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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.
Now that we've got the motion of the particles working and they're bouncing and colliding the way that we want, we need to take a look at the particle material, because we want it to render out nice. So, by getting close to this and just trying to render this on Frame 1, what do we get? Nothing or some speckles. Okay, so first thing I want to do is select the particles and go into Modify panel and change the Particle Type, because what I want here are facing particles or what are sometimes called Sprites.
So I'm going to scroll down here and you'll see Particle Type and what I want is Facing. In order to see this in the viewport, I can also go into the Viewport Display and turn on Mesh. You see we got a lot of little squares. Currently, these facing particles are actually growing and shrinking over their lifespan. Going back up to these lifespan parameters here, Particle Size is growing for 10 frames and then fading out or shrinking for 10 frames. This isn't actually fading. It's shrinking.
So we have control over that. We could say, "oh, well, I don't want it to grow." I want it to be at full size. Then yeah, we can make it fade or shrink over a longer period. We've also got a lifespan of 2 seconds here. I think actually I'm going to reduce that down to maybe 1 second, so that they don't quite live as long. So you see they're shrinking. So, as they're about to die, they kind of shrink out. Okay, so we've got a Facing particle type, then we want to add the material.
So I'll go to the Material Editor and press M. I'll go to a new slot here and I'll call this one particleMaterial. The key thing I need to do here is I want to enable this option that says Face Map. What that's going to do is it's going to map each one of these facing particles as a single entity. I'll put a gradient on there so that we'll have a nice, soft edge instead of a square. So, I'm going to my particleMaterial. I'll go to the Diffuse channel.
I want to crank that up to this bright obnoxious green, radioactive green. I also want these to be fully self-illuminated. So I turn the Self-Illumination up all the way. Finally, I don't want these particles to cast a shadow. In fact, I don't want them to be affected by light at all. So, what I'll do is I'll select those particles. I've got them selected. I'll right-click and choose Object Properties.
I want to turn Receive Shadows and Cast Shadows off. I'll do another test render of this. Get a little bit closer on that. So I've got the Facing Particles thing working, but I need to assign my material. Let's go back to the Material Editor with the M key. I'll just drag and drop and do another rendering. Cool! So I've got my material assigned.
Next, I'm going to want to adjust this a little bit, so that we'll have a nice, soft particle and not these funny squares.
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