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Interview with particleIllusions Alan LorenceParticleIllusion 3.0 for OS X
For those who have been waiting for particleIllusion 3.0 for OS X to arrive, your ship has come in. This stand alone particle system for creating everything from dramatic explosions to motion backgrounds has just shipped. In this interview, DMNs Stephen Schleicher talks with Alan Lorence on what users can expect, whats in store for ParticleIllusion in After Effects, and why it took so long to see the application arrive for OS X.
Alan Lorence, company president and founder, was the original programmer for Impulse's Illusion software. After acquiring rights for Illusion in July 2002, he established Wondertouch to continue the development, sale and support of the product under the name 'particleIllusion.'
Digital Media Net: particleIllusion 3.0 has finally shipped for the Mac.
Alan Lorence: Yes, it is something that has been highly anticipated for sure. We are glad to see it launching today. We are excited to finally bring this level of particle sophistication to the Mac.
Mac artists have had access to our particle system through AutoDesk Media and Entertainments combustion for a few years, even though it is based on version 2 of our engine. This is our latest and greatest. And even though Apples Motion does not use our technology, it was highly influenced in the creation.
particleIllusion 3.0 is a lot more advanced than what we had available in particleIllusion SE, combustion, and Motion. particleIllusion SE was released in February. It is essentially the combustion particle engine in a stand alone package.
DMN: What was the response to SE?
Alan: It was good. A lot of the people were happy with this version as they awaited the full release.
DMN: Weve previously reviewed and have done tutorials on particleIllusion 3.0 on the Windows platform, in the Mac version do you still have access to all of the Emitter Libraries that were created for the Windows version?
Alan: Yes, they are all cross platform compatible. Users have access to 1300 emitters from our website. That is one of the big things that can be a little overwhelming to our users. When we released pI 3.0 for Windows, we had roughly 750 preset emitters available. Since that release we have almost doubled the amount, and we have more available every month.
In my opinion some of the ones we have been doing lately are among the very best. Every month when we release a new emitter library, I think to myself, ?These are some of the best ones. The problem is Im starting to say that every month!
DMN: What are some the best ones lately?
Alan: It is hard to think back. Users tend to think the best ones are those that they use when they have a specific need. Ive always been pretty particular about explosions, but I think some of my favorite ones recently are ones of rain streaks hitting a puddle. Not only does it have rain streaks, and little puddles, but it also has little splashes as well. It is pretty amazing. I havent had a specific need for it yet, but it one of the ones that I could sit there and watch for five minutes or more and not get bored of it.
DMN: That brings up one aspect of particleIllusion 3.0 that users may not be aware of it isnt just for creating fires, and explosions and lasers. Some of the cooler features I have seen are in creating full motion backgrounds.
Alan: Exactly. That has been kind of our focus with particleIllusion over the last year. We are trying to get people to realize that you can use this tool for so many things besides just blowing things up. But then again, when we do shows, people want to see explosions.
DMN: The emitter libraries that are available are not just the ones you are creating. Arent there user created collections as well?
Alan: There is a lot more user created emitter collections lately. Our user forum has seen an increase in postings lately from users who are posting or pointing readers to emitters they have created. I like to see that.
When someone submits a collection to me for inclusion in the monthly release, my standards are a little different. I wont automatically include it in the collection; I will look and see if it is too similar to something we have done before, could it use a little tweaking, and so on. But I really get a lot of inspiration from seeing the work of others. Ive been creating these libraries for years, and you can get a little jaded, but then someone will send me an idea, and I can play with it, and come up with something I havent thought of before. And thats why I like to see more people making their own emitter collections. Its a great way of inspiring each other.
DMN: Didnt you use to run a theme contest on the particleIllusion site?
Alan: That is something we did several years back, and it might be time to start that up again. When we did it back then there were not that many people making their own emitters, or who fully understood the software, but now? Thats a good idea.
Related Keywords:wondertouch, particle illusion, particleillusion, alan lorence, schleicher, mac os x, after effects, particle system, motion graphics