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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.
The term special effects is used in the industry to refer to anything that's not a character animation basically, or not a mechanical animation in this case, so special effects tend to be things like particle systems and cloth and things of that nature. In this chapter we're going to be looking at particle systems and a post-render effect called a Lens Effect Glow so we can make our particles glow. 3Ds Max has lots of different ways of making particles. For example, there is a fancy node-based particle editor called Particle Flow or PFlow.
We're not going to be using that today because it's more complicated than we need for a simple little project like this. So we're going to be using the classic particles. What I want to do is have the particles emit from this object. So, to do that, I'm going to create a PArray. So I'm in my Create panel and under Geometry, I'm going to pull this down and I'm looking for Particle Systems. Particles systems aren't really geometry per se, but they're in this category. I've got all these different options. The one that we want here is PArray.
So I'll just click the PArray button and then drag anywhere in the viewport to create the icon. The location of the icon is not important, because it's just a placeholder for the parameters and the object itself is going to be emitting particles. I can click the Pick Object button now, or I could go to the Modify panel and I've got Pick Object. So I'll select my cylinder. And now it's got particles emitting from it. If I press the Play button, you'll see some particles shoot out and then stop.
So I've assigned the PArray. You'll also notice in 3ds Max that it's actually very smart about particles. In some programs you can't scrub across your timeline like this; the particles will break and explode and not work properly. But 3ds Max is actually very robust in this regard. So I can actually scrub through here and not incur any problems. If I want to play around with my particle attributes or parameters, I want to select the PArray icon and then go to the Modify panel and play around with that.
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