Particle Effects in 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the animated material for the water


Particle Effects in 3ds Max

with Steve Nelle

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Video: Creating the animated material for the water

With our Ocean Geometry now animated ready to go, let's concentrate on building a material that will add some realism to our effect. Using the Ocean Water 02 scene file we carried over from the last video, let's see what we can do. We'll open up the Material Editor then drop one of the blank sample slots onto our water object. Once that's done, we'll name the material Water. Let's now jump up on the Diffuse Color swatch.
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  1. 3m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. How to use this course
      1m 4s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 23s
  2. 34m 56s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 23s
    2. Comparing event-driven and non-event-driven systems
      2m 58s
    3. Controlling particle timing and quantity
      4m 42s
    4. Adjusting particle size and speed
      2m 55s
    5. Making particles rotate
      2m 36s
    6. Exploring standard particle types
      2m 45s
    7. Using metaparticles for fluid-type effects
      5m 57s
    8. Using a scene object as a particle
      6m 23s
    9. Understanding rendering and viewport redrawing
      4m 17s
  3. 43m 55s
    1. Spray
      6m 4s
    2. Snow
      5m 16s
    3. Blizzard
      3m 25s
    4. PArray
      12m 43s
    5. PCloud
      7m 30s
    6. Super Spray
      8m 57s
  4. 28m 32s
    1. Understanding particle flow
      1m 58s
    2. Navigating the Particle view
      5m 47s
    3. Working with operators
      3m 43s
    4. Adding a test to an event
      4m 11s
    5. Wiring events to change a particle's behavior
      6m 13s
    6. Adjusting particle flow settings
      6m 40s
  5. 40m 34s
    1. Understanding material
      4m 50s
    2. Setting map options and particle edge blending
      5m 53s
    3. Changing particle appearance with age maps
      10m 52s
    4. Blurring moving particles with the MBlur map
      6m 13s
    5. Blurring particles
      8m 16s
    6. Outputting a render for compositing
      4m 30s
  6. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding space warps
      2m 59s
    2. Using Bind to Space Warp
      5m 43s
    3. Adding Gravity to an effect
      4m 47s
    4. Adding Wind to an effect
      4m 24s
    5. Rotating particles with Motor space warp
      4m 43s
    6. Creating swirling effects with Vortex space warp
      3m 45s
    7. Blowing things up with Bomb space warp
      4m 15s
    8. Blowing things up with PBomb space warp
      4m 42s
    9. Making particles follow a path
      4m 3s
    10. Creating wave effects
      4m 0s
    11. Creating ripples
      3m 53s
    12. Deflecting particles off surfaces
      8m 4s
    13. Spawning particles
      3m 41s
  7. 15m 38s
    1. Creating a Super Spray particle system for the smoke
      2m 52s
    2. Adding wind
      3m 9s
    3. Dampening the particle movement
      3m 25s
    4. Adjusting the wind settings for realistic smoke movement
      2m 56s
    5. Creating more realistic-looking smoke
      3m 16s
  8. 22m 7s
    1. Creating the geometry and camera
      4m 39s
    2. Adding the background
      3m 52s
    3. Creating water movement
      6m 7s
    4. Creating the animated material for the water
      7m 29s
  9. 25m 38s
    1. Creating Super Spray water particles
      9m 26s
    2. Adding gravity
      2m 24s
    3. Creating the fountain water material
      5m 30s
    4. Constructing the particle water material
      3m 1s
    5. Making final adjustments
      5m 17s
  10. 24m 43s
    1. Creating the geometry
      3m 41s
    2. Adding the mudslide particle system
      5m 46s
    3. Binding a Gravity space warp to the particles
      2m 41s
    4. Adding the Deflector space warp
      4m 7s
    5. Creating the materials for the scene
      3m 3s
    6. Making final adjustments
      5m 25s
  11. 21m 52s
    1. Scoping out the project
    2. Creating the explosive devices
      3m 11s
    3. Adjusting the explosion settings
      4m 3s
    4. Setting up the shack's visibility track
      3m 22s
    5. Creating the fire effect
      3m 27s
    6. Adding a bright explosion glow and wrapping things up
      6m 50s
  12. 32m 4s
    1. Scoping out the project
      1m 6s
    2. Creating and positioning the particle flow system
      2m 9s
    3. Reviewing the PFlow events
      2m 26s
    4. Building the water drop geometry
      2m 37s
    5. Creating the water drop material
      4m 6s
    6. Adjusting the PFlow settings
      4m 38s
    7. Adding the Collision Spawn Test and deflector
      4m 18s
    8. Turning the drops into steam
      2m 46s
    9. Creating the steam material
      3m 49s
    10. Making the final adjustments
      4m 9s
  13. 47s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Particle Effects in 3ds Max
5h 53m Intermediate Oct 15, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Controlling particle timing, quantity, and rotation
  • Comparing particle system types, such as PArray, Super Spray, and more
  • Using instanced particles to customize a particle's shape
  • Understanding how to set up a particle flow
  • Wiring PFlow operators and tests to change particle behavior
  • Creating realistic-looking particles using maps
  • Adding Gravity and Wind
  • Using Space Warps like Vortex, Motor, and PBomb
  • Making particles follow a path
  • Spawning particles
  • Creating realistic smoke
3D + Animation
3ds Max
Steve Nelle

Creating the animated material for the water

With our Ocean Geometry now animated ready to go, let's concentrate on building a material that will add some realism to our effect. Using the Ocean Water 02 scene file we carried over from the last video, let's see what we can do. We'll open up the Material Editor then drop one of the blank sample slots onto our water object. Once that's done, we'll name the material Water. Let's now jump up on the Diffuse Color swatch. We'll change the Red, Green, and Blue values to zero, zero and 15 respectively.

