you can fly!?  based on OptiPustics Particle Brushes - powered by Project Dogwaffle

PD Particles: Help!
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more Project Dogwaffle:
PD Particles
PD Artist
PD Pro

new! PD Particles 9 is here!

more info:  PD Particles 9 Interface Overview

new! Even better:  Now also on Steam

Read below for general information on the tools found in PD Particles. Or head right over to the PD Help pages for PD Howler, PD Artist and PD Particles altogether. Simply ignore the parts that are specific to the big sister or big brother, i.e. the parts on 3D and animation/video tools and many filters only found in the higher-end versions.

Thank you so very much for using PD Particles, such as the all new PD Particles v9, aka Particle 9.

Most likely, you will find that installing and using PD Particles comes natural and is straight-forward and easy.

Still, and over time, we're going to have some feedback and their solutions that a few users may have encountered. Bookmark this page and come back soon.

Here is a problem that you may see on rare occasion when running or installing several copies of the same or different editions of Project Dogwaffle:

unknown error: Quitting

See here for details and examples under PD Howler

For now, since much of PD Particles is based on the Optipustics particle brushes and powered by Project Dogwaffle, here are some links to information that may help too, coming from general Project Dogwaffle Help:
Here are some chapters of particular interest to users of PD Particles (even if some parts of the material presented are not applicable to PD Particles, or if some user interfaces are different) simply ignore references to animation, video and 3D or the filters that are not found in your version:


Also, be sure to join the official Dogwaffle forum at Yahoogroups - ask questions, we're all there, happily waffling and painting with Project Dogwaffle and PD Particles.

Free Update Patches for v1
the 1.2 Update
Read more

see what was new in

version 1.1
version 1.0a

Frequently Asked Questions
PD Particles:
Known Problems

PD Particles:

Project Dogwaffle: the general F.A.Q.

Installation Problems?
Read the F.A.Q

cooltools #1

Paint Magic
a review by Tom Arah:
Paint Magic review in PC Pro magazine5

more reviews

::: New Tutorials and Videos

We have many tutorials here.

Here's yet another one:

   Another look at Particle 9, the many tools and techniques, and its many brushes

   Looking for more? Here is our YouTube Channel's PlayList on PD Particles

::: Known Problems

Some versions of Photoshop have reported trouble loading the PSD files saved from PD Particles in some cases. We recommend that you save as 'Default Targa' or 'Tiff' or other formats if you experience similar problems, until we have a fix for this.

The Nova style of the particles brushes doesn't work in v1.0 and causes PD Particles to exit. We're looking into fixing it with an upcoming patch. (it works fine in PD Pro and Project Dogwaffle)

There is a fixed amount of memory allocated for undo, when starting PD Particles. That amount is not very high in v1.0, so if you're working on very large images it may not be possible to use many levels of undo, in some cases even none at all. This will hopefully be remedied in a future patch, with more memory allocated or a choice given to the user to choose how much memory to pre-allocated. In the meantime, there are a few alternatives: The Pro version (PD Pro) offers more control, a slider in the File>Settings submenu, to allocate more memory than the default. You can also use the registry entries for the pre-allocation to set it higher than the max slider value if desired. Another option is to use the Image>send  to Clipboard menu to often save a snapshot of the current image to the Clipboard. That way you can return to it quickly if needed.

::: Frequently Asked Questions

Installation Problems - Not the right software?!?

We have seen a few rare instances where the downloaded file after purchase & download appeared to be from a different product, typically something that already was on the client's computer, such as a printer driver or imaging tool. This is just an appearance, it is not a faulty installer, it is due to a pre-existing misconfiguration on your PC. In most cases it is easily corrected by a standard disk cleanup.

When such problem occurs, what happens is that during the first phase of the installation process, our installer starts by self-extracting a number of files which will eventually be placed into the final destination folder for PD Particles. These files are initially self-extracted into a temporary (Temp) folder, usually something like

C:\Documents and Settings\'username'\Local Settings\Temp

where 'username' would be your login username, such as 'John' or 'mom' or 'superkid' or whatever.

After the first phase, i.e. after the self-extraction, our files should be there in the Temp folder, and one of these files is named setup.exe. Our installer then proceeds with the second phase, which is to run that setup.exe file (which is expected to be our setup.exe file).

Unfortunately, in some rare cases, it has been found possible for another setup.exe file to either be executed instead, perhaps from a different folder, if your system's Path variable was improperly messed up by installation of other software, or, and more likely, a prior setup.exe file was there in the Temp folder and is being kept in a locked state, and thus could not be updated or replaced with our installer's setup.exe file. The file may be in a locked state because another program is 'using' it. Or it was saved as a 'read-only' file by such, making it write-protected..  Thus, when our installer proceeds to run 'its' setup.exe file, your old printer driver or imaging utility or whatever that old setup.exe file was about could be re-run, making it appear like our installer is not PD Particle's installer.

