Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Part 1 - Particle System

Start a new scene in BlenderEdit

  • Delete the default cube.

Prepare the individual particlesEdit

Go to layer 2 -

The layers buttons

Add a UV Sphere with 8 segments and 6 rings(Go to the toolshelf and change the values)

The Toolshelf

Add a new material with any bright color. Change the emit value to 2 or higher -

Material settings
Note - if you want a single-coloured version, 
you can skip a few of the following steps - 

Duplication of the particlesEdit

Duplicate the sphere and move it nearby (  Shift + D  ). Duplicate the material by clicking on the 'plus' button indicated in the picture below. Change the color to another bright color

Important note - Not clicking the plus button will change the
color of the previous sphere also.
Material settings
Single-coloured version

Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the no. of spheres with different colours. Now create a group ( Ctrl + G ) Name it anything you like in the toolshelf ( T  toggles the toolshelf).

Now you're ready to start creating the animation and particles!

Defining the motion of the particlesEdit

Go back to layer 1.

Creating the path for the particles to followEdit

If you haven't learnt about Bezier curves already, go ahead and do so now.

Add a bezier curve, and tab into edit mode. Now you have to model the path by extruding and subdividing the curve. The shape of the curve defines the path of the particles. After you are done with the curve, you can proceed to create the emission object.

Creating the 'emitter' of the particlesEdit

Add a UV Sphere with 32 segments and 16 rings. This is going to be the emitter, i.e. the object that gives out those coloured spheres.

This is going to have a completely transparent material since hiding it hides the whole thing.

So go to material properties, add a new material. Scroll down to the Transparency panel, check it and change the alpha value to zero, making it completely transparent. Also change the specular intensity to zero. Leave everything else as such.

Making the sphere follow the pathEdit

In this part, you are going to make the sphere follow the curve you had modeled earlier. Select the cube, and add a Follow Path Constraint. Select the target, i.e. the curve and click on Animate Path. All these steps speak for themselves, there's no need for me to explain. You could check follow curve, but since this is a sphere this is not needed. All it does is make the object face the direction it is moving towards.

As for the speed of the object, you can change it by -

  • Select the curve.
  • Go to Object properties -
The Object Properties
  • Scroll down to Path Animation panel.
  • Change Path Animation Frames value to the no. of frames you want the animation to last. I prefer it to be 150.


In the end, make a few changes until you are satisfied with the result. Now you are ready to proceed to part 2.

Last modified on 28 July 2013, at 09:44