Changing Text, Logos or Emitter Shapes

Saturday, 23, July, 2005 at 1:27:38 PM

How Can I Change the Text in the Logo Emitters?

A very important thing to remember about particleIllusion is that all the particles emitted are really just images. From a glowing trail to a smokey explosion, all the effects are based on an image that was imported from a paint or photo-editing program, and can be swapped out for new images to give your effects a different look.

There are a number of great text and logo effects in the particleIllusion libraries, but they aren't very helpful unless you use your own text or logo rather than the default. We'll go through the steps of changing an image shape.

First we'll create a very simple white text on a black background in a paint program and save it. Always remember when creating shapes for particleIllusion that it's best to set your canvas to a power of 16, like 128x128, or 256x512. That way particleIllusion wont shrink down your image after you import it.

Here's the example text I've created and saved out as a PNG file.

If you want to bring in a logo with several colours, make sure to save it with an alpha channel (In Photoshop, this is done by creating a mask around your text, then choosing Save Selection as Channel in the Channels palette). Also make sure to save it into a format that supports alpha channels (tif, tga, png, but NOT jpg).

For this example, I'll be using the Converge Swirl Shrink emitter from the logo_effects_v1 library, but the same thing applies to every emitter out there. Open the emitter's Properties.

Select the particle type that you want to change, in this case "word". Next choose the Change Shape tab.

To bring in your own logo, click the Add New Shape to Library button, located at the lower left hand side of the window. That will bring up a dialogue box to let you find where your image is stored. Select your logo, and open it.

The Particle Shape Import Options window that appears give us some choices of how to import the shape. Most important when dealing with logos is the Shape Type selection. When Grey Scale is selected, everything black in your image will be transparent, and everything white will be solid. All the greys in between will be slightly transparent.

If you choose Full Color, the shape won't automatically have black become transparent. If your image contains an alpha channel, you can select Use Existing Image Transparency, which will then use the alpha channel's information to decide what part of the shape is transparent and what isn't.

Once you hit Ok and exit that window, click on the Make Active button, and your logo will appear in place of the pIllusion text.