Particle layer



What can I do with the particle layer?

With the particle layer you can render effects like fire, smoke, stars, sparkles and flares.


How do I create a particle layer?

Choose LAYER > Add layer > Add particle layer... to create a new particle layer.

Choose LAYER > Attach layer > Attach particle to active layer... to attach a new particle layer to the active layer.

The new particle layer can be selected from the layers dropdown to make it the active layer.

Examples

The installer comes with shows demonstrating the possibilities of the particle layer. Choose FILE > Open show... and select a show from the BluffTitler/Media/Shows/Particle folder.

To quickly switch between your own shows and the ones that come with the installer, click on the Personal and App buttons in the upper right corner of the file dialog.

Attached particles

When you create a particle layer by choosing LAYER > Attach layer > Attach particle to active layer..., the particles are emitted (launched) from the surface of the active layer.

In this example, the particles are attached to a text layer.

The NotLightenedAdditive effect makes them blend into each other (choose MEDIA > Change effect...).


Independent particles

When you create a particle layer by choosing LAYER > Add layer > Add particle layer..., the particles are independent and the launch position is set with the Launch position property. Use the Launch area property to define a bigger area.

In this example the Launch area is set to (100,100,100).


Physics

With the Gravity property you can set the direction and size of the gravitational force. To make them fall downwards you set this property to something like (0,-100,0).

With the Floor level property you can set the vertical position of the plane the particles bounce off.

The Damping property controls the amount of energy that is lost if the particle hits the floor.

Particles also bounce off a mirror layer.


Pointillism

By attaching your particles to a picture layer and setting the Chameleon property to 1, the particles take over the colour of the picture.


Pre-export simulation time

It can take a few simulation steps before the particles fill the screen. To prevent this initialization time to appear in your exported video when using a playlist or server rendering, you can use the Pre-export simulation time option int the FILE > Show properties... dialog.

Launch plane

When the Launch plane size property is bigger than 0, the particles are only emitted from this launch plane.

You set the position and rotation of the launch plane with the Launch plane position and Launch plane rotation properties.

When you apply the Effects/Special/Clip effect to the layer the particles are attached to and animate the FX Clip plane and Launch plane properties you can create nice dissolve effects.

To learn more, take a look at the particle shows that come with the installer.


Target layer

When the Target layer property is bigger than 0, the particles fly to this layer. Take a look at the Layers dropdown to find the index of the target layer. You can set the flight speed with the Launch speed property.

When you prevent new particles from being emitted (by setting both sliders of the Min/Max particles property to the same value) you can move them around by animating the Target layer property.

To learn more, take a look at the particle shows that come with the installer.


Particle layer style 1

2D rectangles

Particles are rendered as 2D rectangular billboards.

This example uses a picture of a heart as the texture and the NotLightenedAdditive effect


2D circles

Particles are rendered as 2D circle shaped billboards. This mode is very effective when using the Effects/Special/Masked effect.


3D cubes

Particles are rendered as cubes.


3D spheres

Particles are rendered as spheres.


3D pipes

The path of the particles is rendered as a bended pipe. Use the Trail length property to set the pipe length.


3D blocks

Particles are rendered as blocks.


3D blobs

The particles are rendered as 3D intermingling, blending blobs (metaballs).

The blobs are rendered with the marching cubes algorithm.


3D model

Every particle is a 3D model.

You can select a 3D model by choosing MEDIA > Change model....


Particle layer style 2

Pointing upwards

In this mode, the particle is not rotated.

Pointing flight direction

In this mode, the particle rotation depends on its flight direction.

Pointing randomly

In this mode all particles have a random rotation.

Particle layer style 3

Vertical align top

Vertical align centre

Vertical align bottom

Particle layer properties

Launch position

This is the position where the particles are being emitted.

Launch area

The shape and size of the launch platform.

Examples:

(0,0,0)All particles are emitted from the same point
(100,0,0)The particles are emitted from a random point on a horizontal line.
(0,100,0)The particles are emitted from a random point on a vertical line.
(100,100,0)The particles are emitted from a random point on a plane.
(100,100,100)They are emitted from a random point in a box.

Launch direction

The launch direction in angles (heading, pitch, roll).

Examples:

(90,0,0)To the right
(90,0,90)Upwards
(90,0,180)To the left
(90,0,-90)Downwards
(0,0,0)Away from the camera
(180,0,0)Towards the camera

Launch speed

The initial speed. Note that you can reverse the launch direction by using a negative speed.

