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by Rory Hallman
After you are through with this tutorial you will know how to create realistic clouds with volume fog. Volume clouds are processor intensive when rendering. This file can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.
Step 1: For volume clouds to work you must first define the limits of the scene. For the
renderer to know when and where to stop rendering you must create a backdrop. A booleaned sphere or a box works fine. For my example I will use a booleaned sphere. Make a hemisphere with a radius of 50 and 16 segments. Click on the scale button. Scale the sphere down 10% while holding shift. 3dsmax will ask you if you want to clone the object, select copy and click ok. Move the inner sphere so it is offset with the outer sphere.
Step 2: Next boolean the spheres together.
Select the outer sphere. Under geometry pick compound objects. Select boolean then pick copy and select the inner hemisphere. You now have made a good backdrop.
Step 3: Set up a camera inside and the sphere.
Tilt the camera so that it has the inside of the sphere in it's view. Select a blue material for the sphere. Step 4: In the Render enviroment select add volume fog. Select exponential. Density 40 Step size 4 Max steps 100 Select fog background Select fractal noise. Noise threshold high =1 noise threshold low =.2 uniformity =0 levels =6 size =40 wind = front phase =0 strength =0 Select the camera view and render. Be patient because this is very processor intensive. You can add ground and whatever else you would like to the scene. These clouds appear to be real without adding any geometry to your scene. You can even do a realistic fly through. If you would like to just limit them to a certain place in your scene use an atmoshpereic apperatus in the helpers rollout.
A SIMPLE LASER (in R2.5)
The following is a very basic tutorial on how to create a realistic laser for use in your 3DS MAX scenes. Instead of building the laser using a geometric model, trying to map it in different and clever ways, we'll simply use a beam of light like a real laser. The idea of a laser in the real world is that light particles/waves leave an emitter (a.) in such a tight, linear beam that it will stay virtually parallel for an extremely long distance. The ideal laser will never "cone out" the way 3DS MAX's
spotlights do. Even if we squeeze the cone down to a very tight angle, the spotlight will never realistically represent a laser beam (a.). Luckily 3DS offers the direct light (b.)--its beam extends parallel, unlike the spotlight. We'll use one of these for our laser. The light should be set to a narrow beam. I used the following settings:
(b.) Since a laser is generally recognizable in its red wavelength (other laser hues exist), I used red for the color of the light. And setting the multiplier higher will give the laser its characteristic blaze--a laser's source and reflection are much brighter than your average light. I used the following settings:
(c.)You'll want to add lights to the scene. 3D Studio uses default lights for new scenes, but once you add one light (as you have with the laser), the default lights are turned off and you must add your own to light the scene. If you don't, only the laser will be lighting things up and it only illuminates a very small area. Once rendered, the laser's effect should look something like this (c.). This is good for the typical "forehead shot," in which someone has got a highpowered rifle aimed at them, and there is no sign of the laser other than the little red dot. But say we want more; say we want the beam as well. For this we use the Environme nt settings. Add a Volume Light effect to the Environment:
Pick the direct light for this effect:
Set the color of the fog to straight red, like the light itself, and set the density to magic number 13 (this worked well for me):
Now the beam is visible (d.). This looks great... if you're going for the computer-generated look. But if you're aiming for realism, you'll have to admit that this is really cheesy-looking. Laser beams are never visible in pure air--there must be some amount of dust or smoke in the environment. (I seem to remember my ninthgrade chemistry teacher slamming two chalkboard erasers together in the beam of a laser.) Accordingly, dust and smoke never fill a space as evenly as this laser would seem to indicate. Turn the noise on. I used the following settings:
This looks much better. Don't you think? That's basically it for the laser. And the great thing is that it's actually light and not a visual trick, so you can treat it like light, passing it around and through different reflective and refractive objects with the intended effects (see below).
[ laser hitting a marble of sorts ]
[ laser passing through a glass orb ] Okay, so you read this laser tutorial. If you're like 80% of the people who have read it, going by the feedback I've received, you're more interested in creating this glass orb than the laser itself. This page sponsored by 3dcafe.com. This tutorial created by Brian Hauge, 12-16-1999.
