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pSpawn Node

The pSpawn node makes each affected particle act as an emitter that can produce one or more particles of its own. The original particle continues until the end of its lifespan, and each of the particles it emits becomes wholly independent with a lifespan and properties of its own.

As long as a particle falls under the effect of the pSpawn node, it will continue to generate particles. It is important to restrict the effect of the node with limiters like Start and End Age, Probability, Sets and Regions, and by animating the parameters of the emitter so that the node is operative only when required.

pSpawn Node Inputs

By default, the pSpawn node has a single orange input. Like most particle nodes, this orange input accepts only other particle nodes. You can enable an image input by selecting Bitmap from the Style menu in the Style tab. Also, two region inputs, one for bitmap and one for mesh, appear on the node when you set the Region menu in the Region tab to either Bitmap or Mesh. The colors of these inputs change depending on the order they are enabled.

  • Input: The orange input accepts the output of other particle nodes.
  • Style Bitmap Input: This image input accepts a 2D image to use as the particles’ image. Since this image duplicates into potentially thousands of particles, it is best to keep these images small and square—for instance, 256 x 256 pixels.
  • Region: The region inputs take a 2D image or a 3D mesh depending on whether you set the Region menu to Bitmap or Mesh. The color of the input is determined by whichever is selected first in the menu. The 3D mesh or a selectable channel from the bitmap defines the area where the particles are emitted.

pSpawn Node Setup

The pSpawn node is placed between the pEmitter and pRender nodes. Using the Age parameter in the pSpawn’s Conditions tab, you can spawn new particles as the old ones die off. This is one way to have a trail of particles shoot up in the air like a rocket and burst into sparkling fireworks.

pSpawn Node Controls

The pSpawn node has a large number of controls, most of which exactly duplicate those found within the pEmitter node. There are a few controls that are unique to the pSpawn node, and their effects are described below.

Affect Spawned Particles
Selecting this checkbox causes particles created by spawning to also become affected by the pSpawn node on subsequent frames. This can exponentially increase the number of particles in the system, driving render times up to an unreasonable degree. Use this checkbox cautiously.

Velocity Transfer
This control determines how much velocity of the source particle is transferred to the particles it spawns. The default value of 1.0 causes each new particle to adopt 100 percent of the velocity and direction from its source particle. Lower values will transfer less of the original motion to the new particle.

pSpawn Node Conditions, Style, Region, and Settings tabs

All are common to all Particle nodes, so their descriptions can be found HERE.


About the Author

Justin Robinson is a Certified DaVinci Resolve, Fusion & Fairlight instructor who is known for simplifying concepts and techniques for anyone looking to learn any aspect of the video post-production workflow. Justin is the founder of JayAreTV, a training and premade asset website offering affordable and accessible video post-production education. You can follow Justin on Twitter at @JayAreTV YouTube at JayAreTV or Facebook at MrJayAreTV

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