Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting the particles per second, part of Trapcode Particular Essential Training.
In this chapter we're going to be looking a little bit more closely at the Emitter section in Particular, so I'm going to open up Emitter here and I'm in the Particles/sec comp and the Particles/sec project here. And what I want to talk about in this movie is the Particles/sec, the default is a 100, so that means that every one second a 100 particles are released. Now if I increase this, then we have more density in the particles, because there are more particles released per second.
As I take this down, then we have less, so we could have just a few sporadic little particles here. Notice also that in the Info Panel, if you have that visible, it will tell you how many particles are currently on screen in this Visible section. The total refers to how many particles Particular happens to be processing on that Particular frame. So we can - well, as mentioned here, we can make this more dense and not as dense and this will become more helpful as we study the particle settings, we'll want to go back to the Particles/sec and adjust those.
But when you animate this, you get some cool effects, I want to show you one of those right now, so if you go over to the fireworks start comp, we are going to be making some cool little fireworks here. So I have this Particular layer, so go ahead and apply the Particular effect to this layer, and when we do it, it removes that black solid, so we could see this little city background behind this here. So open up the Emitter section, and let's move out in time, and we'll click the stopwatch to set a keyframe for Particles/sec. We'll take this all the way down to 0, so it means that before this there will be no animation.
Then I want to press the Page Down key to advance one frame and let's take this really high, like 10,000. So then I want to now hit Page Down one more time, and set a keyframe of 0, now it can be a little confusing, so let's see what I did there, I'm going to press the letter U on the keyboard to reveal all the keyframes. And you can see here we have no Particles/sec, so nothing is happening, then 10,000 particles are emitted on just this one frame and then nothing afterwards.
So what that does is it creates a little explosion, because there are 10,000 particles released on that one frame and then nothing else. So it creates a nice little burst, it's good for fireworks in this case of course, but it's also good for explosions and spark hits and things like that, where you just want a gush of particles. So that's basically the trick to create a simple firework effect, but I want to take this effect a little bit further, that's all we need to cover about the Particles/sec, but If you'd like to follow along we'll kind of make this into a little bit better fireworks.
I want to click-and-drag here on the Effect Control Point and move this away from the center, that actually correlates to the position X, Y parameter here. Next I want to increase the Velocity, so these particles spit out a little bit faster, and again we're going to go through these settings really quickly, because we're going to be getting to all of these in later movies in this training series, so we're just again going through this pretty quick. So now those particles explode a little bit faster. Let's close up the Emitter section, open up the Particles section.
I'm going to take the Life span down from 3, by default it's to 3, which means these particles all last for 3 seconds and at the end of those 3 seconds they are all just, boom, die, right there instantly, boom, gone. So what I want to do is take down the Life down to 1.2 so they don't quite live as long, so they kind of blow up and then die out sooner. And I also want to increase the randomness of their life. So I'm going to take Life Random to 50%. What that's going to do is make it so that as time goes on, that occasionally particles will just randomly die out, which is good, this is what I want.
Now before we go any further I'm actually going to go down to the color setting and click on the Color Swatch and change this color to a nice pinkish tone, a bright pink. And then I'm going to actually add some randomness so it's not all the exact same tone of pink, I'm going to take color randomness to 25. Now anymore than that and it starts to introduce all kinds of weird hues, but 25 just gives us a little bit of randomness and still keeps everything basically in the same color family. Now it doesn't actually look very realistic, because they are all of the same opacity, so I'm going to increase Opacity Random, pretty much take that up all the way.
And then what I want to do now is adjust the Size over Life and the Opacity over Life and these controls are a little bit weird, if I open up Size over Life you see we have this weird graphic, and again we'll explain this in the next chapter more clearly. But for right now I'm just to going to click this little button right here which creates this ramp and basically what that means is that the particles are going to start out big and they are going to get small over time. Now open up Opacity over Life and again this controls the opacity over the life of the particle, and we are just going to click this little preset here at the bottom, and what that does is it makes particles start out as completely opaque, and then as they fade to transparency, every once in a while there is a little flicker up to a 100% opacity, which kind of creates this nice little sparkle outwards.
You can kind of see it in the little edges here as it's dying out as sparkles, it's kind of a cool effect. So basically now we have our firework, if I preview that, boom, very nice. Now what I did is I did a few more finishing steps here in the fireworks finish comp if you'd like to look at that, and what I did is I duplicated the layer and then I changed the color of the particle, and then grabbed the layer and dragged it a little bit later in time and did it again, so we have a series, a succession of fireworks; boom, boom, boom, very cool.
And then also one of the things that I did that I think that helps in this Particular case, is I applied an adjustment layer at the top with the glow effect, I also took down glow threshold really low, so that way all these particles have a lot of glow and then as they are fading out, the ones that come back on with 100% opacity, that little sparkle that we talked about, as they fade out, they are a little bit brighter as they trigger this threshold again. So it just really enhances that sparkle effect, you can really see that here in the blue as it's fading out, nice little sparkles that fireworks do.
Now again this isn't really complete, this is not like something we'd want to show to a client or anything, but it's kind of a cool effect, we'd probably want to play with the gravity and a few other settings, but for a basic firework it's kind of a neat little quick trick.
- Understanding the Particular paradigm
- Working with different emitter types
- Understanding the curve-drawing interface
- Animating the emitter's position
- Adjusting the particles' life span
- Using custom particles
- Using Particular's auxiliary particles
- Integrating the After Effects lights and cameras
- Using a motion path
- Working with gravity and wind
- Using movies as particles