Exploding Particles

I’m working on a blood cell animation and have particle systems emitting red blood cells and virus-like objects. The particles are constrained to a curve guide. I would like to be able to show the virus particles exploding, dissolving, falling apart, etc… Is there a way to do this? I would like to have control over when they explode. I guess this would be a particle system within a particle system… Is that possible?

Particle systems in particle systems are more like reactor particles, which are only in blender 2.49, not any of the 2.5s yet. But there may be a way to achieve the same in 2.5. I can’t actually test it at the moment, but here goes.

I assume that you are using an object for the viruses, and not a halo material for the viruses. So, you could give the virus mesh a dissolve (or is it explode?) modifier. You’ll have to give the virus mesh a particle system as well, and the start and end frames of the particle system on the VIRUS mesh will be the control over the explosion. Hopefully, this’ll work in that the viruses will be emmitted, fly around a bit, and then all of the created virus particles will mimick the virus mesh and begin exploding later.

The downside to this is that if it works, they’ll explode at the same time and in the exact same way. Plus, the explode modifier just breaks the mesh apart at its edges, so you’ll have a bunch of really blocky virus bits flying around unless you increase the resolution of the virus mesh and give it a slidify modifier, neither of which would be helpful as you’re dealing with lots of particles and this would slow down simulation time drastically.