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Particle Sources

Krakatoa uses particles created by 3ds Max particle system, geometry objects, 3rd party particle systems, specialized Krakatoa objects and external particle files to both render and save particles to file sequences. This chapter discusses the currently supported particle sources.

Rendering Particle Flow Particles

Particle Flow has been the main particle system of 3ds Max since Release 6.0 and can be considered the primary source of particles for Krakatoa rendering. Krakatoa has been specifically optimized to work well with Particle Flow and includes bonus tools and workflows not available for the other particle sources. These include the ability to load particles saved to disk back into Particle Flow, the ability to use PFlow Script Operator channels in Krakatoa, as well as several high-performance Particle Flow operators for interaction with scene geometry objects.

Rendering 3ds Max Legacy Particles

The 3ds Max Legacy Particles are the original particle systems available in 3ds Max from release 1 to release 5 before the introduction of Particle Flow. They are very limited in the number of supported channels and the total particle counts achievable, but are supported within their limits by Krakatoa for compatibility reasons. This topic discusses the particle system types, their capabilities and limitations.

Rendering Geometry Vertices

Krakatoa has the ability to acquire every vertex of a geometry object or a spline shape as a particle. This topic discusses the capabilities and limitations of geometry vertices as particles.

Rendering PRT Loader Objects

The PRT Loader object of Krakatoa is used to load particles from file sequences generated by Krakatoa or 3rd party applications like RealFlow or any software that can write to the supported file formats. This topic discusses the abilities of the PRT Loader to load, combine, transform, retime, deform, modify and cull particles before rendering them or saving them back to a new file sequence.

Rendering PRT Volume Objects

Krakatoa provides a PRT Volume object to allow the fast conversion of mesh volumes or arbitrary complexity into particle clouds. This topic discusses the various features of the PRT Volume object and its interaction with different geometry object types in 3ds Max.

Rendering Thinking Particles

Thinking Particles are supported as basic point cloud source including the native Position and Velocity channels and the Group's color as the default particle color source. In addition, User Data Channels with name and type matching the native or user-defined Krakatoa channels can be loaded, rendered and/or saved to disk by Krakatoa.

Rendering FumeFX Simulations

Krakatoa provides direct integration with Sitni Sati's FumeFX fluid simulation plug-in by allowing the conversion of each voxel in the simulation to a particle. This topic discusses the use of Krakatoa with FumeFX and various approaches to rendering FumeFX simulations as particles or voxels.