear. the single particle defaults to a life of 10. drag the emitter around in the preview window. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. If an emitter is active for 60 frames. so you should use it only when needed (and it is not needed when using a black background). moving the slider to the far left makes them only 10% attached. the single particle will have a life of 60 frames. (If the emitter active graph has a single data key which means the emitter is active forever. and motion randomness properties no longer apply – the particle is fixed to the emitter position. the life of the particle is now tied to the “life” of the emitter as determined by the emitter active property. When the Single Particle option is checked. This can be used to do sprite animation (see the "Mouse" library emitter) or to add a glow to the emitter (as in the "Star Trails 2" library emitter).000 frames.

Add a "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter to the stage. along with everything else in the scene). By default this point is the center of the shape image. which is the point to which its position and movement are referenced. changes in the emitter angle property (in the hierarchy window) will affect the particles as well. Point button. (The Layer Offset function can also be used to provide this ability. If the Attach to Emitter option were used. If we just moved the emitter across the stage the emitter would leave a trail of particles. The reference point is very important when the particle is spinning (since rotation occurs about the reference point). although visually this does not make a big difference. Point button and the Reference Point Dialog opens: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. so let's make sure we have some spinning particles to work with so we can see what it does.htm (13 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . although if the particles have weight (so they fall or rise) the results may not be consistent. the particles would not trail but would move with the emitter.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Why would we ever want to attach the particles to the emitter? Suppose we had a scene of a waterfall and we want the “camera” (our viewpoint) to move across the scene. You should see the particles spinning now. The waterfall would need to start at one side of the scene and move across to the other side of the scene (the waterfall would not actually be moving. We've ignored the Ref. then adjust its particle spin property to about 30. giving us the effect we wanted. but you may find that Attach to Emitter is still useful in some cases. and we would not get the effect we wanted. Click the Ref. so let's talk about it now. but to all of the emitters and particles on a layer. Each particle shape in particleIllusion has a reference point. but it would appear to.) Note that when particles are flagged as Attached to Emitter. You will probably want to use the Layer Offset function instead of Attach to Emitter.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 The reference point of the particle shape is shown by a red dot. but there is no way to scroll the shape image. click the Reset button. In these images the reference point has been set off-center toward the upper left corner of the shape image. To set the point back to what it originally was. You'll immediately see the effect of this change in the animated preview window (to the right of the reference point dialog). Click the Center button to put the reference point in the center of the image. The result is that the particles now start to "twirl" or "spiral" since they are no longer rotating about the center of the shape.htm (14 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . You can set the reference point of a shape quite far away from the center of the image -.just Zoom Out a few times and click toward the edge of the doesn't have to be on the shape image itself: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. You can set the reference point anywhere -. You can use the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons to adjust the zoom of the image. To change it just click in the window.

not with each shape image. you could set the reference point at the end of the arm. Particle Type Behavior file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. What that means is that changing the reference point will not affect the particle types of any other emitters.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 A still image doesn't show the effect too well. as you can see in this example: You may also want to change the reference point for "single" particle types for easier placement of the emitter. If you had a particle shape that looked like a pendulum. allowing the pendulum shape to rotate at the correct point. changing the reference point can give an entirely different look to the resulting effect. With other emitters. Note that the reference point is saved with each particle type. or to make it rotate correctly. For example. in the "Mouse" emitter you could change the reference point to be at the feet of the mouse for easier positioning in your project.htm (15 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . but you'll see it in motion.

When the Specify option is selected all particles will have the same initial angle which is indicated in the entry box to the right. which is often useful to provide more realism in effects such as smoke. The Particle Angle option determines the initial angle of the particles of this type (the angle that the particles are drawn at when they are created).htm (16 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . The Random option gives each particle a random starting angle. If you select the Random option.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Now we’ll begin our look at the Behavior page of the Particles page. a few other controls become available: The Range and Offset values determine the range of values that will be randomly file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. The Align to Motion option when selected sets the initial angle of each particle to the angle at which it is emitted.

we should change particle shape images. the Range should be set to 360. Set the Range value to 90. you'll see that the particles have all been rotated 90 degrees to the right. If you now change the Offset value to 90. but all within a 90 degree range (-45 to +45).particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 chosen for the particles. but for now just switch to the Change Shape page. We'll be covering shape images in depth shortly. an entry box and a Keep Aligned to file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. but still being created with angles +/. In order to better see what these options do. To allow the particle angles to be any value. but rotated various amounts to the left and right. it does not matter what value Offset has. You'll see the particles created mostly upright. You should see something like this: Now we can look at the random angle options. When Range is 360.45 degrees from that: When the Align to Motion option is selected. and leave the Offset at 0. select the shape titled "A" in the list. and click the Make Active button to the right.htm (17 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 .

but only if the emitter is moving. The entry box is used to provide an angle offset so the particle can be rotated an additional amount (90 degrees for example). Expand the particle type (“fiery”) in the props dialog hierarchy window: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. The Keep Aligned to Motion option does just what it says – it keeps the particle aligned to the direction it is moving throughout its life.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Motion checkbox appear. the single particle will align itself to its motion path. Close the props dialog and start a new project. Note: if we use the Single Particle option with the Keep Aligned to Motion option.htm (18 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . we'll start over. Place the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter on the stage and open its properties dialog. Since we've modified the current emitter a little. Now let’s take the plunge and look at the graphable particle type properties in the hierarchy window.

A particle with a positive weight falls (moves toward the bottom of the screen) and a particle with a negative weight rises (moves toward the top of the screen).htm (19 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Note that that a particle can be alive but not visible (we’ll talk about particle visibility later). Size determines how big the particles appear. Select the life property. Spin also has positive and negative values. or seconds or any real units. In the descriptions that follow. but the y-axis values are not percentages as they were with most emitter property graphs: Particle type properties do not have units. A positive spin value means that the file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. Higher values mean more particles are created. Number controls how many particles are created. with a few exceptions (such as emission angle).particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 You’ll notice that some of the properties have the same names (and the same icon colors) as some emitter properties. Weight is a little different than the previous properties because its graph can go negative. The frame numbers still appear along the x-axis (bottom). A particle with zero weight is weightless. We’ll discuss each of the properties now. Therefore the life value shown does not represent frames. note that the values of each property are applied at the time that the particle is created – they do not have anything to do with how the particle behaves over time. Velocity controls how fast the particles move away from the emitter. Higher values mean the particles live longer. and look at the graph window. Remember that those emitter properties were scale factors that were applied to particle type properties – here are the particle type properties.) Life is the length of time that the particle is “alive”. (The only properties that determine how the particles behave over time are the “over life” properties which will be covered shortly. It is a relative measure of the particle's life.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 particle will rotate clockwise. a particle with velocity of 0 can actually move quite quickly if motion randomness is high enough. What this means is even though a particle type property is set to some high value. Visibility determines the transparency of the particles. if the particle type size property is set to 50 and the emitter size property is set to 5%. Note that this property will seem to “override” the velocity and weight settings. the particle type now has its own emission angle and emission range properties added to the hierarchy: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. A very small bounce value will help to prevent this. A value of zero means no spin of course. Some particle types look best 100% visible (thick smoke for example) but some look best with some transparency. Bounce only applies when a particle hits a deflector (discussed in a later tutorial). Higher values mean more bounce.htm (20 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . A negative spin means a counter-clockwise rotation. Note that when a particle has a bounce value of 0 it may be able to pass through a deflector. and 100% means completely opaque. Motion Randomness determines how randomly a particle will move. it may eventually sink through the deflector. A value of 0% means invisible. For example. Remember that all of the particle type properties that we listed above have corresponding emitter properties that are additional scaling factors. For instance if a particle has a positive weight (so it falls) and a zero bounce and comes to rest on a deflector. the particle type uses the emitter's emission angle and emission range settings. Note that the value (y-axis) scale of this graph is 0-100%. the Use emitter's emission angle and range checkbox: When this option is checked. the resulting particle property can still be a very small value or even zero depending on the emitter property value. Note that there is an additional transparency control for the particle type on the Colors page which we’ll discuss soon. There is one option just above the graph window that we've overlooked. Also note that the random motion may cause particles to reverse direction. When unchecked. the final particle size will be very small.

if the size variation property is set to 0. depending on what values we set for each property. We’ve seen the basic particle type properties (life. velocity. you would use the particle type emission angle and range to accomplish that. Now we’ll discuss how to change the base properties over the life of a particle.). For example. If we did that we’d see that most (if not all) of the particles spin in one direction. What if we want some variety in a property? For instance. So far. The basic size of the particles is still determined by the size property. To make an equal (approximately) number of particles spin in each direction. and only use a spin variation value.htm (21 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . size. and we’ve seen how to vary these basic properties for different particles using the “variation” versions of these basic properties. Most of the basic properties have “over life” equivalents just as they had “variation” file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. If the size variation is set to a higher value some particles will be created larger than others. all particles of this type that are created will have the same size (which is determined by the size property). we need to leave the spin value at zero. etc. A quick review. Higher values of variation result in particles that have a wider variety of values for the given property. size. The properties above are applied to every particle of this type that is created. Since each variation property works the same but on a different base property (life. Note that the two properties that have both negative and positive values – weight and spin – have variation properties (weight variation and spin variation) that may not produce the results you expect. if you had an explosion emitter which needed most of the particles to emit in a "cloud" (in all directions) but you wanted some sparks to emit in one particular direction only. etc.) we won’t list each of them. which means that every particle created has exactly the same value for the given property.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 What this means is that you can control the emission of individual particle types if you want to. these properties only determine the values for the particle at the time the particle is created. For example. Suppose we want the particles to spin in both directions (clockwise and counter-clockwise). We might think that first we’d set the spin property so the particles have some spin. Just realize that a 0 setting of a variation property means that there will be no variation in the property. number. what if we want the particles created to vary in size? The next group of particle type properties are used to do just that – provide some variety or variation. then set the spin variation to some non-zero value.

In the example here. and can’t be deleted. and the right end (1. deleted in the “over life” graphs the same way they are in the other graphs. moved.0 and 1.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 equivalents. the left end (0.htm (22 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . The values along the y-axis are percentage values. The weight over life and spin over life properties are again a little different because weight and spin have both negative and positive values. then it decreases down to a size of 0 at the end of its life. and bounce over life all work the same. the particle would be the same size its whole life. Data keys are added. This is the weight over life graph for the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter particle type: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. but it would be smaller. so we’ll use size over life as an example.0) represents the end of its life. Select size over life in the hierarchy window and notice how the graph window changes (it will look like this if you’re still using the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter): The x-axis represents the particle’s life It doesn’t matter how long the life is. If the horizontal line were at 60%. since the “over life” values are scale factors that are applied to the basic property – size in this case. velocity over life. motion randomness over life. the particle would still be the same size its entire life. The difference is that the data keys at each end of the life (0. the particle starts pretty small (20%) then increases in size until it reaches 200% at about 7/10th of the way through its life. Size over life.0) represents the start of the particle’s life.0) can’t be moved horizontally. If the graph were a horizontal line at 100%.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 You can see that the possible values range from –100% to 100%. Instead. Note that a negative value in the weight over life graph “reverses” the basic weight value. and they get heavier as they get older. You can see this occur in the preview window. The "over life" graphs can used to make a particle grow or shrink over its life among other things.1. What do you do if you've made a really cool growing effect. Reset the graph. They have a couple of additional functions that the other property graphs do not have though.0). You can Alt+click on a data key to make it curved.0 and drag it down to about –60%. then the negative initial data key in the weight over life graph would have made the particle fall instead. the spin over life values will have no effect. and now you want to convert it to a shrinking effect instead? The graph needs to be reversed. just R-click on the graph window: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.htm (23 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Note that even though the "over life" graphs are slightly different from other graphs in that they have a fixed horizontal scale (0. If the basic weight value were negative (so the particle rose instead). with a complex "size over life" graph. Grab the data key at 0.0 . they need to scale something. If the weight value (the weight property in the hierarchy window) is zero. setting the initial data key in the weight over life graph to a negative value made the particle rise initially. What this does is make the particles “light” (so they float) at first. Since they are scale factors. Remember that the “over life” values are scale factors. One last point to make about the weight over life and spin over life values. the weight over life values will do nothing. but it would take a lot of work. they are still the same as other graph windows. Since the basic weight value was positive (so the particle fell). You could try to reverse the graph manually. etc. Similarly if the spin value is zero. The weight in this example is not changing over life though – it’s just at the default of 100% for the entire life. create reference graphs from it (although they will only be shown when other "over life" graphs are selected).

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3

Then select the Mirror function. The graph will automatically be reversed for you. (The original graph is shown as a reference graph.)

The Flip function is similar but instead of reversing the graph horizontally, it reverses it vertically:

Note that the Mirror and Flip functions are only available when you R-click on the graph window of an "over life" property -- they won't be available for other graph types. In the last tutorial we looked at the Lock Aspect function to change the emitter's X and Y size properties individually. That same ability can be applied to the particle type size properties. If you unlock the particle type size aspect (by r-clicking on one
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particleIllusion: Tutorial 3

of the particle type size properties, you can now change the size, size variation, and size over life properties for X and Y independently. Use this to distort particles, make them stretch over time, or to just get more variety out of your existing particle shape library. We've skipped over a few of the controls on the particles page because they are only visible when a multi-frame particle shape is being used. So now in the same way that you selected the "letter A" particle shape previously, go to the Change Shape page and select the "Mouse" shape image and click Make Active.

When a particle that uses a multi-frame shape is created, the first frame of the sequence is used first, unless the Random Start Frame option is checked (in which case a random frame is used first). The slider that is displayed is the frame speed slider. When set to the far right (the "fast" setting) the shape frame changes every project frame. Every click to the left results in one additional frame delay before the shape frame changes. For example if the slider was set to the far right then brought down 2 clicks, the shape would change frames every 3rd frame. Setting the slider to the far left (the "off" position) stops the shape frame from changing. What good is a multi-frame shape that never changes frames? When used with the Random Start Frame option, this is an easy way to choose a random frame for particles. For example, suppose you created 5 different shape images of chunks of dirt, and wanted to create an emitter that used all of these different shapes. You could either create 5 different particle types and assign one of the dirt chunk shapes to each, or could save the images as a sequence, create a single particle type with a multi-frame shape, and use the frame speed slider set to "Off" and use a random start frame. The second option is much better, especially if you need to make any changes to the particle type properties -- using the first option you'd have to repeat the changes in each of the 5 particle types! When using a multi-frame particle shape, you'll see the little left and right arrows near the shape preview window. These are used to change the frame that is displayed in the shape preview. Now we’ve covered all of the particle type properties that are found in the hierarchy window. That also finishes our discussion of the Behavior page – we can now move on to a more in-depth look at particle shapes.

