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how to emit particles to match this shape?


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2 popnets, the first are the leading particles. (could do it in one popnet with a split pop).

The second are emitted from the first.

When the sim is done, remap life to pscale in a vopsop outside the popnet, copy metaball or apply "heavy smoke effects tool" from fx shelf.

Or if you want to go further, use those particles to emit into a volume.

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For starters, have a look at the help file on the split pop, the one that shows how to create fireworks. That will give you a good idea already.

There are already a lot of threads on this kind of topic. Search for posts regarding: trails, split pop, life, age, particle to volume transfer, gasParticleToField dop, clouds, smoke, waterfall. That should cover a lot from simulation, to getting attributes modified, to getting it looking like a volume, to rendering and shading.

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