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Submitted by Niel Waldren, posted on March 15, 2002

Image Description, by Niel Waldren

As you can see from the image, this IOTD has to do with particle effects. One big problem with images of particle effects is that particle effects generally only look good when they're moving. But seeing as the main reason for this post is not to show off the particle effects themselves, but to present a means of creating them, it's perhaps not such a problem.

The tool has been designed to allow the user to create particle effects which can be exported from the app straight into the game engine. A particle effect is composed of a number of particle systems, and each system may be influenced by any number of so-called affectors (gravity, faders...). This structure is represented in a tree view which you can make out on the right hand side of the images. The particle effect runs the whole time in the display window, with any changes and additions to the effect taking place on the fly.

The thing that makes the tool interesting is that the affectors have a generic interface to both the tool and the game engine, which allows the particle engine to be extended by new affectors without having to make any changes to either the engine or the particle tool (at the moment it's all statically linked, so I do have to recompile).

A small demo is available at It includes a few affectors, a couple of (meaningless) samples and supports saving and loading in an ascii text format.

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

March 15, 2002, 02:47 PM

heh I was first here!..

Nice fire-works!..



March 15, 2002, 03:35 PM

Looks really nice

Have fun



March 15, 2002, 04:23 PM

To be honest, I've seen prettier turkeys... :)


March 15, 2002, 04:28 PM

Looks nice, but crashes (under XP) while loading 'particles2.ape' or 'particles3.ape' although 'particles1.ape' works fine. I didn't manage to put together a cool effect by myself though.



March 15, 2002, 04:31 PM

Looks really nice

Have fun


I say ! Nothing beats the Bunz of the day !!

(except, perhaps, this marvelous particle system...)

Cheers !


March 15, 2002, 04:31 PM

Pretty cool. I downloaded the sample and played around with effects. Looks great, good work.


March 15, 2002, 04:38 PM

Quiet! Don't make me take off my belt and give you a good whippin.


March 15, 2002, 04:46 PM

Bunnz: your posts rule :)

DirtySouthAfrican: *lol - I did say that the effects themselves are not the point of interest!!

FunkyMonk: Damn :( don't have XP. I've tested it on quite a few systems, but all running W2K - the only problem I had was a rendering issue on an ATI radeon.

Ron Frazier

March 15, 2002, 04:51 PM

Hey Bunnz!

Are these 4 line posts your way of advertising your web site?

Ron Frazier


Kurt Miller

March 15, 2002, 04:52 PM

">>Damn :( don't have XP. I've tested it on quite a few systems"

I tested it on a win98 machine. It works and looks quite nice, but it crashed when I load in certain orders... for example if I load particles1.ape, then load particles2.ape, it crashes. It doesn't crash if I load particles2 first then particles1, or particles2 then particles3. I didn't try every combination, but perhaps that'll help you find the bug.

Other than that, it looks really cool. Keep it up...


March 15, 2002, 04:56 PM

Thanks for the info - I'm sure it will help!

Dean Harding

March 15, 2002, 05:36 PM

Yeah, I'm running XP and can't load 2 or 3 either - 1 is fine. It doesn't matter the order, I can't load 2 or 3 even if they're first things I try when it starts up. I've got a GeForce2 + Athlon 800MHz.

Luke Philpot

March 15, 2002, 05:45 PM

Nice stuff!

I'm to lazy to try out the demo right now, but I have WinXP Pro, so I'll try it out later.

Chris Blodgett

March 15, 2002, 08:06 PM

looks good neato. I like fireworks too :)


March 15, 2002, 09:59 PM

I have the same problem as others it seems - which is a pitty as I wanted to see the 'Thingy' effect - it looked neat :)

WinXP Pro Pre-SP1
P3, GF2GTS w/ latest official drivers, debug DX8.1 install

/ / / T / R

March 15, 2002, 10:49 PM

Same problem as the others, but I am running 2000.

(Will not load 2 or 3 at all.)

