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Chapter 17. Introduction to Particle Flow > Elements of a Particle System

Elements of a Particle System

When a rocket emits a fiery trail, there is a point from which the smoke and fire spawn. In max this is the emitter. An emitter represents the location at which particles will be created, and it can occupy a single point in space, the surface of an object or helper, or a volume. Emitters can be animated, passing their movement properties to the particles they spawn (Figure 17.3). In the case of a rocket's trail, emitted sparks may inherit the rocket's momentum and then drift off without being further influenced. In other cases, particle movement can be influenced by emitter movement well after a particle has been created, such as with a cloud of magical sparkles surrounding a gesturing wand.

Figure 17.3. Several types of particle emitters, from left to right: Blizzard, Super Spray, PCloud, and PF Source.



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