Particle Illusion UI communication failure. Error code: -1 No response to handshake with Particle Illusion. Please retry, but if the problem persists contact

Particle Illusion UI communication failure. Error code: -1
No response to handshake with Particle Illusion. Please retry, but if the problem persists contact

Getting this error with the latest version of Premiere 2021 , Premiere 2020 works just fine.

Did a google search but couldn’t come up with any info about this.

Launches just fine with the latest version of AE

Would you mind please sharing your system specs? That will help with trying to understand the problem.


Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac19,1
Processor Name: 8-Core Intel Core i9
Processor Speed: 3.6 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 16 MB
Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled
Memory: 64 GB
Boot ROM Version: 1554.
SMC Version (system): 2.46f12

I get similar error with the latest version. Launching PI UI from Vegas 19 is very slow.

PI error


The first thing to try would be to reset your prefs to see if they were corrupted. Here are the steps:

On windows the PI prefs are stored in the registry. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to the path on your system cooresponding to the below: (The specific path will vary.)
Right click on the entry for Particle_Illusion, and select Export to save a copy to the desktop.
Delete the “Particle_Illusion” key to clean them. The prefs will be reset to defaults on next relaunch of PI.
If this helps please send us a zipped copy of the faulty prefs file exported to desktop for analysis. If this doesn’t help we’ll need to dig in deeper.


Hi Jason,

Deleting the registry key didn’t help. I’ll attach the zipped copy. This time I also got different error message but couldn’t make a screenshot as the whole computer crashed. But it might be due to running out of ram. I noticed when loading some of the more complex presets I get very close to maxing out the ram. I have currently 8GB of ram installed. Loading an empty preset is not a problem. (1.7 KB)

hmm - yes, RAM limits might an issue here. 8GB is not much I’m afraid and some PI projects - particularly with high particle counts on long timelines can require quite a bit of memory. Can you try launching and using PI as a standalone app directly from the Windows Start Menu just to see if that works as expected? From back in Vegas does PI launch if you start with a blank project and don’t load a preset first?

Yes, it works fine.

Noticed the application itself with nothing loaded needs quite a lot of ram. Is that normal?

Yes, that relates to the large number of emitter libraries that are loaded when the PI UI starts up. With the full set of options emitter libraries installed it can easily be 5 or 6GB or RAM just at start up. You could try temporarily removing some of the emitter libraries from C:\ProgramData\BorisFX\EmitterLibraries
and you should see the memory usage decrease. If this fixes the PI UI crashing when running from Vegas then it’s likely just insufficient RAM to run with all libraries installed.


Thanks Jason,

It really looks like it is because of ram. If I use some simple smoke or fog emitters it works fine in Vegas. If I load something like the Abstract Sun emitter then it takes a long time to launch the PI UI from Vegas. Sometimes it works and sometimes it gives the error message posted earlier or it just freezes.

Installed more ram. Now I have 20 GB of ram. That’s as much as this laptop can take. Indeed it helped and PI is more responsive.

That’s good to hear - thanks. We are also researching to see if we can improve management of RAM usage.