A A A A Author Topic: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide  (Read 5835 times)


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #1     : August 15, 2015, 04:59 AM
RCT3 Advanced Firework Editor Tutorial

I decided to help out a bit and make a tutorial on making your own fireworks in the advanced firework editor. I will take you from having just brought the game to making advanced fireworks.

How to use the tutorial and Contents!
Spoiler: User Manual (hover to show)

Extra information before you start the tutorial!
If I haven't provided an answer to how to make a type of firework, tell me in a comment below. Remember: I won't tell you how to make every firework ever, I'm telling you how to work the editor, so that you can figure it out and use it for yourself. This information can also be used to create ride event effects etc. The usefulness of this feature of the game is unimaginable. Almost anything can be made in it, e.g. AT_Mad made a show with a ferris wheel in it. The ferris wheel was 100% made with the AFE alone… This is the most versatile feature in the game IMHO.
Other sources: YouTube- davie499
This guy makes 16 brilliant tutorials, which explain firsthand almost everything you need to know! I highly recommend them for anyone making fireworks who is stuck making their own!

This guide is split into several posts as it was too large to fit into one post. Sorry for any inconveniences including having to triple post due to the size of the tutorial.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:41 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #2     : August 15, 2015, 05:07 AM
Chapters 1,2 and 3

Chapter 1 - Mix master Displays
It's simple, all you need to do is go into the scenery icon from the side menu,
and click the bottom box!

Easy peasey! As you can see you can load mixmaster displays, make a new one, or place down different bases. There is one base for lasers, one for fountains, but four separate ones for fireworks.

Start a mixmaster display by pressing here:

Now this box comes up:

Click anywhere here:

and a tab will open up with the options of fountains, fireworks or lasers:

Click on Fireworks:

(Don't worry if the highlighted words don't appear yet, they shouldn't!) These effects are all made by the computer, but as I will show you, you can make your own, more realistic stuff!

Chapter 2 - The Advanced Firework Editor
It's easy to get into this editor. Click on any guest, and rename them "Guido Fawkes". If this will annoy you, I would go into the main menu, tools, peep designer and make a family whose names are all the cheats you need, it means the AFE appears within seconds of starting a new sandbox...
Now go back to where I directed you in chapter 1, but this time just under the fireworks tab, when you have clicked once on fireworks, it will say the advanced firework editor!

Ta-da! You've made it! Now I will explain how to use it.
When you load up the AFE for the first time, you will likely be baffled by all the boxes and words and just about everything there. Here, I explain it:

1) This is how to add a particle after the selected particle.
2) This is how to delete the selected particle.
3) This is how to create a new firework. Now the + button (1) will work.
4) This is how to load fireworks that you have made previously or downloaded fireworks. (basically all firework effects under the folder C:\Users\*YOUR USERNAME*\Documents\RCT3\FireworkEffects).
5) This is how you save fireworks for later use.
6) This is where to name your firework.
7) This is where to make a price for your firework.
8) This is where to choose which colour will be displayed for your effect. This can help make navigating large and complicated effect lists easier.
9) This is the preview screen, which in anything but the vanilla game is crap.
10) This is the effect timeline, and where there is a darker shade, something happens with particles.
Video - by davie499 on YouTube, a brilliant tutorial for chapters 2 and 3! All right reserved by him and all credit to him! Davie499's tutorial for chapter 2 and 3.
18 Jun 2008 - Uploaded by davie499
Introduction to the advanced fireworks editor, and how to make fireworks.

Chapter 3 - How to make a Firework and how the Particles Work
Now click on the button on the right hand side, create a new firework.

