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I have a seed object with some particle hair strands. I've specified this object to be instanced in another particle system, then specified that object to be instanced in yet another particle system.

To clarify:

  • I have a cube with hairs strands
  • I have a Suzanne coated in cubes with hair strands (the hair strands only appear in the render, which is fine)
  • I have another Suzanne coated in Suzannes, but these Suzannes don't have cubes or strands like I was hoping..

enter image description here

Is there a way to get the particle systems to keep recursing, so that the last Suzanne is coated in Suzannes coated in cubes coated in strands?

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Here we have a red Suzanne, emitting blue Suzannes, emitting green cubes, emitting grey hair.

enter image description here

I have managed to do this with the 'Particle Instance' modifier.

The Particle Instance modifier is applied to the object you want to instance. On the modifier, you then pick an object that has a particle system that you want to instance the object onto (at the position of each particle.)

For the above image I added a hair particle system onto the red Suzanne. I then created a smaller, blue Suzanne and added a Particle Instance modifier to it, picking the red Suzanne as the target.

enter image description here

I then added a separate cube (green) and added a hair particle system to that.

The final particle system is added to the blue Suzanne, under the Particle Instance modifier. It emits the cube in the normal fashion by choosing the cube as the render object on the particle system.

As you noted, the hair emitted from the green cubes does not appear in the viewport but do appear in the render.

Note: The blue Suzannes will not be identical, they will each have a unique placement of green cubes on them. I wasn't able to solve this, the linking was already getting quite complex and slow.

This is quite a complex setup so I may have forgotten a few settings or overcomplicated the setup. For this reason I have included the blend file.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I guess that will work. Unfortunately if I'm not mistaken the particle instance modifier creates copies of the mesh in memory instead of instancing, so I'll have to see how memory usage goes.. I'll leave this unaccepted for now just in case there is a way to instantiate the recursive objects.. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 29 '15 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hm.. Is there way to instance a group of objects with the particle instance modifier? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 30 '15 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ Not directly, as far as I know. I would start to be inclined to emit a plane that you could then dupligroup onto. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Mar 30 '15 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting particle work. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Jan 18 '16 at 18:50

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