Making particles follow a path

Good morning,

I have managed to get this working in part but have come to a roadblock, for which I have not been able to Google a solution.

Things I have managed to do:

  • Created particle simulation and configured it to use object for the particles.
  • Particles following a curved path.

My problem however, is that the orientation of the rendered particle objects do not orient to the normal of the curve.
i.e. - say you have a circle for a path starting at 12 o’clock and going clockwise. Particles are initially pointing “East”, as the particles progress around the curve, I need the angle of the particles to change, so that by the time a particle reaches the 3 o’clock position, they should be pointing South; 6’ o’clock position - West; 9 o’clock position - North; and finally back to 12 o’clock position - East. With my particles, they are constantly pointing East no matter where they are on the curve.

Making a mesh follow a curve uses the correct behaviour as described above, so just wondering whether it is possible to the same with a particle system following a curve. Thanks in Advance for any advice.


Try checking that dynamic box in the rotation properties of the particle settings… If I remember right that orientates your particle object to be pointing in the direction of the curve normals…like a roller coaster would go along the tracks (I don’t have a way to test to see if my memory is correct, but I had the same problem awhile ago.)

Thanks harleynut97, much appreciated. I found that apart from Dynamic, I also changed Initial Orientation to Normal-Tangent, and ensured Angular Velocity was set to Velocity with a factor of 0.

I also discovered it can be done similarly with Boid Particles - create object (cube etc) clamped to follow the curve. Set cube to have a force field with a negative value. Boids will chase cube. Play with values so that cube just stays ahead of the boid particles.

Glad you got it worked out… so what kind of project are you doing … or are you just messing around with particles…which is always fun, as well.

I work for a law firm in IT Support, and at the end of each year, the Graduate Clerks [Grads] (students who work part time while completing their last year of law before being admitted as Solicitors), do a video for the Xmas party. Normally themed around work and experiences they’ve had over the year.

Their theme this year is “Lifecycle of a Grad” in which they wanted to include sperm with their faces on the front for a short part of the video, for which I am using Blender for modelling the sperm and face meshes of each of the 7 Grads. Using wave modifer with weight painting on the mesh for the tail movement and using the sperm mesh for the particle object (to create a school of sperm). Creating duplicate of the sperm mesh for each Grad to attach the face meshes I’m working on.

The reason for the tracking to curve guide is to get the sperm to swim through a curved tube. :slight_smile:

they wanted to include sperm with their faces on the front for a short part of the video

That’s funny … best of luck with putting it together