Trapcode Particular

Sprite Controls

The Sprite particle is a custom layer loaded into Particular. The default Sprite will load a Square.

 

Importing Sprites

There are two ways to bring in images for Sprites. After selecting Sprite as the Particle Type, the Choose Model… button appears. Clicking this opens a window that shows you the sprites that are included with Particular. You can also import your own still image or animated movie by clicking the Add New Sprite… button in the upper right corner of this window.

 

Face Camera

On by default, the Sprites will always face directly at your camera even as the camera moves. Unchecking Face Camera will allow your sprite to act more like a regular 3D layer.

NOTE when Face Camera is turned off, Sprites behave like what was formerly called Textured Polygons.


Particle Type set to Sprite, with chosen Leaf image


Sprites with Face Camera turned on

Sprites with Face Camera turned off

 

Layer

This chooses the source layer that will be used as a 'texture' or custom particle. All other Texture group parameters affect the image loaded into Layer.

By default, the Layer popup is set to None and turned off. To turn it on, just choose a layer from your timeline in the dropdown menu.

Note that using larger layers will drastically increase render times and may result in instability depending on particle counts and system resources.

 

Time Sampling

Time Sampling determines which frame of the layer is sampled to generate the custom particle. There are 11 modes. The mode determines which frame the custom particle is sampled from with options for starting from the first frame, picking a random frame, or splitting the layer source into multiple clips.

The default choice is Random - Loop. If the custom particle is a still image, the mode should always be set to Current Time. This option will speed up rendering because the same frame of the layer is used for all particles in the current frame.

When using an animated particle, the other modes are useful. The Start, Random and Split modes can drastically reduce the time needed to pre-render the custom particle layer.

The Start at modes all begin at frame one (the start) of the custom input layer.

  • Start at Birth - Play Once: Plays the custom layer from start once. The particle may die before the custom layer ends, or the custom layer may end before the particle dies.
  • Start at Birth - Loop: Plays the custom layer from start and restarts (or loops) if the layer ends.
  • Start at Birth - Stretch: Plays the custom layer from start and time-stretches it so it ends exactly when the particle dies.

The Random modes pick a frame at random to use.

  • Random - Still Frame: Selects a random frame from the custom layer and uses it throughout the particle's life.
  • Random - Play Once: Starts playing the custom layer from a random frame, and then plays at normal speed. The particle may die before the custom layer ends, or the custom layer may end before the particle dies.
  • Random - Loop: Starts playing the custom layer from a random frame, and then plays at normal speed. If the custom layer ends, it loops and restarts from the beginning.

Split Clip modes split the custom layer into a number of clips. The number is set within the parameter Number of Clips. For example, if the custom layer is 30 frames, and Number of Clips is set to 3, that means the custom layer will be split into three 10 frame clips.

This is useful for creating a set of animated particles.

  • Split Clip - Play Once: Randomly selects one of the clips and play the clip once.
  • Split Clip - Loop: Randomly selects one of the clips and play the clip looping.
  • Split Clip - Stretch: Randomly selects one of the clips and time-stretch it to fit the particle life.

Current Frame - Freeze: Holds the referenced particle image at the current time throughout the particles life. So any particles born at a certain frame will have that same appearance throughout the particle's life, even though the input layer may be animating. This happens at each frame.

 

Sprite Random Seed

Active when any of the Random Time modes are chosen in the Time Sampling popup. Random Seed randomizes which frame it is sampling from without changing the positions of the particles.

 

Number of Clips

Active when any of the Split Clip modes are chosen in the Time Sampling popup. Defines the number of clips in the custom layer that Split Clip uses.

For example, you may have 5 movies that are 10 frames each in a pre-comp. You may then select a Split Clip mode and set Number of Clips to 5, which will tell Particular to use just one of the 5 clips as the custom particle.

 

Layer Subframe Sampling

Active when any of the Play Once, Stretch or Still Frame modes are chosen in the Time Sampling popup. This allows subframe sampling for the custom particle layer.

This is useless if the custom particle is a movie, but if it is an animation, the plug-in can retrieve frames that are in-between frames.

 

Colorize

Colorize screen blends the color of the Particle > Set Color parameter with the Sprite.

 

Color Fill

Fill does a normal blend of the color of the Particle > Set Color parameter with the Sprite. At 100%, it will be filled entirely by the color.


Particle Color setting


Sprites with Colorize turned up to 100%


Sprites with Color Fill turned up to 100%