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Creating Particle Textures Tutorial

Posted: Mon, 16th Feb 2009, 10:26pm

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FXstudios99

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Creating Particle Textures Tutorial:
In this tutorial, I will be explaining how you can make your own textures to use in the particle engine that is in EffectsLab Pro and VisionLab Studio.
To make your own texture you need:
•A standard drawing/painting program (I’ll just be using Microsoft Paint for this tutorial)
•Adobe Photoshop/Elements

First Step:
First, you will need to make the texture itself in Paint. Open up Paint (or any standard drawing program). First use the paint bucket tool (or something like it) and make the background all black. Then draw what you want the texture to look like (debris, flames, dust). For this example, we'll make some a debris particle. The polygon shape is a good tool to use.



Remember that when you import and use the texture in the particle engine, the engine will generate lots of that particular texture to make the effect. It is a good idea to make a few different variations of your texture, which will result in a more realistic effect.
Once you have created your desired texture, save it as a 256 Color Bitmap or a PNG.

Second Step:
Now, for the second step, we need to convert the file into a texture that FXhome products (EffectsLab and VisionLab) can use for an effect.
Open your texture in Photoshop. The first thing to do is to shrink the picture down to the right size and set the resolution to an appropriate amount.
Now go to Image > Image Size (or Image > Resize > Image Size in Photoshop Elements). Set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch. Then set the image height to 512 pixels and turn the Constrain Proportions checkbox ON. Before you click OK, your screen should look like this:



Note: Depending on what size template you created the texture in, it may already be the right size.
Now we need to make the image grayscale because the particle engine will put color on the particles according to how you set the color gradient.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue > Hue/Saturation (or Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation in Photoshop Elements). Set the Saturation slider bar all the way to the left (-100). Before you click OK, your screen should look like this:



If we just used the texture as it is right now, a black background around each particle will show up in the effect. So, we need to make the background transparent. In Photoshop, there is an easy way to do this; select the Magic Wand Tool (or a selection tool). Select the particle piece(s). Then right click on the selection and click Layer Via Copy.
This should add a layer that contains just the selected particle piece(s).



Now, just click on the Background layer and delete it. The resulting image should contain the particle piece(s) but instead of the black background, there will be a checkered background.



Now the picture is the right size, right resolution, grayscale and has a transparent background.
Go to File > Save As. Save the file wherever you want as a PNG file or a TARGA file.

When you import the texture into your particle engine, you can add the desired colors.

That is the end of this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions and let me know if it was helpful.

Last edited Sun, 1st Mar 2009, 5:09pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Feb 2009, 10:51pm

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Axeman

Force: 17995 | Joined: 20th Jan 2002 | Posts: 6124

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Looks to be a good tutorial. However, the images aren't loading for me at present. Also, is there any avantage to drawing the image in Paint, if you have access to any version of Photoshop? If you are going to be in Photoshop at some point, why not draw the original image there? I'm not at all familiar with MS Paint, so maybe there's a reason I'm missing, but it seems an extra step at first glance.
Posted: Mon, 16th Feb 2009, 11:26pm

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FXstudios99

Force: 702 | Joined: 17th Dec 2008 | Posts: 185

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Thanks for your input, Axeman.
As for the MS Paint thing, I have Photoshop Elements and the drawing capability seems rather limited and sort of weird. Also, since Paint is made for drawing, there are some useful tools that come in handy while drawing.
I'm not sure what Photoshop you have, so yours might have better drawing capabilities, I don't know.
Posted: Tue, 17th Feb 2009, 3:54pm

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No Respite Productions

Force: 985 | Joined: 4th Dec 2006 | Posts: 482

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Asides from the pictures not loading, this seemed to be a very well written and easy to understand tutorial. Given that I'm hoping to do some of my own textures in the not too distant future, it will no doubt come in handy.

Thanks very much!

NR
Posted: Tue, 17th Feb 2009, 5:10pm

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FXstudios99

Force: 702 | Joined: 17th Dec 2008 | Posts: 185

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User FXpreset Maker

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I'll try to work on the pictures. I'm not sure what is causing the problem though.
Posted: Sun, 1st Mar 2009, 5:10pm

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FXstudios99

Force: 702 | Joined: 17th Dec 2008 | Posts: 185

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User FXpreset Maker

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The pictures are UP!!! I hope that they help!
Posted: Sun, 1st Mar 2009, 6:37pm

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No Respite Productions

Force: 985 | Joined: 4th Dec 2006 | Posts: 482

EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

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They do, and thanks again for such a useful and easy to follow tutorial. Creating particles from scratch is something that I've yet to try but I'll definitely have a play around tonight using your tutorial!

Great stuff!

NR