The manual derscribes how to use Particles Heaven FX with Motion. The handling for Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express is the same.
At first you need to apply Particles Heaven to the Timeline. Open: Library > Generators > CHV Particles Heaven FX. Then drag Particles Heaven 2D to your Layers-tab:
In the canvas you will see that Particles Heaven asks for a particle texture. In order to be able to apply a texture to an image well of a plugin, the texture needs to be added to the project file at first. To do this drag the desired image or video-clip to the Media-tab. Make sure that the playhead is on frame no.1. Then drag the image to the layer where Particles Heaven is located and deactivate the image in the layer by clicking on the checkbox to the left.
Now click on Particles Heaven 2D in the Layers-tab to see it's controls in the inspector.
Particles Heaven 2D is divided into 15 sections:
Each section holds a number of controls, which will be described below.
All particles created by Particles Heaven are fully independent. If any parameter (except for the physics parameters) changes over the life of a particle, it will not change it's shape, texture or speed (and so on). This is very important to know, because you don't have to worry about setting keyframes in order to change some parameters for the video. If you (for example) turn up the Birthrate for a few seconds and then turn it back down to zero, you will see that all particles that have been emitted at that time will life their life until they die. The emitted particles will not take notice of the changing Birthrate parameter.
Show Margins - When enabled the canvas will show how many particles are currently used and how many particles are newly created in this frame.
When several emitters are cascaded, you will see the emitters data like this:
The main emitter's data is shown in the lower two lines. The lines above show how many particles are currently active for the "triggered" emitter. Please read the sections "Texture" and "Trigger New Emitter" for more information on how to cascade more several particle emitters.
Additionally you will see the shape of the particle emitter and the location of the walls, magnets and black holes.
Continuous Emission - A particle emitter can run in a loop. When this option is disabled, all particles will be deleted at the first frame and the screen will be cleared.
RandomSeed - RandomSeed sets up an initial state for the internal random number generator. When more than one particle emitter is placed into the timeline and each emitter's RandomSeed number is set to the same value, all emitter's random number generators will behave exactly the same. This enables you to place several emitters with slightly different settings on top of each other and all emitters will still behave the same.
This section defines the center point of the actual particle emitter and the texture for the emitted particles.
Mode - With this popup menu you define where Particles Heaven takes the information from, on where to emit the next particles. There are 4 modes:
- Use Position: The emitting point will be defined by the below Position parameter.
- Set Position as Global Position #1-10: The emitting point will be defined by the below Position parameter. Additionally this position will be stored as a "Global Position". There are 10 independent storage places. The stored position can then be used by another emitter to emit particles from that position.
- Use Global Position #1-10: The position for the emitting point will be read from one of the "Global Position" storage places. There must be another emitter active, set to "Set Position as Global Position #1-10" in order to make this option to work.
- Emitter #1-20: In order to make this option to work, there must be at least one other emitter that triggers this emitter. The position from where particles will be emitted will be transferred from the triggering emitter. The triggering emitter can also trigger this emitter several times within the same frame. It is also possible that more than one particle will emitted each time.
Position - Defines the actual position of the particle emitter. This option is not available when Mode is set to "Use Global Position #1-10" or "Emitter #1-20".
New Particles - There are 3 modes:
- Continuously: Particles will be emitted continuously, only depending on the parameter Birthrate.
- Only when Position changes: A fixed amount of particles will be emitted. Birthrate defines how many particles will be emitted. If the position of the emitter does stands still, no particles will be emitted.
- Depending on Position's speed: Depending on how fast the position of the emitter changes, more or less particles will be emitted. If the position of the emitter does stands still, no particles will be emitted. This option was used for the demo clip "Motion depending emission".
Clip/Image - This image well defines the texture of the particle. Drop any image or clip into this image well. If a clip is used, use the next four parameters to define how the clip will be used.
The next 4 parameters only have an effect when a clip is dropped onto the image well. Clips can only be used with Motion. Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express are always using only the first frame of the applied clip.
Length (frames) - Defines the length of the clip in frames. The number can also be smaller, when only the first frames of the clip should be used.
PlaySpeed - Defines the speed on how fast a clip will be played and used as a particle texture. If this parameter is set to "100", the particle will playback the given clip at regular speed. "0" means that only 1 frame of the clip will be used.
PlaySpeed Range - Defines a random speed on how fast a clip will be played. The random speed adds up to the PlaySpeed parameter. This makes it possible to define a minimum playback speed.
