Shortly after joining TMW I worked on a couple of projects which got me looking at particle systems. It was the first time I worked with particles and I really enjoyed it and have since done loads more little Particle systems (I’m currently working on a Lipton’s microsite with loads of different particles so will post about that when it goes live!)
The first two pieces I created were heavily influenced by work done by Paul Ortchanian. The first was for T-Mobile and for this one the particles needed to follow a curved line but avoid the cursor.
The next was a banner for PayPal and this was a lot simpler to the above, again the particles avoid the cursor and once they have cleared off the stage an event is triggered.
Since working on these I have done a lot more research into different particle systems and have played around a lot more with behaviors and optimization. If your keen on learning more about how to create particle systems I would highly recommend starting by reading Keith Peters book ActionScript 3.0 Making Things Move. Also a great particle system I’ve been experimenting with lately is FLINT by Richard Lord. I have been to a couple of training sessions by Richard and also saw his talk at FOTB 08. FLINT is really easy to pick up and the great thing about it is that it’s already been integrated into all the best 3D class libraries such as Papervision3D.