Time dilation

The speed of time. The neutral value is 1. A value higher than 1 makes the time run faster. A value lower than 1 makes the time run slower. 0 makes the time stand still.

Spread

This is the maximum deviation from the launch direction (heading, pitch, roll).

Examples:

(0,0,0)The launch direction is always the same.
(10,0,0)The heading of the launch direction has a maximum deviation of 10 degrees.
(0,180,0)The pitch of the launch direction has a maximum deviation of 180 degrees.
(180,180,180)The launch direction is completely random.

Emission

The number of particles emitted per second.

Min/Max particles

The 1st slider controls the minimum number of particles and the 2nd the maximum. When they are set to the same value and you set the Maximum age property to a very high value, the number of particles is constant and no new particles are emitted.

Gravity

The direction and size of the gravity field (horizontal, vertical, depth).

Examples:

(0,0,0)There is no gravity, the particles maintain their launch speed and direction.
(0,-30,0)The particles fall to the ground.
(10,0,0)There's a soft wind to the right.
(60,0,0)There's a strong wind to the right.

Lifetime

The maximum age of the particles in seconds.

Particle size

Just like humans, particles grow and shrink during their life. With the 1st slider you can set the size of the particles in the middle of their life. The 2nd slider controls the size at the start and the third at the end of the particle's life.

Effect size

This property scales the whole effect.

Colour 1, 2

All particles have a random colour in between these two colours. Press <F3> for the standard colour dialog.

Specular colour

The colour used for specular highlights. If this property is (0,0,0), the diffuse colour is used as the specular colour.

Specularity

The size of the specular highlights.

Transparency

This determines the transparency level of the particles. 0 is completely opaque, 1 is completely transparent. If the particle layer is attached to another layer, the transparency of this layer is added to the transparency of the particle layer.

Chameleon

This property allows you to mix the colours of the particles (as set with the 1st and 2nd colour properties) with the colours of the parent or target layer. When using a positive value, the colours are mixed with those of the parent layer. When using a negative value, the colours are mixed with those of the target layer, as set with the Target layer property.

Launch colour and Launch colour tolerance

If the Launch colour tolerance property is less than 1, particles are only launched from points that match the launch colour, as set with the Launch colour property. If the tolerance is less than zero, particles are only launched from points that do NOT match the launch colour.

If a target layer is used as set with the Target layer property, this is also used for the target points.

Launch normal and Launch normal tolerance

If the Launch normal tolerance property is less than 1, particles are only launched from points that match the normal, as set with the Launch normal property. If the tolerance is less than zero, particles are only launched from points that do NOT match the launch normal.

Examples:

(0,1,0)upsides, for example to create snow
(0,-1,0)undersides, for example to make your layer drip

If a target layer is used as set with the Target layer property, this is also used for the target points.

Rotation

The rotation of the particle (heading, pitch, roll). When using a 3D model to render the particles, this is an offset because the particle models are always pointing towards their fly direction.

Rotation speed

The rotation speed of the particles (heading, pitch, roll). For the 2D particles you might only want to use the roll (the 3rd slider).

Trail length

The length of the trail in particles. Note that a big trail slows down the framerate considerably.

Trail density

This value determines the distance between the particles in the trail. A high density means a smaller distance.

Grid

When this property is not zero, the particles are placed on a grid.

Variation

The variation in particle size, trail length and maximum age. When this property is set to 0 all particles have the exact same size, trail length and maximum age.

Turbulence

This property adds some chaos to the flight path of the particles.

Launch plane position

This property is used when the Launch plane size property is greater than 0. The particles are only emitted from this plane.

Launch plane rotation

The launch plane rotation in angles (heading, pitch, roll).

Examples:

(90,0,0)Vertical plane
(90,0,90)Horizontal plane

Launch plane size

This controls the thickness of the launch plane. Set this property to -1 to turn off the launch plane.

Floor level

This is the vertical position of the floor. Particles are bounced off this floor.

Damping

This property controls the amount of energy that is lost if a particle hits the floor as set with the Floor level property or a mirror layer.

Target layer

If this property is bigger than 0, the particles fly to this layer. Take a look at the Layers dropdown to find the index of the target layer. You can set the flight speed with the Launch speed property.

Depth bias

With the Depth bias property you can move the particles a bit closer to or further away from the camera. For example when attaching sparkles to a text layer, you want all the particles to be rendered in front of the text. You can do this with a negative Depth bias. But when attaching a glow effect you want all the particles to be rendered behind the text. You can achieve this by using a positve depth bias.