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 Particle & Shard Tutorial

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Hyper
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PostSubject: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:59 am

I've been seeing a lot of people having issues making shards, so I thought I'd throw this together. It's a lot easier than you'd think.

What is a shard?

A shard is an item with an animated texture that floats around the player. They can also be attached to a certain part of the player, such as Soul Eyes, or paw and tail fires.

Why are shards so hard to make?

Because coding particles sucks. But there's a program that makes it a whole lot easier!

1. Download Particle Editor. This program is free and very easy to use; a must if you intend on making shards/particles.

2. Open the Particle Editor. You should see some snow-like animation playing on the screen. Now, let's say we want to make a particle like one of the original colored shards, but a different color. Let's first add it to the files.

Quit Particle Editor and find the Particle Editor folder (should be wherever you saved it, if you can't find it just search your computer for Particle Editor or right click on the Desktop icon and “Open file location”). First, we need to move the particle file into Particle Editor’s files. So, open a new window with your client folder and go to media > particle. The original auras are in aura.particle.

Back in the Particle Editor window, go to Particle Editor > data > particle_scripts and copy/paste aura.particle in there. Now, we need the particle’s texture. The original auras use the item material. Go back to your client particles and copy item.png and paste it in Particle Editor > data > textures. Lastly, we need the material. Copy item.material from client and paste it in Particle Editor > data > material_scripts. Now we can pull the original aura up in the editor.

3. Next, we’re going to modify this in the editor. Open the editor back up. In the upper left corner, you should see a bar that says “Template Management.” Double click on it to bring down some options. Next click on “Available” and you’ll see a bunch of files.
Spoiler:
 

Oh my god what are these!! It’s ok, they’re just particle scripts. Use the scroller to scroll down and find the shard file. In this tutorial, let’s look for the fire shard, or Flameaura.
Spoiler:
 

Click on it, then click “Load Exclusive.” This will bring the particle up on the screen, along with all its settings. Yay!

Double click on “Template Management” and click/drag “Editor Options” to get it out of the way. You should see the flame aura. Next, let’s edit the color. Look to the right at the “Particle System Parameters.” Here is where you’ll do all the particle editing!

Let’s start out simple and just make a new colored aura. Click on the “Emitter 1” tab. Look it over and you’ll see color options!
Spoiler:
 

To edit the color, click the little star button to the right of each option. This will bring up three RGB color sliders. Let’s first make a lame white aura. Drag the sliders all the way to the right. To make it easier, click “Lock Colour Sliders” and they’ll all move in sync. The Alpha slider controls the texture’s transparency. Once the color is white, hit “Apply Colour.” Woah! The aura is white!
Spoiler:
 

Changing the just “colour” will make the particle one solid color. But Hyper! I wanted a rainbow!!!! No problem. That’s why there are color ranges!

This white is too boring. Let’s make a rainbow aura!

Open the Colour Helper back up and change the RGB to 0.1 0.1 0.1. Tip: Don’t try to drag the scrollers. Highlight the current numbers in the boxes and type it in manually. Apply that color and you get a funky looking gray color.
Spoiler:
 

Hyper! That’s not what I wanted! Where’s my rainbow????

Hold on now, we aren’t done! Next, go to the Colour Helper for colour_range_end and change the RGB to 1 1 1. Now apply and take a look!
Spoiler:
 

Yay! Now let’s get this baby ingame, shall we?

Open “Template Management” back up and go to “Selected.” You’ll need to make a Script Name and Template Name.
Script Name: The name of the actual .particle file. You must MANUALLY type in .particle or you will get an error
Template Name: The name of the particle itself
Then, hit Save.
Spoiler:
 

Congrats, you’ve made your first particle! But Hyper, how do I make it into a shard?? I want it ingame!

4. Bring back up your Particle Editor folder and client windows. We’re gonna go grab your particle from the editor! Go to Particle Editor > data > particle_scripts and find the script name (if you’re following my images, look for “rainbow”). After you locate it, copy it and paste it in client > media > particle. The item material is already there, so no need to grab that.

