Vine Branch with Flowers

50 shades of Particular: #1 Growing vines

In Tools by Touki KattLeave a Comment

The go-to plugin for AfterEffects for generating and controlling particles Trapcode Particular from Red Giant has been collecting dust in my tool box. It’s time to make this baby do it’s magic! Besides, Particular 3 comes with a new, more intuitive interface, loads of nifty presets to start with and what not.

Fortunately (one of those coincidences that makes you jump with joy), on the very day I started digging into Particular, Red Giant released a series of in-deapth tutorials on this latest version of Particular!

SOM’s Joey Korenman – as always – has a tutorial for the occasion. Joey shows how particles can be animated along a motion path to trigger another animation. As always, Joey shares other tips on how to make the animation more alive and interesting.

A  refinement to this set up is “hanging” different particle system onto each other on one and the same instance of Particular. This feature is new in the latest version of Particular and scared the hack out of me in the beginning. I was afraid to screw something up so I didn’t touch anything with the word “systems” on it. But after watching one of the tutorials from Red Giant on multiple systems I realised just what an incredible gem this feature is.

In the case of my simple vine, I duplicateed the first system with the leaf and changed some of the parameters in the second system, like color and size of the leaves, to add even more variability to the design.

For the third system I quickly drew and used another custom particle (leaf of a slightly different shape). I topped this pizza up with two more systems of simple dust particles that differed only slightly in color and size. A subtle detail to add more dynamics to the motion. All of this is just with one layer of Particular!

It’s at this point in time when I realised I should have drawn the path for the vine bottom up and not the other way around: now it seems my vine grows from the air and into the ground. Tomorrow is another day.


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