A SIMPLE ORB (in R2.5)
The following is a very basic tutorial on how to create a reflective marble, or glass orb. When I first started using 3D STUDIO MAX I was confused about how to use the materials, maps, etc., and could not find even a basic tutorial on how to use them, so I had to figure it out myself. As it turns out, one tiny little button was the key. (And I'll show you which if you keep reading...) Anyway, here is how to make a reflective orb. Create a sphere. Here's the first version of our orb:
Now open up the MATERIAL EDITOR. Make a material of type RAYTRACE by clicking the type button:
and choosing RAYTRACE when the list appears. Now change the settings to approximately those seen below, specifically those in yellow:
The settings like DIFFUSE and TRANSPARENCY are changed by clicking the colored rectangle near by, and choosing the appropriate color. TRANSPARENCY, I believe, only goes by the lightness or darkness of the shade, so some level between (or including) black and white is all that is needed. DRAG that material to the orb object, which will apply the material. Here is the orb after applying the RAYTRACE material:
Not too impressive. It needs some reflections. And here's the part I didn't figure out for a long while when beginning 3DS MAX: You could click the colored rectangle next to REFLECT and have it reflect evenly to a certain degree, but you can also apply a map to it by clicking this little button:
Do it, and select the FALLOFF map when the list appears. The settings for the FALLOFF map should be something like:
Change them appropriately, and play with these a little when you think you are finished. Click this little bugger to get back "up" into the RAYTRACE material settings:
Here is the orb now:
Much nicer. I think so at least. Much of the remaining effects depend highly on lighting, backlighting, and of course you must give the orb an environment to reflect:
But for the most part, you can just play around with the settings to make it fit.
And that is a SIMPLE ORB. (I have, since the creation of this tutorial, found a version of the elusive glass orb which is much better...much more realistic, much more glass-like.) Basically, if you hollow-out the orb using boolean subtraction of another sphere, you get some nice reflections:
Introduction to Advanced Light (Sky light)- 3Dsmax 5
In 3dsmax release 5 Lightscape render joined the 3d engine to improve the power of 3dsmax. Now you can use radiosity without plugins of fakeosity. First, you may construct a simple scene, with simple objetcs, floor and a camera to test how the light works.
works. Go to the menu Create>Lights>Photometric. You will see some of the new features of the 3dsmax5.
Choose the IE Sky. The Multiplier will define the strenght of the ligh, while the Sky Color the color of the light and "clear, partly cloudy, cloudy" should set how it will come.
Click and drag it in the viewport, to set where the sun is
So you can go to the menu Rendering>Advanced Lighting
Select Light Tracer Let's see some settings: the Color Bleed, will define the reflection of the object light the Bounces will define how much photons will bounce in the scene high values means lighter scene and more time rendering...
The sky light will create a diffuse illumination like above. If you want more strength, try change the values of the multiplier on the sky light menu, bounces etc.
Same configuration, but bounces values is 2. Note the softer shadows. Now let's see a tip to get a better results The multipier here is 0,5 instead of 0,35 of the other examples. The shadows get a bit of noise, it's because of the Initial sample spacing look again at this image
The initial Sample Spacing is 16x16, subdividing down to 1x1 If you want more quality (and more time to render) you can set instead of 16x16, 1x1, then it will look like this: Of course you can set the values between 16x16 and 1x1 to get intermediary results if do you want to see how the photons are working on the scene enable the Show Samples box That's it hope it helps someone created by -Mario Russo email@example.com 2003
Step 1: The trick to making your animation's have a cartoon look is to render your animation twice. The first time you render it you need to give all of the objects a 100% Luminance value. You also have to go through and give every object a different color, this is what allows you to create the 2D cartoon effect. Step 2: Render your animation a second time, this time setting the colors to what you want them to be in the final animation. In some animation programs you can create a 3 tone shading effect by adjusting the Shading Dropoff and the Specular Dropoff. Step 3: Bring your two animation's into After Effects and place then in a new comp with the funky colored one on top. Apply the KPT 2 filter "Find Edges & Invert". If you don't have the KPT 2 filters there are other filters out that have a similar effect. Step 4: Add the Color Balance (HLS) filter and adjust the saturation all the way down to change the lines to gray scale.