You now have your first particle on your screen. This really doesn't do that much and only has two control boxes: particle life and modifiers.
You can make very complex chains of particles, or simple ones, and each particle can have a different symbol to show what part of the firework it fulfils. If you press the new particle box, this particle will be the thing shot out of the firework base. If you click again, this particle will be emitted from the previous particle. The previous particle is known as the parent particle, and the next particle is known as the child particle. Now I will explain how to edit each particle by explaining what each different variable does to the particle.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:24 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #3     : August 15, 2015, 06:17 AM
Chapters 4 and 5

Chapter 4 - What the different Particle variables do:

This is how to change each particle to do different things. It will only change this particle's properties.
Video - By davie499. A brilliant tutorial on what each variable does! All rights reserved by him and all credits go to him!
davie499s Tutorial for chapter 4
4.1 - Emitter Rate

Emitter rate determines when the particle is released from the previous particle and how many of these particles are used.
1) The top blue box tells you when it is released. For a rocket which goes into the air, leave it so the start time is 0 and the end time is 1. However for an explosion, you want the whole explosion to occur just as the rocket reaches its peak, so set the start time to 0.99.
2) The random box makes both the start and end values be randomly changed by your value of time. So if the start time is 0.1 and you add a 0.1 random value, then the start time can be anywhere between 0.1-0.1=0 and 0.1+0.1=0.2.
3) The number of particles is self explanatory, the more you add, the more you have. It maxes out at 1000, but remember: never make a firework which in total has over 20,000 particles at any point, as it will lag so badly if used in combination with any other fireworks. My computer can't take more than 10,000, but remember to keep your max to your computer, not to mine. Your computer might handle 10,000 easily, so use 10,000 if it works. If you are creating a firework or effects pack, try to keep most effects under 10,000 particles too be considerate to other users' computers.
4) The final box, use strength modifier, you will learn about in chapter 7.

4.2 - Emitter Speed

A very important box. This determines where on the screen your particle will go.

1) I very rarely use Pos sphere and pos circle, however in one of the advanced tutorials I will use pos circle and explain these. Tutorials on these to come.
2) Speed. This is the speed your particle has in any direction it's given. All the other boxes in emitter speed can change what direction this is, as can the next variable, emitter rotation. 100 is the maximum (unless you have AT Mad's soon-to-come XFE). I recommend testing out heights if you are not sure, but keep the focus of your fireworks the same. I.e: if you already have a set for a firework show made, and you know at what angle you want to film the show, just test out heights of fireworks to make sure they don't go off the screen when you watch them from that particular angle. For close up shows use about 30-40 speed/camera angles on the initial particle. For zoomed out shows/camera angles use 50-70 speed on the initial particle.
3) Sphere: this is a value used mainly for spreading particles out. When adding sphere for let's say the explosion part of a peony, the higher you go, the further out the particles travel. When you have numerous particles they will spread out across the sphere or below, circle; that you have given it. Sphere dispenses the number of particles in the emitter rate area of this particle equally among a sphere. This is not a hollow sphere as such, particles can be moved at the top distance (the figure you have applied to the sphere box) away from the parent particle or any distance below that distance.
4) Circle: similar to sphere but creates circles not spheres.
Difference between circle and sphere: when looking on from a horizontal point of view, I.e you are in a peeps sort of view, adding sphere will make the particles form a circle shape in the air. Very confusing, I know. Circle, on the other hand, will make the particles zoom outwards from the parent emitter in a horizontal direction. This means that you will see a line, as basically it creates a halo shape, but from a horizontal pov all you can see is a line.
5) Parent speed: from 0-1. This changes whether it will continue in the same direction as the parent and with how much of the remaining speed. At 1, the child emitter will continue with precisely the amount of speed the parent had at the point of release and in the same direction. This can be combined with its own different speeds, drags and directions.  (look at emitter rate (4.1))

4.3 - Emitter Rotation


This is a very complex variable, and is rarely used in rct3 basic fireworks. If you are picking up the basics, this isn't necessary yet. Refer to it later on.
The first three boxes all change the rotation of the particle. They will change Fig 4.32 (below) and rotate them as shown in the following paragraphs:

1) The x variable turns the particle on itself about the X azis as shown in Fig 4.31, so that for example something shoots at a specific angle. Look at fig 4.31 for reference on how it acts. A circle just turns on itself so it seem to make no difference. But with a square you will notice the difference as shown below. It would turn the square from Fig 4.32 to Fig4.33:
Fig 4.33

2) The y variable turns the particle on itself about the Y azis as shown in Fig 4.31, so that something rotates from Fig 4.32 (above) to 4.34 (below):

3) The z variable turns the particle on itself about the Z azis as shown in Fig 4.31 and is the most frequently used here, it can be used, for example, in making a perfect circle in the air. To do this you do need to use the circle button, but you need to apply a value of 1.54 in this box to make it a circle in the air from a horizontal or peeps point of view, rather than a circle from a vertical or birds eye view. (Ensure you have particle relative (5) unchecked.) It would turn the square from Fig 4.32 to Fig 4.35:

4) The other side of the box has three boxes, all of which add turn the particle on itself about the lines shown in fig 4.31.

