Thinking Particles


My eat3d DVDs are a great introduction, check them out.


Hi! I need some help, I’ve tried so many things and new ideas are needed. I tried to replicate the “rotate on edge” effect on this video

The problem showed Up when I tried to “parent” my Faces particles to The edge Pivots, The first thing that stoped me was that particles on TP doesnt expose its “transform matrix” as in Particle Flow, I had to do some tests with the “position” and “alignment” properties and it kinda worked out but then I need to keep the faces initial positions and rotations after the matrix composition (by the way the “composition” function on the math node didn’t work as expected) because if we only multiply the matrices we “transform” the child matrix to its relative transform from the world to the parent, here is where I hit the wall :banghead: .

I’ll share my files and my scripted helper node to compose the matrix.
I tricked out the rotation on the edges with an Pattach node and spin dynamic node, I couldnt make it work by modifying the rotations on an alignment node. Also, with this method you can see that there is some “error offset” while they are spinning, don’t know why.

PD: Remember to install my scriptNode if you want to check out the “TPMatrixTest” file.
PD2: I dont know why but if I use the “Matrix” node from TP, a horrible Slowdown starts, so I kept that node away.

!!------------------------------------ UPDATE >>>>>>>>>>>>

OK I solved many things, just download the “FlipPolysTPv2” file. but I’ll Appreciate if you check it out and share some thoughts on optimization or good practices. It is too slow to my taste, maybe a cache is a solution? How could this be done? I also tried a way to avoid edge resample, but I don’t like it. Check the Video from Softimage at top, I think that they don’t repeate the pivot-Edge. I used some scripts to workaround the unexposed matrix particle property. Thats all. Pardon My english. Link 4 files below:



Hi guys.
I just started on learning thinking particles. Would like to know how does one send a TP project to network rendering over the backburner. Do i require some TP license on the farm machines. Or do i have to cache out using xmesh or alembic. Been using the TP demo, so there’s limited stuff i can do for testing. Is there anywhere, i can read up on this?


Yes, TP does use a sim license when simulating on the farm. The workstation license comes with two simulation licenses. A license is not used when rendering on the farm. You can read about these things in the TP documentation.
We don’t use it with backburner, but with Deadline - we’re sending the job with a jobscript that runs the simulation when the scene opens, it’s quite handy.


Thanks Hristo.


Hi, I need make movement of the particle like drop on the surface.
The main direction i made by force node and for noise I add wind with turbulence. But its not work when i add surface follow node. It looks like change dimension, so it hard to achieve good result. Maybe there is another way to add noise for movement?


Generally surface follow should work, but you can also try to use the geom nodes to get the distance to closest point, and apply a force in that direction.
Or you can simply position the particle on the closest point on the surface continuously, not sure how that will work with the forces though.


Hi all,

Just did some destruction test, but i found there is a rotation problem when you’re using PAttach on deforming geo. Any idea?


If you look at the roof, you will see the chunks on roof are actually rotating… i couldnt get this solved…



Watch the videos here

Thank you.

Cebas Visual Technology


Hi guys, i kept facing a problem recently with TP.

Sometimes when i pick a scene object, using the ObjtoParticle node, it resulted in multiple names of that same object appearing in the pick window. Sometimes other objects which i didn’t pick, wil appear together as well.

I could manual remove them but usually whenever this happens, TP will crash most likely after a short while.

Does anyone experience this? I am using 3ds max design 2015. Thanks.


Well, don’t know about crashing, but I noticed weird behavior of that window too.
I noticed that it selects everything that’s under your cursor, not just the front object. If like it was shooting a ray through the whole scene where you clicked and selecting everything intersecting with it. So if there is a sphere behind a box and you click a box, it will also add sphere.

But name copies and crashes, did not encounter that, in 2014 and 2015 with tp5.


Hi Nixellion, thanks for replying.

For my case, its almost certain that when the multiple names appear in the ObjtoParticles node and i continue to work without removing that node, it will crash 3ds max in a while.

I wonder if the problem comes from the mesh that i am picking, but i have tried resetting Xform, snapshot a new mesh, attaching it to a box…etc… Nothing works.


Just in case, did you try it with other meshes? Does it happen only with this particular mesh or all others as well?

The most efficient way to clean the mesh is to export it into obj and import back.

Sorry, I can’t think of any other solution, I hope someone else will be able to help you more.


Hi everybody,

Has anyone had any luck using the alembic exporter in Max 2016 in conjunction with Thinking Particles?

I’ve made a very simple particle/spline setup that I would like to export to alembic for further processing, however using the build in exporter in Max only gives me empty files. I’ve had success in the past using Xmesh, however my new job don’t use it.

I would to know if I’m doing something wrong.


cebas thinkingParticles subscription drop 4 is out with a lot of new features!

tP now supports UHD screens and 3ds max 2017 among many new features and fixes!
Check it out here:


does anyone knows howto bake this?

Max 2016 + TP 6.2


I am trying to create life cells dividing animation using Particle Flow in 3ds max 2016. I have mature cells particles which interact to each other using physics simulation (mParticles). At some point these particles have to spawn new small particles from the surface of the mature particles which start grow around parent particles and still use physics simulation with other particles. The problem is that I cannot change the collision shape size for the growing particles because of NVIDIA Physics limitations used for that purpose. Is there a way to make such animation using TP? Thank you!


Hey guys, i hope it’s ok to post this here as this is some completely FREE training material by Allan McKay! (Lots of TP and FumeFX stuff!) Some of you might have seen this already. Those of you who missed it be sure to check it out. It’s only gonna be online until Dec 29. Have fun! :slight_smile:

Reverse Gravity - Live Action Series - Mega Training (by Allan McKay)

Cheers! :slight_smile:


Hi, after years of using pflow, i’m learning TP and struggling to do some things that seam straight forward to me.

Text object that i have VolumeBreak into chunks. Then i have a deflector passing through the text that sends the chunks to a wind force and blows out of frame. Now i want the whole thing to be made of particles (using frost later) not mesh, so i figured i would just birth particles on the mesh volume with a motion inherit and they would stick to the chunks blowing away until i tell them not to. How do i inherit motion from the chunks?

any help muchly appreciated.


Hi guys, i need help. i want to achieve the disintegration effect, like now i have only a model with texture materials when its fragmented into smaller pieces, like slowly destroyed from color material to ash material, its changing instantly, i want a transition like from color material to slowly changing to grey and then dark ash material… i think its the simple one…

here is what i have done in tp.