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Event-Driven Particles

Imagine a forest fire, in which a tall tree is burning from the top down. Chunks of flaming wood break free from the top, trailing smoke and flames, bouncing against branches on their way to the ground, sending up a shower of sparks at every collision, and finally detonating in an explosion of ash, splinters, and sparks at ground level. Such a scene could conceivably be created using non-event-driven particle systems, but it would require the coordination of several different particle systems, be fairly time-consuming, and be much more difficult and less flexible than the same effect created with an event-driven particle system like max's Particle Flow.

Particle Flow is a very flexible and powerful system for creating particle effects. Particle systems can be assembled with a building-block approach using the Particle View window to create a powerful range of custom behaviors. Particles can move from state to state as needed, so that the traditional linear path of particle birth, movement, and death is replaced with a flowchart you can endlessly customize. The flaming chunk of wood debris described above can be represented by a particle in Particle Flow (PFlow) that generates new spark particle systems on impact, with their own properties of collision, life, and appearance. No longer are particles constrained to maintain most of their properties throughout their life span. With PFlow, particles can change motion, size, appearance, or behavior based on tests you set up. The falling wood pieces, for example, can be reduced in size with each impact, or broken up into smaller chunks, while maintaining speed and material parameters, if so desired.


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