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particleIllusion: Tutorial 3

Particle Shapes Using the same "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter we’ve been using all along, select the Change Shape page.

The two main elements of this page are the shape list which displays all of the textures in the current emitter library, and the large shape window (called “large” so it isn’t confused with the small shape window that we’ve seen at the top of the particles page). A particle shape in particleIllusion is simply an image (or images). Select different shapes from the list and you’ll see each shape image in the shape window. You’ll also notice the Make Active button appears. Pressing this button will apply the displayed shape to the particle type, and the results will be immediately visible in the preview window. Try it now – select any of the shapes you want and make them active. (The original shape used in this particle type of the Heavy Fire Sparkles emitter is “blurred star”.) You’ve probably noticed that some of the shapes in the list have different icons. There are four types of shapes in particleIllusion: greyscale, full-color, greyscale multiframe, and full-color multi-frame. The shapes that have a grey icon (a gradient from white to black) are greyscale shapes. The rainbow-colored icons indicate full-color shapes. Icons with the series of small arrows are the multi-frame (animated) shapes. More on the differences between greyscale and full-color shapes in a minute.

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All of the shapes that are currently in the library are there because they are being used by at least one particle type of at least one library emitter. and there is more than one shape in the folder. but it helps in keeping things manageable. Any image file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. You’ll see a standard Windows File Open dialog that also shows a preview of the selected image file: Now select an image that you think would make a good particle shape. Why would we want to do that? Well it definitely is not a good idea to add a shape to the library just for the sake of adding it. The library should contain shapes that we intend to use.) The Delete Folder button will only be visible when the library contains more than one folder.htm (27 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . The next two buttons are used to add a new shape to the library or delete a shape from the library. If you want to move a shape from one folder to another. You don't need to use multiple folders.) The most important button is Add New Shape to Library. You can also drag and drop folders.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 There are a few buttons visible below the shape list. Click the Add Shape button. just drag the shape in the shape list and drop it in the folder you want it. We do it using the Add New Shape to Library button (“Add Shape” for short). (Shape folders are used to organize the shapes in a library. These first buttons allow you to add a new folder or delete a folder if there is more than one in the library. (The delete shape button will only be visible when a shape is selected in the list. otherwise we’re just wasting memory. It is also possible to add shapes to the library that are not used by any particle types of the library emitters. If we do plan on using the shape at some time though (for instance we have a shape looks like it might work well for smoke) we should add it to the library.

Select any image now. If you answer Yes.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 will work (as long as it is in one of the file formats supported by particleIllusion). Ok. If you answer No. This dialog allows you to see just how much memory the shape will use and allows you to skip frames to decrease that amount of memory. back to the Shape Import Options Dialog now. you will see the following dialog. particleIllusion will first display a dialog similar to this: The number of images that appear to be in the sequence is displayed. only the single image will be used – the shape will have a single frame.htm (28 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . for example mouse001. which is also the dialog that is displayed when an AVI file is selected instead of an image file: Multi-frame shapes use much more memory than single frame shapes. If you selected an image that is part of an image sequence (or appears to be because the filename ends in a number. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.tga).

and 2048. under the preview window are the Transparency options. but the image will be resized after import to one of the supported shape sizes: 16. Here you can choose to crop or resize the image ("resize" is the default. Note that particleIllusion will not increase the size of a particle image. the original image is 518 x 385. 256. 512. To the right of the preview are the shape size options. Above that is the original size of the image. etc. Finally. choose from the possible "crop" or "resize" sizes. (The largest sizes may not be supported by all video cards if running in HW OpenGL mode.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 There are a lot of options here. Let's see what all of these things do! Shape Size Options particleIllusion can import almost any size image to use as a particle shape. it is selected now). The image is slightly distorted since it is being resized.) This means that the final shape size can be 128 x 128. In the screenshot above. You can see in the width and height selectors that the size is set to 512 x 256 -. If you change the width and height . 128. If we select file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. only decrease it (or leave it the original size if it is already one of the suppported shape sizes). The first thing you notice is that there is a preview of the shape image which will show you what the particle shape will look like.the largest supported size for this source image. you'll see the preview update accordingly. or 16 x 64. so let's take it from the top. Below that are the Shape Type options of full-color or greyscale. 32. 64. and choose a high quality resize (not applicable when cropping). or 256 x 32.htm (29 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 .

) The full-color option should be used if: 1) You want the colors of the image to be preserved in the shape or 2) The image has alpha channel information that you want to preserve. This option can produce better results than the color option since color creates a mask. You can still change the crop size by selecting a different width and height -.they're usually used to remove the background from the image. You may resize the cropped image. Move the mouse over the preview until you have the crop area positioned where you want it. This results in smoother edges than the color option in most cases. The slider can be used to increase the range of colors that are selected and made transparent. The greyscale type is fine for most cases. and is the recommended format because it uses less memory. Use existing image transparency will be enabled only when the original image contains alpha channel information. (Don’t let the term “greyscale” lead you to think that all particles that use this shape will be gray. This is the crop area.htm (30 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . Particles that use a greyscale shape can be as colorful as you want – the colors are set on the Colors page which we’ll discuss soon. (Note that particles that use full-color shapes can still have their color changed – the colors designated on the Colors page will be blended with the shape colors. Note that after you perform a crop the image size above the preview now indicates the cropped size. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. The Color option allows you to choose a single color to use as the transparent color. you'll see the image undistorted. and the crop option is disabled.) Transparency Options These options are used to make part of the image transparent -.the crop area will update accordingly. just L-click in the window. Dark colors creates transparency based on the darkness of the color: black becomes fully transparent. The "Use Dark Colors" option is intended to be used on images that are on a black or very dark background. either the pixel is fully transparent or it is fully opaque (non-transparent). To perform the crop. then click on the preview window to sample the color. Checking this option does exactly what it says. To change the selected color click on the little color box. but you can't crop it again. Note that it will be checked by default if the image does contain alpha channel info. but dark grey becomes semi-transparent (based on the slider setting).particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 the "crop" option instead of "resize". and there is now a rectangle (or square) displayed as well. Shape Type Options Here you must choose which type of shape you want the image converted to.

The Shape Import Options Dialog will be opened for each image in turn. Keep in mind that selecting multiple filenames will not combine the images into a multi-frame shape. since "greyscale" particle shapes are automatically converted to transparency levels anyway (black is transparent. that doesn't mean that you should always import shapes as large as possible should always keep the intended use of the particle shape in mind. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. Just because particleIllusion supports very large particle shape sizes. and white is opaque).particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Note that the transparency options will usually only be used when the particle shape is "full-color". A note about particle shape sizes.htm (31 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . The only way to get a multi-frame shape is to use images that are named in sequence ("image001.png". and if any of the selected images appear to be part of a sequence. and may "sparkle" when they move. grey is semi-transparent. etc. Note that it is possible to select multiple filenames when importing file shapes (CTRL +click or SHIFT+click in the Open Dialog to select multiple file names).). that will be indicated as usual. Why not just import them as large as possible? Just as scaling small particle shapes UP very large makes them appear blurred with some "jaggies". "image002. scaling large particle shapes DOWN very small makes them appear too "sharp".png".

Larger shape sizes also use more memory.) The total memory used by the shapes in the library is displayed next to the shape list: If this total memory is greater than the amount of OpenGL texture RAM that is present or allocated on your video card you may start to experience problems.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 The image on the left is a small shape image used on large particles. Typically. particleIllusion can require a lot of memory as well. That's why there are so many shape images in the libraries that are 128 x 128. My advice would be to continue to use 128 x 128 particle shapes (or smaller) unless you know that you need to use larger ones. Memory Considerations Most graphics applications tend to use large amounts of memory (RAM). your 3D video card will have a specific amount of its memory set aside for OpenGL texture RAM. most file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. or using a utility supplied with your video card.the particles look decent when scaled up (but not too large). (This amount of RAM may be user-configurable via a control panel applet. The image on the right is a large shape image used on small particles -. the number of particle shapes that you can use without experiencing problems or performance issues is not unlimited either. but the images "shimmer" as they move. The original 128 x 128 shape size (in version 1. Because the amount of memory that is available on 3D video cards is not unlimited.0 of particleIllusion) was chosen as a good compromise size -. This is different for each 3D card. but there are special considerations when you are using particleIllusion in hardware accelerated OpenGL mode (HW OpenGL).you can't see it in a still image. More on that theme now. and look decent when scaled down as well.htm (32 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 .

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 notably a decrease in performance. the size of the selected shape is shown above the preview. we can see that it is the New Shape button. (Note that the large shape window displays the shape at 128 x 128. but by keeping the total memory used by the shapes smaller. A few more things to mention about the Change Shape page. When a shape is selected that is used somewhere in the current library. let’s talk about the regular-sized button that is under the large shape window. and you should now name the shape something appropriate. It looks exactly the same as the Add New Shape to Library button. which illustrates that multi-frame shapes can eat memory pretty quickly.) The New Shape button is perfect for the times when you know that you will not use this shape again – it will be used in the current emitter and nowhere else. as is the total size in memory of the shape. If we position the mouse cursor over it. Note that we’re not saying that you will have problems. but will automatically be the shape for this particle type. If you created a multi-frame shape (using an image sequence or AVI) there will be a few additional controls displayed under the large shape window. Click OK to close the Shape Import Options Dialog. If you haven't noticed. especially when they are full-color!) As long as it’s being displayed. (We can also see that the mouse shape uses almost 1 MB of RAM. The small left and right arrow buttons are used to display each frame of the shape. except that as a final step the shape will not be added to the library.) The new shape has been added to the library. (It is not necessary to use the Make Active button. The current frame number and the total number of frames are displayed as well. The New Shape button works exactly like the Add New Shape to Library button. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3.htm (33 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . you should avoid these problems. use the Make Active button. We can see that the “mouse” shape has a total of ten frames. and you'll see the imported shape in the large shape window. If you want to apply this shape. the Where USed button will be displayed next to the Make Active button.

) If the shape is file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. If there are any shapes in the library that are not being used in the library (by at least one particle type of at least one library emitter). Periodically you should go through the library and see if there are any shapes that are not being used. a message will be shown when that shape is selected. You delete shapes from the library using the Delete Shape from Library button. (Note that the message in the dialog states “there is no undo of this action”. Doing so will conserve memory.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Click the Where Used button to show a list of which library emitters use the selected shape. especially if the shape is multi-frame. you may want to consider deleting those unused shapes from the library. If the shape is not being used in the library we will see a dialog asking us to confirm the deletion. Select the shape in the list and click the Delete Shape button. If so.htm (34 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 .

TGA. and any particle types that used this shape would now use a different shape. deleting shapes) are immediate and permanent -. the alpha channel will contain a copy of the RGB channels.if the shape is a greyscale shape. or TIF image. One last button on the Change Shape page that we haven't mentioned yet: the Export Shape button: Click it and you'll be able to save the selected shape as a 32bpp PNG. The image will be saved with alpha channel information -. Select the Colors page. Note that if you do choose to delete a folder. all of the shapes in it will be deleted too. At this point we’ll most likely want to answer No so the shape will not be deleted. because we probably do not want to change any particle types in the library. the shape would be deleted. SGI. changes to the shape list (changing order. It's sort of a "last minute undo".htm (35 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 being used in the library. Color The last particle type property that we need to look at is color. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. changes to the shape list (and any other changes that are made to the emitters in the library) can always be discarded by closing the properties dialog using the Cancel button. Earlier we mentioned that the Delete Folder button would be visible if the list contained more than one folder. which will most likely display the above warning dialog that particle types will be changed by the deletion. adding shapes. When editing a library emitter (covered at the start of the next tutorial).there is no undo. If we said Yes at this point. that's not always true. We want to keep using the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter as our example. Although the message indicates that there is no undo of the deletion. we will see how many particle types in the library will be affected. When editing a stage emitter.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 The top part of the dialog we’re familiar with already – it’s the particleIllusion color picker dialog that we saw when talking about Tint Color. The left end of the gradient window represents the start of the particle’s life (the instant it’s created). In the example shown above. When a color point other than the first one is selected. The top gradient represents the color of the particle throughout its life. and the last color point in the gradient represents the end of the particle’s life.htm (36 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . the Delete Color Point button becomes visible: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/'s just an unused area of the color gradient. the particle starts red. Each point that is defined by a color is designated with a small rectangle – we’ll refer to these as color points or color keys. Note that the black area to the right of the last color point does not mean that the particle turns black -. The color point that is selected is shown with a double rectangle. The rest of the window contains the interesting parts. even when it's not at the far right of the gradient window. Any changes made in the color picker windows change the color of the selected color point. The last color point in the gradient always corresponds to the end of the particle's life. changes to orange/ yellow at a little past the halfway point in its life. and can be dragged left and right (except for the first color point which can't be dragged). then changes back to red at the end of its life. Clicking on the gradient but not on an existing color point creates a new color point the same color as the previous color point. and its color is shown in the color preview. Color points are selected by clicking on them.

htm (37 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . The result is that the particles start red. then use the color picker windows to make the second color point a light shade of blue. Now the particles appear as expected.) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. When only a single color point exists.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 When the Delete button is clicked. Do this by unchecking the Intense checkbox at the top of the Particles page. then jump to red and fade to blue again. fade to blue. Let's work with the gradient a little bit. First delete the last two color points. It is not possible to delete the first color point. The repeat slider is used to repeat the color gradient one or more times over the life of the particle. What you’ll notice now is that the particles (in the preview window) are starting red. but then getting red again. you will be asked to confirm the deletion. you’ll see that the particles are blending to white in some places – let’s make the particles non-intense for a minute so we can more clearly see the colors we’re setting. the color fills the entire gradient window because the particle will be that color its entire life. Let’s move the slider one “click” to the right. (If you want the colors to repeat smoothly. If you look at the preview window. fading to blue. Now click toward the middle of the gradient to add a second color point. make sure that the color at the right end of the gradient is the same as the color at the left end of the gradient. Move the Repeat slider to the far left. Why? The answer is the Repeat slider under the color gradient.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 3

One use for the repeat slider is to make particles sparkle. Check the Intense option again, then change the color gradient so it fades to black instead of blue. We’ll also set the repeat slider to about five repeats (the repeat slider has a range of 0 – 10).

We can see in the preview window that the particles are now “sparkling”. (Note that if too many of the particles seem to blink on and off all at the same time, set the life variation property to a higher value). Okay, turn off repeat (slider far left). Add a few more color points between the first and last, but leave the last one black.

Now check the “Random gradient color (no cycle)” option. This chooses a random color from the gradient and does not cycle through the gradient. The particle remains the same color its entire life, but each particle will be a different color. If you want the colors to use only the colors that are set in the color keys instead of using colors from the color keys and all colors between them, check the Use key colors only option.

