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This parameter lets you emit particles from lights. The Emitter Type Light(s) needs to be selected for this parameter to be active.
The advantages to using Light Emitters rather than the built-in Emitter is that Lights in After Effects are true 3D objects. This means their 3D motion path can be conveniently edited, and many Lights can be used to emit multiple Emitters at once. See our tutorial for 'Emitting Particles from Lights' at the bottom of this page.
When Light(s) is active in the Emitter Type popup, Particles/sec Modifier can tell the Light Emitter to emit different amounts of particles at various times. The parameter does this by modifying certain layer properties of the composition Light that is being used. Essentially, particles/sec Modifier is altering the value set in Particles/sec in the Emitter group.
Particles/sec Modifier has four choices. Each choice affects a different Light property, which is located in the Light's layer properties in the Timeline. For example, if you set the popup to Light Intensity and the emitter's Light Intensity value is set to 90%, then the Particle/sec value will be 90% of the set value in the plug-in. In other words, a value of 100 particles/sec would become 90 particles/sec.
Options Panel > Light Emitter Name
The Light Emitter is recognized with the Light Emitter feature in the Options panel. When a comp Light has the same name as the Options Light Emitter name, that Light will be used to control the particle emission.
Enter a Light Name in the Name field, and use that same name for the Light layer in your Timeline. This will make the Light recognize the Light Emitter.
By default, this Light Name is named 'Emitter' and that is often an easy standard to use. But the Light Name can be changed to anything as long as the Light's layer name matches. More info on the Options Panel page.