Energy ball magic

Particle colors | part 3

Here are some Krakatoa coloring techniques.

Particle Flow scene, 200 particles are moved slowly around a little sphere – emitter object. To make nice thin lines, they are separated as much as possible in Position Object operator.

After exporting to Krakatoa’s PRT format, here is rendered 80 million particles:

3dsmax 2012 scene with PFlow setup, as well PRT Loader with already pre-cached one frame (220MB). All MagmaScripts with exact screenshots included. Magma files can be download separately under each thread or from Dropbox.


Atmospherical gizmo object is used as placement area for blending two colors.

After some tweaks, there is a possibility to use more than one gizmo.

Or even custom geometries.

Or color by nearest particles from another particles container.


Density can be modified individually, even in another magma flow. Here is an example of how to set noise map as particle opacity.

Tip: For a better representation of what we do with density channel, it is good to use additional PRT Viewport Color output in magma Flow. It doesn’t affect final rendering and works in viewport only.


Here is a simple way to blend two colors by particle speed.


Usually is better to use 3dsmax maps to generate color data, as for example gradient ramp as particles velocity mark.

Important: Gradient Ramp mapping cordinates must be setup to vertex colors.

Or even better – leave entire color info to maps/other sources and modify only particles texture coordinates. Here are the same results as a previous, but completely different approach.


One of the most wonderful Krakatoa tricks is that same particles coloring approach can be used to render elements (as CustomData).

Here is an example of how one more color was added to the final image by extracting and masking one velocity direction from Velocity Pass. With custom elements, any masks can be created.


    1. You’re welcome!
      Particles count is pretty heavy, in last frames there is 20 million particles and overall sequence (0-400 frame) take more than 80 GB of data. On my one machine it took almost 24 hours to calculate. And it’s one partition only.

      Video above created from 4x partition and together have 80 millions particles.

      1. i have to dispute the pflow setup a litle bit more
        after 7 hours ^^
        particle birth count 150
        particle count 3m
        step size 0.22,

        i need a lot more particle and need a lot more time for the sim, thanks for sharing deko!

        1. To speed up, you can reduce Spawn by Rate in Event06 (try from 400 to 100). This setup is a little different than usual, Spawn by Travel makes quantity of thin lines and Spawn by Rate is density of an every line.
          Best of luck!

  1. Great Stuff! Its nice to see the magma flows with clear examples of their use. I specially like the compositing trick as that is something I always struggle with.

        1. As I remember, there was flow from Position by Gizmo example, the very first one. Second picture is standart Krakatoa Velocity Render Element.
          Btw, CustomData Element works like any other Magma Flow, except output must be Vector value (color).

  2. I’m currently trying to use the ColorByParticles magmaflow, but whenever I try to select my PRT loader in the “InputParticles” it wont work. It clears the selection whenever I deselect the operator.. Can you help me?

    1. What type of Particles you are trying to pick? As I remember only ThinkBox particles are accepted, try save to PRT and select PRT Loader particles. Is that works now?

      1. I’m trying to load particles from at KrakatoaPRTLoader. I saved the PRT’s from at particle flow system, driven by FumeFX. Does this make a difference?

  3. Thanks! I just found out your website, it’s great resources. Thanks for taking the time to do that!
    Keep it rockin!

  4. it’s amazing when i try the DENSITY | MAGMA FLOW part ,i add the prtviewport color ,it is not work in the viewport ,then i assign the noise material to the particle ,the color in the other magma flow does not work .can you help me ?

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