The image on the left does not have the Use key colors only option checked -- you can see that some orange and green particles have been created. The image on the right does have that option checked, and you can see that only red, yellow, and blue particles have been created. Note that the particle shape has been temporarily changed so you can better see the particle colors.

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The next color option is the Use next key color option. When this is checked, the Number of each color option becomes available.

When this color option is chosen, a number of particles are created using the color of the first color key, then a number of particles are created using the second color key, etc. The Number of each color option sets the number of particles.

The final color option is Get color from layer.

If you select this option, you may not see anything in the preview window. That's because particles that use the Get color from layer option sample their color from a background image instead of using the color gradient. If the preview window is not set to display an image, you won't see the particles at all. Set the preview window to use an image (R-click in preview, select Color, Image, then choose an image) and you should be able to see the particles. The Update color from layer option will update the particle's color as it moves over new portions of the layer image. This can be used for "heat distortion" type effects as one example. (Note that when this option is not checked, the particle gets its color from the part of the layer image it was on when created.) When the Get color from layer option is selected, the hierarchy gets a new color blend property added to it:

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This property allows you to blend the gradient colors with the layer colors for the particles. When the color blend is set to 100% (the default setting), 100% of the particle color is taken from the layer image. Setting this property to 0% uses only the gradient colors (as if the Use full gradient (normal) option were selected), and setting the value somewhere between uses a blend of the layer image colors and the gradient colors.

Note that like all other particle type properties in the hierarchy, the color blend property has a corresponding emitter property that is a scale factor. You may have noticed that the lower gradient has been changing as we changed the color gradient.

This gradient represents the transparency (or visibility) of the particle over its life. It behaves just as the color gradient – click and drag, click to add color points, etc. except that the colors in it are grayscale only. Black represents completely transparent, and white represents completely opaque. The reason it has been changing automatically (and the reason we can’t make any changes to it directly right now) is that the Link transparency to color option is selected. With this selected, the transparency gradient is a grayscale version of the color gradient. This means that dark particles are more transparent, and brighter particles more visible. This works fine for many types of particles, but will not work if
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we can now modify the transparency gradient (add points. The Copy Selected Color function does just that. Note that you cannot copy a color or gradient from the color gradient and paste it in the transparency gradient (or vice versa). the first color point will also be reset to white (completely visible). When used on the "transparency over life" gradient. Fortunately there is a better way to delete all of the color points.htm (41 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . R-clicking on the transparency gradient will have no effect. move them. Note that if the Link transparency to color option is checked. In order to do this. You can also click the buttons themselves to select the gradient you want to modify. the Transparency button selects automatically. If you have a color gradient that contains several color points and want to delete all of them. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. set a repeat value).much easier than deleting them one by one. delete them. We saw that the Delete button is used to delete the selected color point from a gradient. when you click on the transparency gradient.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 we want to make some dark particles that are visible – black smoke for example. It is used with Paste Selected Color (only enabled after a Copy) to copy a single color. The Mirror function will reverse the order of the color points. Once we do this. the Color button is automatically selected. clicking the delete button for each point would be tedious. R-click on the color gradient: The Reset function will delete all color points except the first -. changes to the color chooser windows can be applied to either gradient. When you click on the color gradient itself. You can use the Copy Gradient function with Paste Gradient to copy the entire gradient. Similarly. we need to select the Use full gradient (normal) option. Note that now two choices appear above the color gradient: Since both gradients can be changed now. These new choices designate which gradient is being modified.

clicking this button will make a copy of the particle type and add it to the emitter. since drawing order of particles changes – see the discussion of “keep particles in order”. but sometimes it does make a difference. then this tutorial will be finished. To change the order of particle types in the hierarchy. Once an emitter has more than one particle type in it. The new particle type will be named the same as the particle type it was copied from. right? Well a similar thing applies to particle types of an emitter – particles of the type at the top of the hierarchy are added last. It is used to add a new (default) particle type to an emitter. What if we want to create a new particle type in an emitter.htm (42 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . or to make a copy of an existing particle type. so the Delete button is not available when only one particle type exists.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 Believe it or not. (Note that this doesn’t mean that the particles will be drawn last. When the Delete Particle Type button is clicked. This is the New Particle Type button. or delete a particle type from an emitter? For that we need to look back at the props dialog hierarchy window – below it actually. a dialog appears asking for confirmation of the deletion.) The order the particle types in the hierarchy is usually not important. we’ve now covered everything there is to know about emitter and particle type properties! We’ll take a look at a last few things in the props dialog. a default particle type will be created. use the first particle shape in the library. If a particle type is not selected when the button is clicked. If a particle type is currently selected in the hierarchy window. New Particle Types So we now know how to modify existing particle types. the Delete Particle Type button becomes visible when a particle type is selected in the hierarchy window. The top emitters in the hierarchy window were drawn last. It will have no color. and just have some basic property settings. You may remember back in Tutorial #2 when we had multiple emitters on the stage and wanted to change the order in which they were drawn. just R-click on the particle type: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. Note that it is not possible to have an emitter with no particle types.

This button will add a copy of the emitter in its current state to the emitter library. (It is also possible to add an emitter directly from the stage to the library without opening the props dialog. the emitter will be added to the folder that is currently selected. The best way to get comfortable with all of the emitter and particle type properties is to play with them. it covered a lot of material.htm (43 of 43)2004-05-14 18:22:41 . but there is an easier way. The last thing that we need to look at in the properties dialog is the Add to Library button. Note that if the library contains more than one folder.particleIllusion: Tutorial 3 The Move Up and Move Down menu items will do just that – move the particle type up or down in the hierarchy. Yes. This will be covered in a later tutorial.) That wraps up this tutorial. Another great way to learn about what each of these properties can do is to examine the library emitters. We could add one of each of the library emitters to the stage then open the props dialog for each of them in turn. Previous: Tutorial 2 Next: Tutorial 4 file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide3. as we’ll see in the next tutorial.

particleIllusion: A Guide -- Tutorial 4

Tutorial 4

Tutorial 4 In the previous tutorial we looked at all of the emitter and particle type properties in the emitter properties dialog. We ended with a note about the Add to Library button, which was visible because we were looking at the properties for a stage emitter (an emitter that is on the stage). There is one other use for the emitter properties dialog, and that is to view and edit library emitters. Libraries As we’ve already discussed, a particleIllusion library is a collection of emitters. We can think of it as a palette of emitters, since only the emitters in the currently loaded library are available for adding to the stage. We’ve seen that we can edit the emitters after they are added to the stage using the hierarchy window or by opening the properties dialog for the emitter. What if we want to view or edit the properties of a library emitter? R-click in the library window. The first line of the displayed menu is not a function – it is the name of the library and is always disabled.

Select the Properties menu item now. (Note that double-clicking on an emitter in the library window has the same effect.) The emitter properties dialog opens, but there are a few significant differences. First, you’ll notice that the dialog title displays the library name. Second, you’ll notice that the dialog hierarchy window is a little more complex than we saw when
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we were looking at the props of a stage emitter.

The hierarchy window for a stage emitter displayed only a single emitter. When looking at the properties of a library, all of the folders and emitters in the library are visible. All of the particle types for each of the emitters are also visible (of course) as well, so there is quite a bit of information displayed here. We won’t talk about any of the properties here, since they are exactly the same for a library emitter as they are for a stage emitter. We will discuss the new buttons that are available below the hierarchy window though.

The first button is the New Folder button and is used to create a new folder. The next button (only visible when a folder is selected) is the Delete Selected Folder
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button and deletes the selected folder. Deleting the folder will delete all emitters it contains as well. The next button is the Add Emitter button. If it is clicked when a folder is selected, a default emitter will be created. If clicked when an emitter is selected, a copy of the emitter will be made (the button tooltip text changes to "Copy Selected Emitter"). In both cases the emitter is created in the selected folder. The next button is the Delete Selected Emitter button and is only visible when an emitter is selected, and when the folder contains more than one emitter (it is not possible to delete the last emitter from a folder). Next is the Add Particle Type button, which you should remember from the previous tutorial. Clicking it when an emitter is selected creates a default particle type, and clicking it when a particle type is selected creates a copy of the particle type (the button tooltip text changes to "Copy Selected Particle Type"). The Delete Particle Type button (not shown in the image) is last, and is only visible when a particle type is selected and there is more than one particle type in an emitter. One thing we haven't mentioned about the library properties dialog: you can drag and drop emitters and folders just as you can in the library window. One additional drag and drop feature that the library window doesn't have is the ability to drag and drop particle types from one emitter to another. When you do this, you will be copying the particle type -- the particle type in the source emitter remains. This drag and drop of particle types is a great way to combine effects and create new emitters. Note that a particle type copied from another emitter may not look the same as it did in the source emitter. This is due to the differences in the emitter property settings -- one emitter may have a size property of 100%, while the other one has a size property of 200%, resulting in a different look for the copied particle type.

Super Emitters: first look Before we move on, we'll very briefly look at a more advanced topic: Super Emitters. Open the "Group 5" folder of the library, select the "fireworks burst 02" emitter, and click the plus sign to display the emitter properties in the hierarchy.

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All of the emitters in the "Group 5" folder are Super Emitters. What is a super emitter? The emitters that we've been looking at so far ("regular emitters") create particles which combine to form the visual effect. The particles are created based on the properties contained in one or more particle types. Super emitters do not create particles -- they create "free emitters". Free emitters are like particles in that you do not have direct control over them, but they move based on the properties of their free emitter types. These "free emitters" in turn create particles, which combine to form the visual effect. Looking at the hierarchy again, you'll see that the "fireworks burst 02" emitter has one free emitter type named "burst", and the symbol for the free emitter in the hierarchy is a slightly modified emitter symbol (a circle with a small dot in the center). If you now expand the free emitter type you'll see a lot of new properties, and the particle type of this free emitter type:

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the Delete Free Emitter Type button becomes visible: Note that there is no corresponding Add Free Emitter button. There is one more section of the properties dialog that we have not yet covered. a later tutorial will explain more about them.htm (5 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . We will point out that when a super emitter contains more than one free emitter type and one of the free emitter types is selected. and they are only available with library emitters.particleIllusion: A Guide -. not with stage emitters: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.Tutorial 4 We won't cover more about super emitters here.

a checkmark will be placed next to its name. Select any name on the list and it will immediately be loaded into the library window.htm (6 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . That’s all we’ll say about the properties dialog for library emitters. Note that any emitter library that has the "IL3" file extension and is present in the "Emitter Libraries" folder (in the particleIllusion 3 folder) when particleIllusion starts will be listed in the Quick Load Library menu. Loading a Library Remember that we opened the library properties dialog by R-clicking in the library window and selecting Properties. so close the props dialog by clicking Cancel. Emitter shapes will be covered in a later tutorial. Note that if the currently-loaded library is in the list. and you should see a submenu open that contains a list of names: Each of these is the name of an emitter library file.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Another way to load a library is to use the Load Library function. select the Quick Load Library item. Select it and a modified Windows open dialog appears: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.Tutorial 4 With these options. R-click on the library window again. it is possible to change the shape of a library emitter.

) For organizational reasons and because of memory restrictions it is not a good idea to create one gigantic library that contains all of your emitters. Create separate libraries for different types of emitters. replacing the library that was previously loaded. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Once an emitter has been added to the stage. if changes were made to it. it is completely independent of the library it originated from – we can load a new library without affecting any stage emitters.Tutorial 4 A list of all of the particleIllusion Emitter Library files will be displayed. Select a library file and it will be loaded. Note that the previous library will be saved before the new library is loaded. and load them when needed.htm (7 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . If a version 3. so none will be displayed when an IEL file is selected. Older IEL libraries do not contain thumbail previews.particleIllusion: A Guide -.0 library file is selected (with an IL3 file extension) the thumbnail images of all of its emitters will be shown.

Whenever a library is saved. .il3_xxxxx. The second backup made will be "coolstuff.. Here's an example.il3_xxxxx. which is important to do. you can do this in the Preferences dialog.il3_00010.il3". When opening the properties dialog this file is named "107cancel35. If I have a library called "coolstuff. the first backup "coolstuff. (Why the strange filenames? These files were meant to be temporary.particleIllusion: A Guide -. so you have a "running history" of backups.. It is a good way to make a backup of your library. but only if the library has changed in some way. (A library is saved when you save it manually with the Save Library As function of course. a numbered backup of the library is created in the "library_backups" folder. the first backup made will be called "coolstuff.bak".il3_00000.il3_00000. but since we all tend to forget to do this. The 11th backup made will be called "coolstuff. The file created when opening the library manager is similarly titled "228cance75. You should make backup copies of your libraries (IL3 files) frequently.) The last 10 backups (you can change this number if you want to) of each library are gives you a quick method of making a backup of a library before making changes.bak".htm (8 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . If you want to change the number of backups kept of each library. I realized that it's probably a good idea to keep these files -. It's also saved when you exit particleIllusion or load another libray (using the Load Library function. a special backup of the current library is made. even if you decide to reject any changes by closing the props dlg or manager using file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4..particleIllusion will create backups of the current emitter library for you. Note that when you open the properties dialog for a library or open the library manager.bak" where "xxxxx" is the backup number as described above.Tutorial 4 The Save Library As… function is used when you want to save a library as a different name. but a bug in an earlier version of the program kept them from being deleted. and so on.bak" will be deleted.bak". This is great in case you made some changes to a library and decide later that you want the old version of the library back. which is discussed later. but then since the limit of 10 backups has been surpassed. When I discovered the problem.bak".il3_00001..

