Creating effects using emitters
Please take note:
- Emitters are complex structures and not all properties are included in this simple tutorial. The best method of making cool FX is to experiment.
- Emitters can have a serious effect on FPS, so use them sparingly. The more particles (the name given to each individual sprite spawned by the emitter) that are on screen at once, the more transparency and masking algorithms thief has to implement.
- First add your emitter to the room. The emitter can be found in the actor browser under FX -> emitter. You can already see some made for you but we're going to start with a fresh new one. You should see a set of 5 colored dots appear in the map. This is your emitter icon. You'll notice that when you select it an arrow appears.This doesn't matter much. You change the direction by changing the velocity property.
- Open the emitter's properties. You'll see there (you might need to turn Show Non-Local Props to true) the category of property called emitter. Click on this to expand it. Here you'll find another pointless category called emitter. Expand that. Then expand the emitter 0.
- Now you'll see the words BeamEmitter and New. Clck Beam emitter and change it to Sprite Emitter. We're going to make flames. Now press New.
- A whole host of new properties should have appeared. First we'll make it move. Select Velocity and open up the Z category under StartVelocityRange. Here lets change the minimum to 20 and the maximum to 30. This gives us a nice random upward motion. If you now click in the flesh editor 3D perspective view (provided you've got realtime preview on - if not press P) and you'll see large white squares moving upwards.
- Now we'll make it look like fire. Click on the texture category, select texture and press ... - this opens the texture browser. Browse to a texture, select it and press "use" in the property browser. I chose Fire_11 from the Thief3Particles category. Now we see what looks like giant puffs of smoke rising. We'll make them smaller and give them a color shall we?
- Open the size category and set all three values of StartSizeRange (X,Y and Z) to Min 15 and Max 20. Open the color category and set UseColourScale to true and open the colorscale category. Here click add twice and open the first of the options. This should be called 0. Set 0s Relative Time to 0 and set it's color to a deep orange or red. Set the same up for 1, except the relative time shall be 1 and the colour will be slightly lighter. Finally we need to make them fade out and live for less time.
- Open the time category and set the Minimum value of LifeTime range to 1 and the max to 2. Finally open the Fading category. Set FadeOut to true and set the FadeOut Start time to 0.5. If you go back to the perspective view you have now made a (pretty shoddy) fire. Obviously with practice and experimentation these will get better. The emitter is a powerful tool for synthesizing fire and magic.
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