Step 5: Add the Levels filter and adjust it to change all the gray lines to black.
Step 6: The Final step is to switch the transfer controls for the top layer to Multiply.
Rendering with shadows on in step two gives a nice effect. Download a Quicktime movie of the Knight Running (320x240 560kb)
Any questions or comments e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATING LANDSCAPES by Pål Vågsæther Karlsen Did you ever feel like playing God? Just a little? Well....here is a step by step walkthrough on how to at least be able to make landscapes. Of course, this is only for 3D Studio MAX, so maybe you shouldn't order that ticket to Valhalla just yet..... Making landscapes is an important field in any 3D program. For this tutorial, you will need to use bot MAX and a paint program, (such as Photoshop, Fractal Design Painter etc.). First of all, a heightmap is a painted map that represents a heightfield. The light colours are the highest points, while the darker points are the lower points. Here are a few heightmaps:
Here are a few heightmaps. The middle one is also used in an image I did of a lighthouse. All of these are made with Photoshop.
So, how do we go about making these heightmaps? In my case, I use Photoshop. This tutorial will deal with making a peak. The first thing you need to do is to use your paintprogram to make a heightmap. Use a soft brush for the rough sketch of the landscape. Here is the initial heightmap for my landscape:
Notice that this image is only a scaled version of the actual image. The original size is 500x500. Here you can see the rough outline of my landscape.
It might also be wise to use a blur-function, if your landscape looks too jagged. I use Gaussian blur for this. Next, you will have to make the appearence of erotion. In Photoshop, there is a smudgefunction, that gives me the chance to use various brush-sizes to smudge the image.
Here is the finished heightmap. Notice how the ersion.streaks make it look more real.
Now, it's time to fire up MAX (this is very important). For the landscape, you need to make a box. My box is sized 200x200, and has 50x50 segments in length/width:
Here is the box parametres and also the box in Perspective viewport.
This box is the basis of your landscape. To make a landscape out of it, you need to use the Displace modifier. This modifier is not in the default set of MAX' modifiers, so you will have to add it:
1) The Displace button. 2) If you have not already done so, click this button to add the Displace modifier.
Click this button to see this rollout:
Select the image you have made for your landscape, and set the amount of displace. I use 100 for my landscape here.
You will have to play around with both your paint program and MAX to achieve the landscape you want. Here is my landscape viewed through the Perspective viewport:
Here is my landscape. Note that this image is merged from both wireframe and shaded viewport.
And that's it. I have not talked about making the map for this, but you will have to deal with that on your own. Happy landscaping!
BUBBLES by Erik Borzi
If you ever need to create bubbles for an animation, and would like to do it without spending a fortune on a plug-in that will animate hundreds of spheres that are texture mapped - then this tutorial will be a sound solution. 3D Studio Max has many powerful tools, that when used correctly will give surprising results. For this tutorial, I'll show you how to use the snow particle generator and a simple texture map to create convincing bubbles.
