Rapid: An Artist Friendly Particle System

Devon Penney, Nafees Bin Zafar
Proceedings of the 2015 Symposium on Digital Production


A particle system is a heavily used tool in every effects animation department in the world. In this paper, we re-explore this well understood, and relatively ancient technique. We present our design of Rapid, a modern, and easy to use particle dynamics framework that seamlessly fits into procedural node graphs. We discuss schemes for minimizing sub-frame evaluation of the dataflow graph, including an improved collision model and simple methods for generating smooth and continuous particle emissions. These techniques combined with improved workflow tools enable artists to build production setups faster, and simulate them quicker. The Rapid framework has been used on hundreds of shots at the studio to produce effects like water, magic, debris, spray, dirt, embers, and sparks.


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