Particle Objects

A particle object consists of a number of simple geometry items, such as points or lines. Despite of their simplicity, particles can create interesting rendering effects, thanks to the following reasons:

Particles can be rendered as scanline objects before ray tracing or in the post processing phase after ray tracing. Scanline particles can be controlled using a VSL material with a Scanline shader. Post particle rendering can be controlled using a Post particles shader.

[Note] Note
All usual surface attributes such as color, transparency etc. affect appearance of scanline rendered particles. The scanline system passes the result of its rendering to the ray tracer, which in turn evaluates the surface attributes when combining the scanline data with ray traced objects. Therefore, you can even bump map scanline particles by modifying the surface normal in a surface properties shader!
[Note] Note
With a post particle shader, you can set and randomize may useful properties such as particle color, transparency, geometry points and diameters.

All particle types have the following controls on the property window:

Rendering tab

Geometry tab

Note: A pointwise value for all rendering channels (Color, Fade etc.) can be initialized using the map2Obj tool.

Constructor tab

1D Particles

A 1D particle object consists of a set of points. Points are suitable for modeling dust clouds, symmetric flares, stars and other objects which do not need a 'direction' property.

A moving sphere emitting 1D scanline particles
1D particle specific properties:

2D Particles

A 2D particle object consists of a set of straight lines. Lines are suitable for modeling rays, fur etc.

2D particle specific properties:

3D Particles

3D particles define a full 3D coordinate system. They are therefore suitable for effects that require full orientation control in 3D space. The current post effect set does not require such control.

The post processing control channels of 3D particles, available in a 'Post particles' shader, are:

Post Image

The Post Image is a special kind of particle object. It is classified as a particle object because the 'Render particles' post effect module renders it at the post processing phase. It is a level object, which can contain another geometry object. The sub object can be a rectangle, a NURBS mesh or another 2D geometry.

The geometry defines an image plane warping. Each point of the rendered image corresponds a point in the surface. The image plane can be colored by using a material which includes a 'Post particles' shader. By animating the material mapping or the sub geometry, you can create animated waves, warps and other interesting effects.

A post image including a NURBS mesh mapped with a checker pattern. A part of the result image on the right.