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Particle Flow along a path

Posted October 14th, 2013 by wardse

Here are a list of basic instructions and tips for creating a particle flow along a path. This works great for a swarm look.

1. Draw a nurbs curve (doesn’t matter which kind)
2. Make sure you are in the Dynamics menu and select the curve and go to Effects > Create Curve Flow. A particle system will be created at the beginning of where you drew your curve.


a. If you go into the options for this feature, you can select the emission rate and particle life of the emitter and particles. The particle life will determine how fast the particles move across the curve


3. At that point you have a particle emitter that will create particles that then flow along the curve. You can scale the rings around the curve to control the width of the flow at each point. You can edit the particle shape and the emitter as you would with any normal particle emitter, with one exception.
a. The particle life can change value but it must remain as a constant. The time it takes the particles to travel from
beginning to end of the curve is based on the lifetime.
b. You can change the emission rate of the emitter if you wish, but you must first break it’s connection by right clicking on
“emission” and selecting “break connection”.

An example of this is the 3D animation at 0:21in the following video:

-To learn how to make the particle look like a 3D mesh as shown in the example video, see the previous blog post about apply a mesh to particles.

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