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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.
In this movie we are going to take our plane here and turn it into a surface emitter. In the Dynamics module section, I am going to go Particles > Emit from Object into the option box here. I'm going to take the Surface Emitter type. I'm going to accept all the defaults here and I have named it emit1. I hit Apply. Get rid of that. If I started going, I see I've little particles emitting from my object right there. If I went into my Outliner, I will see in the outline here that I have a particle1 right there and under my plane, I have an emit1 right there.
There are several things I have to do now to prepare my particles to accept the color from the plane surface that they are emitting from. But the first thing to do is pick our particle. I'll go into the attribute editor of the particles, so under particleshape1, I am going to make them into cloud particles. I have a selection of types of particles. I'm going to pick the Cloud particle right here. Let's do a render and see what we get. You see we get these nice blue particles here.
And you say, "why are they blue?" Well, we're going to go look in the Hypershade. In the Hypershade we'll be able to see that we have this particle cloud. Currently this particle cloud here is associated with these particles, particle1. I never like to work with the first particle cloud that's in there. That's the default particle cloud that all software rendered particles that are created will be associated with. So I am going to make my own new particle cloud. Volumetric > Particle Cloud right here and I'm going to call it particleCloud2. I'll select my particles and I am going to assign the material to the selection.
Then next thing I have to do is I have to go into that particle cloud and this is the color that has been given to the particles. I have to do something here. I have to map onto that, a particle utility. Particle Sampler. I have to do the same thing for the Transparency. I have to map the utility upon to that, a Particle Utilities, Particle Samplers. What this is doing, I'll show you now, if I render the particles now...
Well, they are all black, all right. You can't see them, these all spots of color or what's under there. Right now they are black like this. What's happening is these particles are now going to take their color cues from the Pre Particle array attributes right here under Pre Particle (Array) Attributes. I have to give them color attributes. Add Per Particle Attribute for the color and I'm going to Add Per Particle Attribute for the opacity. So I have the Opacity Per Particle and Red, Green and Blue Per Particle. Here is normally where I could now put an expression, create a ramp, etcetera, to give these particles their color. However, I don't want the particles to be getting their color from this Per Particle (Array) Attributes here.
I want the particles to be getting their colors from the plane that they are being emitted from. To do that, I then go into my Outliner here. I'm going to pick the emitter and I'm going to go down to Texture Emission Attributes, then I'm going to go Inherit Color. I am going to open up my Hypershade. Go into the Texture section. Here is the texture that I've mapped onto the plane. With a middle mouse button, grab that and put it right over particle color. There it is.
Now, my particles should be getting their color from that texture that's mapped onto the plane. Let's see what happens. And low and behold, look at that, my particles are getting their colors from the texture that's mapped on to the plane. So I've had to do several steps to make this happen. In the Hypershade, in the Material section, I had to take the volume cloud that was associated with the particles. And on the Color and Transparency, I had to map a particleSamplerInfo utility on both of those sections.
And then on the emitter itself, under Texture Emission Attributes, I had to map the same texture that I had mapped onto the plane. In this way the particles will then take their color from the texture that's mapped onto the surface object that they are being emitted from. There we go. Having done this, the next thing that we are going to do is add some attributes and expressions to these particles that we've just created. [00:05:20.53
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