THIS PART IS IMPORTANT. Open rainbow.particle with Notepad and at the very top, it should look like this:
Code:
rainbowaura
{
 quota 10000
 material item
 particle_width 1
 particle_height 7
 cull_each false

You need to add “particle_system” in front of rainbowaura. If you don’t, the game CANNOT read it and you’ll crash. So it should now look like this:
Code:
particle_system rainbowaura
{
 quota 10000
 material item
 particle_width 1
 particle_height 7
 cull_each false

Now, the shard will need a mesh. Typically, when you drop a shard you’ll see a little red diamond. If that’s all you want, it’s simple.

Go to client > media > models and find an existing shard mesh, such as blueshard.mesh. Copy and paste it, then rename it rainbowshard.mesh.

If you want the diamond to be a different color, you’ll need to create a new colored material and open the shard mesh with XML converter to change the material inside the mesh. Easy, just more work.

NOW, we code it into the Items.cfg. Take an existing line. Let’s use blue shard:
Code:
blueshard;Blue Shard;Main;0;0;0;Blueaura;0 0 0;1
blueshard: The diamond mesh name
Blue Shard: The name of the shard ingame
Blueaura: The name of the particle. NOT the file.particle name. The name following “particle_system”

So, let’s code in our rainbow shard!
Code:
rainbowshard;Rainbow Shard;Main;0;0;0;rainbowaura;0 0 0;1
Put that in the Items.cfg, save, and go ingame. When spawning items, as you should know, you use the mesh name. /spoonitom rainbowshard
Spoiler:
 

That’s cool Hyper, but…I kinda wanna make something cooler. What about, like, lightning shards? Rain shards? Music shards??

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Changing shard textures is easy.

First off, you need an image texture. Let’s make us a shard using the Horror faces from Shrieking Hill, why don’t we?

Go to client > media > terrains > Shrieking Hill and find the texture. There’s already a horror particle, but we’re gonna make a cooler one, k?

Copy the Horror.png and paste it in Particle Editor > data > textures. Sound familiar? Yeah, we did this before with the item texture!

Now, do the same with the material, as we did before. Copy Horror.material and paste it in Particle Editor > data > material_scripts.

I personally find it easiest to create a new shard with an old shard’s base. Why not use our old Rainbow Shard for this? Open up Particle Editor and open the Template Management window. Go to Available and this time find rainbowaura. Click, Load Exclusive, and here’s our rainbow shard.

Now, in our Particle System Parameters, we’re gonna stay in Basic. Right near the top you’ll see a setting called material. This is where, believe it or not, we change the material!

Click on the current texture to access the dropdown of materials. Horror should be right at the top (it’s not for me because I have a crapton of textures :B). Click on it to choose it.
Spoiler:
 

But Hyper…that doesn’t look like a Horror. Why’s it so distorted?

Because the texture dimensions are not square! Right under the material, you’ll see particle_width and particle_height. For Horrors, we need them to match up. Let’s change ‘em both to two.
Spoiler:
 

Hyper, there are so many…I’m gonna lag too badly…

No problem. In Particle System Parameters, click the Emitter 1 tab and scroll down the emission_rate. This is how many of the texture the particle is emitting every second. Lower it down to make less appear on top of each other.

The rest is the same as the first part as for how to put it ingame. However, here’s an outline of some other useful features of particles for your convenience.
Spoiler:
 
Those are all the settings I can dumb down. If you’re curious about any other setting, hover your mouse over the name and an explanation will pop up.

I think that’s all. If you have any issues or questions, don’t be afraid to post or PM me!
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:08 pm

Beautiful Tutorial Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:02 am

MAKING ORIGINAL IMAGE COLOURED AND BLACK PARTICLES:
This is a tutorial part of the aura and particle making based in my knowledge, I liked the idea to add this too for allow people make their own auras with a image with the original colors without the "colour" affect and this shows you to make black  particles(you cannot set them black because it appears transparent).