4.4 - Particle Life

This determines the lifetime of a particle and can add sound to the firework.
1) The lifetime box changes the length of the life of these particles.
2) The time rand(omness) box just allows the lifetime to be changed by up to the applied value of time either way, (up or down) to the assigned lifetime value. So if you have a time of 1 and a time rand of 1 then the lifetime can be between 0 and 2.
3) Sound time is the start time in the effect for the sound effect chosen in drop down menu 4.
4) The drop down menu in the middle right is the choice of sound effects.
5) Min and max distance, well I rarely use this, and as much as i search, this seems to make no difference.

4.5 - Particle Basics

This is the exciting stuff.
1) Choose the colour of the particle and the 2) size and 3) type of particle.
1) The large white box above is the colour area. Tap in it to create a colour node. You can make any colour of the rainbow here and add multiple nodes. A handy trick to know is to end in black so it fades out, as in real fireworks, it's more realistic and looks cooler.
2) The little box with two red Sparks is where you can choose the type of particle it will be, from a ball, to a star to a flame, you can use lots! Here they are

3) Finally the start and end size. Well size here will indicate it's brightness basically. The end size will often be 0 or smaller than the start size to help the particle fade out. Random... Well you should know what random does by now...

4.6 - Special Effects

I never use these, not to say they can't be used, but often there are better ways of doing this.

1) A burn acts like a tail, but it's better to use child particles to make one. Burn size effects how big the burn is.
2) Stretch – Basically the quicker the particle moves, the more it stretches. Again, this effect is weird, and could probably be better made with child particles.

I might edit this and add a proper tutorial on this variable, but for now you won't need it.

4.7 - Particle Motion
This name is quite misleading really. It's actually the motion forces which are affecting the particle.
1) Drag adds air resistance and slows the particle down.
2) Gravity makes the particle travel downwards, or in most cases will slow down the particle as it goes up by gravity. It drags down midair particles with no speed, slowly.
The other three boxes are rarely used as they make the particle motion go weird.
3) Spin Rate X and Y - These make the particle constantly turn on itself. That’s the difference between spin rate and emitter rotation. Spin rate constantly makes the particle spin on itself, whilst emitter rotation rotates the particle to a specific point and stays at that point. Spin rate X makes the particle rotate about the X axis, and Spin rate Y makes the particle rotate about the Y axis (these can be found in fig 4.31)
4) Upscale – Upscale make the particle move in a circular pattern away from the parent particle The circles increase, thus creating a spiral like effects. Thing to note – Spin rate X and Y can work quite crazily with this. This is because upscale makes the particle move towards the front of the particle (yes there is one) as the front of the particle slowly rotates around. The speed it moves at increases as the effect goes on. Therefore if the particle is spinning (spin rate X and Y), the front of the particle is constantly changing direction (spinning…), so the upscale effect is very odd.

Chapter 5 - Previewing Your Firework in The AFE

If you save your firework and give it a name, you can reload it and in the AFE preview screen you will see it. Now in the vanilla version of the game, the effect actually appears in the game, which is a GOOD thing. This is because the AFE preview screen in all other versions of RCT3 is weird, and with more advanced fireworks displays the wrong thing. (when using the following variables the preview screen will be skewed: Circle, Pos Circle, Emitter rotation (whole box), Upscale, Spin rate  and Y.) Remember to test it out in game, rather than just be lead on by the AFE preview screen for more advanced creations.

There is a lot more still to come, including making basic fireworks, peonies, flashes, spark trails, smoke and pro-Colour for a realistic look for your effects. After that I hope to add sections on specific advanced fireworks, then other generic information about the AFE, then a laser and waterjet tutorial, as well as anything you guys want!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope this helps! If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment below or send me a message!

« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:38 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 1839
  • :
  • ~
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #4     : August 15, 2015, 06:33 AM
It's nice that you are making tutorials for the Mixmaster, something that has been done before, but also something we can never have enough.

One tip though, don't put everything into spoilers. Now we have to go through every spoiler to see whats in it and have to be careful not to miss-move the mouse to close the spoiler again...
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #5     : August 15, 2015, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I only put everything spoiler cos otherwise it ridiculously long. Im going to delete all the spoilers now...

EDIT: Done the spoilers, and replaced the large and faulty pics. Hope this is better for everyone!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:40 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 4828
  • :
  • shyguy's World Rocks!
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #6     : August 15, 2015, 04:37 PM
Thank you for making the tutorial! :up: This is going to help a lot of us who don't know how to use the AFE. I am having trouble with all the spoilers, though. :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #7     : August 16, 2015, 01:59 AM
Thanks Elizabeth, the idea was to help everyone, cos i know there are a lot of people who tremble in fear a the sight of the AFE, but i wanted to share its true brilliance. Spoilers now removed.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:40 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged


  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • :
  • If life gives you lemons-eat them, they're healthy
Re: The Advanced Firework Editor: The Guide
Post #8     : December 30, 2015, 08:57 AM
Chapter 6 and 7
Video for chapters 5 and 6.1 - Another brilliant guide by davie499! All rights reserved by him and all credit goes to him! http://youtu.be/lAM5jieilxc

Chapter 6 - Making a Firework
This is how to make a firework. We will start with the basic rocket and work out way towards making a good explosion and making fountains!

6.1 - Making a Rocket

To make a rocket you will only need two particles. The base one, which you won't edit at all, and the rocket itself which you will edit. So on the second particle, or the child, we will start on the first variable and finish on the last variable. Remember to save and reload, and call it rocket.
First we start in the emitter rate box. We want to keep the start and end time the same, but we want to add just one particle! A rocket will have one particle and so will we.
Next we have emitter speed. Let's ignore sphere, circle and pos sphere and pos circle because we don't want to stop it from going straight up. If you changed any of these, the rocket could change and not be vertically shot! Add speed of about 40 and leave the parent speed as 1.
Now we skip emitter rotation, it's not applicable here and move to particle life. 1 second is fine for the lifetime of the rocket and leave the randomness alone. Now we could apply rocketwhoosh1 sound effect for about 0.5 seconds as this is realistic and will add to the effect of the rocket. However min and max distance aren't necessary.
Now particle basics. You can choose a colour of any sort and move it's node until it's about 3/4 of the way along the box. At the very end add black. As for the particle type, I would add a large circular one as this is the spearhead of the finished rocket. Finally start with a size of around 2 or 2.5 and end at 0. Randomness is unnecessary but for realism effects I like to add 0.25 here.
Let's skip special effects, but we will need to add about 0.8 drag and 0.4 gravity to slow it down as it travels.

Ta da! We have a rocket! However, there's no spark trail coming out of it...

6.2 - Adding a Spark Trail

Video - by davie499. Another 2 amazing tutorials on how to make spark trails! All rights reserved by him and all credit reserved by him!


Now we need to make a child emitter off of our rocket. This will be our spark trail. To stop confusion, change the sign to the burn look, or another symbol. Once that's done, we can begin.
Emitter rate: Well, we are going to want about 250 particles I'd say, so raise it to 250. Again we want it to start at 0 and end at 1!
Emitter Speed: Well we don't want any speed, we want them to be left behind. So what you need to do is get rid of the parent speed, make it 0. This way it'll be left midair as a trail. Also add about 1 sphere just to spread it out a bit. Leave the other boxes.
Skipping emitter rotation, let's look at lifetime: Now we don't want the Sparks to hang around too long so We need to lower the lifetime to about 0.6 seconds. For realism effects, add randomness of about 0.1. Leave the other boxes.
Particle Basics: This time you can't choose a colour. You need to go with a coppery colour. That is made by having the red bar about 3/4 full, the green bar a little bit less than this, and the blue a little bit less than the green bar. Remember to move the node to halfway and add black at the end. We are going to want that spark trail, so something a bit smaller when choosing the particle type. For particle size, start at about 0.6, we don't want much brightness, and end at 0. For realism sake, add 0.1 randomness.
Finally: Particle motion: Add about 0.2 for drag and gravity, and leave the rest! Now we have a fully functioning rocket which looks realistic too! Remember to save and reload! Now... How to make a ball of stars...

