Trapcode Particular water help

SamBaker4 Posts: 2
edited February 2016 in Practical Filmmaking

I'm using Particular to add water to some footage of a broken fountain. I have another fountain as reference and I'm trying it get it to look as real as possible.

Here's how it is at the moment, with the other, working fountain on the right:

I've had some feedback on what to do, but I'm not sure how to make the adjustments, can anyone help?

  • Remove whispy bits on the top of streams
  • Particles are faster than the real fountain - lower my gravity and decrease the emitter force, but just a little bit. (I've tried adjusting the gravity and the velocity, but doing that changes the size of the stream of water.)
  • Add some randomness to the emitter force so it's not so static. (I've tried Velocity Random and Perodicity Rnd. Changing Velocity Random makes the stream lose its shape. Perodicity seems to change some of the smaller edge particles, doesn't make much difference.)
  • Add a secondary spray of smaller particles - use the Aux System to emit particles from the main particles, which will also interact with the wind. (I've attempted this, the particles are all falling in vertical lines though rather than a large cluster.)
  • Add some light modelling the volume.
  • Try some lens blur/motion blur to blend it in better. (I've tried adding motion blur using Particular and it created a strange wavy effect.)


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

     Hmmmm. Not sure about easy fixes here.... 

    Easy fix: don't mess with it. The shot actually looks really good already. If the final shot is 5-10 seconds I don't think anyone will really notice the water is a touch fast. 

    Side note: Hitfilm's particle sim has almost identical features as Particular (Hitfilm does a few things better, Particular does a few things better), but the interface and control setups are vastly different, so "translating" between the two is a bit of a pain. 

    Unfortunately in this case my best advice is the same for both products--in a physics based system, twiddling one value usually means adjusting others. So, yeah, adjusting the gravity usually means adjusting velocity as well to keep the same shape. You might just have to play with value. 

    Are your emitters points or lights or spheres? For randomness if you're using a point, make it a sphere of a small radius--say 3 to 5. This will add a little position random without messing up your trajectory, and should give the randomness you want. 

    For aux particles you might be better off copying your main emitter and adding aux particles to the duplicate (adjusting main particles on the duplicate to be invisible--size 0). Then your Aux Particles have their own forces--you can set up your wind and maybe lower gravity. Again, now you can adjust your windblown stuff without messing up the main stream. 

    For lighting, you'll need to use your shadowlets. 

    For motion blur--well that's computed automatically, but try cutting shutter phase in half to get less blur. Or, try vector blur, which can give very "liquidy" looks. 

    Finally I am going to link this fantastic tutorial on particle water. The way this shot is set up is different from yours, so you don't need the emitter stuff (Although there are some powerful techniques shown here), but look at his compositing. Basically he's using his particles to set up mattes for some displacement and glass effects you might find useful. 

  • Thanks for the tips.

    My emitter type is already set to sphere.

    Tweaking the velocity and gravity only seems to change the size, the actual speed of the particles stays the same regardless. I've inherited the project from someone else so I'm not sure what they could have done to set it up like that.

    Here's a clip of that:

    I've tried what you said about copying the layers and doing the aux system stuff separately. Tweaked a value and suddenly it's looking better, just gotta keep tweaking it! :)