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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.
Max's snow particle effect is another one of the holdovers from the early days of 3ds Max. And it works great for creating things like snow or confetti. It also offers a little more versatility over the Spray particle system by giving you a few additional settings for tumbling and rotation effects, in addition to a couple of extra render options. Let's drop one into our Top view. Now as you scrub the Timeline, you'll see how the particles travel in the direction of the icon stack and move in a random side-to-side fashion. Let's take our Front viewport full screen for closer inspection.
We've got some controls as far as the way the particles display in view. Over on the right in the top particle section, you see we've got Flakes, Dots, and then Ticks. Render wise, we can output in six-point stars, triangles, or facing particles. Now as far as the particle count, you've got controls for both the viewport and during render. Both are located at the top of our settings. So for example, if we took our Viewport Count to 333, look at the difference. Here is with a setting of 50 and we'll take that back to the original default value of 100.
Now this has no effect whatsoever over your render. That would be the render count directly below. Let's go ahead and render first one time through so we can see we're starting with. Leaving in the render window open, let's change our Render Count from 100 to 333. Rendering again. Why don't we also experiment with a value of 3000? And when rendered you can see the difference there. Let's take that back to 100.
Now as far as the size of the actual particles, directly below your Viewport and Render Counts you'll see Flake Size. Let's try to setting of 5. We'll render again and why don't we instead experiment with a value of 10? Once that's set, we'll render one more time. Okay, I'm going to take that back to 2. Directly below Flake Size we've got Speed. Now to slow things down let's go ahead and change our Speed to let's say 5.
We'll try 2 and you can see the difference there. Now, with a slower rate you'll notice the particles don't travel as far down to the bottom of the screen. This is because the value we have set for our last particle's emission. If you go a little farther down on the settings under Timing we'll want to now change our Life. Why don't we type in 100 and see the difference here. This will simply control the variance in speed from one particle to the next.
So here we have things set at 2. Let's try 4 and then we'll go to 1. So with the Variation value, you're controlling not just the speed of each particle's travel, but also the direction that they are flying in. Now with Tumble you can control the amount of rotation with each particle. The setting ranges from 0 to 1. So with the setting of zero, we're getting no rotation per particle.
With instead of setting it 1, we're now getting the maximum amount of rotation with each particle. Below that we've got our particle rate. This controls the actual speed of that Tumble. So watch the difference in rotation between the default setting of 1 and let's say 5. You can see with the higher number each particle is indeed spinning faster. We'll take that back to 1. Under Timing one more thing I want to mention.
You can control not just the start and end times your particle emission, but also what is referred to as birth rate. Now to get that setting available we'll first want to turn off Constant. The Birth Rate controls the number of new particles that are going to be born at each frame, so watch what happens if we take our Birth Rate to 10. We'll go back to the beginning, playing things back from there.
You can certainly see the difference in particle emission that that's made. That's the Snow particle system. Next we'll take a look at the Blizzard.
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