6.3 - Making an Explosion

Making a ball of stars! So now that we have our rocket, load it, but this time change its name to ball of stars, peony or explosion.... And now we can edit it! So the first thing we need to do is add another particle, from the second particle on the page, or our rocket. This new one will be the ball of stars!

Emitter rate: now, we are going to want the explosion to happen in the air, so we need to change the start time to 0.99, or just as the rocket disappears, it explodes! Otherwise, on this page all we need to do is add about 100 particles, but the number is your choice, but make sure not to go over 200 otherwise your computer will lag a lot!

Emitter speed: well first we want to add sphere, so that they shoot outwards. For a typical explosion have about 35-45 sphere. Now we don't want any speed, no circle and NO PARENT SPEED. This is key!

Ignore emitter rotation, so, Particle Life: you can add an explode sound, and make it at about 0.6 to time it to the explosion. The particle life should be about 1.5 seconds, that will look normal.

Particle Basics: So choose any colour, and put it about 3/4 of the way down the colour changer area. At the end add black. Now, choose either a big star or the biggest ball as your particle and start it off at a size of 2 and end at 0. Add quite a lot of randomness for realism.

Ignore special effects and.... Particle Motion: I would add about 1 drag and 0.75 gravity. Now save and reload it! You should have a nice explosion. But it probably won't quite look realistic. To add realism create a particle off of the ball of stars  and copy out chapter 6.2 tutorial, but lower the lifetime to 0.4 seconds and then that should be nice. Remember for the ball of stars, you only want about 25-50 particles, so decrease the emitter rate number of particles...

6.4 - Adding flashes.

Often the firework explodes with a bang! During these bangs, we see a flash of light before the firework explodes or takes off. To add one of these, we need to add a child particle off the rocket or base particle.
Emitter rate: add one particle, and set it so it is emitted from its parent particle at 0.99 and ends at 1.00.
Emitter speed: this should have 0 parent speed, so change that. It will have no speed at all in any of the boxes.
Skipping emitter rotation, set the lifetime to 0.05 seconds, with no randomness - a flash is very short.
Now the particle itself should be huge. Make it white and make its start AND end size to 25.00. Choose a particle which you think looks like a flash.
That's it! Now if you want you can add one to the launching of the rocket itself too!

Chapter 7 - Keep it Realistic

When making fireworks, you may want to make them realistic, like ID effects. To do this, we need to do the following:
-Add smoke
-Add pro-colour effects
-Remember a few key things