Win2000 (no service packs), GF2MX400, Athlon 1200

Roch Denis

March 16, 2002, 12:08 AM

Just had to mention it was kinda funny with a guy advertising is own website in his posts ^_^

Not that I have anything agaisnt it


March 16, 2002, 02:22 AM

2 and 3 crash the app on my system. Otherwise, it looks promising. Nice work.

I have:
AMD Thunderbird 800 Mhz
Windows XP
GeForce 3 Ti 500
DX 8.1


March 16, 2002, 03:39 AM

Hi! I was thinking about using something similar to
your affectors for my sprite engine. Nice.

Your prog crashes with a read access to NULL as soon
as I load a model. But that's likely because my card
does not have any useable GL driver. Pity. I'll have
to get rid of my old RageXL.


March 16, 2002, 04:45 AM

jeti: yes, the rendering uses OpenGL, so you need an appropriate driver

others: it's a shame it's crashing on some systems - I thought I'd try and fix the problem and post an update, but I've tried everything here and it just refuses to crash in any way. Looks like I'll have to wait until I get XP.


March 16, 2002, 05:10 AM

the line is: "first post!"


March 16, 2002, 06:19 AM

Hi Ron

I was wondering how long it will take until I am caught red-handed ;)
Although others found out too - you were the first one! Congratulations!

Have fun
Bunnz ;)

Ron Frazier

March 16, 2002, 06:54 AM

Well, I'll give Behemoth half credit for the discovery. When he copied you that first time, I started thinking to myself "you know, I think I've seen that post from bunnz more than a few times". So, I took a look through your history, started looking at you previos post, and things just became really clear. I realized how long you've been getting away with it without anybody seeming to notice.

For those who are wondering what Im talking about, click on the "Other posts by this author" link under Bunnz' name on the right hand side of one of his messages. To sum it up, since Nov 22, 2001:
Every message (38 in total) has contained a variation of the standard "Have fun, Bunnz, Visit: " 3-liner.
Only 4 of those 38 contain more than one or two more lines in addition to the standard greeting (and even a few of those 4 are borderline).

Funniest part is that you didnt always get it right, Bunnz. On 12-05-2001 you linked to That was actually the first time I clicked on your site and I thought to myself: "Why the hell is he advertizing that on flipcode?"

So, I guess you deserve a congrats for getting away with it unnoticed all this time, and at the same time I'll give you a slap on the wrist.


Ron Frazier


(ok...I'll stop picking on you now :) )


March 16, 2002, 10:08 AM

Looks neat ! :)

What you can improve in the future is that particles should be scaled more in the direction it's moving by the speed (length of the vector) also, so the aspect ratio of a moving particle sprite shouldn't be equal which in your screenshots seems to be the case. Also you might experiment with different blending formula's, especially for the smoke shot. Buckshag has a nice document about particle systems on, you might have a look at it (also downloadable from


March 16, 2002, 11:16 AM

Ron or anyone was not alone to notice your mindless posts. They have been annoying me from day one, i was just too embarrassed to say anything about it.
I thought ignoring you would be best but since you triumphantically admit your selfish ways, why dont you do all of us a favour and keep it with that. No one is interested in your homepage anyway.
There is no reason to congratulate either, I am tired of your spam and it is not amusing anyone.

Igor Kravtchenko

March 16, 2002, 11:24 AM

By "affectors" I suppose you meant "effectors" ?
Nice job, I -> love


March 16, 2002, 12:30 PM

Cyble: non-uniform scaling is a nice idea, thx - the app already supports all common blending formulae, including texture blending with the vertex colors. I am already familiar with the Buckshag article and I would also recommend it to anyone interseted in creating particle systems.

Igor: you're right the word "affector" doesn't actually exist, whereas effector does. I do however mean "affector" an artificial word I have adapted from "affect" in the sense of definition 1 below:

tr.v. af·fect·ed, af·fect·ing, af·fects
1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
3. To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.


March 16, 2002, 12:50 PM

Seems like your are jealous cause I congratulated Ron ;)

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