When you've added several new emitters to your library.Tutorial 4 Cancel. and its thumbnail will be created. and to turn off the plus and minus symbols that appear on the left of the list (to expand and collapse folders): Hiding the folder lines and buttons will give you more space in the library window. (To move an emitter from one folder to another. Backups are a good thing. and Update All Images are for the emitter thumbnail images that appear in the library window. Rename.particleIllusion: A Guide -. You would use the Update All Images option when loading a library that does not contain thumbnails. each emitter will automatically be selected in turn.) To restore a library backup. menu item for a minute. or if you want to update ALL thumbnails in the library. (Don't just rename the backup while leaving it in the "library_backups" folder. the folder will be placed below the folder it is dropped on. Although this shouldn't create any problems. even if the plus/ minus buttons are not shown. you need to manually copy the backup file into another folder. you may want to manually update certain images because they were not captured well file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4..) We'll skip the Manage.. The next three menu items Thumbnail Settings. Update Image. You can still expand and collapse folders by double-clicking them. This is to prevent the accidental deletion of an emitter or folder.) Dropping it on the folder will make it the first emitter in the folder. just select it and without releasing the mouse button drag it either onto a folder or an emitter in the intended folder. then remove the number and "bak" extension. When dragging and dropping a folder. it will get confusing. and Rename Folder all have to do with organizing your library. After confirming that you do want to update all images. or below the emitter’s folder if dropped on an emitter. Note that there is no way to stop this process once it starts. then you can just drag and drop the library emitters to move them. The following three menu items New Folder. while dropping it on another emitter will place it directly below that emitter. Use the New Folder function to create a new library folder. After all of the images have been updated. you'll want to start organizing. Note that if you want to delete a folder (or emitter) from the library. you must open the properties dialog for the library and do it there.htm (9 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Select Thumbnail Settings to change the size of the thumbnails displayed in the library window. You will then be able to load it into particleIllusion just as you would any other library file.

you can click and drag the emitter around in the preview window and then press Ctrl+T to get a better thumbnail. the largest square portion of the center of the preview window will be used. Select it and the Library Manager opens: The library manager's main use is to move emitters between libraries. although you can also use it to browse all of your libraries to find a specific emitter. or it's more convenient key shortcut of Ctrl+T. The manager has 4 main windows: The left window (Current Library Window) displays the currently-loaded library (the library that was being displayed in the library window before the manager opened).particleIllusion: A Guide -. especially for emitters that leave a trail of particles..htm (10 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .Tutorial 4 (the thumbnail does not give a good representation of the emitter). Note that if the preview window is not square. The upper middle window is obviously a preview window which behaves just like file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.. Library Manager Now we'll look at the Manage. menu option. Use Update Image for that. Since Update Image uses a snapshot of the preview window for the thumbnail. You may prefer to use Update Image exclusively.

particleIllusion: A Guide -. This is the Library Folder Window. The Load button next to the Add button will make the library in the Selected Library Window current. Select a library from this list and its emitters will be shown in the right window: Selecting an emitter in the right window (the Selected Library Window) displays it in the preview window. and also enables the Add button below the Selected Library Window: Clicking this button when an emitter is selected in the Selected Library Window adds the emitter to the selected folder of the Current Library Window (on the left). When the Add button is clicked when a folder is selected. the entire folder will be added to the current library. Below the preview window is a list of all library files that are in the "Emitter Libraries" folder. that is it will now show in the Current Library Window on the left. it will be saved before the selected library replaces it in the Current Library Window.Tutorial 4 the other preview windows in particleIllusion. Note that if the current library has been modified. Let's take a closer look at the Library Folder Window: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.htm (11 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .

Using the two red and green buttons under the window you can toggle display of either of these file types on and off. The Save and Load buttons above the Current Library Window do just what you'd expect them to: save the current library. allowing you to browse to the folder that you want to add to the list.Tutorial 4 The folders in this window represent paths to folders on your computer's drives.these are displayed with a red symbol. plus drag and drop particle types to copy them from one emitter to another. and ALL library files found in that folder are added to the list. You can drag and drop emitters and folders to rearrange the library. and particle types. Since the folders are only scanned when the manager first opens. The same Open dialog as used with the Load Library function displays. emitters. Use this if you've changed the contents of one of the folders in the list while the manager is open. or load a new one.particleIllusion: A Guide -. You add a folder by selecting a library file. Do this by clicking the Add library path button. By default only the "Emitter Libraries" folder is present in the list.htm (12 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . The Refresh library tree button is used to "rebuild" the list. but you can add as many folders as you want. any changes you make after the manager is open (manually copying or deleting files from the folders) will not register in the list until the Refresh button is clicked. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. The Current Library Window behaves just as the hierarhcy in the library properties dialog. while the IL3 (version 3) library files are shown with a green symbol. The buttons below the window are used for adding and deleting folders. You may have some older IEL (version 2) library files in the list -. its folder is added to the Library Folder Window. which is something we've discussed earlier.

Every particleIllusion project uses at least one layer.) The Open dialog appears (with preview). The layers window displays information about each layer in a project. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. When closing the library mananger by clicking OK. or AVI. Answering "no" will save the library with its existing name.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Note that the image will not be resized to fit the size of the stage.Tutorial 4 You'll also notice that the library name is displayed above each library window. The fastest is to double-click the thumbnail image (or grey rectangle) in the layers window. an image sequence. but if the image is a different size you will have the option of resizing the stage to fit the image. but more on that later. images. Find an image that you’d like to use as a background image for this layer. Multiple layers can also be used to help create the illusion of 3D. if any changes have been made to the current library you'll be asked if you want to save it with a different name. Let’s look at something completely different now – the Layers Window. Layers We’ve spent a lot of time covering the properties of emitters and libraries. a small “thumbnail” version of the image is displayed (in place of the grey rectangle) and the image name is displayed under it. In this example (and every example we’ve done so far) there is only a single layer. The background image (remember that each layer can have one) can be either a single image. (You may also load an image by R-clicking in the layers window and selecting Background Image. or an AVI. If a background image is loaded. and it does not contain a background image. which is the only area in which anything is visible. Remember that the stage area indicates the active area. it is titled “Layer 0”. Answering "yes" will allow you to enter the new name and location for the library. Let’s load a background image. There are two ways to load an image into a layer. In particleIllusion a layer is simply an invisible surface on which emitters are placed. You may be familiar with the concept of layers from using other applications. A layer can also contain a background image.htm (13 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .

Click the show stage objects icon and see what happens to the emitter on the stage.htm (14 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Note that when stage objects are not visible. (We should point out that when a project which contains background images is saved. Click it to turn off display of the background image. Turn stage objects back on. a reference to the images is saved in the project but the images themselves are not saved as part of the project file. We’ll come back to the transparency icon. this icon (in the layers window) is used to turn off particles for a specific layer. Notice that it has a red "X" through it. but first we need to add an emitter to the stage. The first icon (“T”) is the transparency icon. When on the emitter symbols will be shown on the stage. although the particles are still being drawn. Jump to frame 10. (“bg” is an abbreviation for “background” that file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. they can’t be clicked on in the stage window.Tutorial 4 Once you have loaded an image. The third icon (looks like a star) is the Show Particles button for this layer. The background image for a layer is always drawn first.particleIllusion: A Guide -.) Note that the image name is displayed as well. The last icon (“bg”) is the Show Background Image button. Add an "Explosion 3" emitter to the stage. as well as on the stage. We’ll take a look at what those icons mean now. The emitter symbol is no longer visible on the stage. You should see the explosion drawn on top of the image. then emitters are drawn. it will be shown in the layers window. The second icon (which looks like two small circles) is the show stage objects icon. The layer icons are Off when they have a red "X" through them. If the Show Particles toolbar button is pressed.

and the Replace button is used to replace it. doubleclick the thumbnail again.particleIllusion: A Guide -. no background image will be displayed after the last image is drawn. This combined with the Start at project frame value can be used to "splice" different sequences together (using one sequence on each layer). The Remove button is used to remove it. the last frame of your sequence will be displayed indefinitely.) The Hold last frame after sequence is finished option is checked by default. (Note that this refers to the particleIllusion project frame number. image sequence. or R-click and select Background Image from the menu.htm (15 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .) If you want to remove an image from a layer (not just make it non-visible). or avi) is shown here. so let’s create a second layer. The Off option is default and means that no field doubling will be used. you would change this value to 100. The Separate Fields option is useful when the layer contains images taken from interlaced video. When checked. The full path to the bg image ("bg image" will refer to image. not the image sequence or avi frame number. removing any interlacing artifacts from the stage display. Now back to the transparency icon. If you wanted the bg image to be loaded and first become visible at frame 100. Typically you’ll only use transparency in an image when you want something that is under it (on another layer) to show through.Tutorial 4 we’ll use quite often. There are two ways to create a new layer: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Note that the Replace button is not enabled until the Remove button has first been pressed. The Start at project frame value indicates the frame at which the bg image is loaded. When set to Upper first or Lower first the odd (or even) scanlines will be used on the following lines. When unchecked.

we can either double-click the transparency icon or R-click and select Transparency from the menu. then click the Remove button. Notice on the stage that the explosion emitter is no longer visible. It is on the bottom layer. Here’s the layers window after making these changes: One last thing before we adjust transparency – select the explosion emitter and increase its zoom value to about 100%. Notice that the new layer was created on top of the old layer. the Image Transparency Dialog opens: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. You may not notice any change because we have not yet determined what to make transparent in the image. Now click on the transparency icon (the “T” icon) for the Top layer. then OK) and load it for the Top layer (double-click the grey rectangle and select the image).particleIllusion: A Guide -. In this example just type “Top” as the name of the layer. Just as with emitters on a layer. To do that. Either method you use will display a dialog to allow you to change the name of the layer.htm (16 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . and the bg image of the top layer is covering it.Tutorial 4 either double click below the last layer. the topmost layer is drawn last. or R-click in the layers window and select New Layer. After doing this. Remove the bg image from the lower layer (double-click its thumbnail image.

this option is not enabled. Now click the image in an area that contains the color you want to be transparent. In this example we’ve made the blue area around the robot transparent and closed the dialog. To select one. The color window indicates the color that will be made transparent in the image. After clicking the image. Moving the slider to the right increases this range. the color window will change to the selected color and the image will update – transparent areas will display a checkerboard pattern. click on the color window. This last checkbox refers to the image alpha channel information.Tutorial 4 In this example we see the image (resized to fit if needed).htm (17 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . The Transparent color selection area indicates that no transparent color is selected. Ignore the Use image as stencil option for now.particleIllusion: A Guide -. three empty checkboxes in the Transparent color selection section. The mouse cursor will change to an eyedropper. check one of the three boxes. Doing that will display a color window and a slider. Since the image we used here does not contain an alpha channel. a checkbox titled Use image as stencil and a disabled checkbox that reads Use existing image transparency. The slider is used to increase the “range” of similar colors that will also be made transparent. If the image did have an alpha channel. To change the color that is transparent. If we make sure that transparency is turned on for this layer (no red "X" over the transparency icon) the stage should now show the explosion file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. checking this box would use it.

and the explosion will be drawn on top. We can easily change the order of the layers to accomplish this.htm (18 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . suppose you wanted to make "spakle text" -.using an image that already has an alpha channel to define the tranparency is the way to get the highest-quality results. Suppose now we wanted the explosion to appear to be in front of the image instead of behind it. Then put the sparkles on the lower layer and you'll only see sparkles in the text want to fill the text with sparkles. What you can do is create a new layer on top. load the text image. (Like all drag and drop operations in particleIllusion.particleIllusion: A Guide -. the dragged object is positioned below the object it is dropped on. What does that mean? Well. and use transparency to make the text transparent. but outside the text there are no sparkles.Tutorial 4 “behind” the robot: Selecting a transparent color from the image is not the best way to use transparency -. the Use image as stencil option allows you to use a bg image as a "stencil". The "Top" layer will now be listed below the "Layer 0" layer. but what if you want the "sparkle text" to be over another image? This method wouldn't work since the non-transparent parts of the text image (that are covering the unwanted particles) would also cover the background image on file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Just click on the "Top" layer's name in the layer window and drag it onto the "Layer 0" layer or below.) Looking back at the Image Transparency Dialog. Works great.

but load a bg image in the top layer. then check the Use image as stencil option. so particles in the transparent areas will be visible.htm (19 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Instead the image is used to mask particles on the same layer. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Instead of letting whatever is below it (on lower layers) show through in the transparent areas (and not letting it show though in the non-transparent areas). it lets everything below it (on lower layers) show through. Let's look at an example.Tutorial 4 the lower layer. regardless of the transparency. the image works a little differently.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Use our example from above. but particles in the nontransparent areas will not be visible. Now open the Transparency dialog. Select the white area to make transparent. When the Use image as stencil option is checked. If transparency if off (T icon with red "X" on it) then the "stencil" image will cover up everything beneath it (as you'd expect).

) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. selecting an emitter or other stage object that is on a different layer will make that layer selected.Tutorial 4 Turn on transparency (click the T icon) and you'll see the stencil at work: The explosion is only visible in the area that we made transparent. In this case. and to assist us in remembering which emitters are on the same layer. deflectors. Look back up at the image of the explosion on top of the robot (after we dragged the "Top" layer to the bottom). blockers) that are on the selected layer are displayed on the stage. only the stage objects (emitters. This function is controlled by the Current Objects Only menu item (see the menu shown below). The main thing to remember about the use image as stencil option is that when checked the image affects the particles on the same layer.particleIllusion: A Guide -. (Remember that only visible stage objects can be selected with the mouse. the emitter symbol on the stage may not be visible. This is to help keep things organized. That covers the use of transparency with layer background images. When checked. When unchecked. Notice that depending on which layer is selected (highlighted in light red in the layers window). not on the layers below.htm (20 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . all stage objects are displayed at all times.

select Duplicate Layer to make a copy of the layer. but the newly-created layer can easily be deleted.Tutorial 4 The Current Particles Only menu item is similar. but instead of controlling the display of stage objects. The last menu item in this category is All Objects on Top. you must confirm the deletion: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. After selecting Delete Layer. All objects on the layer and the background images will also be duplicated. In our example above when the explosion was on the lower layer. When checked (as is the default) all stage objects are drawn last so they appear on top. regardless of any other layers that may be drawn on top of them. the explosion emitter symbol was still visible. With this option turned off. but for the most part you’ll probably want to leave this option checked. it is possible to see how emitters are layered in the project. then checking this menu item will only display the particles that exist on the selected layer. it controls the display of particles on the stage.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Note that there is no Undo of this operation. then the bg image of the top layer would have been drawn over the emitter symbol. Both are straightforward -. If you have the toolbar Show Particles button on. If the All Objects on Top option is unchecked. The Current Bg Only option is similar as well. We've skipped over a couple of menu items: Duplicate Layer and Delete Layer.htm (21 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . but applies to the background image for each layer.

and its colors will be more vibrant (non-selected layers appear "greyed out"). The image on the right has "Layer 0" set to Green color and "Layer 2" is still selected. The image on the left is with all layers set to System color and "Layer 2" selected. and previously we learned how to change the order of emitters on a layer the same file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Setting layer colors is a good way to help organize your project -. this behavior stops. The options are: When all layers are set to System.particleIllusion: A Guide -.htm (22 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .Tutorial 4 Note that when a layer is deleted all objects on it will be deleted as well. We have seen how to change the order of layer using drag and drop. This is the way the layers window worked in previous versions of particleIllusion. Colors allows you to set the color used in the layers window for each layer. and the only indication of the selected layer is that it will look "sunken". When any one layer is set to another color. and all other layers will be drawn in white.related layers can be made the same color. There are two items remaining on the layers window context menu: Colors and Rename. the selected layer will be drawn in a light red color. Renaming a layer is straighforward. and you can also rename a layer by double-clicking it's name in the layers window.

