Displaying ICE Particles
Creating particle simulations is a visual process that requires many ways of viewing. You have many choices about how to display each point cloud in a viewport, such as changing their display shape, showing trails, or simply hiding particles altogether.
As well, you can create specialized particle display attributes for each point cloud that help you get particle information, such as showing particle IDs, positions, orientation, or vector trails.
On the left, particles with a display attribute showing their velocity vectors as blue trails.
On the right, particles with a display attribute showing their orientation as axes.
Setting the Particle Display
You can set up how the particles in each point cloud are displayed in a viewport by setting the options in the point cloud’s Particle Display property editor. The Particle Display is a property of each point cloud, so you can define specific viewing preferences for each point cloud in a scene.
To set a point cloud’s display properties
1. In an explorer, open the point cloud’s Particle Display property editor by clicking on its icon.
2. Set the options in the Particle Display property editor are you like.
Here are some of the main ones — for details on the others, see[ ].
• Display As lets you override the particle shape only for display purposes in the viewport (that is, the particle’s actual shape is still rendered in the render region and final render). Select from a number of shapes from the list that are the same as found in the Emit compound (see for information).
If you select Automatic, it uses the current Shape that is set in the Emit compound.
- The Segment shape draws particle strands behind the particles, but the particle are drawn as points.
- Blobs and capsules are displayed in the viewport as spheres: you can only see their true shape in the render region.
- If you’re using instanced geometry on the particles, the shape you select will be scaled according to the geometry’s bounding box. Using simpler shapes than the actual instanced geometry displays the particles more quickly for playback.
• Display % lets you choose to display a certain percentage of the particles in the viewport. This is handy for faster playback and keeping the clutter down when there are many, many particles in the scene.
• Animation Detail % displays on a certain percentage of the animation on an instanced shape on a particle. See for information.
• Add Display Attribute opens up the Display Attribute property editor in which you can create special display attributes for the particles in your point cloud, such as particle IDs, point positions, or vector trails. See , below, for information.
Creating Particle Display Attributes
In addition to setting the particle display properties for a point cloud, you can create specific display attributes for particles to help you understand their movement or for troubleshooting purposes. For example, you could choose to display the particle IDs for each particle in a point cloud, or choose to display vector trails after each particle to show their movement.
Display attributes are a property of the point cloud, so you can define specific ones for each point cloud. You can create multiple display attribute properties for each point cloud and display any number of them in the viewport at one time.
In the ICE tree graph, you can right-click on a link between two nodes and choose Show Values to display particle values in a similar way as to the particle display attributes you set here.
For more information on display attributes in general, see[ ].
To create particle attribute display properties
1. Select a point cloud.
2. Do either of the following:
- Choose Get > Property > Display Attribute to open the Display Attribute property editor.
- In a point cloud’s Particle Display property editor (see Add Display Attribute button to open the Display Attribute property editor.), click the
3. Give the attribute a descriptive name and set the options you want. This creates an Attribute Display property for the point cloud.
4. From the Attribute list, you can choose to create any of these types (and more) of display attributes for particles: Color, Force, ID, Mass, Number of Points, Orientation, Point Position, Point Velocity, Scale, Shape, Simulated Frame Fraction, Size, and Volume Cloud.
Particles with a display attribute showing their particle IDs.
5. Depending on the type of attribute you chose to display, you can set different parameters for each. You can set its Display As type, Scale Factor, Display %, Label (including its position and offset), Range, and Color.
Particles with a display attribute showing the number of points in the cloud. The label is offset above the particles and the color is changed to blue.
See[ ] for more information on these options.
6. Keep clicking the Add Display Attribute button to create new attribute properties. A new property editor opens up for each new display attribute property that you create and customize.
Hiding Display Attributes
All display attributes you create are shown on the particles in the viewport at the same time, not just one at a time.
If you don’t want to display a certain display attribute, deselect its Show Values option in its Display Attribute property editor.
Deleting Display Attributes
Simply delete the desired display attribute property in the explorer.
Displaying and Hiding Point Clouds in Viewports
You can display or hide all particles (point clouds) in the viewports. When you hide particles, the simulation is muted which makes it faster to play the scene. This is useful if you want to keep the particles in the scene, but you’re not working on them at the moment.
To view or hide particles in a viewport
• Click the eye icon in a viewport and toggle the Point Clouds option in the view menu.
1. Click the eye icon in a viewport and choose Visibility Options.
2. In the Camera Visibility property editor, toggle the Point Clouds option on the Objects page.
• To view or hide particles in all viewports, choose Display > Visibility Options (All Cameras) from the main menu bar and toggle the Particles option on the Objects page in the Visibility Options for All Cameras property editor.
To view or hide particle attributes in a viewport
1. Click the eye icon in a viewport and choose Visibility Options.
2. In the Camera Visibility property editor, click the Attributes tab and make sure that the Display ICE Attributes option is selected.
3. Toggle these options on that tab for selected and/or unselected objects:
Point Cloud IDs are displayed under each particle, regardless of the display mode. This is a quick alternative to creating an ID type of display attribute for the point cloud.
When Point Cloud Points Only is selected, points are shown regardless of the display mode. You may want to use this for faster performance or for a less cluttered display when you’re not tweaking the particles.
This is a quick alternative to selecting Point as the Display As shape type in the Particle Display property editor for each point cloud.
Point Cloud Trails are lines giving a visual cue to the particle’s velocity (with the appropriate color variation). The amount of trail left by a particle depends on its velocity.
This is a quick alternative to creating a Point Velocity type of display attribute for the point cloud.
To view or hide particle attributes in all viewports
• Choose Display > Visibility Options (All Cameras) from the main menu bar and toggle the options on the Attributes page in the Visibility Options for All Cameras property editor.
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