Once we've done that back in the editor we'll unlock the Diffuse and Ambient channels. Now for the Ambient color swatch we'll take that to pure black. The easiest way to do that is probably just a right-click on the Value spinner on the lower right hand side. Our water is going to want some shine. We'll take the Specular level, the strength, to 30. Then adjust the Glossiness, the Size of the shine to 40. We could now add some texture to our scan by adding a noise map to the Bump channel. We'll open up the map section then click on the None button to the right of Bump.

From the browser, we'll choose Noise. Let's get a better look at the Noise. To do that we'll first of all turn off Show End Result. Then let's double-click on the slot to open up a larger viewing window. Now here is our Noise. Let's change the type of Noise to Turbulence. We'll then take the size from the original setting of 25 up to 45. So that'll be the pattern that will create bump effect on our water. We can now close the big window, then turn Show End Result back On.

We can now add a little extra rippling effect into the Mix by animating the offset values on our Noise map. That will create movement in the water through not just our Bind to the Ripple space warp but also through our animated material. Next step turn on Auto Key. Verify the timeline has been set to first frame. Then back in the Material Editor on the left-hand side for offset, verify that X, Y and Z are all set to zero. Once you've done that you can move your timeline to frame 300. If you want, you can simply hit the N key on your keyboard. We're back in the offset settings, we'll take X to 50, Y to 50, and Z we will set to 150.

That'll make the Bump movement go by side to side, and up and down. Once we've done that we can go ahead and turn off Auto Key. Like we did with tightening the Ripple space warp keys on the front and back ends, we'll have to do the same with our material offset keys. To do that we'll select our water object in the Camera view then right-click. From the menu down at the bottom you'll choose Dope Sheet. Things can get a little hairy sometimes at this point because we got a lot of things to have to sift through to find out offset keys.

Let's see if we can't simplify that. Now on the Dope Sheet toolbar, left-hand side third one in, locate the Filters command. When you find it right-click, from the menu that pops open, up at the top activate Animated Tracks Only. This will make it much easier for us the offset key that we animated on ocean material. On the left hand side of Dope Sheet open up Water. Then at the bottom open up Bump. You'll then click on the plus sign for Coordinates and there they are, the two Offset keys at frame zero and 300 for animated bump.

These are the ones we are going to have to tighten up. So let's select the Offset key at the first frame. When it turns white right-click on it. Here is the same tangency controls that we found on our Ripple space warp in a previous video. For this one, using the first key at frame zero will take Out tangent to linear, Clicking on the button, we will choose the second one from the top. We'll now transfer that linear tangency over to the In part of the second key by clicking on the black arrow to the right of the Out tangent.

Once you've done that to verify the results that taken hold, we'll go to the upper left-hand corner, clicking on the right-hand arrow. What we should now find is key for frame two at frame 30 with its In tangent set to linear. Now if it's not you can always click back on the button changing it to the linear picture. We can now close the tangency box and the Dope sheet. Let's now scrub the timeline and specifically focus on our material up on the sample sphere on the Editor. That will now at least give us a general idea of the results of our offset keying. Let's now with the Camera view active render our scene.

The water is still extremely dark. We can lighten that up by appearing the pick up the reflection of the sky above. To do that we'll add a ray trace map into our reflection branch then make a further adjustment. Let's close the render heading back in the Material Editor. Going to parent once, we'll then drop down on the map section located in the Reflection branch. When you're there you can jump up on Reflection, choosing a ray trace map. About halfway down in the Background section, click on None button so we can add our sky background map.

From the browser, we'll choose Bitmap then navigate to the Chapter 7 folder, choosing once again a Background sky. What we've done is basically force only a Background map to be used when creating a ray trace reflection. Now if we didn't override things in this manner, we'd end up picking up all the other elements within our same when calculating our reflection. Loading the map will simply provide for a more accurate result. Let's go ahead and render our Camera view and see how things look.

The sky reflection on the water is a little bit strong so let's go back to the Material Editor and take the reflection amount down to let's say 55. Once you've made that adjustment you can render again. Before rendering if again you don't like the ripple effect that you're getting from your space warp, you can always go back in the Top view, moving back to a better position. Watch what happens if I do just that and render again. So, lot of the effect relies not just on the bump mapping that you put on your material but certainly the amplitude and phase controls that you've set for your Ripple space warp.

So that pretty much does it for the look of our water. A real effect comes when rendering out. The finished clip would end up looking like this. I'll throw it into this chapter's folder into the exercise files if you'd like to take another look. It's an avi file called Ocean Water. I will also save our wireframes scene out as oceanwatercompleted, if you'd like to go in and play around a little more with some of the settings. But that's it, ocean water from start to finish.

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