(You’ll notice that the Paste command is disabled until something is on the particleIllusion clipboard. an emitter motion path will appear when you move the emitter. & Paste functions are available from the Edit menu. Note that the emitter is pasted in exactly the same position. After pasting the emitter. Now use Copy to place a copy of the emitter on the clipboard without removing the emitter from the stage. The Cut. Typically in those applications Cut removes the selected object and places it either on the Windows clipboard or an application clipboard. because clicking selects the first emitter. but what do you do when you’re making a copy of an emitter? Let’s start a new example. & Paste commands are probably familiar to you from other applications. Place an "Explosion 3" emitter on the stage. Copy and Paste work on the selected emitter. That’s because the copy was pasted in exactly the same position as the original. This is when the Move function that we discussed so long ago is most useful. You might think that this will result in the emitter moving across the stage and it will. & Paste The Cut. We can see in the hierarchy window that two emitters are present. Start a new project. select the layer you want to move it to and use Paste. This isn’t a problem when cutting the emitter.htm (23 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . simply select the emitter. Cut. The other method involves cutting and pasting. deflector. blocker. using the standard Windows keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X to Cut. In particleIllusion Cut. from the stage context menu (R-click on the stage) or from the main toolbar: To move an emitter from one layer to another using this method. use Cut to remove it from the project. but we can only see one on the stage. Copy puts a copy of the selected object on the clipboard. so it will not be visible during playback before the frame it goes active.) Now use Paste to add a copy of the emitter. Copy. Ctrl+C to Copy. but the emitter will not yet be active. Copy. it will be selected already.) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Copy. Just use Move (via the main toolbar button or by pressing M) to move the new emitter where you want it.Tutorial 4 way. but what if we want to move an emitter from one layer to another? One way is by dragging the emitter in the Hierarchy and dropping it on the layer you want to move it to. What if we want to move the new emitter? We can’t click on it and drag it.particleIllusion: A Guide -. If it uses the Windows clipboard. (Note that if the current frame is not 1. so it is not available to other applications. and Ctrl+V to Paste). it can then be pasted into other applications. The selected object is placed on the particleIllusion clipboard. and Paste places a copy from the clipboard into the application. or force (we’ll get to these very soon).

Just Cut the emitter. and all of the animated properties will be too. Then we realized that we really wanted the emitter to start at frame 35 instead of 30. so there is no need to use the Move function. You may remember this from our discussion of the properties dialog – line and ellipse emitters create particles all along their length instead of at a single point. Okay. The other way to delete an emitter is to use the Delete key on your keyboard. It does make a difference when the current frame number is changed between the Copy (or Cut) and Paste operations though. The position of the emitter will be exactly the same. so now we know that we can use Cut to remove an emitter from the stage. We could then move it a little if wanted. There are three other basic shapes for emitters: line. Isn’t there a way to just delete an emitter without using the clipboard? There are two ways to delete an emitter (or other stage object) without using the clipboard. then spent a lot of time changing properties until it looked the way we wanted it to. R-click on the stage and select Paste. The object is pasted at the point you Rclicked on.particleIllusion: A Guide -. The first you have seen already: R-click in the hierarchy window on the emitter and select Delete from the menu. then Paste the emitter. Take this example: we have an explosion that we’ve modified (so we can’t just add more copies of it from the library) but we want several of these explosions to occur shortly after one another. (Point? What points? What does that mean?) Emitter Shapes For the most part the emitters that we’ve been looking at have been point emitters. Adjusting the frame numbers of each of the data keys in each of the property graphs would take forever! Luckily there is a much easier way. If instead of cutting the emitter we copied it. Pressing Delete will delete the current emitter. Point emitters emit particles from a single point. Here’s a simple example. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.Tutorial 4 An easier way to Paste an object at a different position is to use the context menu. When you paste an emitter. and area. Suppose we added an emitter to the stage at frame 30. then Paste a copy of the emitter. change the current frame to 35.htm (24 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . or just change the frame number and paste additional copies. adjust the current frame. This doesn’t make any difference when just making a copy of an emitter or when moving it to another layer. unless a point is selected. we could add duplicates of the emitter at different frame numbers. but that places a copy of the emitter on the clipboard (which replaces the previous clipboard contents). its animated properties (any property that changes over time) are adjusted to be relative to the frame number at which it was pasted. ellipse. We would just Copy the emitter. except all of the data keys will be shifted by five frames.

It is also possible to convert an emitter on the stage from one shape to another.particleIllusion: A Guide -. We’ll discuss the line points now. To add a line emitter to the stage requires at least two clicks (one for each end of the line). we’ve already changed a point emitter into a line emitter in a previous tutorial. so pressing Delete will delete the point instead of the entire emitter. We can stop adding points by double-clicking too. then R-click to cancel adding of the last point. ellipse. The points are file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. If we select a library emitter that is a point emitter. When we stop adding points.htm (25 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . we end up with an emitter that looks something like this: The three points that we added are the line points. or area emitters and will be displayed that way in the preview window. For instance. If we look at the hierarchy window we’ll notice that there is a new addition to the hierarchy: the points folder. The points folder holds each of the line points for this emitter. The highlighted line point is selected. but since a line emitter can contain any number of line segments it can require more. Select the "Stage Lights" emitter from the library and add it to the stage.Tutorial 4 and area emitters create particles throughout their area. Each click of the mouse defines one of the points of the line emitter. We’ll come back to it in a moment. Think of this as the “center” of the emitter. but the difference is the last point is not deleted as it is when R-clicking. Notice that the last emitter point is highlighted (drawn with a thicker circle). Add three points. (You can also set the particles to emit from discrete points along the emitter – remember?) Library emitters can be line. adding the emitter to the stage requires just a single click of the mouse. The small point above the middle line point is the emitter reference point. This is what we meant earlier about the Delete key deleting the emitter “unless a point is selected”. but we'll cover this again shortly.

In fact.htm (26 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Shift+Tab selects the previous point. but it applies to position changes that the selected point alone makes. Clicking on one of the points in the hierarchy window selects that point on the stage. particleIllusion attempts to adjust the number of particles the emitter creates based on the length of the line emitter. the graph window will display the Point Position graph for the selected point. Notice that the point position graph has changed: A position key has been added to the graph for this point. R-click to abort the addition of the point and L-click to accept it. and a position key will be created if needed. The next two emitter shapes (we've already covered line and point) are circle and file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. The Move function will also work on the selected line point.Tutorial 4 simply designated by number. if the line emitter is made very short – almost a point emitter – it is possible that no particles will be emitted.) We can deselect all points by either selecting a different emitter on the stage or hierarchy window. Note that unlike emitter position which can change in either a linear or curved path. adjustments to the emitter number property may need to be made. point position can only change linearly – it is not possible to make a point move in a curved path. You can also select points by clicking on them on the stage. or by clicking on the line emitter reference point. Therefore. which means that this point will change position between frames 1 and 30. If we select one of the points in the hierarchy window. or by using the keyboard shortcut of Tab to select the next point in the emitter. There should be just a single position key shown at frame 1 in our example. Now jump to frame 30 and drag the middle line point up above the emitter reference point. then select Add Point from the menu.particleIllusion: A Guide -. This is similar to the position graph for an emitter.) What if we decide that we want to add a point to a line emitter? R-click on the line point that we want to add the point after. (Remember that if no points are selected Tab is used to select the next emitter. The result is that short line emitters will emit fewer particles than long ones. or by clicking on an empty part of the stage window. Likewise very long line emitters may emit too many particles. (See the section on using Move with emitters. Note that any points that are added to an emitter will exist from frame 1. A point will be added. There is something interesting to note about line emitters.

We notice that as we change the radius. Small ellipses may emit too few particles.Tutorial 4 ellipse. the number of particles that an ellipse emitter creates is based on the size of the ellipse. The dotted line indicates the radius at which the particles will emit from. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. To convert the circular emitter to elliptical (oval). so the emitter can be made elliptical. and the initial radius of the emitter is determined by its radius emitter property. and large ellipses may emit too many. the first click determines the "center point" of the area rectangle. We'll talk about them together. Each of the two radius handles moves independently. and moving the mouse changes the radius. Use the emitter number property to compensate. r-click on the emitter and select Make Circle.htm (27 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .particleIllusion: A Guide -. Notice that the hierarchy window no longer has a radius property. A second radius handle will appear at the bottom of the emitter. When adding an area emitter to the stage. the width and height of the area emitter are set by the corresponding properties of the library emitter. the graph window displays the radius graph and the changes we are making. The small point at the right edge of the emitter is the “radius handle”. ALT-click on the radius handle. (The radius property in the hierarchy window is only present when the emitter is a circle emitter. To convert the elliptical emitter back to circular. To change the radius of the emitter we can click and drag the radius handle.) The last emitter shape is area. Alternately. or R-click on the emitter and select Make Ellipse. Area emitters are rectangular. because they are almost identical. the click point determines the "center" of the emitter. When adding a circle or ellipse emitter from a library. The resulting circular emitter will have the radius of the handle on which you ALT-clicked. but shows x radius and y radius instead.) We can also change the radius of the emitter by changing the radius property graph directly. The mouse cursor changes to a crosshair. and particles are created everywhere within the rectangle. ALT-click on either of the radius handles. (Note that in the same way that the number of particles that a line emitter creates is based in part on the length of the line.

Area Emitters in the Properties Dialog There are a few additional options available for area emitters in the emitter properties dialog.Tutorial 4 To change the width and/or height of an area emitter you can click and drag the handle located in the lower right corner of the emitter's rectangle on the stage.particleIllusion: A Guide -. and 3 by 3 emission points with the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. the width graph is displayed when dragging to change an area emitter's size. You can also modify the width and height properties directly by selecting either in the hierarchy and modifying the data keys in the graph window. The following examples show 1 by 1. in the same way a circle or ellipse emitter was resized. 3 by 1.htm (28 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . With an area emitter. Way back in tutorial 3 we discussed the emit at points option. Similar to the way that the radius graph was displayed when dragging a circle emitter handle. allowing you to create a grid of emission points. you can see that there are two values that can be entered. we'll look at them now.

htm (29 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . You should have something that looks like this: Now check the Mask emitter with image(s) option. Click the small button to the right of this message. then you've probably selected the particle type life property instead of the emitter life property.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Now select the emitter life property in the hierarchy and set it to 20%.Tutorial 4 Area Emitter Mask Below the emit at points options is a checkbox titled Mask emitter with image(s).png" image. Start with the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter and convert it to an area emitter. (If the percentage sign is not displayed in the graph title. and select the "attackBotBehind. Make sure emit at points is NOT checked. Select the particle type life variation property in the hierarchy and drag the data key in the graph window down to 0. You will see the preview window look something like this: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. we'll need an appropriate emitter. and an Options button will appear.) Then change the width to 320 and the height to 240. Before we check this option. You'll see the particles disappear from the preview window. browse to the "Sample Projects" folder. Click the Options button. We can see the reason for the particles disappearing from the preview window: there are "no images selected".

Tutorial 4 The image we loaded contains an alpha channel. which is being used to determine where in the area emitter particles are allowed to be created. it is also possible to use a sequence of file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.htm (30 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Semi-transparent or fully opaque areas will allow creation of particles. In areas where the alpha channel is transparent (value of 0).particleIllusion: A Guide -. no particles will be created.). text. You can see that the particles are being created in an area that looks like our robot only. but it's difficult to see. etc. Increase the number of particles to see the effect more clearly: If you open the mask options dialog again. clicking the Invert Alpha option creates particles only in the transparent (value 0) areas of the image's alpha channel: Although using a single image as a mask can be quite useful in many cases (for emitting particles from a logo.

If you select an image that is detected to be part of a sequence. because having the frames change too quickly makes it difficult to determine the shape of the mask from the particles. So it's possible to create bubbles rising from your company logo -. The particles can move outside of the mask area after they are created. Now we're finished with looking at area emitters. The default is 2. and can start the sequence at some frame within the sequence using the Start Image option. but Area Emitter Mask just defines where particles are created. but the difference is that Stencil doesn't show any particles or parts of particles that are outside of the stencil area. A few more controls appear in the mask options dialog: You can choose whether to use the frames in order or randomly using the Sequential and Random options. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. it is possible to convert stage emitters from one shape to another. Answer yes and the sequence will be used.htm (31 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .Stencil will not allow you to do that. you will be asked if you want to use the sequence (as we've seen in other tutorials).Tutorial 4 images for the mask. The Hold Frames option determines how many times each mask image is used before advancing to the next image in the sequence. As we stated at the start of this section. They're similar.particleIllusion: A Guide -. You may be thinking that the Area Emitter Mask feature is the same as using a background image as a Stencil.

You'll be asked to confirm the replacement: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. First. just select the shape from the menu Make Point. What if we want to convert one emitter on the stage into a totally different emitter? Of course you can just edit the emitter's properties. Then R-click on the stage emitter and select Replace. the Make Point option will be missing). Adjust the angle property value (in the graph window) and we can see the emitter rotate on the stage. Not all choices are available at all times. ellipse. Make Circle. and area emitters. but didn’t go into it since point emitters aren’t really affected by the angle property (unless the Attach to Emitter option is used). Clear the stage and add a "Matrix Falls" emitter to the stage. or Make Area. Replace Ok. so we've seen how to convert an emitter into a different shape. Angle makes more sense when applied to line. Make Ellipse.particleIllusion: A Guide -. select the library emitter that will replace the stage emitter. We briefly looked at the emitter Angle property in an earlier tutorial.Tutorial 4 To convert an emitter to a different shape.htm (32 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . since the emitter's current shape will not be shown (when a point emitter is r-clicked on. Make Line. but that could be a lot of work. Fortunately there is a function that will replace a stage emitter with any library emitter: the Replace function.

htm (33 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .particleIllusion: A Guide -. Checked properties will preserve the values from the existing stage emitter. For example if your stage emitter uses a changing Zoom property to simulate moving into the distance.Tutorial 4 After clicking Yes. unchecked ones will use the property values from the library emitter. but clicking OK makes it happen. you'll see the Replace Emitter Options dialog which allows you to determine which stage emitter properties to save. otherwise the zoom changes you made will be wiped out by the replacement (the library emitter zoom values will replace the stage emitter zoom values).) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. just the renaming of the emitter. and which to replace with the library emitter properties. you’d want to check the Zoom option. There will be one last dialog that opens which allows you to rename the emitter – clicking Cancel in that dialog will not cancel the replacement function. At this point clicking Cancel will abort the replacement function. (Note that using the Replace function can be Undone and Redone so you can experiment freely with different emitters.

