Making an Engine Exhaust for the Rocket.

You may view the use of particles as the domain of the Visual Effects Artists and Technical Directors but they can very useful for small additional details to your own animation.   Adding particles to the opening of an old dusty book, to feet as they walk down a dusty path or to an animals breath in a winter scene are examples of using particles to supplement your motion.
This tutorial is an introduction only so it will only deal with a single simple particle emitter without using any fields or collision surfaces.   Nevertheless, this simple set up will be quite adequate for simulating the exhaust from the “Rocket with Two Routes”.   We will, of course, control the exhaust output from a convenient control point, the "rocket_control".

Load in your finished scene file for “Rigging for Motion Paths”.   Select the Rocket_grp and zero the xyz translates and xyz of the rotations in the Channel Box so that the rocket lies on squarely on the origin.
Selection the Dynamics section of Maya.
From the main menu bar select Particles/Create Emitter and go to the option box.   From the option press Reset and make sure the Type is set to “Omni”
then press the Create button. Two new nodes should appear in your Outliner called "emitter1" and "particle1".   From the Outliner select emitter1 by clicking mouse left and then move emitter1 by mouse middle drag into the Rocket_grp.   The emitter should now reside within the rocket_grp.   Play back the animation to see the results so far.

Select “particle1” and bring up the Attribute Editor.   Select the "partcleShape1" tab from the top of the Attribute Editor.   Go to the Lifespan Attributes section and open the section using the down arrow to the left of the heading.   Change Lifespan Mode from Live for Ever to Random Range.   Set Lifespan to 0. Set Lifespan Random to 3.0. Go to the Render Attributes section and open the section using the down arrow to the left of the heading.   Change Particle Render Type from Points to Cloud(s/w).   Where it says Add Attributes For press the Current Render Type button.   Change the Radius to 0.1
Play back the animation to see the results so far.

Select rocket_control and add a float attribute with min of 0.0 and max left empty called "engineSpeed".   From the main menu bar select General Editors/Connection Editor. Load emitter1 to the right hand side of the editor and rocket_control to the left.   Select the “engineSpeed” on the left and “Rate” on the right. Close the Connection Editor.
Select rocket_control and set the Engine Speed to 1000.
Play back the animation to see the results.
You can now conveniently animate the Engine Speed by setting keys on this channel.

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