Particle Illusion post-webinar questions

Watched the Particle Illusion webinar today, thanks for presenting that and thanks to Dan Harvey.

I was inspired to try out PI for the first time. I am using Continuum 2019 12.0.2 as an OFX plugin inside Davinci Resolve 15.3 on a Win 10 box.

First thing I noticed was that rather than the “thousands of factory installed emitters”, I have only about a dozen or so “sample” emitters. I understand that I can download more emitters but I did not quite catch what Dan said about that. Are the thousands of factory installed emitters only in the standalone version?

Following up on that, I see that the download of the emitters is designated 12.0.1. Do these work properly in 12.0.2?

I should ask, should they work properly? Because although my Win 10 box has 64GB RAM and 2x 1080ti GPUs, Particle Illusion OFX ran very slowly and crashed fairly often.

That said, I was eventually able to create a pyrotechnic effect by replicating Dan’s workflow and it’s an impressive tool, or at least it has a lot of potential if the performance and reliability can be improved.

Thanks again for the webinar and for any clarification you can provide on my questions.

Hi there!

Thanks for taking time to attend Dan’s presentation of Continuum Particle Illusion in Resolve yesterday. Very happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

So here’s the deal with regard to the Emitter libraries. We’re constantly trying to find ways to reduce the footprint of our product installers while adding new features and when we added Particle Illusion to the Continuum installer, it bloated the installer footprint by over 200mb! To bring the size down, we made the Emitter Libraries a separate download and included a small subset of emitters available as a sample library so that if a user had not downloaded the main libraries at least there would be something to work with. We have not updated the Emitter library since the initial 12.0 release - these libraries will work with any version of Particle Illusion.

The crashing is not something that we have seen in our lab testing so I’d like to ask you to place a message with support so that they can investigate the cause of the problem. You can reach them via email at

Regarding performance - there are things that will make the system appear to be less responsive than you may like it to be. For instance, if you have a long clip and apply Particle Illusion to that clip, then add an emitter and jump way down the timeline the software needs to calculate all of the particles for that point in time. If you look at the top right of the Particle Illusion user interface, you’ll see a live particle count - if the software appears to be lagging or not performing as well as you might expect, glance up at the particle count to see how many particles the software is attempting to draw into that frame.

I hope this helps!


Hi Peter,

Thanks for your response, that makes sense about the installer footprint.

I’ll submit a report to support as you suggest with details and steps that led to the crashes.

The shot in question is 30 frames long and on the last frame there are 3341 particles reported. I was adding a pyrotechnic effect similar to what Dan did in the last exercise in the webinar, where there is a Mocha holdback of a foreground object (in my case, someone’s arm).

Thanks again to you and the team there for some amazing tools!

To wrap up this thread, after working with Support/QA/Engineering it was discovered that the crashing was not specific to PI nor to Mocha but is a general problem with the Resolve host itself. We have reported the issue to the Resolve engineering team and they are working on a fix. As a temporary workaround the crash should go away if you put effect on a track of its own rather than having multiple clips on the same track.

Hi, thanks for the followup!

To make sure I understand; if all my clips were on V1, I should put the clip with the PI effect on V2, a separate track?

And if that is so, if I have multiple clips where I want to apply PI, do they each need to be on a separate track? Or can they all be on V2? Or is the issue that they can’t be adjacent to one another, and there always needs to be a space between clips with PI?

I can test this for myself when I have time, but if you can clarify this, could save me some time! Thanks again.