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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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