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Title: Creating Smoke with Shuriken Particle System in Unity
Platform: Unity Tutorial
Length: 08:54
Difficulty: Beginner

Download the prefab for free: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/20404
In this Xenosmash tutorial we’ll show you how to create smoke in unity3d’s shuriken particle system. The shuriken particle system is Unity3d’s most up to date particle system, hence reason we’re using it. In this video we’ll go over the settings in the properties panel for creating our particle system. Settings include the color over lifetime, which will give us our fading effect, our size over lifetime, the speed by size and so on and so forth.
We’ll discuss what each of these does and what impact they have on our particle system. This is a quick down and dirty tutorial that covers everything you need to create a realistic white smoke effect in Unity3d. The texture used in this tutorial is provided in a link below, but you need to make sure that the edges of the texture are completely black. You can do this by using a simple gradient falloff brush (soft looking brush) in Photoshop or any type of image editor and slowly add in black portions. Make sure you don’t create any distinct edges otherwise it’ll look weird in your particle system.

Hello Everyone, welcome to another Xenosmash tutorial! in this tutorial we’ll be showing you how to create this white smoke effect that you see in this scene here now this is a particle system that was created with the Shuriken particle system within Unity3d, which is the newer up to date particle system that is used with the Unity3d engine. Alright, so lets get started so I’m not going to recreate this particle system I’m just going to go over the settings we used so if we take a look at it right now it looks pretty good very nice, realistic and fades away nicely at the top here so if we take a look at our particle system settings the first setting that we’re going to be changing is the start lifetime the start lifetime is set to 5.4 and the start speed will be 5.5, the start size is at 14.4. the start rotation is at 19.1 and the start color is going to be white, and the reason for that is because the actual texture we’re applying to our particle system is white now you can also adjust it to use a gradient or anything else in here, but we’re going to leave it at white. Nothing else left to do in this panel so lets go down to the emission tab, and you can see the rate is set to 10.76. Nothing else needs to be done in here go down to the shape tab, and you can see right now that it’s a cylindrical type of object right now, but it’s actually a cone but we set the angle to a 0.04 and the radius to a 1.88 it’s emitting from the base, and nothing else needs to be changed in here we’re going to jump down to color over lifetime now the color over lifetime, I’ll go ahead and unselect it first so we can see what it looks like. Now the color over lifetime will give us this nice fade effect up here so if I uncheck it, you can see that it kind of pops away as it gets to the very top, basically at the end of it’s life it just pops away, it’s not very realistic and we can also see that our smoke is much much brighter right here now it looks good from down here, but at the top it gives us this popping effect so you want to go ahead and select color over lifetime, and if you open this up you’ll have this gradient editor. The gradient editor has these two tabs at the bottom are actually used for our colors, and the top ones are the alpha values that give us our transparency. So I’m going to change this to a white color. Go ahead and double click on it and change it to a white color. and if you go ahead and select this top right tab, you can adjust the alpha value. Now if I set this all the way up you can see that we have that popping effect Go ahead and set it all the way down and you can see that it’s still popping out as we’re going down if you set it all the way down it gives us this nice fade effect so that is color over lifetime the next one is going to be size over lifetime open up your particle systems curve down here you can see that we have this nice gradual curve right here what this is going to do, if we take a look at the bottom we can see the particles start off very small then get bigger as they go along and that gives us this nice smoke effect. Eventually they’ll fade away So that is size over lifetime. Starts off small at the bottom of this curve then gets bigger as it goes along, then finally fades away. So that’s size over lifetime. We’re using the “curve” right here. If you open up the drop down menu on the side. The next one is going to be size by speed, and we’re using the curve click on this icon right here, and you’ll get this down here once again this is a nice gradual curve upward so this is giving us our speed dependent on the size of the particles so at the very bottom they’re very very fast and that’s because the particles are very small as we go up higher and higher it gets much slower and that’s because they’re bigger. So this is changing the speed dependent on the size of the particles. So that’s size by speed. Then we have rotation over lifetime. This one is a little bit different this one has a random between two curves so if we take a look at this we have a straight line right here and a gradual slope and it’s picking a value between these two to give us our rotation so this gives us a random rotation between anywhere in here, and that’s what gives us this nice effect If you uncheck this you’ll be able to see what it looks like it looks kind of like a tornado it doesn’t look very good it looks unrealistic. This can be good for any type of wind effect like a tornado or anything of that sort but since we just have smoke we just want to randomize the rotation, so go ahead and check it on and now you can see it looks like a nice white puff of smoke alright then we have rotation by speed once again just like the size by speed, this is determining the amount of rotation based off the speed. So at the bottom it starts rotating quickly and at the top once it actually gets bigger it starts slowing down. So this works hand in hand with size over lifetime and size by speed After that we have the rendered, which is probaby the most important part for the look of this actual particle system the render mode is set to billboard. For the material I have this custom material that I downloaded off CGTextures.com. The texture is right here I’m going to open it up. Now this texture is going to look a little bit different from the one you have. The difference is that in the texture you’re going to be using you’re going to see this pike right here, and you can kind of see where I tried to remove some of it, and the reason I removed it is because it looked very very distinct in our particle system to so I wanted to remove that portion so it doesn’t look very distinct. The other thing I did as well is that you want to make sure the smoke texture is not touching the corners of your texture here. So I went around with a simple black brush and just slowly faded out the corners here so it doesn’t have any distinct angular edges to this texture. So if we try to zoom in on a texture here zoom in on this one down here you can see that it looks like a nice puff of smoke you can see the pike I’m talking about right here. Now if the smoke was touching the edges, you’d be able to see a line blocking out the texture, and you don’t want that for your smoke effect. You want to make sure your smoke effect is right in the middle and the outer portions are blacked out. So lets go back to our particle system so that is our smoke texture the smoke material that I created is right here, and I just basically added the texture and set the shader to particles additive soft. So if we go down to particles additive, we can see the effect that we have here. Now particles additive basically multiplies the white portion right here, that’s why it looks so bright then you have other ones like the alpha blended that takes the texture and gives us our texture in this blocky look so we’re going to go with particles additive soft. You can see it removes all the black portions here and gives us a nice soft smokey look Everything else in this tab is going to be set to the default. Then you have your smoke material right here, you can change the shader right here as well that is pretty much it that is how you create a simple smoke effect in unity3d using the Shuriken particle system. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thanks for watching!