So here's a throwaway scene with some particle systems: enter image description here

And the thing is, I'd love to rotate those little 8-bit bushes. However, I am incapable of doing this under almost every circumstance. I have spent hours working through permutations trying this. I can't wait for particle nodes because I have to say, Blender's particle interface is hot crap on a plate.

I would love if any of you can help me. I'm not going to go into specifics and just offer up my BLEND because I'm basically exhausted by particle systems.

My Blend File

File/other notes:

  1. I have found other similar threads in BSE, but none of the answers worked or were related directly to my problem.
  2. There are separate particle systems for each 'foliage' item because rendering as collection also failed repeatedly every way I tried it.
  3. All particle systems make use of the single weight paint texture for the DENSITY characteristic.

Thanks in advance.

Update on 10/5: Took a week off from this. Returned with no change to underlying issue. Per commenter below, I can create a different particle instance and rotate it, but I thought the point of particle instancing was that you could create controllable variations. That's why I'm doing this exercise.

Update on 10/14: I will let the community determine the appropriate answer. I gave up on this and am on yet another project where I cannot get foliage to populate on a plane. I can't believe how hard it is to get these systems working properly. I'm going to wait for Particle Nodes and until then, I'm going to get really good at manually instancing objects because it is far, far less time consuming compared to constantly failing at this in every subsequent project.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You wanna rotate the bushes so they look random or perhaps just to rotate the objects at the same time ? because rotation can be done by selecting your Main Object (in this case Grass Tuft #1) in edit Mode. You need to explain a bit more about $\endgroup$
    – Emir
    Sep 27, 2020 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ I just want to rotate the grass instances. So that, while they are 'sitting' on top of the plane, they are 'facing' different directions. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


If you want to make the particles stand up and rotate on the Z axis, choose Orientation Axis > Global Z, as the object is probably not oriented the way you want on the surface, select the original object, go in Edit mode and rotate it correctly. Now play with the Rotation > Random Phase value.

Edit: Your question is not clear, either you want to vary the orientation axis, or you want to keep the same orientation but change the rotation values. For case #1, use the Randomize value, for case #2, use the Randomize Phase value:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This changes every single instance of my mesh as one. There is no deviation for each instance. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2020 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ they all rotate on the X axis with a different angle values. You want a deviation from what? In your initial question you're talking about rotating your objects on the X axis, so do you want their rotation to happen on the X axis with different angle values, or do you want them to vary from the X axis? If you want them to have different rotation axis, play with the Randomize value, above Phase and Randomize Phase. If it's still not what you want, please edit your initial question and make it clearer $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 6, 2020 at 4:33

You can go to the particle settings of the emitter and check advance and then you can go and check rotation , and then change the phase a little and then Ramp Up the Randomize Phase , and Not the Randomize Orientation.This will make your 8bit grass more jittered enter image description here

Here you go for the file -

Edit - If your object rotates on the wrong axis or just doesn't go the correct way, you can change the orientation axis in the orientation dropdown

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    $\begingroup$ I want the grass to 'stand upright' and just be rotated around. When I do as you suggest, the grass is all offset the exact same (incorrect) way. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ can you share the picture of the situation , because then i can analyze the problem $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ The picture is found in my original post. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Added a Edit in the awnsere $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't go into detail on every single setting because I have provided my BLEND. I have used that dropdown and absolutely none of the results render the output I'm looking for. I have tried every one. Multiple times. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 17:46

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