Particles Emitting Particles?

Hi All,

Can you tell I’m obsessed with Particles? lol

I’m trying to get a particle system to emit another particle system as its particles.

Is there a trick to it? I have one particle system with a single vertex that emits from a group of objects which are numbers - each has a lifespan of about 4 and a Normal Velocity of about .001 - What this does is it essentially creates what looks like a random number counter. The “particles” are objects which just sit in one place as they are emitted and display a random selection from the group of number objects.

What I would like to do, is setup a plane which emits an instance of the number counting particle system as each of ITS particles… These emitted particle systems will drop due to some z-axis gravity - et Volia - a stream of changing numbers dropping from top to bottom of the screen…

I can’t get the plane to emit the “sub-systems” of particles… (Hmm… maybe I should try duplivert-ing the plane with the 1st particle sub-system parented to the plane mesh so each vertex has a particle sub-system associated with it? But then the dupliverts would all go at once? Or I need to somehow setup the ofs timing parameters?)

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

I tried something similar for an explosion of dust but never found a way (in 2.4x).

Could you make a movie of your random particle/number generation and apply it to a mesh used as the particle for your emitter plane? If you use a number of emitters, each with its own “number movie” particle running at different frame offsets and with different emission specs, you could increase the random look, I think.

Sounds like you’re going for a Matrix-style numbers cascade(?)

Matrix-style - yes! I like that basic effect, and I wanted to try a number of different variations on the theme so to speak.

I think your approach could definitely work for this example, thank you.

I do wish there was a more Blender-centric way of doing it so that I didn’t need to pre-comp a movie as a texture. I don’t mind the work aspect, just at some point would love to know if there is a way to leave it all in Blender particles and meshes, so I could do numerous variations - more flexible. It may not be possible though.



You can build up multiple particle systems. If you set a second particle system as a Reactor then each particle can them emit other partiicles. You can control when these particles are emitted, either by frame numbers or in other instances such as on the death of the first particles. Not sure if this will do what you want but may be worth experimenting.
A quick test demo falling_numbers.blend (552 KB)


Thanks, Richard !!

I’ll check it out - and thanks for the .blend example . Cheers!


Here is an example of a particle emitting another particle upon death. When the line particle type dies, it emits the circle particle type. When the circle dies it emits the dot.


ras_246_particle_single_firework.blend (164 KB)

Thanks Atom, and Richard !

Slowly but surely I’m learning :slight_smile: I’ll post the .blend file for a simple example I did based on these ideas. Came out pretty nicely .

Does anyone know if mesh particles can ever be setup to have material IPOs that will act per particle? i.e. Halo particles are simple. Set an IPO for alpha or color and every particle will individually change alpha or color related to where they are in their respective lifespan.

With Objects (meshes) as particles, IPOs for material seem to always change the attribute for the entire set of particles at once.

Frustrating! lol Is there a way around that functionality?



You can look at the BLEND file located in my signature. Emulating 3DS Max Super Spray. But Blender particle system is missing the the ability you are looking for. And I am pretty sure it was overlooked in the new 2.5 release as well.

Hi Atom,


I’ll definitely check it out. Weird that Blender has this limitation. Intuitively, it would seem that with the ability to have mesh objects as particles, they could follow the object’s IPOs per particle instance pretty easily. It of course adds a bunch of additional math depending on the number of particles… but with regards to materials at least, not sure why it would be difficult. The info needs to be calculated and rendered per particle anyway, and each object instance needs to have its lifespan factored in… oh well…



you can just set up a particle system and add children and from the combo box choose particles.

Hi rvngizswt,

Was your recommendation to get particles from particles? I’ll check that out as an alterbative to the reactor particle system mentioned above (which worked pretty well.)

Still looking for a workaround or method for the IPOs for material of mesh particles. Is it something that python scripting would provide access to (i.e. attributes of individual particles?


I would like to do the same, I have a rocket that crashes and explode with the explode modifier, but i want the pieces to emit smoke while they fall, Any suggestions?

You can control the alpha of particles on a per-particle basis by using a ramp shader. Here’s a tutorial demonstrating it:

Part 3 is where the control of the alpha is covered.