What is Trapcode Particular?
Trapcode Particular is an industry standard particle generator. Particle systems, like Particular, emanate particles automatically. These particles are like little beings - they are born, they have a lifespan, and then they die. We don’t control those individual particles one by one. We just control the system, which in turn controls the particles.
Particular can be used to create:
- Blowing leaves
- Trails of sparkles
...and so much more! The possibilities are endless.
Quickstart for Particular
In this brief tutorial, we’ll get you up to speed and making something beautiful with Particular in just a few simple steps.
Typically, new users would want to start in the Designer. There are a wealth of professionally designed presets there to get you started.
But here, we’re going to learn a bit about how Particular works so that you’re better able to understand the Designer, and customize presets more to your needs.
- Let’s start by just making a new comp at 1920 x 1080.
- Create a new solid at the comp size. Any color will do (Particular will completely replace the contents of this solid when applied anyway).
- Apply Effects > RG Trapcode > Form to the solid. Press the spacebar to preview the particles being emitted. By default, the results aren’t completely spectacular. But we’re gonna change that.
- These particles are being emitted by an emitter. If we animate the position of the emitter, we’ll create a motion trail. That’s kinda fun. Press the Home key to return to the beginning of your composition. Open the Emitter (Master) group in the Particular UI in the Effect Controls panel.
Click the stopwatch for Position. Next to that Position property, you’ll see a little effect control point icon. Click that to put the emitter in the upper left corner of the Composition panel.
- Now move out in time to 1 second, and move the effect control point (which determines the position of the emitter) down to the bottom of the Composition panel. Then move out another second and now drag the emitter to the upper right. Now if you play back your animation, you’ve created a particle trail!
- Now let’s make it pretty. Close the Emitter (Master) area in the Particular UI, and instead open up the Particle (Master) settings. Our particles are creating too long of a trail. This is because they’re living too long. Let’s reduce their lifespan by taking the Life value down to 1.
- Reduce the Sphere Feather value from 50 to 0 so that we get a harder edge to our particles. Let’s also increase the Size value from 5 to 10 so that we get larger particles.
- Let’s add some color. Click the swatch next to the Color value to open the color picker. You can use whatever color you’d like, but I went with a nice gold color (RGB values of 250, 200, 100).
- Finally, let’s increase the Size Randomness and the Opacity Randomness values to 100 to mix things up a bit. Now we have a great looking sparkle trail just like that! Keep experimenting and see what you come up with. As you learn more about Particular, there’s no end to what you can create!