I am assuming that you know how to use particles, space warp modifiers, and the material editor. Lets begin by creating a Snow particle emitter. It would be best for this example to copy the settings from the settings in (fig 1). Set the emitter at the center of the world and point it upwards. Note that the "Render:" is set to "Facing" instead of the default "Six Point." Facing particles work best when rendered with a Camera, or a Perspective viewport. Make a copy of this emitter by shift+left clicking on it - rotate it from the top viewport about 45°. This is so that we can get a random set of particles without changing the parameters too drastically. The only settings you need to change are the render count (change 300 to 400), flake size (change 3.0 to 1.5), the speed (change 2.0 to 2.3), variation (5.0 to 7.0), and leave all the other settings the same. Notice that the timing is set to: Start = -200, Life = 200 at constant, this will create a looping cycle for the particles. Now we need to create our texture for the particles. Facing particles are basically a square shaped polygon. I created a 200 x 200 spherical bubble map using a paint program. It's important that you have an alpha channel so that the edges are invisible when the texture is rendered, that way, all you see is the bubble. See (fig 2) for the texture map, and the mask. Once you have created the texture, go into the material editor and place the texture into Diffuse using a bitmap browser. Copy this into Opacity by dragging and dropping into the Opacity box. Be sure to set the mono-channel output to Alpha. This will ensure the edges are invisible. Figure 1
Figure 3 Next we need to throw some life into these bubbles so that when they move, they will wobble. With a fancy and expensive particle generator we could apply a noise, wave, or ripple space warp modifier to the sphere and get similar results. Apply Noise to Bump, and set the value for the noise Size to 30, set it from Regular to Turbulence, and animate the Phase from 0 to 1.0 over 100 frames. Finally, all we need to do now is to add a Wind space warp modifier so that the particles will swirl, and wander about as if they were raising through turbulent water. See (fig 3) for positioning of the wind space warp modifier. Using Bind to Space Warp, link the Wind space warp to both particle generators, one at a time. The settings for the Wind space warp should be: strength 1.0, decay 0, planar, turbulence 0.44, frequency 0.43, scale 1.0. Experiment with the Wind space warp modifier by animating it from left to right gradually to get varied motion. Now you are almost ready to render. For a finishing touch, I added a gradient background using similar color values from the bubble. At this point you can do what you would like so that the bubbles merge in with your scene. You may want to use motion blur, which adds realism to the motion of the bubbles. Render away... All rights reserved. No part of this tutorial may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from CELEFEX ANIMATION, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review with credit to CELEFEX ANIMATION, and respective authors. © 1998 CELEFEX
CREATING UNDERWATER SCENES by Pål Vågsæther Karlsen
Creating underwater scenes is one of those things. You need to know how to do it. And it's also quite easy to do, especially with 3D Studio MAX. MAX has a lot of features built in that are very useful for creating those ship-wreck environment. This tutorial shows you how to easily build a believable underwater-environment, and you need to know how to use environment effects (fog and volume lights) and a few features in the material editor. Finally, there will be a few extra tips for you Sand Blaster users out there. I will also asume you know the basics of 3D Studio MAX, so I won't go into how to scale mapping coordinates and such things. I will also create a ZIP-file which you can download at the bottom of this page, which will include materials, maps and scenes. Ok.....dive in! Step 1. First of all, we need the ocean-floor. Create a box with these measures: Length: 200.0 Width: 200.0 Height: -5.0 Length Segs: 75 Width Segs: 75 Height Segs: 1 With this, you have the basic element of your floor. To make it look more natural, or "not computer-generated", add a noise modifier to it:
Here is the Noise rollout. Set the parametres like this: Fractal on and Z-scale to 10. Notice that if you want the floor to be more "rocky", just increase the Z-value. But for this tutorial, 10 will do. Ok, now we need the material. This is actually quite easy, because the material I use for this tutorial is the standard Sand Texture you find in the default MAX material library. So there is no need to include that map in the ZIP-file. Apply the material to the oceanfloor and apply an UVW Map modifier to set the mapping coordinates. Scale the mapping any way you like it. Now, we're ready for a test-render:
Notice that there is no light-sources in the scene so far, so the light here is from the default MAX light. Ok, so now we have the ocean-floor. This is just one of many steps, so read on. Step 2. Next we need to think of how things look under water. One thing we have to think about, is that we can't see very far. This is due to light having to travel through water, which is substantially more dense than air. Thus, we have to create the notion of water in our scene. This can easily be done with Fog. Go into the Environment dialogue box (on the Rendering menu), and add a Fog effect. This should have these values:
These are the values I used for the fog. Note that the fog-colour is (R: 58 G: 91 B: 99). This colour will make it look dark, yet not too dark. If your scene is way down (like thousands of feet) you could use a darker colour. You will have to experiment with this to see what fits your scene. Here is another test-rendering:
A new test-rendering, with fog. Now it's starting to look like it's under water........or a very toxic planet. Step 3. Next, we will add the underwater light. Remember those Flipper-episodes? With the light under water? This is called Caustic light. This appears when light is refracted through the water with it's ripples and waves. This can also be done vert easily, with a projector. I will also include the image I use for the projector in the ZIP-file at the end of this tutorial. (The name of the map is caustic.jpg). First of all, create the light-source. This should be a spot-light (or directional light, but I use spot) some distance away from the ocean floor:
Here is the light-source from the front-viewport. The light's colour is here (R: 180 G: 203 B: 211) Go into the material editor, pick a free slot (I picked the 6th slot), and add a new material; choose Bitmap. The way to do this, is click the "Get Material" button, and pick a "Bitmap". Now, in the empty Bitmap-slot, pick caustic.jpg (remember to put the map from the zip-file in the 3dsmax\maps directory). That's it for the material. Now go to the spot-light again, and turn on Projector. Next to that, click Assign and choose the caustic.jpg map from the material editor (I said earlier I won't go into these things, because this is basic MAX stuff). Here is the material settings and the light settings:
These are the settings in my scene. We're ready for another test-render:
Notice how the caustic lighting adds the "underwater" feeling to the scene.
