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Custom Particle Effects
Part 2 - Sequences
Custom Particle Effects
Part 2 - Sequences

Fading Effect

Despite the change of texture, the volcano effect still doesn’t look much like smoke. It would look better if the particles faded out over time in the same way that smoke dissipates in the air.

Some emitter properties can be set up to change over time with a sequence. Start off with Transparency which can be used to create a fading effect.

  1. Open the sequence window for the emitter’s Transparency by clicking the three dots next to the property.

The sequence window is a graph, with the time on the X axis and the property value on the Y axis. By default, the transparency value is a flat line, with starting and ending keypoints at 0, meaning the particles will be opaque for their entire lifetime.

  1. Drag the keypoint at the end of the sequence to the top of the graph to create a smooth fade from 0 to 1.

Your particles should now slowly fade away as they rise from the volcano.

Particles fading in the sequence

Growing Smoke

To really look like smoke, the particles should be large enough to overlap with each other and should spread as they rise from the source.

This can be achieved by applying a sequence to the Size property. By making the size start at 3 and increase to 10, the particles will look much more like a cloud of smoke.

  1. Open the sequence window for the emitter’s Size property.

  2. Drag the starting keypoint to approximately 3.

  3. Drag the ending keypoint to approximately 10.

Color Sequences

Sequences aren’t just for linear property values - you can even use them to change the color of particles over time.

The window for color sequences is slightly different: it shows the color as it changes across the particle’s lifetime. By default, the sequence is all white.

If you start your sequence at orange to reflect the lava, then move to darker grey, then finish at white, you can get a really immersive effect for your smoke.

  1. Open the sequence window for the emitter’s Color property.

  2. Click the small square next to Color to open a color picker for the keypoint at the start of the sequence. Set the color to orange.

  3. Click in the middle of the region to create a new keypoint. Set the color at this keypoint to dark grey.

  4. Set the color at the end of the sequence to white.


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