7.1 - Adding Smoke

Smoke is a detail which is very simple. Off any rocket or peony there must be smoke. Firstly we need to create an invisible particle as I explained above. Off the invisible particles we will have a smoke particle. Set the invisible particle's lifetime to 0.05 seconds. Next we decide its start and end time. Again there is no right or wrong, but I give it a start time of 0.05 to stop smoke particles from bunching up at the start of a peony or on the ground if it's a peony. I also give it an end time of 0.95 to make it seem like it's lost all its energy as it fades out. I also add a randomness of 0.20 (NOT 0.02) as in real life smoke is VERY random.
          To make smoke we have to emit a suitable number of invisible particles off of ANY visible particles. This number of particles depends on the parent particle to the smoke. Remember the number of smoke particles is its own number of particles multiplied by all its parent particles' numbers. To conserve numbers therefore, when we have a peony we don't use 200 invisible particles as we would on a single rocket as otherwise we lag the game badly. Instead, use your initiative as to how many to use, but for a peony of let's say 50-100 particles, use between 20-30 invisible particles for each, but for a single rocket we can use 200-500 particles depending on how long the particle's life is.
          For willows, the willow lasts so long that the smoke from the start of the explosion will have dissipated by the end of the willow, so we can actually use a lot more invisible particles as some of the emitted smoke particles will disappear as others are emitted off the main willow explosion. (This isn't just for willows, it can be used by for loads of effects.) This is quite confusing, so here's an example:
Imagine shooting a singe rocket up and giving it a lifetime of 10 seconds. If we add 1000 invisible particles as a child particle of the rocket, then add 1 smoke particle and give it a lifetime of 1 second the following happens:
          1) Every second 1000/10 - 100 invisible particles are emitted.
          2) After 1 second the 100 smoke particles from the first second of the rocket's invisible particles will have disappeared.
          3) So really there will only be 100 smoke particles at one time, NOT 1000. This is important to remember.
          So now we know how many invisible particles to use, we add 1 smoke particle off that. Now we will be editing the smoke particle. Leave the start time as 0 and the end time as 1. Don't touch anything else.
          Now we enter the speed box: First I add 2.00 speed to the smoke. This is so that it drifts. We will make sure it drifts sideways not upwards in the particle rotation box. Then I add between 0.5 and 2.0 sphere to help the smoke space out as it would in the air and not clump up.  Finally I get rid of all parent speed as it never keeps this speed in real life, it is left behind.
          Next we get to the key box for smoke, particle rotation. This is VERY important. This allows the smoke to look like its being blown by the wind. Now we need to go to the bottom left hand corner box, "particle relative" and untick it. Now in the box that says: "SpinOffsetZ" we need to set this to either of 4.71 or 1.54. This determine which way your smoke goes. When facing the entrance of a normal sandbox, 4.51 is right and 1.54 is left. REMEMBER, when two effect packs are used in combination, their smokes could drift different ways and at different speeds. So be careful with this. And if you are making multiple effects, make sure the smoke drifts the same way and at the same speed, ESPECIALLY if you are making an effect pack for the public.
          Particle life: Smoke lasts a long time, so often I use 3-4 seconds. Smoke, however, is very random, so pull time random all the way up to 1.
          Particle basics: Do NOT click on colour modifier, keep it unchecked. Smoke is grey not any other colour. It is also very dark so make sure all 3 colours are equal and VERY low, so that the colour is a very dark grey. Make sure it is basically as dark as you can make it. Remember to start and end with black so that it fades in and out again. The particle you use for it should be round with soft edges and pretty big. Make it seem to grow, so start at about 0.5 and end at about 2.0. Randomness should once again be very high, so 1.0.
          Ignoring special effects we come on to particle motion: We want some drag but not much, perhaps 0.1 - 0.2. We also want some gravity, probably about 0.2 - 0.3. And we are done! You have mastered smoke. Save and reload and see how you think it looks. Do some experimenting so that you get it just as you like.

7.2 - Pro-Colour

Pro colour is a clever invention which is an annoying (!), but useful way to get around the game's terrible lighting system. As you may have encountered, rct3 doesn't have a good lighting system. The same is true of the AFE. The particles aren't designed to give out light, like fireworks, but are instead the colour of the light.  This is very unrealistic. Therefore we simulate the glow of the fireworks. We do this by using the pro-colour system. Every visible particle, except from Strobe, flashes, spark trails and smoke, should have pro-colour. Basically particles which glow, are brightly coloured and can be coloured in any colour (peony's, rockets, waterfalls, willows, fans and anything similar) should have pro-colour.
          Pro colour changes an unrealistic looking effect like this:

          Into a realistic looking effect like this:

          Let's take the example of the effect you made in 6.1 and 6.2, a basic rocket. There should currently only be 3 particles - a base particle, the rocket and some sparks. However we need to add 3 more child particles to the "rocket particle." These 3 will be the inner glow, the core and the flicker. The rocket particle itself will make up the outer glow.
So the pro-colour looks like this:

