Importing Video into Particle Illusion Standalone

For those who want fully-functioning Standalone – do you not use video editing software? The workflow of bringing video into Particle Illusion and doing a final render out of PI is very limiting. There are so many advantages to compositing the PI rendered particles in another app for finishing, and there are several options for great, free editing apps these days.

Just curious, as I try to understand the needs of all users of Particle Illusion.


@Alan_Lorence @PeterMcAuley something that might be a big benefit if someone wants to composite PI output with other elements is if they could specify that an image be used for the background on the stage. That would make alignment that much easier. Though perhaps that’s getting a little too close to plugin behavior.

When the time comes, only the PI elements would be rendered and the user would have to composite the output as normal.

@markliles1 The key to what Alan is talking about is getting your fx set up just the way you want it, rendering the fx to a file and compositing that in your video editor. If you need more complex behaviors, purchasing the plugin might be necessary.

I would guess it’s 100% cost (people not wanting to spend the money of Boris), and remembering that the old pI was quite cheap. There is no other advantage and, as you say, lots of disadvantages.


Ra-ey: What I meant was HitFilm (free) or Resolve (free) for editing, PI (free) for rendered particle elements. Gives you compositing modes, effects, a myriad of output formats, etc.

Sure, my concern is lack of support for my “love at the moment” video editor; I use Davinci / Fusion Studio, Edius v8, (and in the past AfterFX CS6 and Vegas 12 Suite), and finally Hitfilm (ahem, for the particles and smoke vfx) - now if PI plugin works properly with those then fine.

Back in the day with my PI v3 standalone license, I believe I was able to load background video in the timeline and work on top of that - mind you, its been a good, long minute…

I could reinstall it, but I was looking forward to a refreshed / updated version that works well with Win10 etc.

This video tutorial shows a trick of how you can load a still frame to use as reference:

Jump to about 8:15.



@Alan_Lorence clever workaround :slight_smile:

I agree, but I do miss the original PI’s ability to bring in video or still sequences. I may still consider reinstalling the original PI. I’m running windows 8,1.

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I would purchase a standalone version that can load video background like in PI 3. If the plugin version could run as a standalone, that would be great!

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I have the plugin for Vegas Pro, and the Standalone comes with it, but Composite over Source frame or video is grayed out.
Of course I can do the compositing in Vegas, but there are times I would like to be able to do it in the Standalone.
I would think computer resources might work better that way… I could be wrong. But having to open Vegas each time to use PI, well… maybe in an update we will be able to have the option of using it for either Standalone or plugin.

Composite over Source Frame or Video is only available when you apply the Particle Illusion effect in your host, then launch Particle Illusion from that effect (by clicking the “Launch Particle Illusion” button).

Then the Composite over source options are available.

RE: That trick in the video to bring in a still frame.
If you took a video clip and rendered it out to a series of png or jpeg files, and had them all numbered sequentially, PI could then bring that in as an animated custom sprite, yes?
I personally haven’t tried doing exactly that yet, but I DID just figure out how to import my own png sequence for animated sprites. So I assume that would work with a series of still images from a video clip.

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In theory it would work, but I’m not sure what would happen when PI had to deal with a huge number of very large sprites. Might be extremely slow. If you saved a project file with that it would be huge!

Worth experimenting, but don’t be surprised if there are problems. :slight_smile:

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WOOT! It worked. I started a new thread about it.

hi alan,

i think one of the greatest reasons for the old particle standalone version was that you coul use it without haveing a big budget for expansive nle software. yes some of them are free now (resolve for example). but still the learning curve for this software is not so easy. i do know alot of people still working with starter nle´s (like pinnacle studio, corel video studio, etc.)

i think the would also buy a standalone version with those features

HELLO, just wanted to say again:
THANK YOU!!! I LOVE THE Stand alone version is very Nice!
I used it with my 3D animation, it’s truly GREAT!

Well there are workarounds doing this with the free versions as told by others, but that is for everyone individually to discover/ utilize or not.

I want to be able to use my own Background images.What Plug in are you referring too.The older version let me do it all custom .Please explain in more detail what kind of plug in is required.I also want to know if there are more saving options for the video file beside Quick time and the other.

@zingaragia He’s referring to the version of PI that comes with Continuum and is available from hosts such as Vegas Pro or After Effects

The use of the word ‘teaser’ seems to be a bit of an understatement here. It has to be the most awesome teaser ever. More awesome even than the supermarket selling baked beans at a low price as a loss-leader