A particle system is a collection of many particles that together generate an amazing graphical effect. Over a period of time, particles are generated, move, evolve and die within a system.
There are advanced software programs (such as TRAPCODE PARTICULAR) to produce systems containing tens of thousands of particles. Smoke, cascade, fireworks and many other effects can be achieved.
The Excel generator for PTE is a very basic generator and cannot compete with specialized software. However, it does the job of generating simple systems.
This rudimentary generator is designed for people who are used to handling PTE objects in the object editor. Some basic knowledge of the Excel worksheet is also required.
The Particle Generator in Excel does not include a value control, so it is necessary for the user to have a good knowledge of the allowed values of the different settings.
- Generator under Excel version 2016, but probably compatible with other versions (and probably also with OpenOffice)
- Excel is configured with the point (.) for decimal separator (not the comma as in France for example)
- The generator uses an Excel macro to create the PTE objects. Therefore, it will be necessary to activate the execution of the Excel macros when opening the Excel file.
- Excel generates in column "A" of the "Result" tab a list of PTE objects (one object per particle). Column "A" must be copied and then pasted into the PTE object editor.
- Each particle is a PTE object with two control points: the first control point corresponds to the birth of the particle (initial point) and the second to its death (final point).
- A particle has all the properties of a PTE object at the starting point and at the end point: Position, size, opacity, color, rotation, etc.
- For a particle system, it will be necessary to define:
. the particle image file
. the number of particles. Do not exceed a maximum of 5322, as Excel will generate an error beyond this limit. In practice PTE is no longer fluid when the number of particles exceeds 800, but it still works with more than 5000 objects.
. the trajectory of the particle flow (Bézier curve)
. the lifetime of the particles
. particle flow: acceleration, gravity, diffusion
Instructions for use:
. Cells with white or gray fill color are fixed or calculated values, they must not be modified.
. The cells with the blue fill color are property labels.
. Cells with the orange fill color correspond to a property that can be set.
. Many properties of a particle are set according to a random function between a min and max value. If only one particular value is desired, the min value must be equal to the max value.
- Setting the particle system parameters
. Specify the number of particles in the system
. Set the duration of the animation (in thousandths of a second). It is the duration between the appearance of the first particle and the last particle.
. Set the maximum particle lifetime (in milliseconds). This is the time between the appearance of a particle and its disappearance.
. Set the offset time for the appearance of the first particle
. The path and image file of the particle. It is preferable to have png files with transparency management. The particles are preferably white so that they can be easily colorized with a PTE color filter.
. Set the particle flow parameters :
Gravity: defines the intensity of the attraction, a value of 100 corresponds to the half height of the screen. A negative value corresponds to a negative attraction: movement towards the top of the screen.
Angle: scattering angle of the particle emission. Between 0 and 2*pi.
Radius: radius of diffusion around the emission of the particle.
Acceleration: coefficient applied to the acceleration of a particle calculated according to the particle system curve.
- Generating the particle system
. Just click on the "Calculation run" button. With my laptop, 12 seconds are necessary to generate a system with 800 particles.
. The result of the calculation is stored in the "Result" tab that is displayed when the generation is completed.
- Importing the particle system under the PTE object editor
. Copy the entire column A of the " Result " tab to the clipboard.
. Paste the contents of the clipboard under the PTE object editor, preferably into a frame object.
. It is possible to generate several particle systems, then to include them in the same slide.
The attached Excel file contains the settings that generated the particle system presented in the video above.
I hope you will find this particle generator useful. Let me know if it works for you.
Excel particle generator and sparkling star.zip