Random Frame - When this parameter is set to "0" the clip will be played starting at frame 0 for each particle. This synchronizes the look of the particles. Higher values randomize more and more the first frame of the clip that is used for the particle texture. If this parameter is set to the length of the clip, a different frame will be used as a texture for each particle. A setting of 9 means that additionally to frame 0 nine additional frames will be randomly used as the first frame.
359 kB - Animated 3D particle textures. The following settings were used for this demo clip: Length: 50, PlaySpeed: 100, PlaySpeed Random: 90, Random Frame: 49. The applied texture is a clip with a rotating cube which is 50 frames long. "PlaySpeed 100" lets the applied animation play with 100% of the original speed. "PlaySpeed Random 90" adds randomly up to 90% of the original speed to the speed with which the clip will be played. "Random Frame 49" makes each particle start with a different frame from the cube animation. This creates lots of different looking particles, each spinning with a different speed (100% - 190% of original speed of the cube animation).
508 kB - Custom particle textures. The following settings were used for this demo clip: Length: 10, PlaySpeed: 0, PlaySpeed Random: 0, Random Frame: 9. With these settings, each particle will use only one randomly chosen frame from the applied clip for the whole duration of it's life.
In Foreground - Define which particle will be seen in the foreground. This parameter only has an effect when Additive Blend is disabled. For Motion 2 users, this option is only available if the Length (frames) parameter is set to zero.
Additive Blend - Enable this parameter to use an additive blending mode. If enabled, the parameter In Foreground will be disabled.
128 kB - Additive blend on/off comparison.
This section defines the shape of the emitter, how many particles will be created and how long they will live.
Emitter Shape - Define if the emitter's shape should be a circle, rectangle or taken from an image or clip.
Emitter Clip/Image - This option is only used when Emitter Shape is set to "Clip/Image". Drop any image onto this image well. It will be used as the shape for the emission of new particles. This option was used in this demo clip:
404 kB - Particles emitted from image
The following 5 parameters are only used if a clip or image is applied to the image well and Emitter Shape is set to "Clip/Image":
Offset - Use this parameter to move the clip or image up, down, left and right.
Scale X % / Scale Y % - If the size of the image should be changed, you can do this with these two sliders.
Use Resolution - Particles Heaven is capable to detect the size and position of an applied emitter clip or image. Please note that it depends on the compression format and some other parameters if the resolution of the applied image will be read correctly.
Channel - Choose which channel will be used from the applied clip or image. You can choose between R, G, B and the luminance.
Threshold Upper / Threshold Lower - Define the brightness range that will be used from the applied clip or image.
The following 4 parameters are only used if Emitter Shape is set to "Rectangle" or "Circle":
Emitter Range - Define the size of the emitter. A value of 0 will create a point emitter.
Emitter Aspect Ratio - Define the aspect ratio of the emitter. A value of -100 or 100 will create a line emitter.
Emitter Rotation - Rotates the emitter.
Inner<>Outer - Define if the particles will be emitted more from the center of the shape or from it's border. A value of 0 will emit particles evenly from inside the shape.
Angle / Angle Range - Define the angle and range where the particles will be emitted to. A range of 360 (degrees) will emit the particles into all directions. A range of 0 will only emit particles into the direction of Angle.
Birth Rate - Select how many particles will be emitted each frame. This parameter is not linear, as there will be only very few particles emitted when this parameter is set to a low setting. When Mode is set to Emitter #1-10, Birth Rate defines the exact number of particles to be emitted.
Birth Rate Range - The emission of new particles can vary over time. Higher settings will emit more or less particles over time.
Birth Rate Turbulence - Defines the frequency of the turbulence for the Birth Rate Range parameter.
Life (frames) - This parameter defines how long a particle lives.
Life Range - Define the range of the life time for the particles. A setting of 100 will create particles that live between 1 frame and the amount of frames set with the Life (frames) parameter.
This section defines the behavior of the size of a particle during it's life.
Size - Define the actual basic size of the particles.
Size Range - Define the range of the size for the particles. A setting of 100 will create particles that range from the size of 0 up to the size defined by the Size parameter.
Growth - With a setting greater than 0, particles will constantly grow over life.
Growth Range - Define a range for the growth rate of the particles. Particles will more or less grow over life.
Shrink - With a setting greater than 0, particles will constantly shrink over life.
Shrink Range - Define a range for the shrink rate of the particles. Particles will more or less shrink over life.
