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3.2 How to Use Particle Effects

In this lesson you will learn how to use CC Particle Systems to create the base shape of the liquid swirls. This includes how to adjust the length, thickness, and overall “liquidness” of the shapes.

3.2 How to Use Particle Effects

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to the liquid animation course. In this lesson, you'll learn how to use CC Particle Systems to create the base shapes of the liquid swirls. This includes how to adjust the length and thickness of the liquid shapes. So once you're happy with the path that you've created using the Pen tool, we want to go ahead and select the liquid strokes layer again. So make sure that's been selected. And then, press M on the keyboard. This will reveal the mask inside the layer. We’re going to use this to mask the path to animate the line. So now, go to Effect, and then go to Simulation. And now, let’s go ahead and let’s select CC Particle Systems 2. Or alternatively, you can go to the Effects and Presets panel here, if you have it up, and then we can also search for CC Particle Systems, like so. Select that, then double-click that to add it to the layer that we've selected, which is liquid strokes. So let's go ahead and delete the second particle systems, as we don't need this. Now, if we go ahead and scrub backwards and forwards in our timeline, you'll see that the default setting for Particle Effects is this sort of firework fountain. Now, we'll need to adjust the settings to make it look a little bit more like the liquid strokes that we want to use. So to do this, head over to the Effects and Controls panel to the left here. And let's go ahead and change some of these settings. So change the birth rate from 4 to 50, and the longevity to null point 6. And now, we want to open up the Physics tab here. So just click on the arrow next to Physics. And we want to change the animation type from Explosive, and now let's change it to Vortex, like so. Cool, now, you'll see the animation type has changed completely from the fountain to this sort of vortex animation that we've got here. Now, let's go ahead and change the velocity from 1 to 0, and gravity from 1 to 0, like so. And that will change the animation again completely. So now, we've got this sort of red dot here. Now, with these settings, we'll be able to animate the particles along the spline path that we created in the previous video. Make sure that you have the timeline, you've set the time line to the very first frame. So let's scrub all the way back down to the very first frame, like so. And now, we wanted to go to the liquid strokes layer here. Select the mask path here, like so. And now, press Ctrl+C on our keyboard to copy. Go back to the Effects and Controls panel here. And let's go ahead and find the Particles Systems Producer. So let's close Physics for now. Go to Producer, open it up by pressing the arrow here. Create a keyframe of the position by pressing the stopwatch button here. And now, with the position selected, press Ctrl+V on the keyboard to paste the mask path into our position. And now, as we scrub backwards and forwards in our timeline, you'll see how the particles follow our path that we created. Great, now, to adjust the animation slightly, we want to select all the keyframes from the position. So let's go ahead and open this up. So open Effects, open up CC Particle Systems. Go to Producer. And here, you'll find the position keyframes here. And from here, let's go ahead and highlight our position keyframes so we can see them. Cool, now, from here, with all of these keyframes selected, press F9 to easy ease our keyframes. Awesome, now, from here, we can open up the graph editor. So let's go ahead and click on the graph editor button here. And here, we can go ahead and adjust the speed of our animation by adjusting the handles. So let's go ahead and adjust these here. So we just want to adjust it this way. So you can see from our graph, our animation starts off slowly and then speeds up towards the end, so it finishes quickly. Great, from here, let's go ahead and go back into our normal timeline, and let's go ahead and close all of these here, like so. And now, we want to go ahead and click on the toggle mask and shape path visibility here, just so that we can hide our path, like so. So let's just go ahead and click that, great. Now, all we have to do from here, let's go back to the Particles settings here again, and let's close Producer. And we went to open up the Particle settings. And let's change the particle type from Line to, let's find something else. So Faded Sphere. So if we move along the timeline here, let's see how this affects our particle or our stroke, like so. And let's change the depth size from naught point 75 to 0. And let's change the size of variation to 100%. Opacity Map from Fade out to Constant. And we want the max opacity to be 100%. Cool, now, you can see, as we scrub backwards and forwards, our particle looks like this. Awesome, so we can also press the Preview button to see what that looks like. And this is also a good test to find out what the speed of our animation is like. So if you wanted to change the speed via animation, remember, we can go back to Effects. Go to the Producer, highlights all of our keyframe animations, our keyframes here. Go back to the Graph Editor. And we can change the speed, like so. We can make it a little bit faster, like so. And now, click to see what that looks like.. Excellent. So that's it for this lesson. In the next lesson, we'll learn how to add color to our particles. See you all there.

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