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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.
With the movement of our particles now looking pretty good, we can now start concentrating on creating a more realistic look to the actual smoke. To do that, I'll be using a carryover file from our last video named Project Smoke04. Being that it will be a material that on large part be creating our effect. I think we'll best be served by changing our Particle Type to Facing. Let's go ahead and do that. We'll select our Super Spray particle system, then head over to the controls on the right. We'll then go into the Particle Type tab, then changing our Standard Type Particle to Facing.
Let's go ahead and render frame 100 and we'll see the difference that's made. We can now focus on building a believable material. Let's close the render, then open up the Material Editor. With the Super Spray in our scene selected, let's go ahead and assign one of the clean sample spheres. Now, once we've done that, let's go ahead and name our material Smoke. For the Diffuse Color, we'll open up the color swatch, changing it to bright white. Now, we're not going to want any shine on this, so we'll leave the Specular Level setting at 0. We're going to want each particle to display the same pattern, so we'll turn on Face Map.
You can find that above and directly to the right of the color swatches. Now to ensure that we effectively feather the edges of our particles so we get a nice blending of the smoke into its background, we'll add a Gradient map into the material's Opacity channel. We can get up on that branch by simply clicking on the map shortcut button directly on the right of the name Opacity. From the Browser we'll then choose Gradient. Now with like most times when using the Gradient for a feathering effect, we'll change the type of Gradient to Radial. We can find that setting under the three color swatches down below. Let's now change our sample sphere over to a cube.
Let's give it a quick render, so we can see how we're coming. Now just that alone is created a better looking effect, but we're still going to want to lighten or soften the look of our smoke. To do that, we'll close the render, then in the Material Editor click Go To Parent once. Under the Basic Parameter setting, we'll take the overall Opacity down to 0. Now, you can do that by simply right- clicking on either of the Opacity spinners. We'll then open up the map section down below and change the Gradient Opacity to a value of 5. Let's go ahead and render frame 100 again. So that indeed did a nice job of softening the look of our smoke.
Let's render frame 130 and we'll see how things look there. Now with the window being open and the wind grabbing our particles you can see how the emission is now being kicked a little more toward the left. Let's take a look at rendering frame 150. With the wind continuing to affect our particles, you can see how now things continue to drift toward the left. Now, if needed, we could continue to experiment with the Opacity settings if our smoke looks either too dense or not dense enough. Let's move the Gradients Opacity up to 20, and we'll see the difference that makes.
Now with that, things look probably a little bit too dense. Why don't we try a Gradient Opacity with a value of 2? Setting that number in place we'll render again. Here, the density of the smoke maybe just a tad too thin. So I think our Gradient Opacity set to 5 does a pretty good job. Let's take that back, then render one last time. So that's pretty much it. Now for the full-length movie, you've got a little render time ahead of you. But once you let things cook, you'll end up with something that looks like this. You can find the video clip in the chapter folder under the name Project Smoke. I will save the completed scene file out as Project Smoke Completed if you'd like to go in and look it over.
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