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Setting map options and particle edge blending

From: Particle Effects in 3ds Max

Video: Setting map options and particle edge blending

Using a material on facing type particle geometry will never work effectively for creating a realistic looking particle effect, if correctly blending that material against your same background can't be accomplished. Let's be honest. It is going to be pretty hard to convince your audience when you have got a bunch of little square objects floating around your scene, none of which offering one iota of believability to your effect. Luckily, 3ds Max has a healthy handful of mapping options that allow for that all important particle edge feathering that take place. This video will show you some of those options.

Setting map options and particle edge blending

Using a material on facing type particle geometry will never work effectively for creating a realistic looking particle effect, if correctly blending that material against your same background can't be accomplished. Let's be honest. It is going to be pretty hard to convince your audience when you have got a bunch of little square objects floating around your scene, none of which offering one iota of believability to your effect. Luckily, 3ds Max has a healthy handful of mapping options that allow for that all important particle edge feathering that take place. This video will show you some of those options.

As you are probably well aware, a material's opacity channel in Max works off grayscale values, where the darker areas in a map will create transparent or visible locations on an object's surface. That surface in a particle effect would be the actual geometry or geometry type that you have chosen for your particle system. If you can strategically locate the transparent positions along the edges of your particle, you will achieve a realistic blending of the particle against its background, and that so many times is the trick to achieving a believable effect.

Your choices for particle feathering many times began by using a Gradient or Gradient Ramp map. Using the maps radial option, quickly gives you that white on black feathering to the outside. Adding a little noise breaks up the evenness of that color to color transition even further. I am taking the amount of noise to .1 and its size to 2. Now you can adjust the transition even further by changing the color 2 position setting directly below the color swatches. Here is a value of .4, .7, and I will take it back to the original default number of .5. The Gradient Ramp does pretty much the same thing with a few additional controls for adjusting the color layout.

Underneath the color ramp, I will take my gradient type again back to Radial. We can now reverse those black and white colors by double-clicking on the color flags you see at both ends of the ramp. Under Interpolation, I will change to Ease Out, Ease In, then back to Linear. The Gradient Ramp map also gives you the noise controls. Let us try an amount of .1. We can then change the type of noise directly to the right of the amount setting. Here we are using Regular. Let us try Fractal. We will change to Turbulence.

Then back on the left below Amount, let's change the size to 5. The Fall Off map can also do a terrific job in blending edges. Having a handful of different options for controlling the style of the black and white color dispersion. You have also got the good old Noise map with its controls for pattern, size, and color variation. Let's also try adjusting the size of the noise. We will go to 10, here is 50, and we will go back to the original default setting of 25.

Now with the color swatches, we can vary our color variation. I'll click on the white swatch, first taking it to medium gray. Here is lighter gray, lighter still, and then I will return to white. Adjusting the intensity of the color separation, we can use the threshold controls. Let's take our high value to .8 and our low value to .2. As you can see, that kind of clamps down on the colors even more.

Let's take the threshold back to the original settings of 1 and 0. And there is the Mask map that allows you on even more advanced level of feathering control by masking out any map that might be added to the effect. For my example, I will load a Noise map in the Map channel and a Gradient map, choosing Radial for my mask. I think the important thing to realize is that you have a ton of different options when wanting to blend your particles onto whatever scene or imagery that might be behind it.

Learn those choices, experiment with their various settings, then simply use the ones that do the best job of creating your effect.

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This video is part of

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Particle Effects in 3ds Max

80 video lessons · 6371 viewers

Steve Nelle
Author

 
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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
      59s
    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
      47s

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