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The Particle Editor can be found in the Database View/Particles tab. You can use the Particle Editor to create particle effects and tweak their parameters, but also manage and store them.

This page breaks down the categories that make up the particle editor.

Emitter

Parameters in this tab control the particle amount & spawning location of the particles.

EnabledToggles enable/disable current item.

Spawn Indirection: Contains 4 options

  • Direct - Spawn in the normal way.
  • Parent Start - Spawn once the parent has spawned.
  • Parent Collide - Once the parent particle has collided with an object, this is the trigger to spawn a particle with this setting.
  • Parent Death - When the parent particle has lived out its lifetime, this is the trigger to spawn a particle with this setting.

Count: This defines the amount of particles at any one time that will be active.

Timing

Parameters in this tab control the timing of the particles.

ContinuousToggles enable/disable current item. If active, will run forever (as expected) unless you define an Emitter Lifetime.

Spawn Delay: In seconds, delay the spawning of the particle. Useful for when triggering multiple sub effects at the same level in the hierarchy to offset them.

Emitter Life Time: In seconds, specify a time limit on the emitters overall lifetime. 0 = infinite life time (default). Anything >0 will effect the lifetime.

Emitter Life Time does not apply to non-Continuous effects, which will always disappear as soon as they have emitted all of their particles. 

Pulse PeriodSet an interval duration for restarting emitter. If the Emitter Life Time set to 10 and Pulse Period set to 2, then this item will restart 5 times in its life time.

Particle Life TimeSets the life time of individual particles. Even after the emitters life time has expired, spawned particles will live out their own life time.

Remain while Visible: When it's on, it forces the current item to be visible until the camera is not looking at the bounding box of the current item. There are some parameters which decrease particles to optimize performance. When it's on, current item ignores these parameters.

Location

Parameters in this tab control the spawning locations and attachment controls of the particle.

Position Offset: XYZ define a spawning position away from the emitter itself, in emitter space.

Random OffsetXYZ define the range of a random spawning box, in both directions, away from the position offset.

Offset Roundness: Fraction of spawning volume corners to round. 0 = box shape, 1 = ellipsoid shape.

Offset Inner Fraction: Ratio of inner to outer spawning volume. 0 = spawn within entire volume, 1 = spawn only at surface.

Attach Type: Specify the type of emission when current item is assigned to 3D geometry.

  • None: Particles ignore geometry and emit from emitter center as normal.
  • Bounding Box: Particles emit from the bounding box of the geometry object.
  • Physics: Particles emit from the geometry of the attached physics object (can be a mesh or simple primitive).
  • Render: Particles emit from the full mesh of the render object (usually static or animated mesh). Generally more CPU-intensive than emitting from the bounding box.

Attach FormWhen Attach Type is not set to None, Specifies the elements of the geometry (box or mesh) that particles will emit from.

  • Vertices: Emit randomly from the vertices of the geometry. Most efficient form of Mesh emission.
  • Edges: Emit randomly from the edges of the geometry. Useful for effects on breaking element pieces.
  • Surface: Emit randomly from the surface (faces) of the geometry.
  • Volume: Emit randomly inside the volume of the geometry.

Angles

Parameters in this tab control the focus direction (which is by default the emitter's +Y axis) and rotation value of sprites.

 

Focus Angle: The amount to rotate, in degrees from Y axis. (0 = straight up, 90 = Horizontal, 180 = straight down).
Focus Azimuth: The amount to rotate the new axis about the Y axis. (0/360 = North, 90 = West, 180 = South, 270).

Focus Gravity Dir - This option is deprecated and not necessary. Use Gravity Scale instead to have particles respond to gravity.

Focus Gravity Dir: Forces the focus direction to world negative gravity direction (usually world +Z), ignoring emitter orientation.

Emit Offset Dir: Forces the particles to emit in all directions from the origin.

Emit Angle: Controls the angle deviation of an emitted particle from the focus axis (default local +Y). (0 = +Y straight up, 90 = comes out horizontal to the emitter, 180 = -Y straight down).

Facing: Applies only to 2D particles, Determine how the sprite is oriented in space. Texture orientation is further modified by rotational parameters.

  • Camera: Faces the  viewer, texture X&Y aligned with screen X&Y. In this mode only, particles are assumed to represent spherical objects, are are lit accordingly (see Curvature below). In all other modes, particles are lit as flat polygons.
  • Free: Rotates freely in 3D. (Remember to give it some rotation; the default orientation is equal to the emitter's).
  • Velocity: Faces direction of movement.
  • Water: Faces upward, moved and aligned to nearest water plane.
  • Terrain: Faces upward, moved and aligned to nearest terrain location.
  • Decal: Renders the particle as an actual deferred decal, projected onto the nearest surface.

