Particle systems

  • Particle systems are graphic objects without a fixed outline, which consist of similar individual parts that behave and move according to physical laws - for example smoke.

    1 General

    The central element of a particle system is the so-called "emitter". In English this means "emitter" or "radiator" and it represents the unit that defines on the one hand the properties of the way the particles are created, their appearance and their behaviour. It is also the "starting point" of the emitted particles, which is why they can be assigned to a specific animation.

    Particle systems always belong to a certain scenery object or vehicle.

    2 Configuration

    2.1 Creating

    Particle systems are created and configured in the Object & Vehicle Tool; this is done in the "Particles" section on the left. There, any number of particle emitters can be created. This section contains the list of the created emitters with their controls and the button with which the particles can be assigned to an animation.

    To create a new particle the button "+" is used. Then the name of the emitter is to be entered, with which it is listed. With the rectangle button the properties of the particle emitter can then be defined, which will be explained in the following section.

    The remaining list buttons have the following functions:

    • Arrow up/down: Moves the selected list element up or down.
    • Double rectangle: Creates a copy of the selected element
    • "X": Delete element

    2.2 Properties

    Variable Meaning Range
    Origin: x, y and z Coordinates of the emitting point -
    Direction For Speed: x, y and z Direction vector at exit - only then do the physical principles apply each [0-1]
    Active Couple activation to boolean variable, e.g. "Sanding" boolean :)
    Color: red, green, blue The 1 corresponds to 255 on the channel each [0-1]
    Rate emissions per second, normally not exceeding 10 -
    InitSizeM Initial size in meters (approximately) -
    InitTransparency Initial transparency [0-1]
    InitSpeedMPS Initial speed m/s
    InitDurationS Duration of the particles in seconds -
    AdditionalWindVeloc: x, y and z With this option an additional (!) wind can be defined, which influences the movement of the particles. But the "normal" wind works in all cases! m/s
    GrowingRate Growing rate -
    Friction Friction: how much are the particles slowed down by the air? -
    FrictionOnEmitter Friction: how much are the particles slowed down relative to the emitter? The higher the value, the more the emitter "pulls" "its" particles with it -
    GravityInfluence Gravity: 1 - parabola of a solid, 0 - unaffected, <0 - particles have buoyancy -
    SpeedVariation Differences in the outlet velocity [0-1[
    TransparencyVariation Differences in transparency [0-1[
    DirectionVariation Differences in direction >=0
    DurationVariation Differences in duration [0-1[
    SizeVariation Differences in size [0-1[
    RateVariation Differences in the rate [0-1[

    2.3 Animations

    To assign an animation to the emitter, simply select the desired animation in the "Animations" section and then select the particle emitter in the "Particle" section and then click the "Uses selected animation" button.

    2.4 Performance

    In general, it is better to have a few, more intensive particles than many, more transparent particles - to protect the graphics card.