Step 1:
Make the particle as you wish, any colour, any setting, customize it!

Then make sure to export it to the .particle file and .material as well .mesh for the in-game as explained up.

Step 2:
BEFORE you test it.
Go to the .material file of your particle and it will show up something like this:

Quote :

material ZflyBreaths
{
technique
{
pass
{
lighting off
depth_write off
scene_blend add

point_sprites on
point_size 0.1
point_size_attenuation on

texture_unit
{
texture dust.png
}
}
}
}

See the part in red

Remplace it with this code:


Quote :
scene_blend alpha_blend

Then, save.

Part 3:
Let's test it out!
It might show up like this:
Spoiler:
 

If you notice, it keeps two colour at a real status with opacity, as the texture is supposed to be.

ALSO, THIS CODE ALLOW YOU TO MAKE BLACK SHARDS.

The difficult with black shards and auras is that you must create the texture instead of white, just black, try use out a program for inverse the colours.

Something else: Make sure the file gets saved with a TRANSPARENT Background, otherwise, if is white, black and such it will appear like that way.
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Dead Account

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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:51 am

Wow, this is REALLY helpful.
I bookmarked this, hopefully now I can actually give it a shot making some particles!
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Slain Motionless
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:52 am

Very helpful indeed, now SL can have custom particles. ^^ But one question, does it have to be added to an existing line? Or a different one?
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Hyper
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:33 am

The particle script? You can give it its own .particle file or you can compile them all in the same doc

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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:21 pm

No in the items.cfg XD
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:23 pm

Whisperingwaves wrote:
No in the items.cfg XD
You must create a new parameter for a new particle, copy and paste in your items.cfg:
(And make sure to put it before the "#".)

model;name;body_bone;0;0;0;particle_system;0 2 0;1

Red:You must put here your particle's model.This is a .mesh format.You can copy and paste another's particles model and rename it to your new particle's name.

Blue:You will require to put your particle's name in this section.The code will respect spaces, capital, symbols and the lenght of the text, so make sure that the name is no longer than 11 letters.

Green:This is the part on where the particle will be tied to.Check here for more information about bones and places.If you're doing a shard or general body particle, I suggest you to use "Main".

Yellow:This defines if the item(particle) will be private or not.If you place "1", it will become private, if you leave "0" it will be public.When a item is private, it means that Admins nor Mods will be able to spawn it in game.If this happens, this item only can be given manually to the character via User's data folder.

Purple:Here goes your particle_system's name(the one you put in the .particle format).

Strike:This extra code make the particle move in order on how the character moves, let's say, it's dynamic and static to the place you made the particle being.If you sit and have this code on, the particle will "follow your butt" or the bone where you tied it.I suggest to use it only in "body equippable particles".It's not a suggestion for  general shards and auras.

Hope this helped.
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:32 am

Thanks c: Fixed a few more shards earlier XD
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:25 pm

I did it and it worked but when I write /spoonitom rainbowsparklesshard(the item I made) it shows me on the chat: item rainbow sparkles spawned, but I cant see anything spawn below me.
Also, when I make the mesh, it's necessary to put ''shard'' at the end?
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:30 pm

1. This thread's old. c:
2. The mesh name is too long. Shorten it
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:57 pm

It's fine to post on old threads if the owner is active and it's relevant. Though this would be better off in support

No, you don't need shard on the mesh, and yeah, as Cloud said, the mesh name is too long

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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:19 pm

Make sure you shorten both the actual mesh name and in the items.cfg, or else you'll error.
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:17 am

ok thanks guys, and sorry for my faults Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:53 pm

I get this error when I open up the Particle Editor. Any help?

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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:41 pm

How would I make a shard using my own image..?
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:41 am

Anyone know how to add a particle/shard to a critter mesh?
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PostSubject: Re: Particle & Shard Tutorial   Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:14 pm

I can't save it. The editor is assuming that I put an "invalid character" or something in either the script or template name.

EDIT: Never mind, fixed.
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