Creating Flows

Flows are groupings of operators, events and connections between them. They allow you to direct the behavior of particles over time.

Creating Operators

To create a new operator, drag an operator from the operator list into the grid view. An operator dragged into an existing event will be added to that event’s operator list. An operator dragged directly over the grid will be added to a new event. Operators can also be copied and pasted (from their right-click menu), and the same rules apply – operators pasted over the grid will be assigned to a new event, and operators pasted into an existing event will be added to that event’s operator list.

You can copy and paste multiple events and/or operators at the same time, by selecting them with the drag marquee, or by holding CTRL to individually select more than one at a time.

Creating Events

Events themselves cannot be created directly – only copied and pasted (from their right-click menu) or created by a dragging an operator over the grid.

When a new event is created it will automatically be assigned a new Display operator, if necessary.

Creating Connections

Connections between operators and events allow you to direct the behavior of particles over time. If an operator’s output is connected to an event’s input, any particle that satisfies the test condition of the operator will be sent to the connecting event at the end of the operator’s simulation step. The direction of a flow is always forward (from operator to event) – operators can send particles to events, but events cannot send particles back into operators.

An event can take inputs from multiple operators, but an operator cannot output particles to multiple events.

tyFlow correctly handles event looping, where an operator is connected to a prior event, such that particles loop back to that same operator within the same timestep (normally resulting in an infinite loop that can never complete). No extra measures need to be taken to avoid infinite looping in those cases, as tyFlow will automatically ensure only a single loop is completed per timestep in such a scenario.

Shaping connection wires

By right-clicking on a connection wire, you can add or remove points to it. By dragging those points you can shape the wire, allowing you to visually route wires around events in the grid.

Preset Flows

In the right-click context menu of the grid view, you can find a “New” submenu that lists several preset flows which can be created. Creating a new preset flow will not reset the editor or affect existing flows – it will merely add the selected preset flow to the editor. Relevant scene objects used to control preset flow properties will also be created, depending on the preset chosen.