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Trapcode Particle

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Spencer Tycksen
Trapcode Particle
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:46:16 pm

Hey Everyone,

I'm trying to create an effect of lingering smoke after a small explosion (i.e. chemistry explosion). I'm using the Trapcode Particle to do it. I'm getting close on the look I want, but there are so many settings I'm not sure what to adjust. I want my particles to generate not from one particular point, but randomly. I also want to slow them down.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated. If you have a better way to generate a lingering smoke effect, I'm all ears. Thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Trapcode Particle
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:47:40 pm

[Spencer Tycksen] " I'm using the Trapcode Particle to do it. I'm getting close on the look I want, but there are so many settings I'm not sure what to adjust. I want my particles to generate not from one particular point, but randomly."

Use a different emitter type (such as box or sphere) instead of point.


[Spencer Tycksen] "I also want to slow them down."

Adjust the emitter's velocity, or adjust the physics time factor.

All the emitter parameters are grouped under Emitter; physics time factor is located under Physics.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Trapcode Particle
on Feb 9, 2012 at 1:03:47 am

Along with what Walter covered, turn off or reduce gravity. I'd assume you'd want the smoke to linger/fade rather than settle to the floor.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Trapcode Particle
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:58:57 pm

One trick that you can use to slow down particles when you like the motion without messing with the controls in Particular is to precompose the Particular layer and apply Time Remap, then set keyframes and adjust them to get the desired speed. This will create the same effects as a high speed camera since it is applied to a precomped layer and not to actual footage.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Andrew Somers
Re: Trapcode Particle
on Feb 9, 2012 at 7:28:33 pm

Think of "Physics Time Factor" as your "master speed control" - it affects the speed of everything except particles per second.


To freeze, keyframe particles per second down to 0, and physics time factor down to 0.


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