1:25:00 PM

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Explosion Tutorial


This tutorial explains how to make cool-looking explosions like these:

However, the user must have a basic knowledge of MAX and some of its functions, like creating combustion gizmos, the video post basic functions, omni lights, etc.

Now, without further rambling...

1. Create a SphereGizmo anywhere in the scene. Just place it somewhere in a place where it can easily be found, like as shown below.

2. Add a combustion to the SphereGizmo. The setting should be around:

Flame Type: Tendril
Flame Size: 20.0
The colors for the combustion are as follows:
Inner color:
R: 255
G: 248
B: 241

Hue: 37
Sat: 54
Value: 255

Outer color:
R: 255
G: 120
B: 30

Hue: 17
Sat: 225
Value: 225

Of course, there's nothing wrong with trying something different.

3. Make an omni light in the center of the combustion gizmo. Put some attentuation on it. This is the light that will *supposedly* light up the object you're....lighting up

4. Color said omni light orange.

5. Create a particle SuperSpray with the following settings and place it inside the center of the SphereGizmo.

Basic Parameters:
Off Axis: 90.0
Spread: 90.0
Off Plane: 0.0
Spread: 180.0

Particle Generation:
Use Rate: 20
Speed: 5.0
Variation: 50.0
Particle Size: 3.0

Particle Type:

Rotation and Collision:
Set to "Direction of Travel/MBlur", and set it to 15.
Next, select said SuperSpray, right-click on it, go to Properties, and assign it an Object ID. Assign it any # you want, but for this exercise it will be 32. Then, go to the Material Editor, and create something that's totally glowing white, either using self-illumination or raytrace luminosity. Apply that material to the particle spray.

The particle spray should look something like this, if you advance the frames enough:

6. Now for the hard part. Go to Rendering->Video Post. First of all (do this first), click on the blue thing:

After you click, select "Perspective" from the list of viewports and press OK. Then, you will need to put a lens flare in the middle of the explosion. Click on "Add Image Filter Event", and add a lensflare:

Setup the lensflare. You can either use a provided lens flare file made for explosions/quantum singularities/whatever, or you can use the AFTERFX3.lzf file pre-included with MAX, and red-shift the glows, red-and-orange-shift the manual secondries, increase first manual secondary size to at least twice that of the glow, and apply inferno (gaseous) to the manual secondaries.
Anyway you should have a lensflare looking something like this:

Then, when you have the lens flare right, go to "Node Sources" and pick the omni light as the node source. Press OK. Find a frame where the particles look good, and go to that frame in the video post renderer and render.
Then, back to the video post. Add a Lens Flare Glow. The settings for it are like:
Object ID: [whatever # you assigned the superspray]
Size: 0.2
Set glow color to "pixel", the color is something that will make it look better, like yellow, orange, blue, etc. If you really feel like it, you can use a gradient

The video post thingy should look like this:

Remember, what you call the lensflare and the SuperSpray glow can be anything you want.

By the way, render the image:

For the explosion you first saw in the beginning, I added two more particle sprays and glowed them. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed doing this, for it is TFRAkira213's first tutorial.


12:21:00 PM

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Light Tracer


3ds max 5 has new Advanced Lighting features such as the Light Tracer. In this exercise, you’ll use a Skylight and Light Tracer to add realism to an outdoor scene. This is an intermediate level tutorial. You should be familiar with standard lights and shadows in 3ds max before doing this exercise.

1. Download the file harnessing_12.3.zip and unzip it. Open the file FountainNew.max in 3ds max 5. Currently, there is no lighting in the scene.

2. To keep render times reasonable, render the following exercise at 320 x 240. Render the camera view. It appears flat and uninteresting.

3. Create a Target Direct light in the Top viewport. Position the light so it is shining down on the scene from the left, as shown in the following.

Figure 12-13: Create and position a Direct light

4. Enable Ray Traced Shadows for the Direct light. Turn on the Overshoot option. Increase the Falloff parameter to enclose the entire scene, so the shadows will appear everywhere.

Figure 12-14: Increase the Falloff parameter to enclose the scene

5. Re-render the scene. The Direct light alone gives a poor approximation of sunlight.

Figure 12-15: Scene rendered with a single Direct light only

6. Turn off the Direct light. Create a Skylight off to the side of the scene geometry.

The location of the Skylight does not affect the rendering.

