1. Use ; keyboard hotkey to toggle Particle Flow emission.

 

2.  To view how many particles is in the event:

Pcount_2

3. You can merge entire PFlow system in to new scene by merging only PF Engine object. Just check Select Influences:

Mergepflow

4. As alternative to Find Target can be spherical Wind with negative values.

 

5. Every animator will leave Realtime play, but when working with lagging particles calculation, it’s better to turn this off.

Realtime2

 

6. The best method (in every render) to hide particles from rendering is to hide it in object properties. Event Properties:

Eventproperties_s

7. Synchronize layers when some event created in different scene layers. Particle View -> Tools -> Synchronize Layers.

 

8. Shape instance operator: link objects to one master objects. Use this master in shape instance to have multiple instanced geometries:

Shape_instance_multiple

 

9. Use krakatoa deflector whatever is possible. It’s many times faster:

http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/krak-collistion-test/

 

10. Simple Inter-particle collisions can be faked with Keep Apart + Speed Test operators (example).

 

11. You can make Splines from the particles trajectories - PF Spliner.

Pf_spliner_deko2

12. To make particles following a path, use Speed by Icon operator with assigned Path Constrait Controller.

 

13. There is abillity to directly select some particles in viewport, in PF Source object. They can be separated in to another event with Split Selected Test event.

Selectparticles

14. Mesher.

Create -> Compound Objects -> Mesher.

It converts particles to mesh objects, can be used to make some impact on other objects. As example with Vol. Select and Mesher Compund Object as selected mesh (example).

 

15. Often underrated Shape Mark operator can be used for writing/painting on contact geometry object (example).

 

16. Having hi-poly objects as shape instances will have poor performance. Avoid this as possible with:

  • Use box#3 Cache Selective operator with low poly objects. Replace it with hi-poly Shape Instance objects in Post-Cache operators list.
  • Save particles to PRT (in krakatoa). Use PRT with Frost, as custom geometries pick hi-poly objects.
  • Bake animation, replace object with this script or Object Replacer from SoulburnScripts.

 

17. Particles Caching alternatives:

 

18. Baking to geometries:

 

19. Geometry Fracturing:

 

20. Official Particle Flow Help and FAQ

 

That’s all. Leave in comments your pflow tips :)

 

13 Responses to “Particle Flow tips & tricks”

  1. Anton, Reply

    Thanks a ton dude. This is very helpful.

  2. Jamie Gwilliam, Reply

    As excellent as always…..

  3. Blair Adams, Reply

    I picked up a few gems and bookmarked the page for a few more once I understand what you’re talking about. Thanks!

  4. Adam, Reply

    Try to use Houdini or Softimage ICE and you will NEVE look at ParticleFlow again. thanks :]

  5. JohnnyRandom, Reply

    ; for particle emision toggle, learn something new everyday :-) nice Deko

  6. deko, Reply

    Thx guys!
    Johnny: yeah :) but isn’t very useful in common scenes when you have a lot of PF systems and some are turned off at the moment. I suggest look at this: http://lab.deko.lt/pflow-state I can have a individual hotkey for every system.

  7. jannissingh, Reply

    nice tips… Maybe something that beginners don’t know. If you want to stop particles, use a speed with 0 Speed, or download the pflow freebies. There is a stop operator in.

  8. laurent, Reply

    nice of you to share those! Right now the one I’m thinking about is really simple but it can be quite annoying if you don’t now the tip : if you want to move your particles from one layer to another you would have to select the pflow emitter WITH influences (as show above for the merging tip). If you don’t you will just move the icon of the emitter to another layer and the particles will stay in the same layer.

    • deko, Reply

      Yes, thx for this.
      Also you can use “synchronize layers” from pflow menu. It will move all dummy operators and events objects to pf source layer.

  9. Satya, Reply

    Hello,
    this was really a nice tricks for pf source but while click this page there is thumbnails of the matrix effect you done is 3dsmax pf source that was pretty interesting can you please tell me how to do that would be appreciated very much

    thanks.

  10. Adrien, Reply

    Thank you Deko, it’s very useful

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