Orient To Velocity: Forces Texture X axis aligned to direction of movement. Rotation parameters can rotate it further.

Curvature: For Facing = Camera particles, sets how far the vertex normals are bent into a spherical shape, which affects lighting. 0 = flat, lit like a polygon. 1 = bent into an (almost) hemispherical shape, lit like a sphere, which is the default. 

Appearance

Parameters in this tab control the basic appearance of the particle.

It should be setup first, because this tab includes the Texture slot, generally used for most particles.


Particles must specify one of either a Texture, Material, or Geometry asset. Texture or Material are for 2D sprite particles (or decals). Geometry is for 3D mesh particles.

Blend Type: Applies only to 2D particles. Determines how the sprite blends with the background.

Texture: Browse and choose the texture used for 2D sprite particles. Displays a preview of the texture when the mouse cursor is over the input box. 

Texture Tiling: Splits the texture into tiles, for variation and animation.

  • Tiles X & Y: Defines how many tiles the texture is split into.
  • First Tile: Sets the first of the range of tiles used by this particle (numbered from 0).
  • Variant Count: Sets how many consecutive tiles in the texture the particle will randomly select from. 
  • Anims Frame Count: Sets how many tiles make up an animation sequence. Variant Count and Anim Frames Count can be used together. For example, if Variant Count = 2 and Anim Frames Count = 8, then the particle will randomly choose between using tiles 0 through 7, or 8 through 15, as an animated sequence.
  • Anim Framerate: Frames per second for the animation. If 0, then the animation runs through one sequence in the particle lifetime.
  • Anim Cycle: If Once, the animation plays once, and holds on the last frame. If Loop, it cycles indefinitely. If Mirror, it alternates cycling forward and backward indefinitely.
  • Anim Blend: Render the particle blended between the two adjacent anim frames. Note: performance impact.

Material: Browse and choose the material used for 2D sprite particles.

Tessellation: If supported by hardware, enables tessellation, rendering more vertices within the sprite. This is useful when Receive Shadows is set, increasing the resolution of shadows; or when Tail Length or Connection is set, creating smoother curves in connected particles.

Octagonal Shape: Renders sprites as octagons instead of quads, reducing pixel cost. Only to be used with textures that fit within an octagon, otherwise clipping will occur. 

Soft Particle: Apply a rendering technique that softens the intersection between sprites and nearby objects, to prevent unnatural seams. (Slightly more expensive, so use sparingly on particles that need it, eg: smoke).

GeometryBrowse and choose 3D object to use on current item.

Geometry in PiecesIf true, and the Geometry asset contains multiple sub-objects, then the geometry will be emitted in split-up pieces, one set per particle Count, originating at each piece's location in the asset. If false, each particle will use the entire geometry (all sub-objects together).

No Offset: For Geometry particles, use the geometry pivot for 

Alpha: The alpha blending value of the particle, multiplying the texture's alpha value. For Additive blending, serves as a multiplier. Normally 0 to 1, but you can push the alpha beyond 1 to achieve a stronger effect.

Alpha Test: The minimum texture alpha value to render. All alpha values below it are transparent, all alpha values above scaled down to match.

Colour: Pick the colour to apply to the particle.

  • Random: This controls how much influence the Random Hue will effect the particle. Slider goes from 0 - 1.
  • Random Hue: Enable this checkbox to cycle through the the colours.
  • Emitter Strength: Define the colour of the particle over the Emitters life time. Add a keyframe colour by double clicking inside the panel and assigning a colour. You can add multiple keyframes into the timeline by repeated double clicks. Their position in the timeline, defines when it will blend into the next colour.
  • Particle Life: Define the colour of the particle over the Particles life time. Add a keyframe colour by double clicking inside the panel and assigning a colour. You can add multiple keyframes into the timeline by repeated double clicks. Their position in the timeline, defines when it will blend into the next colour.

Lighting

Parameters in this tab control the lighting of the particle.

Diffuse Lighting: Multiplier to the particle color for dynamic (diffuse) lighting.

Diffuse Backlighting: Fraction of diffuse lighting that is applied to unlit particle directions. 0 = standard diffuse lighting, where the normals facing the light are lit the most. 1 is omnidirectional diffuse lighting, where lights affects all normals equally.

Emissive LightingMultiplier to the particle color for constant emissive lighting. This can make a glowish appearance to the particle by adding some value.

Receive Shadows: Causes shadows to be cast on the particles.

Cast Shadows: Causes particles to cast shadows. Note: currently functions only on Geometry particles.

Not Affected By FogWhen on, the current item ignores scene fog.

Global Illumination: Enable global illumination on the particles.

