Fun with particles


Hey all! It was awesome hanging out with everyone in alpha meeting today. Some of the suggestions for how to improve the particle system were great, and I though it’d be nice to have them down in writing as well. So let’s use this thread to post our ideas, as well as reference other particle engines we’ve worked with that we can use for inspiration.

Personally, I’ve worked a lot with, which is a fantastic threejs particle engine, and since it offloads a lot of the simulation to the gpu, you can get hundreds of thousands of particles working smoothly. I’ve also played a bit with the cascade module in Unreal Engine 4-

The guy who did the particles for High Fidelity is joining the team soon, so this thread could be a great resource for him and the rest of the team to decide on the most fruitful area of the particle system to focus on next.

Happy particle trails!



I really like particles, But there is something seriously wrong with this setup.

I cannot look at the particles, I crash instantly, every time.
I relogged about 20 times during the particle demo at the meetup, and didnt stay logged in until the particles had stopped.
I also noticed on the video people were popping off and on during the demo. After the meetup I downloaded the latest interface and tried the demo for myself and it is just as bad. I crash so much that I cant get back to the place I put the particles, because even though the script has stopped, the particles continue to spew forth on the sandbox.

Clearly there is something wrong with this script.
I hope this issue gets priority because it doesnt matter how great and funky a feature is, if it crashes the client then it is broken and unusable and no further work should be done until the basic “doesnt kill things” is handled.

Thank you


they crashed the hell out of me too, adrian. i second what you said about fixing that.


@Adrian @onionpencil I’m not here to call you liars. I watched Adrian pop in and out of existence multiple times.
My system is and has been very prone to crashes. It would seem it loves to crash during our little weekly chit-chats. :smile:
However, by some miracle I didn’t crash once. I seriously couldn’t believe it. They also mentioned (and it could have been because you two were in and out of the meeting so frequently) that the person responsible for the creation of the particle system was an applicant to HiFi. This system was his submission for approval. Emily confirmed that person to be hired and will most likely work on the particle system next week.

Crashes suck; they interrupt work; they cause missed opportunities. But I myself have been wanting to ask a physics question during the last 2 weeks and have been unable to do so… Perhaps we should start forming a line so everyone gets a turn. :smile:

Cheers mates.


glad you had a good meeting. i’m not overly crashy normally, but the last 2 meetings have been so bad for me thoys let me watch through skype for part of them because i could not stay in. no idea what caused last week’s, but this week was definitely particles. and if we’re having trouble, i imagine other people may too, not everyone makes the meetings.


" that the person responsible for the creation of the particle system was
an applicant to HiFi. This system was his submission for approval."

I am glad you mentioned that, This means that the particles will get lots of love so that is great. By pointing out a fault it’s never my intention to disrespect anyones work.

Also in light of this being a submission it was a pretty good job, more power to them. It wasnt a sidetrack it was new content, so I happily accept the crashes that go with new stuff because I know there will be improvements.

But I would be remiss in my duties as an alpha tester if I didnt point out that I can isolate the cause of a particular crash, and add to that I have been busting for good particles in Hifi for some time so I played the “priority” card.

Sorry if I tried to trump your physics suit, wasnt intentional :slight_smile:



I am a third person who crashed during the meetup because of the particle demo. Every time they came into view, I would see them for a few seconds and then I would crash.

I did want to hear the conversation so I finally just backed up to the group making sure I didn’t let the particles get in my field of view. This stopped the crashing and I was able to at least listen to the meeting.


i tried but couldn’t stay in long enough to turn. should have logged in elsewhere and tried that way. oh well.


I started playing Neverwinter on XBOX One and they have a neat “show path” feature that uses particles. That would be nice in HiFi for quest games or directions to some place.


Thanks for the progress with this! The engines you mention certainly allow for complex effects that I hope we’ll be able to see.
There is a video I’ve found covering the Havok Vision Engine tools.

I’ve used Unity’s particle system.
They all allow for editing values over time using nice curve editing and timeline approaches.
I’ve also seen PopcornFX advertised as standalone middleware.
It’s capabilities for interactions between particles and environmental effectors specifically is very impressive from what I’ve seen in some videos.

When making particles I might typically use an atlas approach.
This requires being able to set a XY value for the amount of sections in the atlas.
Animation frames would then be the amount of divisions.


Hey all! Thanks for your replies. We’ll definitely keep working on the particle engine to make it more stable, and continue to add new features. It sounds like testing and stabilizing it further is the most important thing right now, though, so folks don’t keep crashing when they get near an emitter. I’m going to be doing more work with particles this week and will be paying close attention to crashes and other problems as I go.

Have a lovely week everyone!


You rock! Thanks for the efforts.