Using images and footage as custom particles in Trapcode Particular isn’t something new, in fact, it was done even in the earliest versions of Particular. Although I have used images as custom particles countless times, I haven’t really used footage as particles other than for smoke or debris. While browsing through the free Magic Stock Footage Pack from Video Copilot, I saw some very inspiring and potentially awesome elements that would make an awesome custom particle for a particle system! Here’s my take on it through a motion graphics standpoint.
By layering, changing blending modes, and color correcting a few elements from the pack, I was able to create a somewhat interesting particle. Note that the particle is not an image but actual moving footage in a precomposition. I then brought that precomposition into my main composition where I told Particular to use that precomposition as my custom particle. There are many ways to use a custom particle in Particular, I chose to use a ‘Sprite’ but you could alternatively use ‘Textured Polygon’ under “Particle Type”. What’s the difference you might ask? Sprites are oriented to always face the camera while Textured Polygons have their own 3D orientation or rotation. (they are not always facing the camera)
With a few tweaks and color grade, you can achieve a pretty abstract but magical results! I just thought I’d share this to maybe spark some inspiration into some of you and introduce sprites/textured polygons to those who did not know about them.