||The default brush used in
PD Particles 1 is a particle brush named Weird Eyelashes.
Starting with that, you can change many parameters to give it a
different appearance: Lifespan of the particles, the colors they go
through (color gradient), how many times they split, by what angle, how
gravity pulls down or pushes up and how the particles lag (drag) with
or against the mouse as well as mouse speed and others.
Here's an example. The style is still using plain lines. The tip of the
particle traces appear to thin. That's possible with the color
gradient, where the opacity channel can be reduced to a very
When you experiment with these parameters, you may want to disable
(uncheck) the Shading' and 'Tin' boxes, so that you can better
recognize the immediate effect of the changes, especially when playing
with the color radient.
||Another Style is called
The particles start at a given size, with can be changed with the Size
slider under the Style menu. From thereon, the particles evolve as
before, but they also change size along the way.
||Here's a different
example, still with shrinking lines. What's also happening is that
there are multiple splits, and at a farly large angle of 33 degrees.
This gives it a prickly appearance. Living things that split between 30
and 50 degrees are often not inviting.
There are ther fascinating shapes and patterns you can get with some
special angles such as 90 degrees.
Another fun parameter is 'Randomize by Value'.
||The 'Brush' Style
One of the more advanced features of the particle brushes is unlocked
when using the 'Brush' style.
The brush style means that instead of using a single line or a
shrinking line to render along the particle's path, the current normal
(non-particle) brush is being used. This can be any of the internal
brushes such as 'Simple', 'Airbrush', 'Oil', 'Pen', 'Tempera', etc...
in PD Particles. (In PD Pro and other Project Dogwaffle
programmes you can even carry your own images in the form of 'custom'
brushes, and even image sequences, such as animations coming from Avi
This can be used for a variety of effects. For example, the Smear
brush can be 'pushed' along the particle traces, causing a much faster
smearing in many different directions and at various angles and speeds.
This and similar tools can help in quickly turning a photograph into a
hand-painted appearance or sketch.
||Here's an example: Select
one of the airbrush presets, such as small airbrush'. Note that
when selecting a 'regular' brush preset, it will disable the particle
brush mode. Thus, be sure to check the 'Enabled' box in the Particles
panel. Then select the Brush style.
Now, as you paint with the particle brush, instead of fine lines you
will see thick lines along the particle traces.
||Now that the particle side
is set, switch to the 'Brush settings' panel or tab. (in PD Pro, use
'o' to show brush settings or options or click the brush image
You can change the size of the brush with the Size slider.
You can change the opacity of the brush image.
You can also change the Step value, which is the distance that then
mouse must travel before the next brush image gets 'stomped' or applied
Many other parameters can be used, such as Random postion, scaling the
size by the speed of you mouse movement, etc...
Here's just using a larger size.
||Changing opacity, Step
and/or Dryout or Bleed can add fuzzy cloudy effects.
Experiment with these to create clouds and smoke trails.
||If the smoke rails are too
dense to show the center red firey glow, increase the Step value
and /or reduce the size a little to add a little more space and room
between the many imprints of the brush.
Some random position can also be useful to further spread the
brushes away from the particle path's centerline.
Don't expect a single brush stroke to do all the magic though. In many
cases, you may want to further enhance the results with color
correction and enhancement filters. PD Particles has a few, PD Pro or
your current image editor is probably equally equipped to satisfy that
The Bleed parameter can be used to blend the background color (e.g.
light blue) into the brush's color. This image can be the result of
just one brush stroke, thanks to the many particle trails each working
their way along their lifespan and applying the bleding or smearing or
other effects over and over along the paths.
||This is where it just
starts. We've ust used one of the many brushes, the airbrush. You can
find many other brshes, including Effects brushes such as Smudging,
Smearing and Dodging. Each of them can result in millions of more
fascinating effects when they're placed on the particle system.