Using CC Particle world, and based on what I've read here, I've got my snowflakes just how I want them, except for one thing... they exist in 3D space all by themselves and I can't seem to get them to interact with other layers properly... the faraway flakes are really small, the close-up flakes are really big, and the motion looks great. I want the text layers I'm now adding to be in the middle of the snowflakes; I want the text in front of the far away flakes, but behind the closest ones.
I've been experimenting with layer order, 3D layers, nesting, collapsing transformations, etc... all with no luck. I'm in a bit of a time crunch, so I don't want to animate/mask the large flakes out front if I don't have to...
Any suggestions on how to make the particles and other layers interact how I want them to?
you'll need 2 particles systems and sandwich the other layer(s) in between.
what you can do is use the render settings (cs4 and eariler, click 'options' then render settings; cs5 it is in physics>floor) and choose to render everything above the floor. you'll also need to change gravity to the z axis (cs4, options>gravity; cs5 physics>gravity vector) and then you'll need to rotate the entire scene on the x-axis 90 deg.
that rotation can be tricky, if you don't have a scene camera, you can do it in plugin's camera settings. if you have a scene camera, then you may be able to add a null, parent the camera to the null (make the null 3d) and rotate the null 90 degrees on the x-axis. of course you'll need to adjust the other 3d layers to match the new orientation.
if you can pull that off, then you can duplicate your particle system and set the render settings to render everything bellow the floor, and you'll then have a perfectly split particle system that you can add layers in between.
also, you can adjust the placement of the floor (or floors, since there are now 2) to set the depth for the in between layers to sit.