To remedy this, you can try a few things. One first recommended task is to clean up the Temp folder. It's supposed to be for temporary folders and files in there. Windows offers a 'Disk Cleanup' utility for this.:

1) open 'My Computer'
2) right-click on the "C:" drive
3) select 'Properties'
4) click "Disk Cleanup"

There are various options for different things to be cleaned up. If you have never done a disk cleanup in years, you might want to select them all, you'll be surprised how much disk space you may regain along the way. But at least make sure that the 'Temp' folder option is selected so that Windows can try to cleanup the files found in there. We say 'try', because if a file is locked it will continue to stay in there, and you may need to manually go into the Temp folder to remove or at least rename the file so that it won't interfere with our installation.

After the disk cleanup is done, open the Temp folder to see if all files are gone. Ypu should probably also do a re-boot. (restart)

Then run our installer again. If it still fails, then the  other scenario is probably  happening: the setup.exe from a different folder is used.  This is tricker to fix but can be done. Check the general FAQ for assistance. If you can't find the answer, please contact us.

Locating the culprit setup.exe file

You can use the Windows Search facility to find all files named setup.exe found on your system. One of them is probably the one being erroneousy executed. If you can locate it (look for the name of the folder that contains it), you may want to rename it to something like setup_bad.exe, at least temporarily,  and see if you can then properly run the PD Particles installer.

Unfortunatey, it is likely that if your system's path was messed up by prior installation of that other sftware, it could still misbehave, and pick another (the 'next) setup.exe file.

Another workaround - run setup directly

Here's another workaround that might help, if after the first phase (self-extraction phase) all files including our setup.exe file were properly copied into the Temp folder. When the 'wrong' installer takes over, simply move it aside and ignore it for the time being (don't click 'Cancel', as that will remove the extracted files.)

Open the Temp folder where you will find the files that were just extracted. It should be something like

C:\Documents and Settings\'username'\Local Settings\Temp

Find the file named setup.exe and run it. If it is our file, this should allow the second phase, i.e. the installation of PD Particles, to properly complete. If not, just cancel to abort.

Do you only see 'setup', without the '.exe' file type extension ?

You can configure Windows Explorer to hide the file extensions, such as .exe, .jpg, .txt, etc... for known file types. That is in fact the default. We strongly recommend not to leave it this way, because it leaves you in the dark as to which files you're actually looking at.

For example, if you have several files in a folder, and the files have the same base name, such as


then you would only see them as


and you have no immediate clue as to which file is which.

This is dangerous and can lead to accidentally running the wrong files. Even worst, if the file were a virus in hiding, such as sometimes found in email attachments, you may be putting your PC at risk. For example, if you have a file named


which is an executable, and potentially a virus, you would see it simply as


if Windows Explorer is configured to hide the file, the type extension at the end (in this case the .exe part)

Thus, we recommend and strongly advise you not to stay in the dark, by preventing Windows from hiding the extension of known filetypes.

Here's how to do that:

1) Right-click on 'My Computer'
2) select 'Explore'
3) select Tools>Folder options...
4) click the 'View' tab
5)  uncheck the option "Hide Extensions for known file types". This will ensure that instead of hiding them, the system will show the extension on all your files, regardless of whether Windows recognizes the file type. Examples:

6) You might also want to select 'Show hidden files and folders' if you're unable to see the 'Local Settings' or Temp folders.

Runtime Errors ?

There are various things that can occur which could make a VB (Visual Basic) runtime error occur. Perhaps the VB runtime files were corrupted by a system failure (such as a bad block on the disk hard drive). Perhaps a virus has messed with or deleted some of the VB runtime DLL's. Perhaps the registry entries used by PD Particles got corrupted and contain insanely large values for panel width and height, causing out of memory errors when VB tries to oblige.

Deleting/Resetting the Registry Entries

If you suspect you may have bad data in the registries used by PD Particles, try this to clear those entries used by PD Particles, and have the program start fresh with internal default settings:

  1. Click   Start --> Run ...
  2. Enter    regedit    to launch the Registry Editor
  3. In the left pane, open the category named HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  4. ...then into the category named  Software
  5. ...then into subcategory:  VB and VBA Program Settings
  6. ...then into subsubcategory:  Optipuss
  7. Within the Optipuss category: right-click on WindowData, and select Delete
  8. Move the registry editor to the side or minimize it (don't close it, you might need it some more). Try launching PD Particles again. If that didn't fix the problem, try deleting both the WindowData and the Associations  subgroups.
  9. If that didn't fix it either, try deleting the OptiPuss group altogether.

If that didn't fix it, then it's not likely a registry problem.

Downloading & Installing the VB Runtimes

If you suspect you may have old or incomplete/corrupted VB runtime files, you may want to download and reinstall the VB runtimes from Microsoft.
  1. Go to  and search for 'VB Runtimes' in the search box of that website
  2. Several versions ill show listed. Make your you pick the latest or most recent version for your version of Windows. Version 6 or higher should be fine. If you're on Windows Vista make you you get a version that's made for Vista too.
  3. Download it, (save to disk, e.g. desktop or My Documents), then double-click the saved installer to install the VB Runtimes.

More details about the VB runtimes are also at the general Dogwaffle F.A.Q.

to the general
Project Dogwaffle
& PD Pro F.A.Q.

PD Particles and Project Dogwaffle are trademarks of Dan Ritchie. All other names, trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned here are the sole property of their respective owners and only used for identification purposes. No endorsement or other support is intended or implied. Use at your own risk.This software is provided as is with no warranties expressed nor implied whatsoever.