A few questions about Particle System II / World?

Explorer ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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I just found out about the CC Particle System II / World effect and I kind of get the hang of it on how I want it to look. This effect will be used to show the airflow in a machine.

 

Now I have a few questions:

 

- I found out with Longetivity I can produce a trail. But the trail seems to move way off the path that I created. Can I use a string of code or maybe some variables that need to be changed in order to not have the trail float away?

 

- In the video the "airflow" gets filtered clean, so I want to show that in the form of colors. Is it possible that in a certain moment on the path the color changes to show the effect of the machine?

 

Thank you already in advance as I can't seem to find a lot of helpful tips on the CC effects of AE. If I happen to miss a good thread explaining this, please feel free to link me to that thread.

 

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Adobe Community Professional , May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022
If you want to put up with Particle Playground then feel free to do so, but creating the various property maps is extremely tricky, especially if it needs to be organic and natural. The tutorial doesn't even cover many of the basics, despite its one-hour length. Again, it may be simpler to explore other techniques or just invest a few bucks. AE really never had a decent built-in particle system. The ones that are there are just simplistic, rudimentary ones for showy effects in motion graphics, n...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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You cannot ifluence anything with scripts or code. The old rule applies: Expressions have no magic. They are only a different way of controlling properties that exist, anyway. The effects would have to have extra "per particle rules" inputs, which they don't. They are just the most basic particle systems. If you need more control, you have to invest in advanced plug-ins like Trapcode Particular or Stardust. They do offer "sticky" flow along path options. Similarly, the coloring options using the "over life" option and changing the start and end colors are limited, so chances are for that you have to move on to other tools as well. For a simple side view it could be as trivial as using two layers and masking the filter membrane or clipping it with a linear wipe and then coloring the particles differently e.gt. with a Colorama or Tritone effect. Either way, you have to approach this quite differently. Trying to do such stuff in a single sweep rarely ever works, even in advanced particle systems or 3D programs.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Hm.. Ok. Now I'm kind of back to the start. Is there a way internally within After Effects that give me an effect good enough to show off the airflow? It doesn't need to be perfect, just so people have a generic idea.

 

In the meanwhile I was looking for a video explaining more about the particles and found this video. Around 2:00 the person explains more about particle emitter. Could that be a solution by any chance?

 

The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzzEy76cCXo

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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If you want to put up with Particle Playground then feel free to do so, but creating the various property maps is extremely tricky, especially if it needs to be organic and natural. The tutorial doesn't even cover many of the basics, despite its one-hour length. Again, it may be simpler to explore other techniques or just invest a few bucks. AE really never had a decent built-in particle system. The ones that are there are just simplistic, rudimentary ones for showy effects in motion graphics, not reasonably exact physics simulations.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Thank you for your information and for making me not waste endless hours trying to make it work. I will look into this. Any sources you might find useful for someone like me trying it out for the first time?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Unfortunately there are barely any tutorials even mentioning Playground. Ever since Particular came out in 2002 people didn't bother any longer and just switched right away and even before that it was not that popular. If you have specific questions it might be best to post screenshots of your artwork and maps and I may be able to nudge you in the right direction, even if I haven't used the effect in ages myself.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Alright. I will try out some settings and plugins. If I have a question, i'll post it in here.

 

Thanks again for the help.

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Explorer ,
May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022

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Hi Mylenium,

 

I downloaded and explored Trapcode Particular a bit. There are tons of tutorials online about it, but they're all outdated unfortunately due to the interface + menus changed recently. This makes it quite hard to follow and I'm unable to get the same results. Due to that I have a few questions on if the Trapcode plugin is right for this project.

 

Please check the image attached.

 

- I want to show a continious airflow. Is that possible with Trapcode Particular and on a 2D layer?

 

- I managed to create a path that the smoke will follow but the smoke is not rotating with the corners. Is there a way to turn that on inside the plug-in?

 

- Bonus question: Is it posibble to change the colors of the particles at a certain moment? I tried it with "Set color: At Start" and then keyframe the color at a certain point to another color. But it still shows the start color.

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Explorer ,
May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022

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The picture:

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022

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Particles are assigned their over life attreibutes at their birth. This isn't a thing you can keyframe on and off based on absolute time. That's what the various graphs and gradients do once you enable them. Similarly, there's a "orient to motion direction" or whatever it is called in the particle properties, but it's only available for cloudlets and textured particles, not the basic point particles. Otherwise there's a million ways to skin this and in fact most of the time one would rely on the secondray particles emiited from the main particle group rather than the primary particle group. That could also solve your coloring issue: You define a collision plane set to Event representing your membrane and from that you emit your other particles/ switch the particle group. Your emission could be anything from a simple line mask to a grid emitter with just a single row/ column. Even a basic directional emitter would work when you tweak the size suitably and reign in the particle forces.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022

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In case you're still looking for answers using Particle Systems II.

To prevent particles from floating away, set the particle velocity to 0.
To change color over time, it's much easier to simply duplicate your particle layer, and tint each layer with the appropriate colors. Now create a mask that intersects the exact point where the color should change.

Particle Systems II is a very simple particle generator, but will do exactly what you want.

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