Size Modulate over Life - Define the particles size behavior over it's life.
Important: For this parameter ONLY the Opacity channel of this color control box is used. Any changes to the color gradient have no effect. So disregard any color information and only use the Opacity channel (see red box, image to the right). Click on the line to add an additional value. Then use the Opacity slider to adjust the value. To delete a value, just click on the little colored box and drag it away from the strip.
The particle will change it's size over it's life according to the brightness of the Opacity channel. Black means that the size of the particle is shrunk to a size of 0 pixels. White means that the particle's size is as big, as it was set with the Size parameter. A 50% gray value resizes a particle to 50% of the size set by the Size parameter.
Particles Heaven starts to use the values to the left at the particle's birth and the value to the right for it's death. It does not matter how long a particle lives. The modulation of the particle's size will always fit it's lifespan.
The above example modulates the particle's size like that:
The emitter is on the left side. The particles begin their live with a size of 0 pixels, grow to 100% of the size, then shrink to 50%, stay for a while at the that size and then shrink again until they vanish at their death.
All size-parameters can be combined. For example: If Growth Range and Shrink Range are both used, you will see some particles grow and some shrink:
This section defines the behavior of the speed of a particle during it's life.
Speed - Define the speed of the particles on their birth.
Speed Range - Define the range of the speed for the particles. A setting of 100 will create particles with a speed varying from 0 up to the speed defined by the Speed parameter.
Speed Modulate over Life - Define the particles speed behavior over it's life.
The particle will change it's speed over it's life according to the brightness of the Opacity channel. Black means that the size of the particle will stop and don't move at all. White means that the particle will speed up to the speed set by the Speed parameter. A 50% gray value means that the particle will move at half the speed set by the Size parameter.
Particles Heaven starts to use the values to the left at the particle's birth and the value to the right for it's death. It does not matter how long a particle lives. The modulation of the particle's speed will always fit it's lifespan.
Slow down smaller Particles - Higher values of this parameter will slow down smaller particles. You can create a 3D effect by using this parameter and also set the parameter In Foreground to Bigger Particles.
115 kB - Smaller particles move slower in background
Position Movement - Add the speed of the position up to the speed of the particles. If this parameter is set to 0, all particles will only move with the speed given by the above parameters. A value of 100 will add 100 % of the speed of the position to the speed of the particles.
120 kB - Add speed of Position to particles (Motion Detection)
Swirl distorts the path of the particles.
Swirl Direction / Swirl Direction over Life - These two parameters belong together. With these two parameters you can distort the path of the particles in an ordered manner. Swirl Direction defines how much the path of a particle will be distorted. Swirl Direction over Life does two things: 1.: It defines into which direction the particles move. 2.: It defines when the distortion happens in the life of the particles.
Swirl Range / Swirl Range over Life - These two parameters belong together. With these two parameters you can distort the path of the particles in an random manner. Swirl Range defines how much the path of a particle will be distorted. Swirl Range over Life defines when the random distortion happens in the life of the particles.
Turbulence - Turbulence distorts the path of a particle randomly by using CHV's internal noise generator. Higher values distort the path of a particle more.
Turbulence Scatter - Turbulence Scatter defines the frequency of the distortion.
Of course all of these parameters can be combined without any limitation.
Section: Texture Rotation
This section defines the orientation of the particle's textures.
Follow Path - If this parameter is set to 100, the textures of the particles will be rotated to match the particles movement.
Rotation - Rotate the texture of the particles. The angle will be added to the angle calculated by Particles Heaven's Follow Path feature. This makes it possible to adjust the rotation angle for textures that don't match the path automatically.
Rotation Range - Rotate the texture of the particles randomly.
Spin / Spin Range - With these two parameters the particles texture will spin over the life of the particles.
172 kB - Texture of particles spin randomly
This section gives you full control over the color and opacity (alpha channel) of a particle's texture over it's life.
Color/Opacity over life - Particles Heaven uses the standard color gradient selector to control the "Color and Opacity over life" feature. But instead creating a color gradient on the particles, Particles Heaven interprets the given gradient as a timeline. The color on the left side of the gradient is used for the birth of the particles. The color on the right side is used at the end of the life of the particles.
Add colors by clicking on the lower gradient strip. Then adjust the color with the Red, Green and Blue slider. Delete colors by dragging them away from the strip.
More info on how to control Motion's color gradient selector can be found in the manual of Motion.