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Particle systems can add a tremendous amount of life and animation to a game. We can use them for anything from sparks, to explosions, to smoke, or even just drifting dust and particles in the air. Making them is pretty straight forward. We simply make a particle system and then start to adjust its parameters. And we have lots and lots of places to adjust. I'll make a particle system in my scene. That's just little puffs of dust we see outside. Maybe some seeds floating by from the cattails or something similar. I'll choose Game Object>Create Other>Particle System.
There is a package if you'd like. You can right-click and import that new package, and there are particles available. If you haven't brought it in, go ahead and bring that one in because it's got lots of different presets for different kinds of particles, such as smoke and fire. I'm going to work with this default particle and configure it to be little white puffs. Particle systems only display in the scene view when they're selected. So I'll take my particle system and pull it to the side so I can see it more clearly. Pressing F to focus in. I'll pull down my project window and there's my default particles.
They start out as just little white dots. What we've got with particles, then, is a playback speed. So we can speed it up or slow it down, and a time that it's running. If you need your particles in a script, for example, to key to a particular time, starting and stopping at certain times, you can monitor that time here in the particle effect. Over on the right side of the inspector then is our particle system. It starts out with a transform, and then is a particle system object. And within that particle system object, we have control over birth, depth, shape, velocity, and lots of control over the lifetime of the particle.
Particle systems also come with their own unique material. There is a default particle material and we have different particle materials available, depending on what we're doing. These range from semi transparent, an additive for smoke, to completely opaque or determined by an alpha channel in a texture for things like butterflies or other distinct particles. Finally, particles can have sub emitters, multiple particle systems within one particle system. This way, for example, if you have a collision, it can spawn new and different particles.
Now that we've got a particle system made, we can get in and start to customize it, changing the behavior, motion and look of those particles.
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