you can fly!? More Fun with Particle Brushes:
Animated Fireworks

Fun with Particles
more fun: animation
  animated fireworks
Pine Branch look?

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In this tutorial you'll explore some more animated uses of particle brushes, in particular for creating fireworks. Perhaps like this one:

Note that we offer additional presets for particles in the freebies area. One of them has parameters usable for fireworks, or for some types of waterfalls. In any case, you should use them as starting points only, and customize and learn how to make your own. Perhaps to add smoke, or small particles in the mix.

Selecting the Gradient

Your particles used for fireworks will want to change colors over time. From dark to bright and fading back to dark. Or starting bright and fading dark. And perhaps changing colors, like the ones shown above: yellow to white into green and darken to blue.

Use 'p' to open the gradients panel (or open it from the Window menu.

Click the 'Gradients' button in the lower-right of the panel. That will let you choose other predefined gradient sets.

Select the set of red gradient sets:


Use the slider in lower-left to scrub through the 8 gradients from this set.

Number 3 looks like this. Could be a decent starting point for particles used in fireworks (although we could do better with starting brighter upfront. Feel free to customize the gradient you choose.

You want also want to change the Opacity: to make the particles fade to transparent at the end

Use the cursorin the color area to reduce the level of opacity near the right end.

Use the smoot tool (press and hold it) to smooth sudden drops and kinks.

Here's an example of the effect created with particles using that gradient. They start as dark orange, turn white in the middle of their lifespan, and turn orange and fade away towards the end. They also change thickness, as they're using the style called Shrinking lines in this example.

Using the Brush Image and Parameters

The next trick is to use particles that are larger because they use images that are larger and which don't shrink down in size. One easy way to do this is by changing the  particle's Style to 'Brush'

Another Style that works for some firework effects too is Nova. Try it later, and with small size, as they take a lot of time to render when there are many particles.

So we have switched to the 'Brush' style. We now need to select the brush we want to use along the particles. Use for example an airbrush or a Simple brush, medium size.

Draw a single brush stroke from lower-left to upper right with a bit of an arching curve. Notice that the particles have been disabled when selecting the medium brush.

Now use Undo (shortcut Ctrl-Z or 'u' for undo), and re-enable the particle system.

Get ready to draw the same with particles re-enabled: Check the 'Enabled' box in the particles panel.

And here's a first result: As you draw from llower-left to upper-right, it shoots the particles as before, but now instead of thin lines or shrinking lines, the thickness of the particle trails is controled by the regular brush we selected.

If you have an animation ready to receive this, use undo and use the Stroke player in "All Frames" mode. Click 'Replay' and the particles will be re-rendered across all frames of your animation.

And here's the animated result.

< Click for larger version

Now try altering the parameters of the brush, such as :
- random position
- random size
- Mode (try Additive)

etc... and re-render the same brush stroke over the existing animation, or over a new blank one.

more to come...


Fun with Particles
more fun: animation
  animated fireworks
Pine Branch look?

More about Optipustics and Particle Brushes

Video tutorials:
Fractal Particles

Particle Brushes in Tutorial Collection #1: Discovering Project Dogwaffle
Tutorial #22
Tutorial #23
Tutorial #24

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