I decided to make the gas vent’s height and strength controllable via the interface tool. The reason for this being that not only is the storm a hostile part of the planet, but that the gas vents can also play a part in the narrative of the environment.
As the user may want to control these elements, I added sliders for height and strength. The particle emitters themselves don’t have these attributes so I played around with the attributes they do have in order to find something to connect my controllers to.
The vent height attribute is keyed to the gravity of the particle nucleus. This at first does sound wrong but it does achieve the desired effect I wanted. By reducing the gravity the particles rise further which is the desired effect. It does however alter the nature of the particles such as thinning them out but I am happy with the result for now.
The vent strength attribute should combat this as this attribute controls the spawn speed of the particles (which therefore thickens the stream out again). It also controls the radius of the particles.
On a side note, the maya command “connectControl” can only control one attribute at a time. So in order to control the same attribute on 3 objects, 1 attribute has to be set-up and connected to the 3 variables via set driven key.