Maya Particle Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating and animating the first layer of particles


From:

Maya Particle Effects

with Audri Phillips

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Video: Creating and animating the first layer of particles

Here we are again and now I want to create a second emitter so I can create a second set of particles. And I want these particles also to be coming out of this surface plane right here with this texture on it. So essentially, I'm going to go through the same steps. I'm going to select my plane and I'm going to go Particles > Emit from Object and I'm letting it be called emit2. The Surface Emitter, 100 particles per second, hit Apply. Then I can play it. And I will see have my little particles coming up. They are still point particles.
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Watch the Online Video Course Maya Particle Effects
2h 8m Intermediate Jun 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Particle effects can be used to create everything from realistic smoke and light to abstract design elements. In Maya Particle Effects, Audri Phillips demonstrates the particles she has found helpful in her work creating dynamic visuals for video games,film and fine art. This course goes deeper than the basics, tackling topics like saving time by reusing MEL expressions, implementing physics to create realistic effects, and manipulating paint effects to give particles the look and feel of an envisioned design. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with particle emitters and fields
  • Instancing paint effects and geometry to particles
  • Using Maya particles to produce graphic design elements
  • Using the relationship editor, creating particle collisions and collision events
  • Creating realistic effects such as smoke by emulating real life physics
  • Rendering and exporting final projects
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
Audri Phillips

Creating and animating the first layer of particles

Here we are again and now I want to create a second emitter so I can create a second set of particles. And I want these particles also to be coming out of this surface plane right here with this texture on it. So essentially, I'm going to go through the same steps. I'm going to select my plane and I'm going to go Particles > Emit from Object and I'm letting it be called emit2. The Surface Emitter, 100 particles per second, hit Apply. Then I can play it. And I will see have my little particles coming up. They are still point particles.

I'm going to select my Outliner. It's the best way to find your particles and there they are, particle2. And from my Plane now I can see I have the emitter11 and emitter21 that are one and two. And I'm going to go into this particleShape right here and I'm going to do the same thing as I did to the other one. I'm going to make them into clouds. I'm going to give them a Lifespan, live a Constant range. I want them from the time they're born to the time they die to be 20 times 24. That's how many frames each particle will live. That's what Constant means. From the time a particle is born to the time it dies is 20 times 24 here.

I could make it Random range which would mean from the time a particle is born to the time it would die it would be somewhere between 1 and 20 times 24 frames that it would live. But I want to know it's Constant. I could also have a lifespan per particle and so each particle could live a different length of time. However, I'm going to keep it at this Constant. The next thing I want to influence on these particles is their radius. So let's add a Radius expression to that. Under General, because there is no radius expression there, under General, I'm going to pick Radius Per Particle (PP) and I'm going to go OK. There is my Radius Per Particle.

Once again I'm going to make a Creation Expression and they're going to be smaller particles than the others. Then Ctrl+V and I'm going to have them all somewhere randomly around 0.3. 0.3 will be the biggest size they are, up to as big as 0.3, from 0 to 0.3. And I'm going to go Create. Next thing I'm going to do for these particles is I want to add another Opacity ramp to them as well. So I'm going to click that, Add Per Particle Attribute, Add Attribute. There is my Opacity PP. I'm going to create a ramp, right click and go Edit Ramp and this is my default ramp that I've been given.

And I essentially want them to stay fully opaque from the time they're born to the time they die. Click away these. So now my particles are always fully opaque from birth to death. You'll be able to see them. Some other things I want to do to my particles shapes is I want to add a color. Add Per Particle Attribute, Add Attribute, RGB PP. I know I'm going to be using the emitter texture for that, like I did before. So I'm not going to put anything in here but I'm going to go into the Hypershade and once again I'm going to disconnect these particles from the particle cloud that they're attached to, okay.

Now this particle cloud is the one I made earlier and that's on particles 1 and I'm going to make a new particle cloud because by default my Particle 2 is on the starter particle cloud, the default particle cloud that you always get. And I'm going to put them on their own particle, Volumetric Particle Cloud and I'm going to select Particle Cloud. Then let's make sure we have particle2. particle2 and let's go Assign Material To Selection. There we go.

And we are once again going to disassociate these particles from the color of this particle cloud. I'm going to pick Color, we're going to go up to Utilities, and pick Particle Sampler. And we're going to do the same thing with Transparency. I'm going to go and pick Utilities and pick the Particle Sampler. So now particle2 is no longer getting its color or its opacity from this volume cloud.

So one more thing that we have to do is we have to go into the second emitter that we made. And right here under Particle Color, once again we'll hit Inherit Color. We are going to go into our Textures, find that same file that's on the plane, middle mouse button it over Color. So with any good luck at all, now both particle sets will have the colors of what they're coming off of. And they do, look at that.

So we'll be moving on and putting more things on our second set of particles in the next movie. We'll be changing the emitter rate and putting a field on that as well.

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