Game Development Reference
Figure 16.43 With a Particle
Radius value of 11, the particles
(squares) become much larger.
Before we go any further with Particle
Playground, we need to be aware of the
importance of the Info panel with this
effect. When the Particle Playground
effect is selected in the Effect Controls
panel, the Info panel will display the cur-
rent number of particles on screen that
After Effects has to render. There is no
way I can overstate how helpful this is,
especially when working with other emit-
ters such as Grid (Fig. 16.44).
Next up is the Grid. Before we see what
the Grid emitter does, we should prob-
ably turn off the Cannon, which we do by
taking the Cannon>Particles Per Second
value down to 0. Then we must turn on
Grid by increasing either the Particles
Across or Particles Down value. The Grid emitter actually creates
a grid of particle emitters that emits a new particle every frame. It
is so important to be careful with these values because they can
obliterate your render time. Let's say that you used a fairly mod-
est value of 10 for the Particles Across and Particles Down values.
After 4 seconds, you would have over 12, 000 particles on screen.
The Grid emitter is great for generating areas of particles, such
as a tidal wave or a large fi re. Spread out the particles in the grid
without increasing their numbers by using the Grid>Width and
Height values (Fig. 16.45).
The Layer Exploder breaks up a layer just the way the Shatter
effect does (which we'll look at next). The Particle Exploder also
blows up a layer, but it also allows the particles to explode as well.
Figure 16.44 The Info panel displays the number of particles
currently on screen when the Particle Playground effect