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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.
We've got gravity in our scene now. So, particles are actually falling, but they're falling through the floor. What I want to have happen is I want them to kind of hit the floor and maybe stick or maybe spread out a little bit. So, to accomplish this, I want to add another Space Warp to my scene, which is of the type Deflector. So I'll go to my Create panel. Under Space Warps, you will see one of the categories is Deflectors. There are all these kind of obscurely named deflectors. There is a little bit of rhyme and reason here.
These ones that just say Deflector, these are the really old school ones. The ones that say DynaFlect are deflectors that'll actually be pushed around by particles. These Omni ones are the ones that won't be pushed around by particles. They'll just stay static. So what I want here is this POmniFlect, because it's a planar Omni deflector. So I just dolly back a little bit with Ctrl+Alt+Middle mouse. I want to make a POmniFlect Space Warp that's a little bit larger than the floor of my room.
So, POmniFlect, drag that out. There it is. I want to bind my PArray to this POmniFlect. So I'll right-click to exit Creation. Go over to my Bind to Space Warp, and drag from the PArray to the POmniFlect and release. So I've just bounded. By the way, if you want to see the bindings, you can select your particle system and go under the Modify panel.
You'll see the bindings here. They appear just as if they were modifiers. You can remove them in the usual way that you would remove modifiers. You could turn them on and off and so on. Okay, so let's rewind and play this back and see what we get. So, we are getting some amount of bounce off of the floor, but you'll notice a couple of things. First of all, at Frame 0, the particles are falling through the floor. After a certain time, they start falling through the floor again. This is because the deflector has a limited range of time in which it's active.
So, by default, when you first create the deflector, it's only active from frame 0 to frame 100. Outside of that range of time, it's inactive. So, I want to select my Deflector and go to Modify panel and change the Time Parameters. So I can say let's have it start -100 frames, so before Frame 0, and we'll have it keep going until let's say Frame 300, which is 10 seconds, which is more than I need. So now with these settings, the deflector should be active during the entire period.
You'll notice that a few of the particles are falling through the floor here. The reason that's happening actually is that the deflector is at a Z value of 0, or it's at an elevation of 0. Some of the particles are being born below the deflector. So, I want to hit Alt+W and go to my Left view and select that deflector, grab my Move tool. If I zoom in here, you'll see the particles are actually being born slightly below the deflector to begin with.
So I just want to move that deflector down a little bit. You'll see it's dynamic. As I move this, the particles are updating, which is pretty amazing actually that 3ds Max has that ability to perform that well. So, I just want to move it down a little bit an inch or so. Go back to my Perspective view. Rewind and play back and see what I've got. A few of them are still falling through so I'll move it down just a bit more. Going back to my Perspective view. Cool! So, my Deflector is operating correctly during the period of the entire animation.
Now I can play around with the deflector parameters, like how much bounciness and friction and so on. So, you'll see here in this Reflection section, we have a Bounce parameter. It's currently set to 1.0. That's way too much. So I'm going to bring this down to let's say 0.3 or so, rewind and play that back. So, now the particles are still bouncing, but they're just bouncing a little bit. They're mostly sliding all over the place. So, I can adjust the Friction, so that's down here.
So, Friction is a percentage. So if I set it to 100%, then those particles are not really going to slide around. They'll just kind of land in one place and then stick. Make this bigger with Alt+W, so you can see. They're bouncing a little bit in place, but they're not sliding around. Maybe I want a little bit of sliding, so I'll give it a Friction of let's say 80%.
I almost have the motion that I want. One last thing that I want to adjust here is in the particle system itself. There is a parameter that has to do with the inheritance of motion. So, by default, the particles are going to inherit the velocity of their emitter. In this case, the emitter is the cylinder itself. So I want to go in there to my PArray and go into its Modify panel. Select the PArray. I'm scrolling down.
I'm looking for, here it is, Object Motion Inheritance. So this is the conservation of momentum. Currently it's set to 100%. So, when the robot arm swings around, those particles kind of shoot out quite a lot. If I don't want that to happen, I can bring this Influence down to 0. Rewind and play that back. Cool! That's pretty much the look that I was trying to achieve with the motion of these particles.
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