As detailed in this question, I'm trying to create a scene with a grassy patch of dirt and I'm having trouble controlling scale and direction.
One of the bizarre relationships I discovered is that the "timestep" setting in the "Physics" tab will change the scale of the rendered particles. So since I'm not currently using physics, I tried turning physics off by setting physics to "None".
And then all my particles simply disappeared. They come back when I set physics back to "Newtonian".
Same problem as in this question, but the only answer given says that physics are needed for hair (then why is there a "None" option?!) and that one should use a "regular particle system" instead of hair. I'm not sure what a "regular particle system" is. Are there two types of particle systems in Blender? I know there is instancing available, but as far as I can tell I can't randomize things well using that.
Can someone explain a) why the timestep affects the particle's scale and b) how I avoid that interaction if I can't set physics to "None"?