Let's start with the outer glow: Each glow is made up of numerous particles, but only 1 outer glow, but when you have a ball of start you will notice that emitter rate won't be set to 1, but perhaps 50 or 100. Each star in the ball of stars has its own outer glow. Everything else except particle basics is dependent on what effect you are creating. Outer glow is huge, about 20 perhaps and is a LARGE, soft edged particle. Check "colour modifier" and then click on the colour. Make it a dark grey, with red, green and blue being equal and being very low. Then make it black at the start and end of the timeline. I set randomness to 1 because 1/20 is not much and fireworks are random anyway.
Checking "Colour modifier" allows your outer and inner glow and flicker to be all the EXACT same colour, just with different brightnesses. In you base shell, click down on the variables menu, and go to the second section. There you can choose the colour that you want. If you keep it very bright, your firework will be unrealistically saturated. There are two ways to get around this:
1)     Make it very dim by making your colour red look like this:

Not this:

Basically make the colours very low. The disadvantage to this is that it is hard to get precise colours via this method...

2) Use default strength. This method allows for precision in colours, but guesswork as to what value to apply for the default. I normally use 0.2-0.4 and use the full range for the colours. Or I use a mixture of the 2 I just suggested. Make sure you check "use default strength" in emitter rotation for particles which use the colour modifier.

NOTE: To use multiple colours, for the second colour DO NOT use colour modifier and make the second colour in particle basics VERY DIM.

Onwards to inner glow. Inner glow gives the majority of the brightness and is quite small.
Emitter Rate: I would set this to between 20 and 50 depending on how many parent particles this has had. I always have start emit time set to 0 and end emit time set to between 0.8 and 0.95. Check "use default strength" here if you are using it.
Emitter Speed: Everything MUST be set to 0, except parent speed, which MUST be set to 1.
Ignore Emitter Rotation.
Particle Life: I use about 1/3-1/2 of the lifetime of the outer glow. Lifetime can be random if desired.
Particle Basics: About 3-7 in size depending on the effect etc. Use a not too hard edged particle, but not as soft as outer glow. I would make it grey, with all three colours being about 2/3 the way up, checking colour modifier. Randomness can be set however you like. Remember to start and end in black.
Ignore Special Effects.
Make sure the particle motion box is EXACTLY the same as the one of the outer glow. This is key.

For the next two child particles, flicker and core, the only differences to Inner glow are particle life, particle basics and emitter rate.

CORE: Emitter rate: I use about 10-20 core particles, and DO NOT check "use default strength", or uncheck it if it is checked. I always have start emit time set to 0 and end emit time set to between 0.8 and 0.95.
Particle Life: About 3/4-1/2 of inner glow, or 1/6-1/3 of outer glow.
Particle basics: DO NOT check colour modifier. Or uncheck it if it is checked. Keep it white and use a small, hard edged particle, and make it between 0.3 and 0.8 in size, depending on the particle. Don't use randomness. Shells don't tend to differ in size and this is acting as the shell.

FLICKER: Emitter rate: I use about 30-75 flicker particles, and DO check "use default strength", if you are using it. I always have start emit time set to 0 and end emit time set to between 0.8 and 0.95.
Particle Life: About 1/4-3/4 of a second. Use randomness as high as possible. The short lifetime allows for the large flicker particles to come and go, as if it is flickering.
Particle Basics: About 5-10 in size depending on the effect etc. I recommend using the same particle as you used for outer glow. I would make it grey, with all three colours being about 1/2 the way up, checking colour modifier. Randomness should be all the way up, flickering is random. Remember to start and end in black. I also use lighter and darker version of grey in between the 1/2 way grey, to make it flicker even more...

7.3 - Some useful tips!

Here are some useful tips for realism:
1)     Always use procolour on effects you want to be recolourable.
2)     Always add smoke to EVERY particle.
3)     Compare your effects to real life effects...
4)     Go over and over your effects to hone them in on realistic and amazing effects.
5)     Very saturated effects are NEVER right.
6)     Use invisible particles.
7)     Add flashes before explosions, and make a launch bang, flash and smoke.
8)     Use smoke exactly the same between effects, especially in the same effect pack. Should be made easier by the soon to come release of the XFE by AT_Mad, when you can copy and paste particles.
9)     Use similar gravity and drag variables between effects, especially in the same effect pack.

Hope this helps... :)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 10:02 AM by Martins1 »

I love coasters! :)
  • Offline
  • Logged