harsh death of particles

I am creating an animation of particles that have a kind of energy effect. They are large halos. The problem is they just abruptly disappear when ‘dead.’ I need something a bit more smooth to look professional. Any ideas how how to do it?

Make the particles live longer, and add an IPO for the material (Alpha, Size?) to make them fade out.

I am not sure if I quite understand what you’re saying. I think I am reading you saying you want the particles to die out over a longer period of time. Here’s a couple of quick thoughts.
Have multiple sets of particles, with slightly different life lengths. Then one group dies, and it just thins it out, another dies, etc until they are finall all gone. By using the same settings for the rest, and shifting where the particles originate from, you can compensate in numbers of particles for the multiple emitters.
Perhaps a simpler way would be to up the randomness of the particle lifespan. That way they die out over a period of time.

Almost, I am happy with the random life idea, but they just ‘die.’ As in the blip out of existence when they die. In other words, the particle emits and moves abit then disappears. This is very visible to the camera. You see a burst of energy and then it blots away. I would like them to fade out nice and smooth. I don’t think the ipo idea can work because I want the individual particle to fade away when dead. I suspect this is beyond Blender and I may not be able to do this.

It certainly can do this. You can add an ipo curve to the particles’ material to make their alpha fade to 0. Check out this fire tutorial on the blender wiki:


to echo that, you can add an alpha IPO to the halo material.

for a particle, frames 1-100 in the IPO editor represent the lifetime of the particle.

say you want to particle to begin to fade at half its lifetime. Key its alpha to 1.00 at frame 50 in the IPO editor and 0.00 at frame 100.
same goes for color/size changes etc.

I see, I’m trying that right now. This seems a bit odd the way that is implemented though. Why not make a fade option for a halo lifetime, maybe an enhancement for the future.