Yes, we’ve seen many cool custom particles for Particular, whether it’s smoke, fire, leaves, or vines. I’ve tried many custom particles before, but oddly enough I never did try HDRI images with Particular. With a bit of experimenting, you can achieve some pretty convincing objects as seen in the images.
HDRI stands for “High Dynamic Range Image” and is very common for materials in 3D applications. You can even use HDRI images to light scenes/objects in 3D applications and the best part is: they’re easy.
In fact, you can find many royalty free HDRI images for use in your projects. Aside from their use in 3D applications, HDRI images in After Effects can be used to create some easy reflections and gloss. By applying a ‘CC Lens’ effect to a spherically mapped HDRI image, you get this really sweet and shiny sphere which you can use as a custom particle with Particular.
Obviously this isn’t something new of any sort, but just thought I’d share my experimentation with you to stimulate your minds. Next time you need some convincing particles for a composite, try an HDRI custom particle!