Let’s move on to the other stage objects that we’ve mentioned in passing a few times. not Select mode). The molten metal part isn’t too hard – it may take a little tweaking of the emitter – but how do we get the effect of the liquid hitting the floor? We use the only thing that a particle can collide with in particleIllusion: a deflector. blockers. then R-click to stop adding points. but can contain as many as you like.particleIllusion: A Guide -. It should look like you’re adding a line emitter. except that the object you’re adding is red instead of white. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Add a "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter in the upper half of the stage. Now we’ll add a deflector. Click near the lower left corner of the stage (make sure you're in Add mode. Suppose we wanted to use our "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter to simulate molten metal pouring onto the floor. and forces can be used to enhance this illusion. Deflectors.htm (34 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . and Forces particleIllusion can often be about creating the appearance of 3D in a 2D project – deflectors. Select the Add Deflector button on the main toolbar: Adding a deflector is the same as adding a line emitter – deflectors always contain at least two points. Start a new project.Tutorial 4 That's enough about emitters for now. We can see that deflectors have only a few properties – these properties are the same as the emitter properties of the same name. Click a second time near the lower right corner of the stage. Notice the hierarchy window – it now displays the deflector as well as the emitter. near the center. Blockers.

Open the deflector props dialog now. The Hits slider determines how likely a particle will be to collide with the deflector. the bounce property of the emitter. At the far right position (the default) all particles will collide with the deflector. and make it visible during playback by checking the Visible option. How do we set the deflector bounce property? In the deflector properties dialog. the default position – the deflector does not change the bounce of the particles. Here we can rename the deflector. With the slider set to the center – 100%. most particles will pass through the deflector. R-click on stage or hierarchy window and select Properties from the menu. we’ll see the particles fall until they hit the deflector. The Bounce slider determines the amount of bounce that the deflector provides to the collision with particles. The slider ranges from 0% at the far left to 200% at the far right. With the slider set far left.htm (35 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .particleIllusion: A Guide -. We open the properties dialog for the deflector the same way we open the properties dialog for an emitter: double-click it on the stage.Tutorial 4 If we now play the animation. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. The deflector props dialog is not nearly as complex as the emitter props dialog. The amount of bounce is determined by the bounce property of the particle types. or ALT-Enter when it is selected. and the bounce property of the deflector.

This can be used to give the appearance of particles hitting at different points on a surface for example. etc. the points of a deflector can change position just as the points of a line emitter can. A deflector can change position over time just as emitters can. If you have emitters on different layers that need to collide with the same deflector. We can see that the deflector now appears as a rectangle. Increase the thickness a little. you can Cut & Paste a deflector. Tab moves between different deflectors on the stage. use Copy & Paste to put a duplicate of the deflector on the other layer. it requires the addition of at least three points on the stage. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Deflectors (and blockers) can be manipulated just as emitters can. When the slider is moved to the right. We’ve seen now that deflectors are objects that particles can collide with. and particles that hit the deflector will hit at various points in the rectangle. the deflector becomes a “rectangle” of increasing thickness.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Click the Add Blocker button on the main toolbar: Since a blocker defines an area of the stage. When the slider is at the far left the deflector is a line and all particles that hit the deflector will collide with that line. Using our current example (with the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" and a deflector) let’s add a blocker. then close the dialog by clicking OK. Add a blocker to the stage somewhere between the emitter and deflector. and we will see the particles hitting various places in the deflector instead of along a single line. What are blockers? Blockers are objects that obscure particles – they block out any particles that go behind them. Note that particles will only collide with deflectors that are on the same layer as the emitter that created the particles.htm (36 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .Tutorial 4 The Thickness slider is used to increase the collision area of the deflector.

particleIllusion: A Guide -. as if they are behind the blocker. Although this doesn’t seem to be too useful in this example. If you want particles to appear to go behind portions of an image. First we loaded our bucket image. since a blocker will copy the portion of the bg image it covers. then we created a blocker around the front part of the bucket. you may find it useful to move some of the blockers to another layer.Tutorial 4 We can see that the particles that enter the blocker area are not visible. a blocker is often the only way to accomplish this.htm (37 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . For example. it can be very useful when using a background image. You want all of the blockers to use the same background image do you do it? Open the Blocker Properties dialog: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. The particles now appear to pass between the front and back sides of the bucket. here’s our molten metal project that we’ve modified to make the liquid appear to fall into a bucket. When using multiple blockers in a project.

If that layer doesn't have a bg image either. like a gust of wind? Forces are the answer. You can see that the particles that enter the force's rectangular area are "pushed" to the right. let's add one to our project. When checked.htm (38 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . If that layer has a bg image. Like deflectors and blockers. the blocker will first try to use the bg image from its layer. forces have much fewer properties than emitters: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. it looks at the layer below. but what if you want a more "soft" interaction. If there is none.Tutorial 4 The Use layers below for bg image option is the answer.particleIllusion: A Guide -. that's the image that the blocker will use. The arrow in the center of the force indicates the current setting of the force's direction property. Then click the Add Force button on the main toolbar: Then click in the middle of the stage. so we're left with the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter only. the rest of the layers below will be checked in order until a bg image is found. Before trying to describe what a force is and does. First delete the deflector and blocker. near the bottom. Forces Deflectors are good if you want particles to collide with something and bounce.

) You may have noticed that although the deflectors. Strength controls how hard the force "pushes". or by changing the width and height properties -.Tutorial 4 The only properties that we haven't seen before in an emitter are direction and strength. and forces are visible in the stage window while playback is not occurring. no? The strength and direction properties can be animated like any other property that is listed in the hierarchy. once playback starts the objects disappear. Simple. We've just mentioned direction -. If you'd like to see these objects during playback.particleIllusion: A Guide -.just as you do with area emitters. You change the angle property to rotate the entire force. What does that mean? A negative value for strength means that the force will act opposite its direction setting. You only know they're there based on the way particles react to them. allowing you to change the name of the force or make the force visible: What does making a force visible do? (This visible option is available in the deflector and blocker properties dialogs as well. If you select strength and drag its data key in the graph window. You can resize the force area by dragging the handle in the lower right corner of the rectangle.htm (39 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .'s the angle that the force "pushes". The properties dialog for a force is quite simple. you'll see that it can have negative values. check the visible option: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.

blockers. Add a deflector at frame 30 and it won't start deflecting particles until frame 30.particleIllusion: A Guide -. Preferences Open the preferences dialog by selecting Preferences from the View menu. Note that adding deflectors. You can change this by modifying the active graph for the object.Tutorial 4 One thing about deflectors. The other objects work the same way. Same for blockers and forces. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. Remember that an emitter won't be visible until the frame at which it's added. and forces that we didn't mention: the active property.htm (40 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . and forces to a project may decrease performance. blockers.

(Click the small color window next to "BG Color" to change the background color. Increase this value if you want to keep more backups of each library (uses more disk space) or decrease it if you want to keep fewer (uses less disk space). Default Frame Rate. and Stage Size are all specified here. The Fields options allow you to set a default field rendering setting for projects. Whenever the Show Particles option is enabled to display particles on the stage and the stage needs file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.) The Frames option refers to the project stop frame -. Background Color. Recently Used Files refers to the number of files listed by name on the File menu. Number of backups of each IL3 to keep refers to the automatic emitter library backup.htm (41 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . Undo History is the number of actions that it is possible to Undo and Redo.Tutorial 4 The General page displays the default project settings used when a new project is created.the default project start frame is always "1". The Show Particle Accuracy slider needs a little explanation.particleIllusion: A Guide -.

but they will not look completely accurate. this can take some time. Depending on the number of particles. the Add deflector. When the Add single deflector/blocker/force option is checked. and force) on the stage while the layer offset or layer angle properties are selected in the hierarchy. the particles will be recalculated faster. Skip "Delete Points" Confirmation can be checked to skip many of the "Delete?" confirmation messages that are shown. Select mode will automatically be entered after an object is added. Show Alpha in Shape Previews determines if alpah information is initially displayed in the shape preview windows on the Particles page of the properties dialog. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.htm (42 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . By moving the slider toward the left. If you find yourself creating a position key then changing it to curved most of the time. If the OpenGL page is not available. blocker. OpenGL Settings The OpenGL page of the preferences dialog is only visible when 3D hardware with OpenGL drivers is detected by particleIllusion.particleIllusion: A Guide -. then you most likely need to update your video drivers. the emitters and particles need to be recalculated. Set the slider far left (least accurate) for the least delay. deflector. the frame number. If the "Select" mode after adding option is checked. Similarly. When this option is not checked. the Data Keys Created "Curved" option will automatically make data keys (in the graph window) "curved" instead of linear. Regardless of what this setting is. and the speed of the computer. you'll need to manually switch to Select mode when you're finished adding objects. The default setting of Most accuracy (slider far right) results in the particles being displayed as they will be during playback but takes the most time. you will have to manually unpress the buttons. and blockers "curved" instead of linear. no objects are displayed while the layer offset and angle properties are selected. When this option is unchecked. Show emitters with layer offset/angle will draw the object symbols (emitter. The Position Keys Created "Curved" option will automatically make position keys (on the stage) for emitters. but the most inaccurate particles. you might want to check this option. deflectors. When this option is unchecked. you can always R-click the shape preview and toggle Show Alpha. This recalculation delay can be decreased using the Show Particles Accuracy slider.Tutorial 4 to be redrawn. Add blocker. and Add force buttons will automatically become unpressed after adding a single one of the corresponding objects.

the change will not take effect until particleIllusion is restarted. The Use Safe Blending option (at the bottom) should only be used if your video card has problems with the normal blending modes. Software rendering is much slower than hardware acceleration. (At this time only older video cards based on the Permedia 2 chipset require the use of this option. but it will always work. or if you are getting unexpected results.htm (43 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . because that will put particleIllusion into software OpenGL mode (also referred to as "software rendering"). Most likely you will never want to uncheck this option. when particleIllusion is run with software rendering a warning message will be displayed at startup: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.particleIllusion: A Guide -. If you do change this option. and can be used if the OpenGL driver for your video card has problems.Tutorial 4 The Use hardware acceleration option will be checked by default.) Since software rendering is much slower than using hardware acceleration.

but only if the project uses bg images. etc. you may want to add another layer with another set of background images (with transparency) to slow things down a little. Start playback again and monitor the framerate you get. The Use half-res version of bg images option will only require 1/4 of the amount of file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4. 3. performance may decrease. If the project contains no bg images. or other problems may occur. 4. 2. follow these steps: 1. but may result in a significant performance decrease. The Don’t use texture RAM for bg images option will free the most texture RAM since the bg images will not use texture RAM. Use whichever setting for the Don’t use texture RAM for bg images option results in the higher framerate. After you have a good idea of the framerate you're getting. Make sure that the sequence is at least 3 seconds long. Once the texture memory requirements of the project exceed the memory of the video card.particleIllusion: A Guide -. stop playback.) The Background Images options are used to reduce the amount of texture RAM that a project uses.htm (44 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 . and check this option on the OpenGL page. With this option unchecked.Tutorial 4 This warning message can be disabled by checking the Do not show warning when using software rendering option. Set the project end frame to the length of the sequence. If the framerate is very close to the target framerate. open the preferences dialog. since modern video cards have much more memory than the cards that were available when these options were first added. In order to determine if checking this option results in better or worse performance. load a sequence as a background image for a layer. Start playback. Remove all emitters. deflectors. Depending on your video card and drivers. checking this option may actually increase performance. then these options will not reduce the amount of texture RAM used by the project. The biggest concern when using hardware acceleration is the amount of texture RAM that the video card has available. (Note that in most cases the following options will NOT need to be used. Monitor the framerate you get.

we've covered a lot of information in this tutorial. but there is more to come: Super Emitters is up next. Forces -. the Library Manager. Deflectors. but can be used in situations where problems with particleIllusion (performance decreases usually) can be attributed to low video RAM conditions. Layers.) Note that these RAM options are usually not needed. Blockers. Previous: Tutorial 3 Next: Tutorial 5 file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide4.particleIllusion: A Guide -. and will not result in any performance decrease. The Use greyscale version of bg images option will only require 1/2 of the amount of texture RAM and will not result in any performance decrease.htm (45 of 45)2004-05-14 18:22:53 .Tutorial 4 texture RAM. The bg image will appear more pixelated when this option is used. Libraries. (This option can be combined with the “Use half-res…” option to require only 1/8 of the amount of texture RAM with no performance decrease.

We'll start with a very brief review. which add another level of complexity to everything. Super emitters and free emitters are not visible -. and how they emit particles. Each emitter type is a collection of properties that determine how free emitters of this type move. then jump to frame 45 so we can see some particles: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. An emitter creates particles based on the settings in its particle types.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Tutorial 5 Tutorial 5 Super Emitters If you don't yet understand how particle types relate to emitters. An emitter contains one or more particle types. and these particles combine to form the visual effect. and these particles combine to form the visual effect. these free emitters create particles based on the settings of their particle types. Each particle type is a collection of properties that determine what particles of this type look like and how they move. then it would be best if you went back and reviewed those sections before continuing. let's look at some examples. particles. or don't know the difference between particle types. Before you run screaming out of the room. Start a new project and add two "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitters to the stage at frame 1. Now we'll rewrite that paragraph so it refers to a super emitter (instead of a "regular" emitter): A super emitter contains one or more emitter types.only particles are visible. We're about to discuss Super Emitters. Each emitter type is made up of one or more particle types (which we already know about). nothing there should be new to you.htm (1 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . A super emitter creates free emitters based on the settings in its emitter type. Ok. and emitters.only particles are visible. Emitters are not visible -.

but it is creating free emitters. Take a look at the hierarchy window and how it's changed for the super emitter: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. It's no longer creating particles itself. Nothing new.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 As we've seen so many times in these tutorials. the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter creates particles that slowly fall over time. The small circles that are emitting from the super emitter are the symbols used for free emitters. You'll notice that the particles created by the free emitters behave exactly as the particles created by the other emitter which is still a regular emitter.htm (2 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . If you're still at frame 45 or so you should see something like this: The emitter on the right is now a super emitter. which are in turn creating the particles. Now r-click on the top emitter in the hierarchy and select Make Super Emitter.

the super emitter is in the image on the right. and instead of a particle type at the bottom of the window there is a free emitter type indicated by an emitter symbol with a smaller center dot.htm (3 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 The image on the left is the regular emitter. You can see that there are only slight differences so far: the super emitter is indicated by a red dot in the center of its symbol. Click the "+" symbol on the "Heavy Fire Sparkles" free emitter and we'll look at the free emitter properties: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.

and red circlular symbols.) We'll list them all out to drive home the point that these properties apply to the free emitters and not the particles it creates: f-life: determines how long the free emitter is alive (and creating particles) f-number: the number of free emitters that are created f-velocity: how fast the free emitters move f-weight: how heavy the free emitters are (positive weight makes them fall. All of the properties with the circular symbols apply to the free emitters of this type that are created. negative weight makes them fall) file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. It will not have an effect on any particles.htm (4 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . yellow. increasing the f-life property will make free emitters of this type live longer.. Just as increasing the particle type life property made the particles of that type live longer..a lot more than we see for a regular emitter. it looks almost exactly like a particle type.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Now we see some difference! (They're broken up here for ease of fitting on the page. (The "f-" prefix to the property names indicates that they apply to the free emitters.) You can see that there are some new symbols and many properties listed -. Most of them look familiar though. they look like particle type properties! If you think of the free emitter type as a particle type for a minute and look at the properties that have blue. just on the free emitters.

