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InkWelle Particle Designer FAQ
(Have a question that wasn't answered here? Please send an IM in world to Davie Zinner or Katie Welles.)


  1. Why don't I see any particles?

  2. How do I make the actual particle element different?

  3. How to I add my own particle textures?

  4. How do I control the direction the particles go in?

  5. How do I get started?

  6. What skills do I need in order to use the Particle Designer?

  7. Is there a PDF file of the user guide?

  1. There aren't many samples--where are they?

  2. I pasted the text into my script but I get errors when i compile it--what do I do?

  3. How do I use the HUD?

  4. I need to design a particle effect for an object that will be in motion? How do i do that?

  5. I saw a really cool particle effect -- is there a way I can copy it?

  6. Where can I find the technical reference for SL particle effects?



1. Why don't I see any particles?

It might be due to several reasons:
1. Look at the hover text above the emitter sphere prim. If the emitter prim is disabled, then re-enable it by clicking it.
2. Is the Burst Rate set too high? Click the Burst Rate button and give it a smaller value.
3. Is the Particle Count parameter set to zero? Click the Particle Count button and give it a value larger than zero.
4. Is Particle Max Age too small? Click the Particle Max Age button and give it a value of several seconds.
5. Is the texture invisible? Click the Texture button and try a different texture.
6. Is the alpha setting too high? Click Start Alpha and give it a larger value.
7. Is Burst Radius too high? Click the Burst Radius button and choose a different (smaller) distance.
8. Is the starting scale set too small? Click Start Scale and make the texture larger.

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2. How do I make the actual particle element different?

Click on the Texture button (one of the purple buttons) then click on the arrows for the top slider to cycle through the available textures.

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3. How do I add my own particle textures?

Right-click the particle designer and choose "Edit" from the menu. If you don't see any tabs, then click the blue "More" button. Click on the "Contents" tab (you'll see lots of scripts and things here -- be careful not to delete a script!). Now drag your textures from your inventory into the contents. NOTE: your textures must have full permissions to work!! To set the permissions, right-click on your texture then make sure that copy, transfer, and modify are all checked for the next-owner permissions.

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4. How do I control the direction the particles go in?

Use one of the Angle modes (one of the green buttons) to define an area that the particles will come out in, then also use the Orientation button (one of the blue buttons) to select which way the emitter will point.

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5. How do I get started?

One way is to start with one of the built-in samples and change parameters as needed to get the effect you want. Click Menu->Samples to select a built-in sample. If you want to start from scratch, you will generally choose the texture first (one of the purple buttons), then choose a Mode (one of the green buttons), then use the other buttons to modify it from there.

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6. What skills do I need in order to use the Particle Designer?

If you know enough about LSL to be able to consider yourself a scripter--no matter what level--then you know enough to use the InkWelle Particle Designer. You'll need to understand how to create a script, paste content into it, resolve trivial syntax errors, and put items into the contents of an object..

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7. Is there a PDF file of the user guide?

Yes. Here is a link to a PDF file of the Particle Designer User Guide.

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8. There aren't many samples--where are they?

While we include a few samples to get you started, the point of the Particle Designer is to provide a tool for you to create your own particle effects.

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9. I pasted the text into my script but I get errors when i compile it--what do I do?

You need to edit out the other chat that might have been in the window when the script was generated... Because of limitations in the SL client, especially long scripts will have some extra chat in it. Look for SL time stamps to indicate the "extra stuff" that should be deleted.

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10. How do I use the HUD?

Find the HUD in your inventory, then right-click it and choose "Wear" and that will bring it on the screen. Now you find the object called "emitter" in your inventory and rez it. The changes you make on your HUD will come out of that emitter. When you are finished using the Particle Designer HUD, right-click it and choose "Detach" and it will go back into your inventory.

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11. I need to design a particle effect for an object that will be in motion? How do i do that?

First design as much of the effect as you can using the Particle Designer in the normal way. When you get to the point where you need to be able to adjust it while it is in motion, then link the optional emitter to your moving object. It does NOT have to be the base prim. You can also wear the emitter. The emitter most be within 20 meters (chat range) of the Particle Designer in order to work.

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12. I saw a really cool particle effect -- is there a way I can copy it?

You can't really copy it--but there IS a way that you can see many of the parameters that it uses, then you can use those same parameters. Go to your Advanced menu in your SL client and choose Rendering > Info Displays > Particles. This will make hover text appear next to the particle effect that shows many of the parameters that you can then duplicate using the Particle Designer. The "Flag" in this display is a hex representation of the value of some of the toggles--so you won't be able to capture that. But you'll see that there are many other parameters that you recognize. See the SL Partcle Wiki entry for more information about this. (Note that the hex values are shown in the right column on the tables on this wiki page)

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13. Where can I find the technical reference for SL particle effects?

Here is the official SL Partcle Wiki. As long as you're looking at Wikis, you should take a look at the main LSL Wiki too.

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