[Tutorial][Image-Heavy] HOW-TO use the Particle Editor aka... The CAULDRON !

By on August 29, 2010 4:57:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

vieuxchat

Join Date 06/2006
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Ok, let's get to the point. You want to create a badass effect and don't know how to ? Well, I'll show you how to get started. More will come later.

First launch the game. On the main menu just click "Workshop". That's where you'll find all the tools to create things for the game.

Then you'll be on the workshop menu. Just click "Particle Cauldron".

You're now in the cauldron. The game will automatically load the first Effect in the available list. But we want to create. So let's click on "New effect".

Ok. Now you have created a new effect. Each effect is constituted from : Emitters and beams.

  • Emitters are like a fireplace : it displays several times a chosen picture where you want it to be displayed. For instance if you want a rain effect, you need a picture of a water drop, then tell the cauldron to display it at the right place (that will be another thing to explain, but for the moment you just need to understand the rough idea). The cauldron can display a particle at a random location, with a random size, etc.
  • Beams are.. beams. Think "Line". A beam has a start, and a finish and it draws a line between.

The game will let you display how many emitters and beams as you want, the way you want. You want a kamehameha ? It's a beam with some emitters around the two hands.

Ok you've clicked.

To be continued...

 

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August 29, 2010 5:01:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

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August 30, 2010 1:34:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok. What have we in front of our eyes ?

The color tab will change... the colors of your emitter.

The color interpolation Texture will change the color of the emitter. Iy's apng file with a height of 1. So you can have a solid color or somecolor from a color to another or crazy colors.

The diffuse/Alpha texture is the shape of the particles.

Render order is in what order each emitter/beam must be rendered (behind/in front of everything or in between)

Render technique: by default the partciles will be renderd as if they where in front of your point of view. You can see it if you clic with the middle button ont the grid on the right then move your mouse and clic "play". The particles will be the same.

If you choose something like XZplane the emitter will always be renders parallel to that plane. I don't know what additive/exclusive do. It seem to change how the colors are rendered (like adding colors to another)

Emitter is indefinite will create a loop with the emitter. Just try it, and clic play. You'll see that the emitter you selected is still playing, even after the particles are no longer rendered.

 

I don't know what Enable depth bias do.

Next, keyframe ! (hint : that's where the emitter will be rendered, it's size, it's rotation)

 

EDIT : it took me some time to create that tutorial. If noone is interested I won't continue so far ^__^ If you find my tuto usefull say it. If you don't find it usefull say it also

 

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August 30, 2010 1:51:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very useful, please continue.

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August 30, 2010 1:53:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You're kidding right? That's a really easy to understand tutorial. Now we really an Elemental Modding Wikia so this doesn't get lost in the new threads. Perhaps you should change [Graphics] to [Tutorial] in the title?

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August 30, 2010 2:30:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wish I would have reaad this before yesterday. Spent the whole day making sunshines for my cities.

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August 30, 2010 3:55:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here we have the keyframe "Sets". A lot of options to tinker with.

 

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August 30, 2010 3:55:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But don't forget you have a slider, more options are hidden :

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August 30, 2010 4:06:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can see 3 options : Time, Value and variation.

What would you seek first ?

First : Value. That is the value of the set you have selected.

Second : Variation. It applies a random value to value. For instance if you set value to 10 and variation to 2 then you will get values between 10 - 2 and 10 + 2

Third : Time. It's when on the timeline the set will be as expected. In fact the game will calculate transition frames. If you set a keyframe to start at 5 the game will create some "small" version of the keyframe at 1, then another small (but less) at 2 then another small (but even less) at 3, etc. and at 5 you have your keyframe as intended.

Time was the trickiest one to understand and I'm still not sure to have fully understood it. So if youhave a better explanation, feel free to share it with us

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August 30, 2010 4:10:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here you can see where you add keyframes. They are on a per-set basis. So Direction X can have 2 or 3 keyframes, but not direction Y (unless to create them)

You can have different values for (Time, value, variation) for each keyframe

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August 30, 2010 4:19:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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August 30, 2010 4:23:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok, if you've read until now you should have at least 12 INT.Ready for another point of INT ?

Now comes the list of all the keyframe sets. I will now consider yourself at least a bit familiar with the buttons and that you know how to use a slider ^__^

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August 30, 2010 4:31:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Last part about emitters (Beam will be for another day )

Keyframe sets !

Let them coming !

Direction X, Y or Z. X, Y and Z are the reference to the three axes. You can choose in which direction particles will go. Strangely you can only set the "VALUE" between -1 and 1. Variation will still be able to let you get high values (try something like value 1 and variation 50)

Acceleration : self-explanatory.

Spawn offset and Emitter pos (X Y Z) : emitter pos is where your particles will start. The offset is an offset from the emitter pos. So the game will calculate like this : the emitter pos, then it applies the offset.

Speed : absolutly no idea. I tried a lot of values but it didn't seemed to change anything. Maybe it's ties to the way it's render (the default one will always render it in front of the user)

Start scale : initial size of the particle

End scale : final size of the particle at its end-life (very important to understand that)

The particle will go from start to end in "Particle Lifetime" seconds. So if you set a high value for the lifetime, the particle will change size slowly (because it has a lot of time between start and end). With a low lifetime, the particle will change really fast.

Initial rotation (you can use negative values) :it's not a movement ! It's just to say how the particle must be rotated at start.

Rotation rate : movement. You can use negative values to go clockwise. It's in radian/sec

Particle lifetime is how long the particle will stay rendered.

Spawn rate : VERY IMPORTANT. It's how many particles are rendered per second. You must understand that an emitter is like a firestorm, it will always fire new particles.

HINT : with a spawn rate of 10 you'll have a hard time to see what your emitter look like. HEre are some values to see what will be the exact effect.

FIRST : set Direction X Y Z, Acceleration X Y Z, Spawn offset and emitter pos X Y Z at zero. Then set start scale and end scale at 100. Set initial rotation to 0, same for rotation rate. Set particle lifetime to 1. You're almost done. Then set the emitter duration (you know, in the upper windows with trigger time and duration) to 10.

Now you can start doing some changes. Trying to make things rotate, move, change size, add keyframes, then set spawn rate to 10 to see what it will be for real.

 

Have a nice modding

Next, beams !

 

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