: controls randomness of the free emitter's movement f-zoom: makes the free emitter (and its emitted particles) appear closer or further away. we'll look at some examples. have different lifetimes. number over life. size over life allows you to control the size scale factor of the free emitter over its life. do not have units. Select f-number in the hierarchy and increase it to about 120. and size over life. These do not apply to the free emitters.htm (5 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . Next are the "variation" properties so you can make free emitters travel at different speeds. Before we continue with the rest of the free emitter properties listed in the hierarchy.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 f-spin: controls how much the free emitters spin. Notice that there is no f-size property. The "over life" properties are straightforward as well for the most part -.) As you increase the value. you'll see more free emitters created: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. etc. (The f-properties. You've probably noticed that there are a few properties in the hierarchy that do not have "f-" prefixes: size variation. this won't have much effect. size variation allows different free emitters have different size scale factors.they control the f-properties over the life of the free emitter. but to the particles they emit. Free emitters are not visible. number over life allows you to control the number of particles that are created over the life of the free emitter. Note that unless the free emitter emission range is less than 360 degrees or the "attach to emitter" option is checked. like particle type properties. f-motion rand. so there's nothing to size.

htm (6 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . The main thing to notice is that changing these properties does not change the particles just changes the free emitters. If we look back at rest of the free emitter properties in the hierarchy. things should look familiar: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. undo both the f-life and f-number changes so we get our original super emitter back. and the free emitter life is now less than 45 frames).particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Now decrease f-life and see it's effect: Nothing happens until you get f-life down to about 20. Ok. then you'll see free emitters disappearing (we're at frame 45. Now increase f-weight and see the free emitters fall: You should play around with the rest of the f-properties we've discussed so far.

and the hierarchy symbols are rectangular.htm (7 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . Increasing the life property makes the particles that free emitters of this type live longer -. (Only active and angle are missing because they don't make sense for a free emitter type. just as they are for regular emitters.) These properties are the scaling factors that are applied to the particle type properties.the free emitter life is unaffected. The property names are the same. decreasing number decreases the number of particles. the properties that are listed just under the super emitter in the hierarchy are scaling factors for the free emitter type properties: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. exactly the same as with a regular emitter. Is it making sense? In the way that these last free emitter properties are scaling factors for the particle type properties (which is the same way that the emitter properties are scaling factors for the particle types in a regular emitter). it's almost exactly the same as the properties for a regular emitter. Similarly.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 From this part of the hierarchy on.

Our example so far has only contained a single free emitter type -. You've noticed that this can make things a little more complex. Then add a "Simple Sparkles" emitter to the stage. Just as a regular emitter can consist of any number of particle types. You can guess what they apply to: the emission of free emitters of course. if you want to change the visibility of particles. a super emitter can be made up of any number of free emitter types. there are several places to do it in a super emitter. not the velocity of particles. Particle type visibility. free emitter visibility.let's add another one.htm (8 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . Change number and the number of free emitters change -.the number of particles does not. For instance. The super emitter emission angle and emission range properties haven't been mentioned yet. At frame 45 or so it should look like this: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.they all combine to determine the final visibility value.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 All of these super emitter properties scale the free emitter type properties -adjust the velocity property and the velocity of free emitters changes. Jump back to frame 1 and delete the regular emitter (the emitter on the left side of the stage) from our project. super emitter visibility -.

htm (9 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Now r-click on the "Simple Sparkles" emitter in the hierarchy. select Add to Super Emitter instead. Our super emitter now has two free emitter types in it: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. Instead of selecting Make Super Emitter as we did last time. You'll see a dialog open that lists all current super emitters in the project: Select the only super emitter listed there and click OK.

For instance. and particle types and modify their values to see what the result is. try to reduce the number of free emitters. If you find that things are getting quite sluggish when using super emitters. but should be pointed out that because they have a potential for creating many free emitter.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Now that there are two free emitter types in this super emitter.they're just slowing things down. You may think that decreasing the f-number value is the way to do this and it is. you may end up with A LOT of particles in the project. you may be able to get a better feel for what the properties do. If you find yourself hitting Stop at frame 200 (or some other high frame value) and then waiting for several seconds (or longer) until the program file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.htm (10 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . here the "Simple Sparkles" free emitter type f-velocity value has been increased: It may be obvious. If the free emitters are still living long after they've left the stage area. Try reducing f-life instead of (or in addition to) f-number. Select various properties of the super emitter. free emitter types. but it may also change the way the final effect looks too. each of which can create many particles. Remember that the status bar shows the number of emitters and particles in the project emitters are included in that total. they're probably not contributing to the final effect -.

The power to create some truly amazing effects lies in Super Emitters. A position key (linear. If the data being imported has the first file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. we’ll see two options: Import and Export. Import and Export Now we’ll discuss how to move stage object (emitter. or from a simple text file. blocker. Is there anything else we need to say about Super Emitters? Just one thing: don't be intimidated by them. The position information is relative to the upper left corner of the stage. there is a little trick to avoid that. deflector. If you Ctrl+click on the Stop button. If the data that is being imported has the first position key at frame 1. playback will stop and the current frame will automatically be set to the project start frame. not curved) will be created for each line of data. A position of 50.htm (11 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .0 is the upper left corner of the stage.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 recalculates all free emitter and particles up to that frame. the data is used as-is. If we R-click on an emitter in the hierarchy window. avoiding the long recalculation delay. so a position of 0. and will also be affected by forces. Remember that an emitter in particleIllusion must have a position key at the first frame (frame 1).50 is 50 pixels to the right and 50 pixels down from the upper left corner of the stage. It should be pointed out free emitters will collide with deflectors. The data included in either format is the frame number and x-y position of the emitter at the frame. and force) position data between particleIllusion and other applications such as Adobe After Effects. particleIllusion can use data in two different formats: from Adobe After Effects via the clipboard. Select Import and then Position Data (the only option available at this time).

) The Apply layer offset upon import option can be checked to compensate for existing Layer Offset information. In particleIllusion select Import Position Data and choose the After Effects… option. the data must consist of lines of three numbers separated by TAB characters. The After Effects 5.0 (from clipboard) options are provided to allow easy transfer of position data from Adobe After Effects to an particleIllusion emitter. There must be no other lines of text in the file. The decimal portion of floating point numbers is truncated. If the data being imported has the first position key at any other frame number (other than 0 or 1) then a position key will be added at frame 1. The position data keys will be created from the data that is on the Windows clipboard. The first at frame 1 at position 20. The first number is the frame number.4 15 130. Scientific notation is not allowed. The numbers can be in floating point or integer” in the particleIllusion folder that you can run on the After Effects layer to do this.htm (12 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.0 (from clipboard) and After Effects 4. but each number must be less than 20 characters long. Export of emitter position data is very similar to import. all of the frame numbers in the data will be adjusted by one frame so the data will start at frame 1. (Note: If the motion in After Effects is curved. the second is the x-coordinate of the position key.6 This would produce two position keys for the emitter.15 and the second at frame 30 at position 100.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 position key at frame 0 instead. Then Copy to the Windows clipboard using CTRL+C. Depending on how the data to be imported was generated (was Layer Offset already accounted for?) you may need to check or uncheck this option. There is a simple After Effects script file “keyall.130. For example: 1 30 20 100. and the third number is the ycoordinate of the position key. In the text file format. select all of the position keys for the layer by clicking on the position text in the timeline window. Layer Offset is discussed below. the emitter position data is saved to the clipboard (for use in After Effects) or written to a text file. The position data from the first key in the imported data will be duplicated. you’ll need to create a key at every frame before copying the data to the clipboard. In After Effects. but instead of getting the position data from After Effects or a text file.

) To get the data from the clipboard into After Effects. An Offset position key is created as well. just as position keys are created when you move an emitter on the stage. Put the Offset indicator at a point near the lower left corner of the stage. Since we’ve only set a single Offset position key. Nothing looks different. place a "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter on the stage. Then make sure the marker on the timeline is placed where you want the motion to start then Paste using CTRL +V. This Offset indicator is the reference point – the starting point for our global movement (to match the camera movement in the bg animation – if we had a bg animation). Make sure you're at frame 1. You want your emitters and particles to move with the bg image so they appear to be part of the scene. the Offset is not changing. What you will see is the Offset indicator on the stage. selecting Offset in the Hierarchy Window does nothing. the Layer Offset function accomplishes this. "Camera Tracking -. first select the layer you want to apply the data to in After Effects. and the emitter object will not be visible. Any place you click on the stage now becomes the reference point. Until you place an emitter on this layer.htm (13 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . and click near the center of file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. then select Offset in the hierarchy. so there is no effect on the stage.Layer Offset If you have an animation or video clip in which the camera is moving (from side to side or up and down). make sure the Layer Offset is still selected. and the offset indicator moves there. Jump to frame 60 now. Now press Play.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 (The Remove layer offset before export option can be used if needed. you need a way to match this movement in particleIllusion.

one at frame 1 and one at frame 60. What if you wanted the emitter to move across the screen while the “camera” in the bg animation was moving at the same time? Not possible with the ‘attach to emitter’ option. “I could do the same thing with the attach to emitter option for the particle types”. Select Layer Offset in the Hierarchy. jump to frame 100. Well.htm (14 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . then select Layer Offset in the Hierarchy. You should also see both position keys in the graph window. what if you had several emitters in the scene? Without the Layer Offset you would need to move each emitter independently. Stop and jump to frame 90 now. Now make your emitter move from the left of the stage to the right over 100 frames or so. On the stage the keys are not quite the same as with an emitter though. These position keys behave like position keys for the other objects. You can drag them. and click near the top right corner of the stage. but no problem with Layer Offset. delete them. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. R-Click in the graph window and select Reset to clear the Offset position keys. You should now see a “path” for the Offset. Set the Layer Offset somewhere near the bottom right corner of the stage. Let’s try it now. You should now see the emitter move first up and to the right. Jump to frame 1. etc. If you start playback now you should see your emitter and its particles move to the right and up. then down and toward the right. similar to an emitter position path.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 the stage. The main difference is that the keys cannot be made “curved” – Offset position keys are always linear. “Big deal” you say.

Start a new project and add a "Heavy Fire Sparkles" emitter at the left edge of the stage at frame 1. and use Layer Offset to “follow” this movement. This motion is applied to all objects on a layer: emitters. Load the "cones_0000. Answer yes to the "use the sequence?" question. This is what you should see: Now select Layer Offset and click on the point of the blue cone (make sure you're still at frame 1 before clicking): file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. the “camera” is actually moving down and to the left. deflectors. and blockers. when this point moves up and to the right. particles. Now let's add a background image sequence so we have something to track. Since the Offset indicator on the screen is meant to be used to track a point on the bg animation.jpg" image in the "Layer Offset Example" folder in the "Sample Projects" folder. Try loading a bg animation in which the camera moves. Let’s try it now. What happens if the point on the bg animation that we are using as the reference point goes out of the frame. or can no longer be seen? We can select a new reference point at any time.htm (15 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 In this example the Offset moves up and to the right.

we need to pick a new point.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Now jump to frame 61 (the last frame that the tip of the blue cone is visible).htm (16 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . and click on the tip of the red cone that has appeared at the left edge of the image. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. A menu with a single item is displayed. Move one frame forward to frame 62. Why? We haven’t indicated that the Offset position key at frame 62 is a new reference point yet. To fix this. and click on the tip of the blue cone again. you’ll see your emitter move to the right. resulting in a big step across the stage. but then when it gets to frame 62 it jumps across to the left side of the stage and actually past the left side of the image. so it just gets treated as another position key. Since the reference point (tip of the cone) on the bg image is no longer visible. If you play now. make sure you're at frame 62 (the frame that the Layer Offset position key that we want to adjust is at) and R-click on the layer offset marker on the stage. so select the Break menu item. You'll now see the layer offset path: You'll notice that the emitter is maintaining it's relative position to the cone.

htm (17 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . since clicking on the stage while in this mode sets the Offset indicator to the click point. Jumping to frame 120 and adding the final layer offset key by clicking on the tip of the red cone completes our "camera matching". This is done as a reminder. indicating it is a “break” key. Playing the animation now results in the emitter staying in sync with the moving camera of the background image sequence. Only the current segment of the Layer Offset “path” is displayed for simplification. you can use Undo (and Redo if needed). you'll now see the emitter appear in its intended position – it no longer jumps left across the stage at frame 62. On the stage you will have noticed two things: first. If you accidentally click and unintentionally change the Offset position. You can also use the Import/Export Position Data functions with Layer Offset. The Nudge buttons also work with Layer Offset exactly the same way they work with an emitter. then select Import or Export. Note that when the Layer Offset is selected the mouse cursor changes to look like the Offset indicator. the segment of the Layer Offset position “path” from frames 1-61 disappears.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 This indicates that this position key is a new reference point. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. There is no need to first select an object as when moving an emitter. Second. R-Click on Offset in the Hierarchy Window. In the graph window the key will have a short vertical line through it as well.

and forces. The Offset of layers closer to the front of the scene would move more than the Offset of layers “farther” from the viewer. One way to use this might be to simulate parallax.htm (18 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . Layer Angle Just as Layer Offset allows everything on a layer to move. Select Layer Angle and the stage display changes to display the current angle. deflectors. Clicking on the stage will set the layer angle at the current frame to the angle indicated (by the click point). Layer Angle allows the entire layer (and everything on it) to rotate. The background image does not rotate. particles. as the use of Layer Angle assumes that the "camera" used to create the bg image was already rotating. Note that all stage object markers will disappear. When the Layer Angle changes. just as when Layer Offset is selected. it is possible to get some crazy layering effects. blockers.) The mouse cursor will also change to indicate that Layer Angle is selected.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Note that since the Offset can be set independently for each layer. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. but possible. (Remember there is a setting in Preferences that allows objects to be displayed when Layer Offset and Angle are selected. After adding an emitter to the stage. everything on the layer rotates: emitters. Probably not too useful in a realistic scene. you can select the Layer Angle property in the hierarchy window.

file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.htm (19 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . R-click on an empty part of the stage: Select the Zoom item and the mouse cursor will change to a magnifying glass. only the "Rotation" data (supplied by After Effects) will be used -. The zoom factor will be displayed as it changes. Hold the left mouse button and move left and right to change the zoom factor. If the clipboard is used. (Changing the Layer Offset does not change the rotation point for Layer Angle.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Using the stage to set the angle isn't the only way to change the layer angle (it's actually the most limited because you can only get angles between 0 and 360 via the stage). You can also use the graph window to set the data points as needed (that procedure is the same as with the graphs of all of the other properties and should be familiar to you).) Final Topics There are just a few more topics that we need to cover. (See the section on Import/ Export for emitters for more on these functions. things can get a little confusing. or use the Import function. and you can zoom out. There is a keyboard shortcut to activate the stage zoom function: Z.any "Position" data will be ignored. or from the clipboard in After Effects format. Just remember that the Layer Angle causes rotation about the center point of the stage at all times. To zoom the stage window. As with Layer Offset and emitters (importing/exporting position data) you can import from a text file. even when the Layer Offset is changing.) When the Layer Angle and Layer Offset are both changing at the same time. It is possible to zoom the stage window – you can zoom in to get a closer look at something or to select a stage object. Pressing the Z key is the same as selecting Zoom from this menu.