Diffuse Cubemap: Use nearest deferred cubemap for diffuse lighting.

Light Source: Causes each particle to create a deferred light.

  • Radius: Radius of the light.
  • Intensity: Intensity of the light. Color is equal to the Color value.
  • HDRDynamic: Control the power to apply to engine HDR multiplier, for particle light source in HDR.

Sound

Parameters in this tab browse and control the sound files. Not so many things can do on sound currently.

SoundBrowse and chose the sound file to use on current item. Assigned sound starts at the time when the emitter starts.

SoundFX ParamModulate value to apply to the sound. Its effect depends on how the individual sound's "particlefx" parameter is defined. Depending on the sound, this value might affect volume, pitch, or other attributes.

Sound Control Time: Controls how long the sound plays

  • Emitter Life Time: Plays for the length of the emitter's life time.
  • Emitter Extended Life Time: Plays for the length of the emitter's life time plus all particle's life times; i.e. until all particles die.
  • Emitter Pulse Period: Plays for the length of the pulse period.

Size

Parameters in this tab control the size and shape of the sprite.

SizeFor 2D particles, controls the world sprite radius. For 3D particles, controls the scale applied to the geometry.

StretchControls the amount of stretch applied to the particle in the direction of travel, in seconds (based on current velocity). Stretches in both directions by default.

  • Offset Ratio: Adjusts the center of stretching. 0 = stretch both directions, 1 = stretch backward only, -1 = stretch forward only.

Tail Length: Length of particle's tail in seconds. Particle texture will be stretched out through the tail.

  • Tail Steps: Number of segments for tail. A higher number will produce smoother tail curves for non-linear-moving particles. Note also: If Tessellation is set, the tail will be rendered as a smoothly interpolated curve between tail segments.

Min Pixels: Adds this many pixels to particles true size when rendering. This is useful for important effects that should always be visible even at distance.

Connection: Causes all particles to be rendered in a connected line, in sequence.  Emission sequences separated by a Pulse Period produce separate polygons. And indirect child effects produce a separate polygon for each parent particle.

  • Connect To Origin: Additionally connect the newest particle to the emitter origin, with the parameters of a particle of age 0.
  • Texture Mapping: This and the next parameter specify how textures are repeated over the stream. Per Particle sets a default frequency of one texture per particle. Per Stream sets a default frequency of one texture stretched over the whole stream.
  • Texture Frequency: Multiples the texture repeating frequency specified above.
  • Note also: If Tessellation is set, the stream will be rendered as a smoothly interpolated curve between particles.

Movement

Parameters in this tab control the movement of the sprite.

Speed: The initial speed of particles.

Inherit Velocity: What fraction of initial velocity is inherited from the particle's parent. For indirect particles, the parent particle's velocity is inherited. For direct particles, the emitter's velocity is inherited.

Air ResistanceControls how much to react against the global wind speed. Units are 1/seconds. The higher the number, the faster particles will reach wind speed (or rest if no wind).

Rotational Drag Scale:  Fraction of Air Resistance applied to slow down particle rotation. If 0 (default), only particle velocity is slowed, not rotation.

Gravity Scale: Multiple of world gravity to apply to particles. Most physicalized particles should be set to 1 (use Air Resistance to provide drag). Set to a negative value for buoyant particles such as smoke.

Acceleration: The constant acceleration applied to particles, in world space (X,Y,Z).

Turbulence 3D SpeedAdds a 3D random turbulent movement to the current item, with the specified average speed.

Turbulence SizeAdds a spiral movement to the particles, with the specified radius. The axis of the spiral is set from the particle's velocity.

Turbulence SpeedWhen Turbulence Size has any value, this controls the angular speed, in degrees/second, of horizontal spiral motion.

Move Rel Emitter: Forces particle motion in emitter space; particles will move with its emitter. No / Yes (particle body moves with emitter, tail segments remain in world space) / Yes with Tail (both particle body and tail segments move with emitter).

Bind Emitter to Camera: Forces the emitter to relocate to the main camera's position. Useful (with Space Loop) for making a rain or snow effect, which the player cannot pass by.

Space Loop: Particles loop within a region around the camera, defined by Camera Min/Max Distance (under the visibility tab). This is useful to make rain or snow effect, which has the infinite spawning area.

Target Attraction

  • Extend Speed: 
  • Shrink:
  • Orbit:
  • Orbit Distance:

Rotation

Parameters in this tab control the focus direction (which is by default the emitter's +Y axis) and rotation value of sprites.

Init AnglesSets the initial angle applied to the particles upon spawning, values are in degrees. For sprite particles, only the Z axis is used, and it refers to rotation in screen space. For 3D particles, all 3 axes are used, and refer to emitter local space.

