Display operator

The Display operator can be used to display particles in the viewport.

Particles are meant to be displayed using the latest Nitrous viewport driver. Displaying particles with a legacy DirectX/OpenGL driver will have a negative impact on performance. Also, not all display types are supported by legacy drivers.


  • Display type: the drawing method to use for particles.

Pixels: particles will be drawn as individual pixels.

Small dots: particles will be drawn as small dots.

Small dots: particles will be drawn as large dots.

Ticks: particles will be drawn as ticks.

Sprites: particles will be drawn as images on sprites.

Bounding Boxes: particles will be drawn as bounding boxes which encapsulate their shape mesh.

Geometry: particles will be drawn as geometry. If a particle does not have an assigned shape mesh, it will be drawn as an X.

“Sprite” mode is best for granular simulations, where a spherical visualization of particles is necessary. Sprites will display much faster than actual sphere geometry, because they are drawn as simple quads with a sphere texture, rather than actual spherical geometry composed of many vertices and faces.


  • Percent %: the percentage of particles to drawn in the view.
Simulation groups
  • Simulation groups: controls which particle simulation groups will be drawn.
Export groups
  • Export groups: controls which particle export groups will be drawn.


Color settings apply to non-geometry particle display (ie, all display modes except ‘geometry’ and ‘bounding box’

  • From operator: the color of the particles will be defined by the operator’s color picker.

  • From vertex color data: the color of particles will be defined by the color values assigned to the particle’s specified mapping channel.

  • From texmap: the color of particles will be sampled from the specified texmap, using all available mapping channels assigned to the particle.


  • Sphere: displays sprites with a built-in sphere texture.

  • Bitmap texmap: displays sprites using a custom bitmap texture map as the texture.

  • Variation %: the amount of color value variation to apply to sprite particles.


  • Mark particles with no geo: particles without a shape mesh will be drawn as an ‘X’

  • Ignore UVW overrides: controls whether UVW (mapping) overrides on particles will be ignored.

  • Display material: controls whether geometry will be displayed with the material assigned to the tyFlow object. If this is disabled, only the Display operator color will be used, overriding any material assignments.

Nitrous GPU instancing does not support UVW (mapping) overrides on instances. Therefore, if particles have active UVW overrides, instead of being instanced they will be combined into a single (potentially gigantic) mesh. Depending on the number of particles in the cache, this can eat up huge amounts of system resources. For example, a million identical particles with no mapping override can be sent to the GPU as a single mesh and a million transforms. But, a million particles with mapping overrides will be sent to the GPU as a million different meshes – something even the most powerful systems will have a hard time processing. By enabling “ignore UVW overrides”, mapping overrides on particles will be ignored for viewport display, maximizing the number of particles that can be efficiently instanced in the GPU. The drawback is that with “ignore UVW overrides” enabled, particle mapping channels will not have a visible effect on particle material display in the viewport.