Sixbirds PixelParticles 1.0

March 3rd, 2010 by Helge Mathee - Viewed 19942 times -

Hey folks,

time to release another plugin under the flag of Sixbirds Barcelona!

As already shown in a teaser video on, we worked on a plugin to use particles as pixels to unleash the power of ICE to textures.

This plugin requires Autodesk Softimage 2010 SP1, Windows 32, 64 or Linux 64 bit.

Provided in the plugin is a C++ operator, a custom ICE-Node, some compounds to drive the pixels as well as a sample project.

So what does it do? Let’s have a look:

embedded by Embedded Video

vimeo - Direct link to

Thanks to Steven Caron for food for thoughts, thanks to all of the beta-testers!

Once again I am proud and happy that the company I work for is enabling me to publish these tools under GPL, so source-code is included!

Please comment, let me know what you think.

Here’s the download link:


Helge @ Sixbirds Barcelona

PS: I noticed during the beta-phase of the plugin that is it fairly easy to create a basic feather system with this setup, I demonstrate this in the vimeo video also. How ironic! :)

10 Responses to “Sixbirds PixelParticles 1.0”

  1. Steven Caron says:

    great idea to visualize the a feather system’s distribution/flow… we have been using mbFeatherTools here at blur and in order to do the visualization of the flow i just made a texture map with arrows on it. was faster than using the particles… especially when counts go way way high

  2. AndyN says:

    Great stuff as usual Helge. Nice bit of lateral thinking. Looking forward to trying this out.

    BTW, it sounds a bit like you’re getting played out by Keyboard Cat on the video ;-)


  3. Thomas Helzle says:

    Hi Helge,

    brilliant. Big thanks to you, the contributors and Sixbirds!
    I can already see tons of uses for this :-)

    Cheers from Berlin!


  4. Awesome so far, are really fast! One problem I am running into, the UV’s for a cube (with a cubic map) seem to only work with one side of the cube. I will try with another scene to test, but so far, that is something I can’t get around yet.

    OK, back again…
    It looks like it’s an issue with overlaps. If there are no overlaps, then it works on all side. If there are any overlaps, it doesn’t. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks again.

  5. Pierre says:

    Hey Helge!

    Kennste mich noch? Lange nix mehr voneinander gehört :D
    “Pixel-Particles” sind feini-feini!

    But I have one little question:
    1. Is it possible to set the path and file name/type? This is very important for production-workflow. Maybe I overlooked this option.

  6. Helge Mathee says:

    Hey Piere!

    Long time no see! :)

    No, you can’t control the path, you can only control the mapindex, which will change the index of the written texture (the index is a number inside the path). This is not ideal, I am aware, but it is due to a limitation inside of 2010′s SDK. You can’t have a string as part of an ICE node.

    Hope this helps,
    regards from Barcelona.

  7. Robert says:

    Hi Helge,

    Hope your well dude!
    I’m having some problem with the download link – is it still there?


  8. Felix Bueno says:

    Hi Robert

    The link has been fixed. Sorry, we were doing some server-maintenance stuff today ;)


    Felix Bueno

  9. Darren says:

    Hi Helge,

    That tool looks great ! ive just tried it out but im getting errors for some reason, and all im getting is an empty point cloud called *_pixels , and object called *_pixels which has a SCOP on it. but i cannot see an ice tree or nodes on either.

  10. Darren says:

    Hi again,

    ive managed to get it working! great stuff:) no idea why it didnt work before.