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Further Reading on Particle Emitters 2

  • Mythic


    Apr 24, 2012
    Particle Emitters

    Disclaimer: This Magos'-centric thread contains info on Particle Emitters 2.
    Orientation axes are Warcraft 3's.

    0 means the particle is invisible, while 1 means it's visible. Any value above 1 will have the same result as 1.

    The amount of particles generated per second. The interval between emissions is capped at ~0.05s (?).

    By default, causes the particle to move towards its Z. This can be changed through particle or parent rotation.
    Animated changes in speed will only affect newly emitted particles, and thus gravity is, at the moment, the only way to accelerate.

    The percentage of randomness the particle can deviate from its base speed. 1 means speed can go down to zero, or double; and 2 means it can go -1x negative, or triple.

    This can lead to bottleneck emission when used with Latitude.

    Angles towards which the particles will fly, deviating from its facing direction. A value of 90 means the particles will go towards a semi-sphere area, while 180 removes angular restrictions.

    Width - Along the Y Axis

    Length - Along the X Axis

    Width and Length determine the rectangular field in which particles are spawned. Magos' Editor displays these properly with mdxs, but not so with mdls, where they are reversed.

    An accelerating force that will always point downwards in the absence of Model Space rotations. Negative values will make the particles go up.


    Each particle from this emitter will fade through the three colors, sizes, and visiblities (alphas), with each segment's duration being decided by <Time>.

    Life Span - Time before the particle disappears and expires.

    Tail Length - Segment size only determines width for tails. This is the length, influenced by distance covered with regards to velocity(speed, variation, and gravity).

    Priority Plane - Used to layer/manually determine which particles are displayed on top of each other.

    Time - The time allotted to each particle segment.


    Unshaded - Will be unaffected by the game's lights.

    The 'sun' comes from the south west by default.

    Unfogged - Will not be tinted or shrouded by fog effects, including the fog of war.

    Alpha Key - ?

    Line Emitter - Whether or not the particles will fly horizontally.

    Example usage in Thunder Clap, where it's used with an emitter rotation to make the particles fly XY.
    Rotation: { 0, -0.707107, 0, 0.707107 }

    Sort Primitives Far Z - Supposedly whether or not the game will take into account Z when deciding which particle is shown on top. (I haven't seen any changes with regards to the conflict between blends and additives, though)

    Model Space - Whether or not the particle moves and rotates with its parent nodes and the model.

    XY Quad - Whether or not the particle will be rendered as a plane facing the Z axis. Requires non-zero Latitude, and Speed over 0.99 or below -0.99.

    Squirt - Creates all the particles indicated by the emission rate at the first keyframe available per animation, instead of over time.
    Note: Magos' ignores squirt settings when rendering, so be sure to test in-game.

    Head - The default. When rendering an emitter without Head nor Tail settings, the game will consider it a Head emitter. Thus, unchecking the Head box will hide the particles in Magos' only.

    Tail - Whether or not the particle will be followed by a tail facing its flying direction. Tails consider the texture's left as their front, so ribbon textures will appear as spearheads.

    mdlvis will save the head setting properly, while it changes tails to heads. If both are checked, it saves them both properly. If neither are checked, it checks heads.

    Filter Modes

    There are some textures that are fitted for Blend and Modulate filter modes, such as dust clouds. Most of the rest are only viable with Additive, with Add(itive) Alpha producing lethargic, or sometimes invisible results.

    Blend removes the transparent parts. It is a staple of blood spurts and dark glows.

    Additive removes the black parts, and lightens the texture. The darker/the more colored an additive particle becomes, the weaker it is. Additive is a staple of light glows.

    Modulate removes the white parts, and is used for GenericGlowModX.blp, among others.

    Blends are incompatible with other particles for the most part, and will flicker through each other in-game, if not in the Model Editor as well. In some cases, this can be creatively circumvented by making the blends XY Quads below the others, or through the use of Priority Planes.

    Flare.blp is a versatile light, and can be used with Blend in addition to Additive, as opposed to other glows.

    • Black and white colors are useful to prevent your effect from looking monotone, whatever your primary hue is. Use dark colors below the other particles, and use lighter ones for the centers. For segments, it's recommended to go from light to dark as particles fade.

    • It is oftentimes better not to have constant particle size. For sparks, consider having their scaling at 0 for the third segment, while retaining high alpha. On the inverse, dust clouds look better when they fade to 0 alpha in bigger sizes.

    Things to Know

    In-Game Discrepancies

    • Gravity and Speed are calculated differently
    • Particles and their movement are rendered smoother in-game
    Be sure to test often. Be fun at parties!