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Spewing particles

From: Blender 2.48 Essential Training

Video: Spewing particles

The particle system on Blender recently got a complete rewrite, and it's just an amazing thing to work with. I can go on probably for hours on this thing, but it was used to create all of the hair on all of the creatures in Big Buck Bunny. It has been used to simulate smoke and fire and ash and all sorts of things, and we are going to touch on the basic essentials of using the particle system in Blender. What we have here is this box that we recorded dropping and it's not the part of the game engine anymore, but it does have the Ipo that recorded and assigned to it.

Spewing particles

The particle system on Blender recently got a complete rewrite, and it's just an amazing thing to work with. I can go on probably for hours on this thing, but it was used to create all of the hair on all of the creatures in Big Buck Bunny. It has been used to simulate smoke and fire and ash and all sorts of things, and we are going to touch on the basic essentials of using the particle system in Blender. What we have here is this box that we recorded dropping and it's not the part of the game engine anymore, but it does have the Ipo that recorded and assigned to it.

So that's what's causing it to fall. But what we have done over here is access the particle systems. Let's run through it real quick. There is six major panels of controls for the basic particle system. So let me just click the X here to delete this particle system, so we can start New. There are a couple of rules to using the particle system. Number one is you have to start at the beginning, you can't jump into the middle of a particle system, because it has to start at the beginning and work its way forward based on what it knows, and where everything is, and then where each particle is, and then advance to the next frame and compute there those particle should be on that frame.

So you can't jump into frame 10, because it doesn't have a frame 9. So when you're first are recording and setting up the physics thing, be sure not to use the Up and Down arrow when you are jumping through your animation, otherwise, the physics system is going to give up, and you are not going to see any particles, and you are going to think it's broken, but it's not really broken, you just have to advance frame by frame. So we select the box and we are going to go Add New. Now over here we see a bunch of controls that come up to play when we first just click on a particle system, and add new particle system.

Each object can have many particle systems. So I could have this thing smoking, burning, spitting off sparks, casting-off energy balls and collapsing into one big flaming heap, if I wanted to, each of those would be a different particle system. What we are going over in this video is the emitter particle system, and that's the system that emits particles. Here we setup the number of particles that are going to be emitted in total.

When we want the particles to start emitting, we could have this thing not catch on fire until let's say frame 1000 of the animation. So we would set that to 1000. When we want it to stop emitting particles, and then how long each particle should last before it kind of fades off, into nothingness. So in this case, we have 1000 particles. So on average, over 100 frames, we are going to have about 10 particles emitted each frame. So if I just right arrow once to frame 2 here, you can see that about 10 particles have started.

These particles right here are going to be individually tracked and they are going to stay alive for 50 frames, and so then at 51, wherever they are, they are just going to drop off of the face of the earth. Now notice that they are all emitting from one plain. When I go to the next frame, then all of these particles are being emitted in a fairly uniform manner; you may or may not want that. You can click Random here, and then they will be randomly generated. Notice now I have to go back to frame 1 showing down here in the lower-right-hand-corner, I've got to go back to frame 1 whenever I make a change, and then restart again.

Now the particles are emitted from random places across the whole surface of the box, and that's because I have Faces selected here. I can emit from just the corners if I want, or wherever the vertices are. Now by default the particles don't go anywhere. Usually, they don't want to be spewing out from the box. So in that case, we want to eject them and give them a little bit of a normal speed. Again, normal as in perpendicular to the face of the object.

So now I'm just going to give it like 1, so we can really see what happens. So we go back to frame 1, and now as we advance out, you can see the particles spewing outwards. And then they will continue to spew outwards until they are affected by some other dynamic that's going on in the world. If we want to simulate that these things are hot, we can accelerate them up into the Z direction, and we can come back here, and now they are actually flying up off the screen.

So now that simulates smoke. Now I'm visualizing this as points, but we can visualize them as little crosses, we can -- let's say go back here. So now you can see that they are crosses, or if you want to go little bit of an accurate representation. If you are doing smoke, of course, you want to use circles to simulate a little puffball. When we are drawing them, we can draw the velocity. And the size. And each particle has in fact, an individual number, so we can even look at each individual particle to see where it's at and control how we visualize the particles in the 3D space.

Next, each particle can have some actions that when it hits something, like if it hit this box, it could die to simulate being absorbed by the other material. That can also stick to the other material. So if you have like a foaming glue, then once it hits that other object, it would actually stick to it, and finally particles can actually have children. So you can have particles spewing out other particles as well, and that's kind of an easy way to get a lot of particles going on, and here we have ten particles for every major particle.

It gives a lot more of a full simulation when you are trying to simulate a lot of smoke, and dust, and things like that. Notice how fast this thing is. It's amazingly efficient. So you can crank this up to 10,000, 100 ,000, 50,000 million particles and be able to run realistic simulations. Of course, as you get more, it's going to get more dense, which you may or may not want. I was watching some movies over the weekend, and the dust effect was pretty light. Most smokes and mists and other kinds of particle effects, you can actually see through them.

So you don't really need a ton of particles to be absolutely 100% convincing. Finally then, after you are all done and you have set it up and you really like the way it is, you can save a lot of time by baking the simulation for a certain frame range, and once you do that, Blender will kind of take over computer and compute that and lock in the positions of these particles. If I change this box over to here, well, the Ipo is going to overwrite I. But if the box is over here, just sitting in the corner smoldering, each time I advance through the frames, Blender would recalculate the particles from there.

Once I bake those particle positions are locked into the place, just like we locked in the position of this box, we would lock-in the position of the particles, and then it takes a lot less compute time, the next time that we run the simulation, because Blender can just pull from that baking. That covers the major panels in the emitter particle system in Blender.

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This video is part of

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Blender 2.48 Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25905 viewers

Roger Wickes

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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