I have animated an object which I'm emitting as a particle from a plane, however the animation start is shared among every particle and I would like to randomize the start frame to create an intresting effect.

How do I do that?

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Edit: This is my current solution by creating multiple objects and offsetting the animation start then group them together and using them in the particle system.

It works, but it's not very good as not every particle will show the animation as it depends in what object it picks and if the current frame corresponds to any animation that object has. If you increase the particle count it works good enought.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please describe or show the animation of your particle object. Some animations are easier than others to accept variation. $\endgroup$ Sep 18, 2018 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ The animation is made with shape keys, the object is a capsule with an array modifier. I solved it for now by creating multiple objects changing the animation start in nla, grouped all of them and use them in the particle simulation. It's a hit and miss as some particles will not show an animation, but if you increase the count it works. $\endgroup$
    – user62490
    Sep 18, 2018 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ Please see and research the animation cycles modifiers and NLA editor comment in the edited answer below $\endgroup$ Sep 18, 2018 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


Create a group of your objects with different animations timeframes. Particles can operate on groups of objects. Easy examples without animations might be a red sphere, blue cube, and orange cone in a group.

Python might help to create many objects with animation variation. Cycles modifiers may help for particles created later in the particles system lifetimes. Cycles Modifier can repeat your keyframe animation 888 times or just 8 times.

If the object is a single entity and not a group you can can create a group of your objects. Then animate each object object efficiently by changing the keyframes or [Action constraint] or other relevant settings.

NLA editor can shift animations and repeat animations. I cannot research that at this moment.

You can use textures to determines things such as start time of emission. You must also have a frame range long enough to show such variation.

With Python or BAN (Blender Animation Nodes) there are other options to coordinate animated objects with the locations of particles.

These are high level ideas and not a tutorial because that might be a quicker start for you.


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