Particles are the visible component of a VFX, and are created exclusively by emitters. They are similar to emitters in that they can be positioned in 3D space.
There are several types of particles:
Polyline (line made of triangles)
Powder (used for small particles, such as the dust which some weapons create)
Quad (a 1x1 square)
Particles can have textures mapped onto them using several different types of nodes (covered later).
Sometimes, a particle does not require complex animations, and can use the
SimpleAnimations node instead (in order for it to work, the
SimpleAnimationsEnabled attribute must be
True) This is often used for
Powder particles, which often have very basic animations due to their size and number.
There are several types of texture nodes which can be applied to a particle. Most texture nodes will have a
TextureIndex. This determines which texture will be used as a color, normal map, etc.
TextureColor1 is especially important as it has
MaskTextureIndex, which determines which parts of the particle will be transparent.
Most texture nodes will also have a
UVSetIndex (UV Sets are discussed later).
UV Sets are contained within particles, and are used to manipulate textures. This primarily involves scaling, rotating, and offsetting a texture. For example, most aura or fire VFXs will use a UV Set to animate a texture so that it "scrolls" across the particle, creating the illusion of a moving flame or energy aura.