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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.
Sooner or later you'll run across the call for creating ocean water. This project will show you one of the many different ways that you can do that. Let's start by saving our scene. We'll use the name Ocean Water. Okay. We're ready to go. Let's first create the geometry that we'll be using for the surface of our ocean. When being viewed from a distance and using a still camera, as we'll be doing here, the mesh used for an Open Ocean view will typically be either a plane, a box, or a cylinder. What you decide to use in large part is personal preference.
For this example, I'm going to be using a large thin cylinder. We want it to lay flat with our scene's ground plane, so we'll make it in the Top view. Don't worry about the size, as I will be plugging-in the numbers. Just draw it out of the crosshairs again using the Top view. Now, for our numbers, we'll use these. The Radius will be 2000, the Height 5, the number of Height Segments, we'll take down to 1, for the Cap Segments, we'll set that to 50, and for Sides we'll use 100. Now, once you've got your numbers in place, we'll right-click in any of the views, then hit Z for Zoom Extents Selected.
Why don't we name our object Water? So we can start out with our objects smack-dab in the middle of our 3D world, we'll select the Move command, then right-click on its toolbar icon. Using the values in the left, Absolute:World, we will take all three directions X, Y, and Z to 0. You can easily do that by simply right-clicking underneath its spinner. Why don't we also hide the grid and each of our three orthographic views? For that, you can simply use the keyboard shortcut, the letter G.
We're now going to want to reposition things in the Perspective view, so it looks like we're looking out to sea. Let's first activate that view, then take it full screen with the Alt+W shortcut. If you want, you can also hide the selection brackets around the cylinder by simply typing J. Positioning here is important. Let's first activate our safe frames. For that in the upper left-hand corner we'll click on Perspective, then choose Show Safe Frames. This will give us a definitive cutoff in each of the four sides of our view.
Let's now orbit around and flatten out our cylinder. You can use the Alt+middle-mouse wheel combo for the Orbit command. We can now zoom in, then position the geometry more to the bottom of our screen. Once you think you have things in pretty good position, go ahead and render. Because of using a cylinder for our geometry, we're getting a very slight curvature that you'll many times see when looking from a long distance over a round surface. That surface in this case being our planet Earth. Now, if your curvature looks a little bit too bold, all you simply have to do is orbit to a flatter position.
In fact, I might want to do that in my scene here. Now, if you're happy with the layout of your view, we can now close the render and go ahead and create a camera for our scene. A couple of different ways we could do that. Let's first go to the Views pull-down menu. From here, we could choose Create Camera From View. The shortcut command, which we'll use instead, is Ctrl+C. Go ahead and type that. Now, if you look in the upper left- hand corner, you'll notice the Perspective view has automatically been changed to a camera view.
Let's take things back to working in four views, and we'll see the camera's placement within our scene. Because the camera at this point is simply in the way, let's go to the Command pane,l clicking on Display. About a quarter of the way down in the Hide by Category, go ahead and activate Cameras. We're off to a good start. Now the next thing we probably need is a background, some sky or cloud image that we could place behind our ocean water. We'll add that to our scene in the next video. Now, because we've already saved our project, we can go ahead and just click Ctrl+S to lock in the work we've done, or if you like instead, you can click on the Save File button on the Quick Access toolbar directly to the right of the application menu in the top left -hand corner of our interface.
Either way you want to go, let's save our scene. So that will do it for our scene geometry and camera. I'll see you and this file in our next video.
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