Align Particle to Surface

This compound orients particles in the direction of the normals of an object. This is useful for setting up anything that needs a specific orientation along an object, such as bugs crawling on a rock or something sliding over a surface.

Plug this compound's Execute output into a Port on the ICETree node.

For more information, see Aligning Particles to a Surface [ICE Particle Simulations].

Tasks: Particles/Orientation, Particles/Surface Interaction

Output Ports: Execute


The object to which that you want the particles aligned. This must be an object with a surface. Plug in the object’s Value output into this port.

Enable Cutoff Distance

Toggles the activeness of the Cutoff Distance option.

Cutoff Distance

The maximum distance (in Softimage units) within which the particles are aligned to the object.


Defines how much the particle is rotated each frame. The value is a ratio, so if you set it to 1.0, the particle is immediately aligned. If you set this value to 0.1, the particle rotates by 10% each frame.

Select Alignment Type

The way in which the particles are aligned:

• Full Alignment

• Align Local Vector to Surface Normal. Select the particle’s Local Vector to use below.

Local Vector

The vector that is used to align the particles. The Y axis is typically the vector that points along the length of a particle. If you change the particle shape to a cone, you can see that the Y axis is the direction of the cone point. The X and Y axes are the sideways axes.

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