7. In the Main Menu, select Rendering > Advanced Lighting. In the Advanced Lighting dialog, select Light Tracer. Leave all of the settings at their defaults.

8. Re-render the scene. Enabling Advanced Lighting results in much longer rendering time.

Figure 12-16: Scene rendered with a single Skylight only

It looks like a completely overcast day, because there are no hard shadows. Also, there are no specular highlights on the water materials for the fountain, and this does not look right.

Now you will combine the Direct light with the Skylight to achieve the effect of a sunny day with realistic ambience.

9. Reduce the Multiplier value of the Skylight to 0.5.

The combined illuminance of a Direct light and the Skylight at full intensities would wash out the scene. You could use Exposure Control to correct this, but there is no need to do so in this case, and it would only increase render times unnecessarily.

10. Turn the Direct light back on, and re-render the scene.

Figure 12-17: Scene rendered with Direct light and Skylight

The scene looks much more convincing, because the Direct light renders shadows and specular highlights, and the Skylight renders realistic diffuse surfaces.

Finally, you will finish the job by enabling diffuse reflections.

11. In the Advanced Lighting dialog, increase the Bounces value to 1. Re-render the scene.


12:17:00 PM

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Glass With V-ray Tutorial


This is my first tutorial, so it is simple, but I guess it will help on some people :). I will make a special glass using Max and for the renderer V-ray. Most of the people do glass by using lathe, my version is a little different. So here are the steps:

Create a line in front viewport that will be the profile of the glass:

Draw a circle in top view

Select the circle, go to the Modifiers list and select Bevel Profile, and on Pick Profile, select the first shape:

Convert this to an editable Poly select the top and delete

Go to Modifiers Panel and select Shell (is available only for Max 6 as I know), and adjust the thickness of the object how you like

Now to make the special for of the glass we need to cut a little of the top, using booleans. We will use a box like so:

And go to Compound Objects and use Booleans

The problem is that now we have some artifacts - the face there is not ok. Deleting the face or the edge has now worked.

So we will insert a vertex or two on that line and use Target weld to the opposite vertexes to correct this.

Same proble here:

Now all is ok. Select the edges and chamfer them twice, just a little. If you wish to make the bottom of the glass thicker just select the bottom of the glass and drag it down.

I have modified the shape of the glass by using the Taper tool from the Modifiers list.

First choose V-ray renderer. Not fancy rendering settings, just in the V-ray: Image Sampler(Antialising), turn of the Adaptive subdivision. For the glass materials use this settings:

and for the liquid this

For the lighting I have used an Omni light, V-ray shadows cheked and on V-ray shadows parameters check Transparent shadows and area shadow. Use a plane for the scene and assign a white color to this.

It looks fine, but not really :). The glass need something to reflect. To do this use a HDRI map. You can find some HDRI images at this address http://athens.ict.usc.edu/Probes/

and assign this to V-ray Environment

and the result

And with caustics the scene will look like this:


12:14:00 PM

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King of Chess Tutorial


Go in the front view and select spline > line
Option corner, bezier and draw a spline similar to the one in the image. If you want you may download the spline already done. Below the spline in the image there’s the spline with the lathe modifier

Once you’ve finished with the spline go in to the modifier panel and select lathe and as parameters y and min.
check weld core and increase the number of segments to 20 (this is to have a smooth effect).
Then convert the shape into an editable poly.
Now we have to set up the pivot point. Go Hierachy > pivot > affect pivot only > center to object.
Once we have centered the object to work better with the construction of the shape it’s a good practice to center the object to the “world”.. i.e. your grid center point.
Click F12 on keyboard and set X, Y, and Z to 0.

Create a sphere with auto grid in the center of your piece. To be sure that your sphere is at the right point click again F12 and set X and Y to 0 (do not change Z value).

Now go in the front view. And select spline > line, draw a shape like in picture.

Once you’ve done, convert it into a editable poly select the front poligon extrude with an amount of 4,5

Select the red vertex in the image then x uniform scale.

Move down the two vertex at the bottom of your recent shape

Then, select the “mirror” tool, and y copy with offset value to 0

attach all the shapes and you’ve done