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.
Here, particles have a display attribute that shows their velocity vectors as blue trails.
Here, particles have a display attribute that shows 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.
In an explorer, open the point cloud's Particle Display property editor by clicking on its icon.
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 Particle Display Property Editor.
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 Setting the Initial Particle Shape for information).
If you select , 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.
% 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.
displays on a certain percentage of the animation on an instanced shape on a particle. See Displaying a Percentage of Instance Animation for information.
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 Creating Particle Display Attributes, 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.
TipIn the ICE tree graph, you can right-click on a link between two nodes and choose 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 Displaying Attribute Values.
To create particle attribute display properties:
Select a point cloud.
Do either of the following:
Choose to open the Display Attribute property editor.
In a point cloud's Particle Display property editor (see Setting the Particle Display), click the button to open the Display Attribute property editor.
Give the attribute a descriptive name and set the options you want. This creates an Attribute Display property for the point
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.
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 AttributeDisplay Property Editor for more information on these options.
Keep clicking the 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
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 option in the view menu.
Click the eye icon in a viewport and choose .
In the Camera Visibility property editor, toggle the option on the Objects page.
To view or hide particles in all viewports, choose () from the main menu bar and toggle the Particles option on the Objects page in the Visibility Options for All Cameras property
Displaying Particle Attributes in Viewports
To view or hide particle attributes in a viewport:
Click the eye icon in a viewport and choose .
In the Camera Visibility property editor, click the Attributes tab and make sure that the option is selected.
Toggle these options on that tab for selected and/or unselected objects: (shown below), , and . See for more information.
To view or hide particle attributes in all viewports: