Particle Attribute Editor

Emitter/Particle Attributes (in Attribute Editor and some in Channel Box):

In the Outliner or the 3d window: select the emitter or particles and open the Attribute Window

*** All attributes can be keyed to animate change over time

nParticle1 Tab (this will be the name of your particles)

Basic transform settings for the ENTIRE particle set - not individual particles

nParticleShape1 Tab:

Count - how many particle showing in the world at any time - can't edit this

Lifespan Attributes - determines when the particle dies

Number of seconds it lives after it is born. Used with emitters.

Live forever - never dies


Constant - lives for a specific time


Random Range - lifespan = average life, random = total distribution


Lifespan pp (only) - must be programmed or a ramp attached - will use laterlifespan

nParticle Shading

Particle Render Type - particle type and how it renders

Depth Sort - Improves render quality of transparent particles - drawn from far to near - slow

Threshold - Used with software rendered particles

Color Accum - when overlapping particles exist it uses an additive color effect in opacity and RGB
All colors = white

Normal Dir
- direction of the normal, only use if Use Lighting is turned on
1 = forward; 2 = towards the camera; 3 = backwards

Use Lighting - uses lights from the scene. If OFF particles use their own color

Opacity - transparency

Hardware Rendered Particles with their attributes:

*** Will not render out when you use Mental Ray or Maya Software Batch Render

Points - small dots

Point Size = can increase or decrease size, far and near particles are the same size

Multipoint - each point is multiple points, particles seem denser, used for dust, mist, clouds

Multi Count - # of particles displayed per particle

Multi Radius - the sphere within which the particles for each individual particle is randomly distributed

Streak - moving particles have tails, like meteors or rain. Streak length is based on velocity. If velocity is 0 you won't see a tail.

Line Width - width of the streak

Tail Fade - opacity of the tail fade; 1 = opaque, 0 = transparent

Tail Size - length of the tail, faster the velocity the longer the tail.
1 = default, 0 = none, less than 1 is shorter and more than 1 is longer

Multi Streak - Multipoint with a tail for each particle. Combo of Multipoint and Streak.

Multi Count - # of particles displayed per particle

Multi Radius
- the sphere within which the particles for each individual particle is randomly distributed

Spheres - particles are spheres

Radius - Need to go up to the Particle Size - Radius Scale section

Change the Radius

Numeric - puts the particle ID # on the particle - used for debugging

Attribute Name - try adding the following words: position, mass, velocity, lifespan

Selected Only - select Components on the top menu and select a few CVs only those will show numbers

Sprites - Displays a texture image at each point. Need to map an image on it. Image always faces camera, can be used for smoke, clouds, fog, and star field. If the image has an alpha channel on it then the alpha 0 will be transparent.

Must open the Sprite Attribute section below the Shading section

Sprite Num
- if you use a series of images which one to use in the series

Sprite Scale X - .5 scales it 50% 2 scales it 200% in the X

Sprite Scale Y - scaling in the Y

Sprite Twist - - rotation of the sprite

To add an image to the Sprite:

Making images for your sprite particles:

In Photoshop draw or scan in an image.

A. Make an image with a transparent background and Save for Web as a 24bit PNG

B. If you scan or start with a photo and want some of it to be transparent:

1. Select the part you want to be transparent.

2. Select menu - Inverse Selection (to select the part you want visible)

3. Select menu - Save Selection... (don't worry about changing anything here)

4. File - Save As .... TIF (must be TIF)

Put the image in your sourceimages folder

In the Hypershade, make a Lambert or Phong and click Color to attach a file texture to it.
(select the image you made with the alpha channel)

Select the particles

In the Hypershade, hold down the right arrow on the shader (Phong or Lambert)

Select Assign Material to Selection

Do a test render (see Rendering Particles)

Next Lecture: [Rendering Particles]