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# How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinder

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 How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinder on Jun 17, 2010 at 6:29:35 am

I'm having trouble figuring this out, depsite a lot of hunting and pecking at Trapcode Particular.

I have a cylinder, which I have masked in After Effects. I wont to create particles that swirl in a circle right around the cylinder. But I can't seem to figure out how to get Particular to do that. The emitters seem to be very limiting: a point or a sphere, etc.

I can't seem to get this one. Can anyone point me in the right direction? A tutorial that is on point, or just a technique to get me in the right direction. I'm pretty capable of taking it from there if I can figure this one part out.

 Re: How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinderon Jun 17, 2010 at 10:35:44 am

Hi,

You might find it easier to use a light as your emitter, as you can then parent the light to a Null and then animate that any way you want in 3D space. So, for example, if you offset the light from the Null to match the diameter of your cylinder, parent the light to the Null, and then set the Null rotating, your light - and your particle emitter - will spin in a circle.

 Re: How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinderon Aug 17, 2010 at 1:21:05 am

Belated thank you for this suggestion!

 Re: How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinderon Jun 17, 2010 at 1:33:44 pm

Do you mean like a fairy running around the cylinder in a circle leaving a trail behind? If so, the obscuration part of this tutorial would probably be helpful.

If you mean more along the lines of a bunch of particles swirling around it in a circular direction, then look into creating a tall and narrow emitter, moving it around the cylinder and perhaps using the motion path option.

From the Particular help file:
The Motion Path feature makes it possible to precisely control the path that a particle takes after being emitted. This is done by setting keyframes for a comp Light in After Effects and naming the Light to start with the name "Motion Path" followed by a number between 1 and 9. This keyframed Light lets you control the path that particles travel after being born. Motion Path is useful when precise control of the particle path is needed.
Check in your Particular help files for more info. You may need several Particular layers and several lights to make it look the way you want it.

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 Re: How do I: make trapcode particles circle around a cylinderon Jun 17, 2010 at 8:57:54 pm

...and here's my, "I don't know much about Particular", no-brainer approach:

Make 2 3-D Nulls; rename 'em "Center" and Radius". Move the Radius null the desired distance away from the Center null. Pick-whip the Particular Emitter position to the Radius position. Now animate the Center null to rotate on one axis and to change position along another axis.

Hey, it might work.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA