Thinking Particles


Hi everyone,
I started using TP only some time ago, until then I’ve used PF, and I run into some problems.
I have noticed that when I use GeomInstance node, viewport and render become really slow. I am guessing it has something to do with shape collision dynamics… ?

I created very simple scene with positionBorn, simple plane as birth place and with some speed given in positionBorn. There are about only 50 particles in the whole scene. All goes well until GeomInstance is used.
Simple sphere with 1800 polygons is used as source object for GeomInstance.

So my question is: why does GeomInstance slow down everything?
Sometimes I just need to give some particles shape, without all that shape collision, PhysX and I don’t know what else computing linked to it.
PF used to do it pretty well for me - thousands of particles, all of them with ShapeInstance, showed in viewport and no problem - but PF can get very messy very quickly.

Is there a way how to do it in TP? How to “turn off” all the GeomInstance related calculations?


Is there a way to get the impact strength of a rigid body collision in tp?
Simple example, when i drop a sphere on a box, it bounces a few times on the box. When i spawn new particles on the collision position, is there a way to spawn more particles on the first collision where the collision strength is stronger than on the later collisions?


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Multiplay speed of the main object to some value and plug it in to rate of the born operator. You rate will be deppend from speed.


Hi everyone,

I have mainly used TP 4 for the last projects, but now updated to TP 6 and recognized a strange issue. Whenever I want to cache a dynamic set that relies on an already cached group or data it just caches an empty file. In TP 4 this was no problem as long as the new dynamic set was below the cached one. Did they change anything or is there a magic button to press now?

I´m running Max 2016 with TP

Thanks in advance


hi guys,

I’m quite new to thinking particles. the videos look so cool but it seems so hard for a beginner to get the hang on it. I’ve been doing some tutorials mostly its about the groups and dynamicsets. and a lot of hierarcy. You guys got some tips where to start?

Most of the time I do my simulations in Pflow with mparticles. But that’s not ging me the desired results. If I fragment my objects in for example rayfire and loot it in pflow. It starts to explode right away. I know I can change my shape distance but thats more like cheating. It has to do with convex shapes I read somewhere. Thinking particles won’t have that problem if I’m right. I really would like to learn and master it but it just looks so hard.

Here is an example video I made with mparticles. Just not happy with it.


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…



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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.