Particles and FX Advice
These are just some tips for creating and editing particles.
- Keep families of particles in a unique FX Area. For example, lets say that you have a create group in your game that has a specific set of particles and FX that go with it, Hero's Journey, let's say the Agonar creature group. Particles are locked to the area they are created in, they cannot be edited outside of the area they were originally created in by default. So by creating a special area to only create and edit related particles will make finding them later in production and editing them magnitudes easier. For the Agonar, I made an area called agonar_fxland. I had one of these areas for each creature or creature group. Not only did I use this as a central development area for particle editing and FX editing, but also anything that was tied to the particular creature. This is just one way to organize things and would highly recommend doing something similar sooner rather than later.
- Particle texture should be no more then 512x512 and preferably smaller. A 512 is ok for prototyping, and ground dynamic details, but generally with particles, you want to keep making them smaller to see a noticeable quality loss, then start analyzing it. For the tutorials we will be using mostly 512 x 512 textures, that doesn't mean you should go load up your world with 512 particle textures. Just be mindful that every particle that is born into the world will be drawn on screen and that is valuable frame time.
- Particles should be dds textures. The engine does support png's for particles only, by using dds it keeps everything consistent.
- Emit as few as possible particles.
- Emit fewer large particles rather then more small particles if the option is there.
- Properties such particle collision are expensive, use it wisely.
- sometimes it's more efficient and effective to emit mesh(asset) particle then billboard particles
- An example would be applying animated uv's with some transparency on it to the mesh asset, then emitting a handful a second, instead of using a lot of billboard particles
- If you want particles to collide with the ground for example, do the following.
- Take your dense particle and Create a very light copied version of the particle you intend to set to Collide
- Set it's emission to be about 10% of what the original particle was and set that to Collide. What this does is sell to the viewer that collision is going on(on the copy particle) while most of the particles(original emitter) are set to not collide.