Join Alan Thorn for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to particles, part of Cert Prep: Unity Particle Systems, AI, and Audio.
- [Instructor] In this chapter of the course, I want to consider particle systems, looking at what they are, how they work, and how they manifest and are used inside a game. To demonstrate this, I've opened up this project here which is included inside the course exercise files. It is simply an empty Unity project into which I have imported the default Unity particles package. This package is available from the Unity Asset Store which you can access completely for free by choosing Window and then selecting Asset Store or by pressing Command + 9 on a Mac or Control + 9 on a Windows PC.
When you import the default particles package, it will add these additional assets down here that you can see inside the project panel. So it includes some effect examples. And inside here we have our access to a range of different kinds of particle effects. For example, inside the miscellaneous effects, we have additional particle effects that we can use. Now, this project is currently in play mode. So already inside the game tab, you can see particle systems here taking effect.
So here we have a particle system at work. And notice that exactly what it is doing, it is creating this fire effect. So this is an example of a particle system at work. Now, particle systems are not just used for creating fire. They can create any kind of system in which there are a lot of moving pieces moving together in unison to create a single effect. So in this case, we have different kind of flame pieces moving about. We have the sparks. We have the edge. We have the constantly moving flames.
All of these are produced as a particle system. If I click on the next button here to take a look at the next particle system, you can see that we've got a kind of flamethrower effect here. So again, fire spewing out the end of this kind of hose here. Now in particle system terminology, the hose, the area that generates particles, this is known as the emitter. And the actual moving effects themselves are known as the particles. And together, the emitter and the particles form a particle system.
If I move to the next effect, you can see we've got a kind of flaming torch. If I move to the next one here, you can see we've got some smoke. So once again, not just fire effects but also smoke here. If I move to the next one, you see we've got sparks. So again, a completely different kind of effect, but once again generated by a particle system. I'm going to move to the next effect here. Again, we've got some sparks this time being affected by gravity. So, each spark gradually being emitted from the source which we can see is around about here.
The source in this case is not visible but it's generating these spark particles into the scene. And gradually, these are falling down to the floor under the effects of gravity. If I move to the next one here, we're got a rain particle system. So here, we have this rain effect, the raindrops falling down to the ground. And you can see them here reacting when they hit the surface here. Move to the next one. Again, we've got a rain cloud this time, so similar effect to the one before.
We have the kind of rain dripping down. But this time, we also have another secondary particle system simulating here the cloud. I'm going to move to the next one to get a water or dripping tap. And in this case, the emitter is around about here at the tip of the tap. And again, we're getting water droplets falling to the ground. And notice that when they fall to the ground and strike it, then another particle system is generated here to create the splash effect. I'm going to move to the next particle system. This time, we have gushing water from a waterfall.
So we have the particle effect here spewing particles into the scene. We have another secondary particle system here to simulate the water, making contact with the surrounding waves. And then finally, a third particle system down at the bottom here to simulate the water ripples. I'm going to move to the next one. And this one actually is a gun shop particle system. So I can fire at the ball and make indentations here. And notice, the particle system also has these kind of sparks. It has the muzzle flash on the gun here.
If I move to the next one, this time we've got a game particle system shooting out pieces of wood as I strike and hit the object. Another one here, and again we've got dust particles coming out of this one. This one, sand particles that are emitted when I shoot the object here. And again, this one, if I shoot it, it suddenly spews water from the holes, so another secondary particle system. This one here again, water. Notice that the water in this case doesn't seem to be extinguishing the fire here.
Again this time, we've got a blood particle system. And where we can go on, we've got a kind of rocket missile launch here. And this one here didn't seem to be anything. But actually if we look carefully, there are some gentle dust particles floating around in the atmosphere, kind of difficult to see there. Move to the final one, and we have a sand swirl particle system. So in this movie, we've seen an example in this sample scene here. And by the way, this is the menu scene that's part of the particle package that demonstrates a range of different particle systems that we have available to us within Unity.
Of course, these are not the only kinds of particle systems available. We can create our own particle systems from scratch. And we're going to look at how to start doing that in the next movie.
This course is part of our Unity cert prep series, focusing on exam objectives related to particle systems, artificial intelligence (AI), navigation and pathfinding systems, and audio. Instructor Alan Thorn teaches you how to control particle emitters, including particle life and size. He explains how to use navigation meshes to control obstacle avoidance, create compelling NPCs by setting up and triggering animation states, and add music and sounds effects to your 2D and 3D games.
Find out more about Unity Certified Developer exam at https://certification.unity.com/.
- Shaping and controlling particle emitters
- Adjusting particle life and size
- Moving objects
- Working with navigation meshes
- Starting and completing idle states
- Starting chase and attack states
- Adding music and 2D and 3D sound