I have a problem with the particle system.


I have a cube that emits particles. On another layer, I have 3 objects that change shape over time. I group the 3 objects and use the group in the particle system. The result is that the emitter emits the objects using the timeline to drive the grouped objects animation. That is logical.


What I am looking to do is have the objects start their animation sequence when they are emitted from the emitter, not based on the timeline. So that as each object is born, the animation is seen individually. The particle system gives me a very natural particle animation that I like, it is just that I cannot control when the grouped object animation starts.

I have had a look at the AN tutorials and I am struggling to understand. I figure that if I can create an AN animation for each object, maybe one of the particle nodes can drive the birth of the animation.

I would be very grateful for any thoughts.

  • $\begingroup$ it sounds like you are just looking to rearrange frames on the dope sheet. Have you tried that? $\endgroup$
    – 360ueck
    Jun 8, 2016 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ 360ueck, thanks for replying. I discovered the use of special textures to drive the particle system youtube.com/watch?v=FXWkRCQ7dw0 I managed to make the texture values drive the scale at the birth of each object. It is a very simple way of driving the system but it is not a very elegant or precise. There is not a lot of control, so if you have an AN idea that does the same thing as the texture, I would be very interested. $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2016 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ I've answered your question as I understand it. if it doesn't fully answer your question, help us help you by posting a .blend or some visuals. $\endgroup$
    – 360ueck
    Jun 9, 2016 at 14:30

2 Answers 2



This can easily be achieved by subtracting the birth time of each particle form the time input of the required animation.

Lets assume that your animation is a simple 180 turn around the z axis, then I can just generate the rotations as follows:

Node tree

What happens is when you subtract the birth time of the particle, the time of the animation becomes zero at the time of its birth and it linearly and continuously increases. Other complex and advances animations and scenarios can be achieved on the bases of the previously described concept.


In case you don't know how to make a group like particle system, here is a simple a node tree that does exactly that:

Node Tree 2


Using texture to birth the animation won't affect the ability to change when the particle emission starts. Here the marble texture is used.


On another layer there is a group of objects which change shape from frame 20 to 80.


Since the default particle animation starts at 1, but our grouped animation starts at frame 20, the emitted objects will not "start their animation sequence when they are emitted from the emitter".


To remedy this, we can change the particle start (found in Properties>Particles>Emission) to 20 as well. In this way our animation will start as the emission starts.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your work. Here is a link to download the file I am working on. The flowers open when they are born thanks to the texture. 160607_TEST_FLOWERS2.blend Password: xa3h3bef eshare.yr.com/dl/RArfga5pUS $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2016 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristopherLowden What is it you are trying to achieve exactly? It looks like the particles come out and the make half a turn upon reaching full size. $\endgroup$
    – 360ueck
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ The point is about animating objects at particle birth. Using the particle texture, I scale each object attached to a particle at birth. If the objects themselves were animated, without the particle texture, the object would be at its animated size at birth. In this case of scaling at the particle birth, the partcle texture solution works but what if you wanted a more complex object animlation? $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2016 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ So I wondered if it was possible to drive an AN animation using the particle birth as the driver. Or better still, use the AN system to start an object animation at the birth of a particle? I hope that I am clear. Thank you for your interest $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2016 at 7:06

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