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Lessons:13Length:1.3 hours
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3.3 Creating and Controlling Particle Effects

In this lesson, you will learn how to create and animate particle effects using “CC Particle World”.

You will also learn how to control the different aspects of the particles such as gravity, spawn rate, and color.

3.3 Creating and Controlling Particle Effects

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to how to create a cinematic text animation in After Effects. In this lesson, we'll learn how to create, animate, and control some nice atmospheric particles to add some drama and movement into our project and scene. So to start off, let's create a new composition by going to composition, new composition, and let's rename this comp particles. Make sure you're happy with the rest of the settings here, and then, click OK. Next, we're going to create a new solid. So go to Layer, New, and select Solids. And we're also going to name this solid, Particles. Then, click OK. And now, we're going to add some particles to the scene. So go to Effects, go to Simulation, and now, go to CC Particle World. As we apply the Particle World to the solace, you'll see that this sort of default firework style particle is appearing into our scene. So we're going to go ahead and change the look of this using the adjustment tools available inside CC Particle World. So the first thing that we want to do, is we want to explore and open grades and guides here, let us open that up, and I want to uncheck the horizon axis, check box. So let's go ahead and uncheck these, as these a little bit distracting, and I want to uncheck Grid, as well, excellent. Next, we'll want to change the look of the particle. So to do this, let's go ahead and close Grids and Guides for now, and open up the particle options here. And now, we're going to change the particle type from Line to shade it, to faded sphere here, like so. You'll see straight away that the particles have changed. So if I scrub the timeline forward a little bit, you'll see the different types of particles. So you can actually experiment with the different types of particles here. But we're going to stay with with the faded sphere here for now. And now, we're going to change the color of our particle. So let's click on birth color here. And change the color to whatever you want. So I'm going to go for a light blue color. So if you know the color code here, you can add that in. So the color code that I'm going to go for, is 9ED 3EF for a nice light blue color, like so. Or you can choose whatever color that most suites the needs of your project. And now, you can go ahead and choose the death color, as well. So I'm just going to choose another blue, like so. And next, we can adjust things like the size of the particle. So in the birth size, let's go ahead and make this a little bit smaller, so I'm going to choose something like null 0.15, just to make things a little bit smaller. And you can see now that we can't see any of the particles in our scene, and that's because the refresh has been disabled. Need to press caps lock, again, to enable that, so now, our particles are back in the scene. Excellent, and now we're going to go for the depth size. I'm going to change the depth size to something small, like null 0.01, like so. And this will give us some nice, small particles. Now, we can set the length of time for how long our particles will stay on the screen before they disappear. So if you want your particles to fill the screen a bit, we can make them last a little bit longer. So let's go ahead and do that. So in order to do that, we need to put the longevity to something like 3.5. And that means that our particles will last a little bit longer before they die, or before they disappear. Excellent, now we can also move our particles to cover the width of the screen. Now in order to do that, make sure you've got your selection tool. And go over to the x icon here, and just click and drag that across the whole width of our screen, like so. And also, move this, like so. Excellent, and we can also move the Zed axis, as well. And in order to do that, we need to go over to producer, and if you know the positions that you want, you can actually input the values here. So let's go ahead and input some values. So I'm going to go with 0.14. And for here, I'm going to go with 0.23. And here, I'm going to go with 0.4. And just going to add a little bit of depth into our particle scene. 0.325, and finally, we're going to have 1.05, like so. Now, I just moved the whole particle scene down towards the bottom of our scene here. Just so, it looks like the particles are going to be spawning upwards. So from the bottom of the screen to the top. And now, if we grab the blue X here, we can actually move the particles around. Seem to see where you want to place them, like so. Now, you can see, there's a little bit more depth to our particles as we move them around, which is pretty cool. Now, next, we want the particles to have a little bit of physics to them. So in order to do that, let's close the Producer and the Particles, and open up Physics. So now that we've got the physics here, we want the particles. Now, you can see here that the particles are sort of randomly moving from the background into the foreground, but we want them to move from the bottom of the scene, as we discussed, and float to the top. So in order to do that, we need to change the gravity to something like minus 0.01, excellent. Let's just move this further down here a little bit. And you can see now that they're starting to float from the middle upwards, like so, cool. Next, we want to change the way that particles move and animates, so let's go to the animation drop box here. And you can play about with these just to see what sort of animation you want at the moment, they're set to explosive, which means, it's exploding from the middle, the x there, to outwards, like so. But we want something a little bit more subtle, so let's go with this one here, and now, it's sort of floating upwards, so let's move this further down, so you can see what I mean. All right, so, and now, because the particles are only just starting to give birth in the beginning of our timeline, we want the particles to fill the screen at the beginning. So in order to do that, let's track the timeline further back, like so, and now, you'll see that our animation starts with some particles at the beginning, and continues to animate. Now, if you want the particles to start from nothing like this, you can do so like that. But let's fill the screen with some particles first, excellent. Now, another way to control the amount of particles on the screen is the Birth Rate. So let's go ahead and change that here. So not in Particles, so in the Birth Rates, it's up here. So let's change the Birth Rate to something a little bit less. So 0.3. So now, we have some nice, floating particles. So it's a little bit more subtle than what it was before. Cool, or if you wanted some more particles, like what we had before, we can still increase their number to 1. I'm going to leave it at 0.3, for now. Excellent, now, another thing that's worth mentioning, is the seed, which you can find under extras. So if you go to Extras, you can randomize the seed, and this will basically change the way that our pods, of course, look in the scene, cool. So now, all that's left, is to go over to the preview panel here and click on the play button, and hopefully, you'll see some nice, floating particles in your scene. Excellent, so that's it for this projects. In the next lesson, we'll learn how to create some atmospheric smoke to our scene. See you all there.

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