Something Particular

It’s funny where live takes you. When it was new, I did all sorts of weird things with Particular (some of which you can still find on my download pages) and then of course for a while everyone went crazy over those light trails, but as I moved more and more into the "serious" visualization business rather than motion graphics with blinking logos, the less I ended up using it. It’s still one of those handful of "essential" After Effects plug-ins, though, and with Christmas season not being far away, we can be sure to see once more all sorts of glittery trails and fairy dust, so it will come in handy. To make this even easier, it has received once more an update. Usually there’s not much to write about, as they are often only minor compatibility and bug fixes, but this time it’s slightly more than that. There are a few noteworthy enhancements and additions such as the ability to use different randomization on multiple light emitters. And of course it now renders even more particles, but at the end of the day even 20 million may not be enough in some situations. If you know your way around layer maps in Form or Card Dance already, you might also geek out a bit on modulating emission velocity that way. Not sure about that Particle Amount stuff – it’s this typical thing that sometimes makes me use language in 3D programs. Why would I even want to use a different particle rate in the preview than in the final render? Kinda defeats the purpose of a WYSIWYG approach and you only throw around curses when your volume clouds or metaballs look completely different. You know, you could tweak your Fractal Field at 10% density and it would give you all those nice opacity accumulations and then on render it’s just one solid colored blob…

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