PA Particle Field is a GPU Based alternative particle system, built from scratch specifically designed for looping ambient effects (though it can do so much more). Built to reduce drawcalls, fillrate and CPU overhead (especially on mobile devices), each field supports up to 16250 particles with just 1 drawcall and can be fully customized.
- WorldSpace and LocalSpace simulation
- Streched billboards
- Custom facing direction
- Multiple sprites in a single field (using a spritesheet)
- Spritesheet animation
- Per particle color
- Custom shader support with helpful macros
Also Exclusion Zones allow you to exclude particles from areas and assign priority between them, useful for bus shelters in the rain etc. Each field can handle 3 Exclusion Zones at once and are assigned and handled automatically.
The package comes with 7 demo scenes:
Snow, Caustics, Rain, Stardust, Bokeh plus a custom vertex program demo and a comparison scene showing PA Particle Field handling 195000 particles with ease.
PA Particle Field manages its efficiency by getting rid of particle birth and death. Instead it recycles particles using a bounding box, when a particle reaches the edge of the box it reappears on the opposite side.
When simulating in worldspace (the default mode) the field can be moved without moving the particles it controls, giving the effect of simply revealing the particles at the new position, creating the illusion of aninfinite particle field.
Can I preview the particles’ movement without pressing ‘Play’?
Yes, at the top of the Scene window is a drop down with effects, to preview the animation turn on ‘Animated Materials’.
How can it be used with multiple cameras/players?
There are several solutions, create one large field or create a field for each player and give each a unique layer.
Can I use customized particle shaders with this package?
Yes, you can write your own shaders and there are several macros provided to help. See http://popupasylum.co.uk/?p=683 for a tutorial.
Can I rotate the field in worldspace mode?
No, this is a limitation of the system (rotating the field would cause a particle to exist and be displayed in multiple places at once), using “Local With Deltas” simulation space if the best option if this is required.