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  • Particle size grayed out for line particles

  • Nick Reeder

    December 13, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    I apologize if I’m missing something obvious. I’m relatively new to AE and am picking up what I need as I go. I’ve exhausted all my web search knowledge and have found frustratingly little to answer this particu— err, specific — question.

    I’m trying to add some size to my line particles but in both Particle Systems II and CC Particle World, the exact three options I need (Birth Size, Death Size, and Size Variation) are all frustratingly grayed out. I fear this is by design as this only seems to be the case for line particles. If I switch to Star particles, for instance, the options become available.

    Is there a way, aside from expensive, 3rd party plugins, to give these line particles some heft? Any alternative methods to get the same result?


  • Greg Gesch

    December 14, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Hi. Make a small square precomp (say 100x100px). Add a white solid (comp size 100×100) and unlink its x/y co-ordinates by selecting the little chain symbol beside them. Set the Y to, say, 5 %. In your main comp use Particle World and set the Particle Type to Textured Square and set Texture to the precomp. To make the line thicker/thinner you can alter the Y width in the precomp – by making the line thinner you can make it appear longer in the main comp by balancing the birth Size etc. in Particle World. It will maybe take some fiddling.

  • Nick Reeder

    December 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you so much for the response. I apologize for the delay in mine.

    This is close to what I’m trying to do, but is there a way to orient the particles’ angles to their direction? Once again I run into the issue that all the options that would presumably solve my problem are grayed out.

    I’m trying to create an effect where the particles sort of draw lines along their path. Like streamers or fireworks.

  • Greg Gesch

    December 16, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Nick, do you mean you want them to leave a trail? If so then I don’t know a way of doing that (short of things like Particular, which have auxiliary particles). You could try making your precomp wider (say 1000 w x100 h pixels) and keyframe the line/solid to grow from the right to left – this would give you a particle that gets longer as it travels.

  • Nick Reeder

    December 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Hm. That’s what I was afraid of. Oh well. Thanks for your help! I’ll just need to rethink my plan and simplify.


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