Select Scroll Recenter or Reset Scroll & Zoom to move the stage back to its default position centered in the stage window. Use the Zoom to Fit function to automatically fit the stage into the stage window. For this reason. The keyboard shortcut to activate Scroll is S. then L-click and drag to move the stage. the dimensions of the output must fit in the stage window because only the stage window area will be saved.much better than manually zooming out until it's all visible. While zoomed in. Stage Window Limitations It is important to realize that particleIllusion is truly WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) because the stage window is used for all output. The mouse cursor will change to a hand. make the stage window active by clicking in it in Select mode. When the stage window is active this will adjust the zoom. even when saving output. It is also possible to change the bg color by Rclicking on the stage and selecting Background Color to display the particleIllusion color chooser dialog. (If the stage window does not zoom when the scrollwheel is moved. This means that in order to work on a project with a 640x480 stage. Earlier we learned that we could change the background color from the project settings dialog. use the standalone renderer for particleIllusion project files: particleIllusionRender. when saving output the stage window will need to be made at least 640x480 in size – either by making the other windows smaller. Get more information on the file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. R-click on the stage and use the Scroll function to do this. This is very useful when working with large stage sizes and you want to see the entire stage area -. (For rendering large projects. or by switching to a higher resolution desktop.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 The easiest way to zoom is to use the mouse scrollwheel. you may need to move the stage (in relation to the stage window) in order to see stage objects that may be out of the window’s frame. An easier way to scroll the stage window is to click and drag the middle mouse button in the stage window.) Select Zoom 100% or Reset Scroll & Zoom to reset the zoom factor to full size.htm (20 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .

particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 wondertouch website. You can make a final adjustment to this zoom factor when saving output in the Output Options dialog. Changing this zoom factor will show the updated frame size. For instance. The Output Size area near the bottom of the dialog shows the current stage zoom factor. Any image or AVI that is created will be 160x120 instead of 320x240. and the resulting output frame size. but notice that file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. the stage zoom was 50% for a 320x240 stage.) The stage zoom settings are also taken into account when saving output. the AVI will be made of what appears in the stage window: the zoomed out stage. In this example. which results in an output frame size of 160x120.htm (21 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . if the stage is zoomed out to 50% in order to fit the entire stage in the window and you create an AVI.

What are these used for? You’ll note earlier that when particles that are “intense” are drawn on light backgrounds.jpg". If the project is using a pure black background color. etc. Checking the Save Alpha option enables the “shrink” slider.) The Single frame only option is used (only available when an image file format is specified for output. The Frames options allow you to specify the start and end frames for the output. and TIF. saving "test. For example. The Save Alpha option will only be enabled when saving image file formats that support 32bpp images: PNG. "test0002. the Start Frame changes to the current frame. the edges of the particles may appear to be darker than you want since they faded into the black background when they were rendered. (Note that when saving an image sequence. The image file saved will use the filename exactly as specified – no sequence (frame) numbers will be added. and the Remove black bg from RGB channels and Create non-intense alpha options.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 the frame size cannot be made larger than the stage window. they tend to blend toward white and lose their contrast. the filename that you specified will have a frame number appended to it. We made the comment that it is usually best to render “intense” particles on a black background. not AVI) to save a single image file. jpg" will result in the image filenames "test0001. so will only be enabled when saving files of those types. Note that some of the options are available only when selecting specific file types. TGA. you can use the Remove black bg from RGB channels option to "filter out" the black that is causing the dark halos. This creates a kind of dark "halo" around the particles.htm (22 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . and will need to be made larger. If you do this then want to composite the particle images with a lighter background color or image. the right image is with the option checked. The Compressed Image Quality slider is used only when saving JPG and CMP images. the stage window is limiting the size of the output. When this option is checked. SGI. If while changing the zoom factor the frame dimensions stop changing or are not what you expect them to be. Note that a higher quality setting results in a larger file size (less compression). The left image is with the option unchecked. and the End Frame is disabled. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. While we are discussing the output options again. let’s look at the other options.jpg".

It's been slightly modified by decreasing the visibility setting of the "smoke" particle type from 100% to 50%. At the maximum setting of 20%. At the default setting of 0%. the alpha channel is not shrunk.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Note that using this option when the background color is not pure black may cause strange results -. the alpha channel will be made 20% smaller. There are times when neither of these options will make the alpha channel correct. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. What if your project is not using a black background. Intense particles are additive. which can be used to reduce the dark “halo” that is seen around these particles. while nonintense particles are composited "normally". Here's the "Fiery 01" emitter from the "Group 5" library folder. so compositing images produced in particleIllusion will never look quite right. If the intense particles overlap the non-intense ones (and they always do). but you still want to remove the dark "halos"? The shrink slider is used to shrink the alpha channel for each particle. Also. when using this option the RGB channels of the image will look really wrong when viewed without the alpha channel: Be assured that when used with the alpha channel (when compositing) the colors will be correct.htm (23 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . the additive nature of the intense particles will create areas in the alpha channel that are "too white". Let's look at an example. The reason for this is the mix of intense particles and nonintense particles in the same effect.weird colors. revealing more of the non-intense particles than should be.

we see that alpha channel near the edges of the smoke is too white: Using the Create non-intense alpha option keeps all intense particles from contributing to the alpha channel. In other words. Select Create non-intense alpha in the Output Options dialog.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 If we look at the alpha channel for this frame (using Alt+A). or by using the key shortcut of Alt+Shift+A: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. only non-intense particles are drawn in the alpha channel (the RGB channels still contain all particles).htm (24 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .

htm (25 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . so it does not go to white in as many areas. using Create non-intense alpha unchecked and Remove black bg from RGB channels checked. Now if we composite it in After Effects we'll need to use Straight alpha. Then we generated an image with alpha channel. In Adobe After Effects you would do this by using the "Luminescent Premultiply" transfer mode. and use Normal transfer mode. then composite in After Effects using Straight alpha and Luminescent Premultiply transfer mode. you must compensate for the intense particles being missing from the alpha channel in your compositing software. we'll get exactly the same output as we did in particleIllusion: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 You can see that the alpha channel does not contain the intense particles. and it will look like this: Notice it's not the same as what we saw in particleIllusion. Here's an example: That image is taken directly from particleIllusion. When using this option. If we instead generate an alpha channel using Create non-intense alpha checked and Remove black bg from RGB channels unchecked.

file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. the Remove black bg from RGB channels should NOT be used. The remaining 2 output options are Color Model which is only enabled when saving TIF files and allows you to choose between RGB and CMYK.very useful when adding particleIllusion effects to a "finished" AVI that contains audio already. and 2) the project contains a background image AVI that contains audio. Note that in all cases the alpha channel is created for the particles in a project only.the audio will not be converted or recompressed. The background image alpha channel (if it exists) is not taken into account. (Note that the audio will be transferred from the bg image AVI to the output AVI in a "direct stream copy" -.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 When the Create non-intense alpha option is used. If that is the case (and the lines show up consistently). These items are only enabled when 1) saving an AVI. and Use audio from layer. At the bottom of the Output Options dialog is a checkbox called Use audio from layer: followed by a drop menu.) Frame Adjustment In some cases a grey (or other color) line is present at the edge(s) of the saved output generated by particleIllusion.htm (26 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . the output AVI will use the audio from the bg image AVI -. When this option is checked. click the Adjust Frame button.

change them by 1. come back to this dialog and change the value file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. If the line appears at either the top or bottom of your output. then adjust the settings in the upper half of the dialog and leave the settings in the lower half alone. Change the settings based on the instructions next to the adjustment box. When changing the settings. which will allow adjustments to be made that will remove the grey lines. then ignore the settings in the upper half of the dialog and use the ones in the lower half.htm (27 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Clicking this button will open the following dialog. then test by saving output. If the line appears on the left or right edges of your output. If the grey line still appears.

one will be created. you often know exactly what value you want to set a property data point to (in the property's graph).) For example. (Changing the values by more than one may just move the line to the other side of the frame. with the current value indicated. Similarly. if you see a grey line at the top of your saved output. the displayed dialog is different. This may require you to change the adjustment value again. and you can enter the frame number directly. Numeric Entry When working in the Graph Window. If a data key does not exist at the current frame. If the line still appears and is on the top. When using numeric entry via the N key while the position graph is displayed. when using the numeric entry to change frame or value. Save an image or AVI. The line should now be gone. Also. Using the mouse to place the data point exactly can sometimes be difficult. If the line moved from the top to the bottom of the frame. When an emitter property is selected in the hierarchy (and displayed in the graph) you can jump to a specific frame by pressing the F key.htm (28 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 by 1 more then test again. There is an easier way: jump to a specific frame and enter the number directly using the keyboard. but don’t do it until you test your output. decrease the top setting by 1 (from 0 to –1). then decrease the value by 1 again (from –1 to – 2). Note that if the value entered is not valid. If one does exist already. Press ESC to exit. You can enter the value directly here. A small "frame" dialog is displayed. but still shows the current values works the same as the other numeric windows: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. it will be made valid. then check the option that is below the adjustment value. the graph window will automatically scroll to make the new value visible. it will be changed to use the new value. you can press N (for "numeric") and a small "value" dialog is shown. or ENTER to jump to that frame.

Below are the results of using selecting the first four layouts using either the View menu Load Layout commands. Alt+2. does it? Without that frame indicator. If you use the key shortcuts of Alt+number.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 It is also possible to use the numeric entry keys while in the emitter properties dialog. or it can also be moved manually by clicking (or dragging) on the frame numbers along the bottom of the graph. You can use the F key to set the position of this "current frame" indicator. Remember the "current frame indicator" (red vertical line) in the graph windows of the props dialog? Since it doesn't move during playback.htm (29 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . etc. it doesn't seem to have any purpose. or by using the key shortcuts Alt+1. it would be very difficult to use this numeric entry feature in the properties dialog. Screen Layouts Something we mentioned in passing in another tutorial but haven't yet explained is the ability to save and load screen Layouts. you'll be able to instantly load one of ten different window layouts. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.

or by using the key shortcuts of Ctrl+number.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 These are the default window sizes for those layouts -. you'll see that each layout has a name to help you remember what each of them is.htm (30 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . which opens the following dialog: file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. If you look at the View menu Save Layout or Load Layout commands. You can edit those names using the View menu Layout Names can also save any window layout you want using the View menu Save Layout commands.

When using motion blur some particles that use greyscale particle shapes may appear to fade out a little.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 Since we've just been talking about the View menu and tying up loose ends. there's no better place to mention another option found on the View menu: Use Alternate Blending Method. You can use the Use alternate blending method to counter this. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5.htm (31 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .

2) switch to software rendering. contact support: support@wondertouch. If the problem goes away. If you are seeing problems with rendering such as strange lines. At least 90% of problems users have reported were due to video driver issues. If the problem goes away. file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. and the image on the right was made with the Use alternate blending method option checked. check your blur settings. or does other unexpected things once in a while. restart your computer and try installing again. If you still can’t install. black squares around particles. you have a video driver issue and need to get updated drivers for your graphics card. then run particleIllusion again. perhaps try using an older certified version of the drivers.use the setting you think looks best. disable any antivirus programs and try again. Troubleshooting If you have problems installing particleIllusion. first try restarting your computer and see if the problems reoccur.particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 The image on the left uses regular blending. If that doesn't fix the problems. Use of this option is really just personal preference -. you may want to check for newer video drivers for your card. or if you’re using the latest beta drivers. run the reset default settings option in the particleIllusion group of the Start – Programs menu. If you are having trouble authorizing the software after installing it.htm (32 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 .com If particleIllusion crashes at startup. If particleIllusion crashes at strange times. or color banding: 1) turn off motion blur.

particleIllusion: Tutorial 5 If you are getting a "AVI Request Format Error" message when trying to load an AVI as a background image. If you want billowing smoke. This power allows you to create an almost endless variety of effects with particleIllusion.wondertouch. Get creative.htm (33 of 33)2004-05-14 18:23:00 . We do have one closing word of advice though: the fewer the better. it's probably because it's a DV AVI file that particleIllusion currently does not support. (A fix for this problem will be available in a future update. and use as few of them as possible. have fun. use a particle shape that looks like a puff of smoke.. (The "Explosion 3" library emitter needs less than 100 particles to do its magic!) Keep an eye on the wondertouch web site for new emitters.) You'll need to convert the AVI to another format to load it into particleIllusion.. sample projects. Closing Words Although particleIllusion can be very simple to use (select an emitter and place it on the stage). and emitter libraries. In most cases it is not the number of particles that creates the effect you want. tutorials. we’ve seen that there is also a lot of power beneath that simplicity. Modify existing emitters – see how they do what they do. Change particle shapes. You may have a tendency to use a large number of particles when creating a new emitter. Believe it or not. We encourage you to experiment. make it big enough to see. You may be thinking that “in order to make this billowing cloud of smoke I need a zillion particles” but this is not the best way to start. http://www. and when you have something that you’re excited about – share it with others! Remember there are very few rules when creating emitters in Now stop reading and start playing – create some magic with particleIllusion! Previous: Tutorial 4 Next: Key Shortcuts file:///C|/Program/particleIllusion_3/manual/Guide5. but the correct choice of particle shape and size. that covers everything! Now a few final thoughts. Change colors.