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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've got the PArray and it's working fine. If we play this through, you'll see we're getting a few particle shooting out. But now I want to play around with these particle parameters to get the look that I want. The first thing I'll do is go into the Basic Parameters and scroll down and I have got a Percentage of Particles field here. I'm going to increase that to 100%, because it's currently only showing me 10% of my total particles, and that's just so they will have better performance in the view. Playing that through. So now I am seeing the full complement of particles, 100% of them.
Then I'll go up to my Particle Generation rollout, and we'll spend a fair amount of time in here tweaking this and getting the result that we want. First of all is the Rate. This is the number of particles that are born on each frame. So currently we're getting 10 particles born each frame. I can increase this to some higher value, let's say 50, and rewind and playback. Now, I have got 50 particles born in each frame. That's a little bit much so I'll bring it back down to maybe like 20.
Then we've got the Speed. Currently, it's moving at 10 inches per second. So they are moving pretty quickly. I want this to move a lot more slowly. So I'll set the speed to let's say 1 inch, play that back. That's a little bit more the result I was hoping for. I've also got a Variation parameter here so that they won't all move at the same speed. They'll randomly move at different speeds if I have a non-zero variation. So I'll set this to maybe like 70% or something like that.
So they are not all moving exactly the same. There is also a Divergence parameter here, which is a degree angle. What that's doing is it's causing them to shoot out at different angles. If the value of the Divergence was at 0, the particles would shoot out exactly along the normal of the surface. In other words, exactly perpendicular to the surface. So I'm going to increase that Divergence also to something like, I don't know, 60 degrees. Rewind, play that back.
So now they're moving a little bit more interestingly, a little bit more randomly and chaotically. Then I've got my Particle Timing here and you'll note that on frame 0 here the particles haven't really started emitting. I mean they just barely started emitting on frame 0. But in my shot what I want to see is on Frame 0, the particles have already sort of filled up the space a little bit. So I can set the Emit Start here to be before Frame 0. So in fact, in 3ds Max you can have negative numbers in your Timeline.
So what I'll do here is I'll set my Emit Start to a value of negative 3 seconds, press Enter. Now, on Frame 0, our particles are already shot out. Cool! Then we've got the Emit Stop. Well, I want these particles to emit throughout the duration of my animation, and I've got 8 seconds of animation. So I'll set the Emit Stop to 8 seconds and press Enter and I'll rewind and play back, and you'll notice that they stopped emitting.
So what's going on here is that Emit Stop is set to 8 seconds. But there's also this secondary parameter here which is Display Until and that's only set to 3 seconds 10 frames. So that means that all the particles are going to disappear at that time. So I need to set my Display Until value to 8 seconds and 0 frames as well. Now, you'll see down at the end here we are getting some particles. Rewind and play this back.
Don't panic by this. This is a bit of an illusion. It looks like those particles disappeared there for a second, but it was just a display glitch in my viewport here. So if I look at this in Wireframe with F3 and rewind, those particles are actually emitting throughout the entire animation. That looks pretty cool. You can see how they are sort of shooting out. They are actually obeying the conservation of momentum, so they have an inertia. So they're actually inheriting the movement of the moving object. Pretty neat! Okay. Then we've got the Lifespan of the particles.
This is currently set to 1 second. So if I want more particles to fill up the scene, I can increase the Lifespan, so they'll live longer. So I'll set this to maybe 2 seconds. There is also a Variation in the Lifespan. That's a plus or minus factor. So if I set the Variation to 1 second, then any individual particle potentially has a lifespan from 2 plus or minus 1, so a range from 1 to 3 seconds. Rewind, play that back.
So now we have got a lot more random motion. Since we've got so many of these now, I might want to bring my Rate back down to let's say 10 particles per frame. Good! So those are some basic particle parameters that I can play around with.
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