Random AnglesSets a random angle (bidirectional) to the particles upon spawning, values are in degrees.

Rotation RateControls constant particle rotation, in degrees/second.

 Random Rotation RateControl random variation (bidirectional) to , in degrees/second.

Collision

Parameters in this tab control the physical setup for the particles.

Physics Type:

  • None: No collisions or other physics.
  • Simple Collision: Particle collides with the static environment using simple physics. This is most simple mode.
  • Simple Physics: Particle created as an entity in the physics system, and collides using a spherical particle model.
  • Rigid Body: Particle created as an entity in the physics system, and collides using the full geometry. A geometry asset must be set to the physicalized model in engine for this particle. This is most expensive mode.

Collide TerrainWhen it's on, includes terrain in particle collisions.

Collide Static ObjectsWhen it is on, includes non-terrain, static objects in particle collisions. This is expensive calculation.

Collide Dynamic ObjectsWhen it's on, includes non-terrain, dynamic objects in particle collisions. This is very expensive calculation.

Collision Fraction:

Collision Cutoff Distance:

Max Collision EventsOnly affects particles that have their Physics Type set to Rigid Body. Limits the number of collisions the particle can have in its physics simulation.

Surface Type: Determine surface material type for collision behavior. If set, overrides Bounciness and Dynamic Friction below.

BouncinessOnly affects particles that have their Physics Type set to Simple Collision . Control the elasticity for collision response. Overridden by Surface Type if set. (Special value: if -1, particle dies on first collision).

Dynamic FrictionOnly affects particles that have their Physics Type set to Simple Collision. Controls the drag value when sliding, in units of 1/seconds. Overridden by Surface Type if set.

ThicknessOnly affects particles that have their Physics Type set to Simple Physics. Control the fraction of the particle's visible radius to use for the physical radius.

DensityOnly affects particles that have their Physics Type set to Simple Physics or Rigid Body. Control the density of particle, in kg/m^3. An example of a value which is physically correct, is for Water = 1000.

Visibility

Parameters in this tab control the visibility of the particles.

Camera Max Distance:

Camera Min Distance:

View Distance Adjust: Controls the value of the distance of the automatic fade-out. When the sprites get close to the camera and fill out the screen, it causes serious drawing cost problem (this cost is called the Fill Rate Cost). 
To avoid this, particles start fade out when they get closer than 1m distance from camera by default. If you need to draw more near area sprite, try to decrease this value.

Draw Last: Modifies draw order of sub effects. Sub effects are rendered by lowest Draw Last value first, or in list order if equal.

Draw NearModifies draw order of sub effects.

Draw on Top

Visible Indoors:

  • If_True: Hides particles when outdoors.
  • If_False: Hides particles when indoors.
  • Both: Show particles always.

Visible Underwater:

  • If_True: Hides particles when above water.
  • If_False: Hides particles when under water.
  • Both: Show particles always.

Advanced

Parameters in this tab Includes advanced appearance, movement and optimization settings.

Force GenerationAdds an additional force generated by the emitter.

  • None: Doesn't add any additional force.
  • Wind: Creates a physical wind force, approximately following the velocity, direction, volume, and timing of the emitter's particles. This wind affects all particles and objects in its region, except particles in the emitter group. Setting the emitter's *Speed to negative will create the wind force in the opposite direction, which can be used to create a sucking force.
  • Gravity: Creates a physical gravity force, similar to the wind, but creates a gravitational acceleration force, instead of wind velocity.
  • Target: Creates an attractive target only for all the sub items of the current item. So set the Parent item as the Target generator, and the children will be linked to that target. 

Fill Rate Cost:

Heat Scale:

Sort Quality:

Half Res:

Streamable:

Configuration

Parameters in this tab controls advanced configurations. These settings limit an effect to only be enabled on certain platform configurations. This allows you to create variant effects for different configurations.

Config MinSet the minimum system configuration level for the current item. If the config is low than what is set here, the item will not be displayed.

Config MaxSet the maximum system configuration level for the current item. IF the config is higher than what is set here the item will not be displayed.

A practical use for these settings would be if you have the same sub effect duplicated (but have a cheap & expensive variation) you can force the correct particle to play on the desired config spec, so the low spec will use the cheaper version, and the Veryhigh spec will use the expensive one.

So for example, reserve a complex & crazy physics (Rigid Body) based sub effect for the Config Min = Very High Spec

Then have a cheaper physicalized version (simple Collision) based sub effect that has a Config Max = Low.

DX11:

If_True: Enables the current item only on DX11.

If_False: Enables the current item only on pre-DX11.

Both: Enables the current item to display on both DX versions.

 

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