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In Particle Effects in 3ds Max, Steve Nelle shows how to create a wide variety of particle special effects including smoke, water, and explosions. The course provides a detailed explanation of both event and non-event particle systems in 3ds Max, in addition to addressing the importance of a particle's material, the use of Space Warps and Deflectors, and creating fluid effects using MetaParticles. Six start-to-finish projects are also included in the course, which show practical techniques for creating ocean water for underwater scenes, mudslides, and more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Creating smoke as a special effect comes up quite often. In this project, we'll create, then animate the smoke that you might see coming from a lit cigarette. We'll also be adding a little wind to the effect as if coming from an open room window. We'll get things started using a file named Project Smoke. All of the geometry and scene animation is in place. So we'll have an opportunity to concentrate on creating the particle effect that needs space warps to make things come together. If we scrub our Timeline, we'll see that our window is being animated to open over approximately three-second time frame.
That will give us the opportunity to make our smoke dance around a bit because of the incoming breeze. Now our smoke will be created using a Super Spray particle system. Let's drop one in, using the Top view and placing it directly in line with the end of our cigarette. To return to a four-view configuration, I'll simply use the keyboard shortcut Alt+W. We'll activate the Top view, then on the right hand side, go to our Particle Systems. Then on the left-hand side, furthest down, we'll click on Super Spray. Okay, I'll now zoom into the cigarette and I'll drop my Super Spray in place.
Now our particles will be emitted from the center of the crosshairs on the Super Spray icon. So we'll need to check all three orthographic views for the position of our Super Spray. We're going to want a position that directly right on top of the tip of our pink cigarette. Now once we've done that, we can take the Perspective view back to being full screen. Now, for the best possible view of our particles in Wireframe mode, let's change the color of our Super Spray icon to a bright white. We should also change the Particle Display inside our windows on the Super Spray from Ticks to Dots. I'll go to the Modify column, then under Viewport Display, we'll change to Dots.
That will simply give us a better looking preview for our particles. Now if you scrub the Timeline, you'll notice only a certain percentage of our particles are being viewed inside our display. On the right, you'll notice the current Percentage of Particles being only 10%. Let's change that to 50. Now we can go ahead and scrub our Timeline. In doing so, you'll notice the Super Spray is set to currently only emit over the first 30 frames of our animation. We're going to need to adjust that too. Under the Particle Generation tab, let's change the Emit Stop time to 300. That will sync up to the length of our animation.
Let's also change Display to 300 and we'll take the Life to 180. We can now go ahead and play things back. Okay. To give a little spread to our particles, let's go further up to the top of the settings and change the Off Axis Spread to 2. Then to slow things down a bit, we'll take our Speed to 1.5. Now as far as the total number of particles, let's use a Use Rate of 30. That will give us 30 particles being generated at each frame of our animation. That will do it for the initial settings on our Super Spray.
In the next video, we'll set our Wind space warp. Let's save our scene out as Project Smoke01 so we can carry the file forward.
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