Playing with Particles

Winnie Particles
Winnie and pretty particle snowflakes

The last several shows that I have gone to have had some really nice particle effects.

It has long been a goal of mine to learn to make my own particles.

Why?

I could just buy them, I suppose, but I never seem to be able to find exactly what I’m looking for.

Plus, I’m cheap, and why buy them when I can make them? 😛

One of the perks of buying the Artiste Performer’s series was that it came with a coupon to purchase a particle generator.

Oh, sure, I could have bought it on my own, but I hadn’t.

It’s really pretty simple to use, and playing with the sliders was a lot easier than spending hours and hours at the Particle Lab trying to figure out all the different particle parameters.

The generator has an export function that writes the particle script for you, based on the slider settings you chose.

After the explosions class a few weeks ago, I was wanting to try my hand at making some particles.

I had seen some cool glowing circle effects at a show, so I wanted to try and make my own.

I did spend a bit of time on the interwebs, googling information about the various particle parameters.

I found a couple of websites that gave some good (if old) information about what effects the parameters have on the behavior of the particles.

One had some videos along with the explanations.  Of course you can always visit the Wiki and find the latest information.

Sometimes, oftentimes, however, the explanations on the Wiki are too dry and logical and scientific-y for me, so finding alternate sources was helpful.

I found a really old one that had some good visuals to help explain the various parameters, but alas, I cannot seem to locate the link. 😦

If you don’t want to lay out the L$ for a generator, you can find some simple script generators online.

Or, if you use the Firestorm viewer, you can use its built-in particle generator.

You can get some really cool effects with some very simple particles – fireflies, ribbons, pretty stars, etc.

You may need to find and/or make some textures, but it’s a lot of fun experimenting and playing. 😀

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