I have a problem with particles. I can see them in the viewport, but no matter what I do I can't see them in my render. Could anyone of you please help me? I really want to create a snowy scene.

Here's my scene:

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome Dekash :) More information is required to answer your question. May add a few screenshots of your particle, material and camera settings and consider to upload the scene at blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com for a solid answer. Also please start with the tour: blender.stackexchange.com/tour. Anyway, enjoy blender.SE! $\endgroup$ – p2or Jan 23 '16 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Not true anymore, since the Gooseberry Branch we have Halos in Cycles. $\endgroup$ – Samoth Jan 23 '16 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Come on, just watch that video and you're done. Or just wait for the Tutorial release on BlenderDiplom about that topic. BSE is not the only website with information in the world wide web, there are many more good resources out there. And the Q&A Format with this unflexible "no external links, they might expire"-behavior isn't the best platform for encouraging a community to collaborate. So if external video info should be condensed into text and images, the community here is for sure happy to help out, right? ;-) $\endgroup$ – Samoth Jan 23 '16 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ ... gee.. thanks for your help!... for those of us who don't like video tutorials see: blender.stackexchange.com/a/45514/1853 $\endgroup$ – user1853 Jan 23 '16 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ I've added the Point Cloud halo info to my answer. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 25 '16 at 20:56

For Cycles to render something, it has to have some kind of geometry for the light to interact with. But particles are really just 0-dimensional points in space, by default they have no geometry. So for Cycles to render them you need to give them some geometry.

You have several options under the Particle Settings panel > Render rollout as to how to render the particles:

enter image description here

  • None: the particles themselves are not rendered at all. Use this option if you are using the particles just to control something else; such as a point density cloud, smoke simulation, explode modifier, etc.
  • Halo: the particles are rendered as small volumetric-like glowing points. Note: this button only works in Blender Internal, to render halos in Cycles you must use point density clouds (see below).
  • Line: the particles are rendered as line segments pointing in the direction of their velocity.
  • Path: used for hair or keyed particles.
  • Object: the particles are rendered as instances of a specified object.
  • Group: the particles are rendered as instances randomly picked from a specified group.
  • Billboard: the particles are rendered as square planes whose normals always face the camera.

Point Clouds

Rendering halos in Cycles is a little more complicated (but way more flexible and useful) than in BI. As stated above, you must use volumetric Point Clouds.

To set this up create a domain object (usually, but not necessarily, a cube) around the particles, make sure all particles you want to render halos are within the box (or use multiple domains).

Then give the domain object a volumetric emission material by plugging an Emission shader into the Volume Material Output socket. By default this will simply emit light from the entire volume, so to tell it to only emit light from where there are particles add a Point Density texture node controlling the emission strength.

enter image description here

Here's an overview of the Point Density node's settings:

  • Particle System: Use a particle system to control the point cloud. Points will be rendered at the particles' locations. (This is what you want.)
  • Object Vertices: Use the vertices of an object to control the point cloud. Points will be rendered at each vertex of the selected object.
  • Object: The object to get the particle system or vertices from.
  • Particle System: The particle system from the specified obejct to use for the point cloud.
  • Space: If you want the halos to be rendered exactly where the particles are in the scene use World Space. If you want the particles' locations to be scaled down and moved to fit in the domain object use Object Space. Most of the time you want World Space.
  • Radius: The radius of each individual halo.
  • Interpolation: The interpolation method between voxels. Cubic or Linear usually works best, Closest gives no interpolation.
  • Resolution: The number of subdivisions (voxels) in the volume.
  • Color Source: The property value to send to the Color output socket.
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    $\begingroup$ Since the Gooseberry Branch we have Halos in Cycles as well. ;-) $\endgroup$ – Samoth Jan 23 '16 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Samoth Right, I'm working on the point cloud edit now. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 23 '16 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Samoth It's taking a while and I had other stuff to do, hopefully I'll get it up tomorrow. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 24 '16 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Good overview, well done! $\endgroup$ – Samoth Feb 9 '16 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ Not 1-dimensional, zero dimensional :) $\endgroup$ – Watcom Sep 2 '17 at 21:45

Make sure, you render the particles as objects (snowflakes, perhaps).enter image description here


Easier way I did it - instead of "halo" - select "object". Create an object (box/cube - whatever) - and specify that as the "Dupli Object".


I had the same problem in Blender 2.90.1 (using Cycles), it helped to replace "Render-Render as" = "Collection" in ParticleSettings with "Render-Render as" = "Object". Apparently the current version of blender does not support rendering of collections in the Particle System.

  • $\begingroup$ This is incorrect. Blender certainly does support rendering particles as collections, and objects, ect... Have a look through the docs here $\endgroup$ – Timaroberts Nov 28 '20 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the problem is only in the specified version and for the specified rendering engine (Cycles). Evee engine is working fine. $\endgroup$ – Petr Varyagin Dec 9 '20 at 19:31

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