# How do I get particles to change color over time?

I saw a conversation on BlenderArtist.org where someone posted a node setup that supposedly would change the color of particles over time based on the Particle Info node's Index value. This is the graphic they posted:

However, when I tried to duplicate this effect, the particles don't change color over time.

Here is my blend file.

Here is the original conversation

• – gandalf3 Mar 27 '14 at 6:26
• i know this conversation is old, but i wanted to link a good video for everyone that, as me, still hit these conversations. youtube.com/watch?v=4HGb7Ce1yLU – gorevy May 27 '18 at 15:49

## Two Techniques to Have Particles Change Color Over Time

I discovered two ways to have particles change color over time, but they both start the same way:

1. First, create an object to be the particles for the particle system. I used a sphere in the videos below.
2. Create an object (I used a plane) and add a particle system to it with these settings:

• In the Emission section for the videos below, I have:
Number = 1000
Start = 1
End = 200

• In the Velocity section, set Normal to a desired value. I used 7.0 in the videos below.

• In the Render section, select Object and then for Dupli Object select the object you made for the particles in step 1.
3. Now add a material to the particle object. Here is where I discovered two different node tree configurations to create two different effects:

## Effect #1: Each particle is a different color & stays that color over it's entire lifetime

For this technique the node tree for the particle object's material is made like this:

NOTE: For this effects, the Divide node's Value must be set to the number of particles in the particle system (here, it's 1000)

This technique was developed by kubo on BlenderArtists.org.

## Effect #2: All particles change color over the course of their lifetime

This is the node tree for this technique:

NOTE: For this effects, the Divide node's Value is set to a low number (here, it's 50), not to the number of particles

This technique was developed by Vader and Greg Zaal here on StackExchange.

## Previewing the Effect

If you want to see the colors changing in the 3D Viewport, the display mode must be set to Rendered

• To avoid having all your color ramp segments all squished together like that, don't divide by such a big number - not entirely sure, but I don't think the age is related to the number of particles. – Greg Zaal Mar 26 '14 at 6:12
• Greg, I edited my answer to reflect your point. Should we delete our comments now since they would no longer make sense to future readers? – Thom Blair III Mar 26 '14 at 12:50
• Sure, but one question - what is the lifetime of your particles set to? – Greg Zaal Mar 26 '14 at 15:44
• Greg, it's set to 200. (I updated my answer to have that too) – Thom Blair III Mar 26 '14 at 16:10

I am assuming you mean change color over lifetime.

The problem with your node setup is simple to fix. Simply use the Age output instead of the Index output.

• This method you describe here makes each particle change color over time, which is indeed a neat trick to know. However, if the Index value is used, it causes each particle to remain the same color throughout it's lifetime, but each particle is a slightly different color from the last one. – Thom Blair III Mar 25 '14 at 23:52