Particles and Explode Modifier -- X, Y, and Z Axis movement

Hello…first time poster here! I’m having some problems getting the explode modifier and the particle system to work how I want. I’ve created a bowling pin using the Spin option in the Mesh Tools. I’ve then applied a UV map to the surface of my object. Applied a particle system. Then applied the Explode modifier. Everything looks great, but when I Alt+A to preview it, I can’t get the “chuncks” to behave like I want. They pretty much break apart slow move in all directions. How can I make them go Up and spread Left and Right? If I adjust the Acceleration X and Acceleration Z in the Particle Physics, they only move one direction on the X axis. How can I make them go both directions on the X axis? Also, how do I apply gravity to them so they eventually fall back down?

Thanks for any help you may provide!

Try setting “Normal” and/or “Random” to make your chunks move out in all directions. Higher values = faster movement. If you want the chunks to move mostly up at first, and mostly down at the end, you might have to use force fields, or set the Initial Velocity as “Object” instead. I’m not sure how to control direction using “Object.”

Also, try setting “AccZ” to a negative value to simulate gravity.


Thanks…adjusting the Normal, Random, and AccZ seem to get me close to what I want. The only thing I notice is the particles are exploding forward also. Is there a way to keep them from coming forward toward the camera? How do I use a force field? Any tutorials on this?

Add a field object, cycle through F7 'til you find the physics buttons. There’s a panel with two tabs, for me it’s the far-left panel. It has a “Fields” tab and a “Collision” tab.

Fields are useful for attracting or repelling particles. They are (usually) not based on the shape of an object, so you can use fields with an empty. Fields take some practice and some adjustment to get right, but they control the direction of particles, so they’re probably closer to what you want.

Collision is useful for stopping particles that are already in motion. You need a mesh object to define collision bounds, so use planes or a cube to make “walls” in front of and behind your pin chunks. The advantage to this method is that it’s quicker to set up and easier to work with. The disadvantage is that, since your particles are moving forward and back, they’ll look like they’re hitting an invisible wall (since that’s what they are doing).

Something else just occurred to me…

You could try creating a vertex group that doesn’t include the faces on the front and back of the pin, and tell the particle system to only use verts in that group. This might work, since the group contains normals pointing along the X and Z axes, but not the Y axis. You’d have to use a low value for the random initial velocity, since that will always send particles flying in every direction.

Sorry I don’t know of any tutorials for any of this stuff. There’s always the blender wiki here. Good luck.