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Summing Up

Particle Flow is such an open-ended system that the possibilities are limited only by the user's ambition and patience. Certain strategies are advisable to work around the CPU-intensive nature of PF calculations, but given that, particles can be made to behave in nearly any manner imaginable, moving and interacting with scene objects in realistic or fanciful ways. Particle scripting gives very fine control over most particle parameters and offers an avenue for passing control from particle systems to scene objects, as well as allowing scene objects to trigger Particle Flow events.

In this chapter, we have explored particle effects in several varieties—as trailing geometry, as instanced recursive effects, as expandable glows, and as explosive effects. Any of these techniques could easily be applied to varied situations. It is not difficult to imagine, for example, the biplane's flight path trail being modified to provide a visual “swoosh” effect for a swinging sword, or for the attached and trailing fire setup to be used for a pair of glowing, phosphorescent eyes.


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