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Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?

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Brittany DeLilloIndividual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 16, 2012 at 10:18:59 pm

Hey all. I have a PSD with a graphical element that I'm trying to create in After Effects. It's a pretty basic "firework effect" using CC Particle World. But, I'm not getting the right light properties on the particles. Here is the element I'm working off of:



As you can see, there's an obvious light source and each particle has a bit of a specular highlight and a shadow. They are all unique objects being affected by a light source. The lights in After Effects just aren't cutting it for me. Is there a way without needing something like Particular or a full 3D animation that I can achieve this look? I can add a light in, the particle layers in my comp are being treated as just one layer, and the light effect is spread out among all the particles, rather than each one having its own highlight, shadow, etc.

Below is what's happening in my comp:



Thanks in advance for your help. I'm using AE CS5.5, last iteration of that product.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:05:19 pm

Have you played around with the light's intensity?

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


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Brittany DeLilloRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:40:30 pm

That was the first thing I tried. Unfortunately it just blows out the nearest particles.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:08:49 pm

I haven't memorized all the particle settings in CC Particle World, but I'd wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's one to increase a particle's specularity.

Do you have the PDF document for the CC effects, wherein all the effects & associated properties are described, and which can be downloaded from Cycore?


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Brittany DeLilloRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:47:43 pm

Can't find anything there regarding Specular. If I make them 3D layers I can adjust it in Material Options, but not with very great results. It's again a change made across the particles as a group as opposed to in each individual particle. I've added some extra effects on the Shape layer I'm using as my texture, but as you'd guess, the shadows and specular hits aren't dynamic so the shadows and specular hits are "static" on the layer. Also, I have to really push the effect on the Shape layer to make anything come through in my Comp with the Particle Explosion. What looks incredibly blown out in one Comp looks barely noticeable in the other. I'm hitting a wall with my AE knowledge so I'm not sure what to do to ramp this up a bit.

Would CS6 help? Working in a real 3D environment?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:38:41 pm

[Brittany DeLillo] "Would CS6 help? Working in a real 3D environment?"

For REAL 3D? Nope. AE 11 is no more real 3D than previous versions; it merely has more bells & whistles, which won't help in your case. I fear you have indeed hit a wall in AE capabilities. The next step would be a true 3D application.

Now there IS a free and well-respected 3D application called Blender which may help....

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


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Brittany DeLilloRe: Individual Particle Properties in CC Particle World?
by on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:56:10 am

Ah yes, Blender! I forgot about that program. I'm going to show our creative what I've done so far and if they feel the need to replicate the design exactly, I'll probably turn to that software to do it. Thank you so much for all the help!


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