Modify basic particle system attributes

You can make basic adjustments to a particle system by replacing its source image, adjusting cell opacity, removing unwanted cells, changing the emitter’s size or position in the Canvas, or removing the entire emitter.

Replace a preset emitter’s cell source image

After you add a preset emitter to your project, you can customize it by replacing its source image.

  1. In the File Browser or Library, select the file you want to use as the replacement graphic for the preset, then add it to the project.

  2. In the Layers list, drag the layer to the emitter cell source you want to replace.

    Note: If the cell layer is not visible, click the disclosure triangle next to the emitter.

  3. When the pointer becomes a curved arrow, release the mouse button.

    The original cell source image is replaced with the new layer.

  4. Optional: Hide the new cell source layer by deselecting its activation checkbox in the Layers list.

    The cells based on this layer remain in your particle system, but the static cell source layer is hidden in the Canvas.

Adjust an emitter’s cell opacity

Adjust the opacity of individual cells in a particle system by modifying the cell parameters in the Particle Cell Inspector or by modifying the cell source layer’s opacity in the Properties Inspector.

Do one of the following:

  • Select a cell in the Layers list, then adjust the Opacity tag in the gradient editor in the Particle Cell Inspector (or change Color Mode to Colorize and adjust the Opacity parameter in the Color controls). For information about adjusting opacity and color, see Change a gradient’s color and opacity.

  • Select the original, deselected cell source layer—not the cell in the emitter—and change its opacity in the HUD or Properties Inspector.

Adjust an emitter’s size or position using onscreen controls

You can modify the size and position of particle emitters in the Canvas using onscreen transform controls.

  1. In the Layers list, select the particle emitter to adjust.

  2. In the toolbar, click and hold the 2D transform tools pop-up menu, then choose the Adjust Item tool.

    Selecting the Adjust Item tool in toolbar

    When the Adjust Item tool is selected, the emitter onscreen controls appear in the Canvas. The onscreen controls vary depending upon the shape of the emitter (chosen from the Shape pop-up menu in the Emitter Inspector).

  3. Resize the emitter in the Canvas by dragging the emitter shape’s outline, or one of its corner points, or (for a Line emitter shape) one of the plus signs (+) on either end of the line.

  4. Reposition the emitter in the Canvas by dragging inside the emitter shape (but not directly on the outline).

Remove a cell from an emitter

You can remove a cell from an emitter that contains multiple cells.

  • In the Layers list or Timeline, select the cell to remove, then press Delete.

    The original source layers remain in the project (in the Layers list).

Remove an emitter from a project

You can remove a particle system from the Layers list or Timeline.

  • Select the particle emitter, then press Delete.

    The emitter and its cells are removed from the project, but the original source layers remain in the project.