Next, to make it look like the water has some substance, add a volume light to the spotlight. This is done in the Environment dialogue box (in the Rendering menu). Add a new effect, choose Volume Light, and pick the spot-light for it. Also, set the Density to 1.0, or the scene will look completely white. I also use completely white for the fog-colour, but of course you can experiment with this to see what fits your scene. The light will now cast faint rays that make the light look like its really traveling through water. And that's it! This is the basic stuff for making underwater scenes. Add rock, ship-wrecks, whatever to make this look like an underwater scene. Of course, no sea life is pretty dull, so read the Sea-Weed and Sand Blaster sections further down to se how you can add more life. Anyway, here is the final render for this scene:
Voila! Your own personal ocean floor. The mesh for this is included as scene.max in the ZIP-file. Remember to put the caustic.jpg in your maps-directory, or it loses some of it's impact.
Here is a small tip for you: if you have a mesh of a weed or reed of some kind, it's quite easy to make it look like sea-weed. Here is a Reed I created with Silicon Garden (for 3D Studio R4) and also scaled in the z-direction:
A perfectly normal garden reed, unsuspecting of what's going to hit it.... Next, to get that "underwater" look, just put a Wave spacewarp on it. Here is the waved reed:
Vive la wave. Here is the waved reed. Don't you just love Spacewarps? The mesh for this reed (with the wave) is included as weed.max in the ZIP-file.
Ok, now it's time to roll out your Sand Blaster. If you don't have SB, this section is meaningless. However, this is also achievable woth normanl MAX features; it just takes a lot more work. This section will show you how to make bubbles with Sand Blaster. Ok, imagine you're making a scene with a diver or something else that might need bubbles. With Sand Blaster, this is quite easy. Let's say you have a broken air-hose. This
will most definately create bubbles. For this, I start a new scene, and make a tube just as an example):
The tube. Also, as you know if you've been using SB, you need an emitter. For this example, I place a small GeoSphere at the mouth of the tube. I also place the SB system, and rotate it in place:
The particle system (SB) and the tube. This is at frame 30. See below to check out the settings for SB. Now please remember to hide the sphere, as it only serves as an emitter. If you hide it (under the Display-tab) it will still affect the SB-system. Ok, to set up the SB-system, you will have to tweak this at your own. For this tutorial, I set both Particle Activation and Render Activation on, and leave the particle number at the default count of 100 (I will not show a screen-shot of this, because the rollout is pretty intimidating in size). Under Render I set the particles to be Spheres, and change Particle Scale to 5.0 and Scale Variation to 0.3. This means that the spheres, or bubbles, will be somewhat varied in size. These numbers might need other counts in your scene, but this
is what I used. And that's it for the particles. You also need a material for it. That will also have to be adjusted to your scene, so I won't go into making that. However, it should be transparent, and maybe have a faint reflection map (just a bitmap will do). Here is the rendering of these bubbles at frame 30:
Here is the rendering of these bubbles. This is just an example, so don't mind the dull background. However, this technique can be used to easily create bubbles, and its also animateable. If you see some strange "light colours" around the objects in this image, that's only a result of the jpg-compression. And that's it. The mesh for this is included as bubbles.max in the ZIP-file. If you load this without SB installed, you will experience errors. Additional tip: This technique can also be used to create swarms of fish. Just make one fish, and use that as a custom particle. If you do this, please mind the orientation of the particles. Set it to follow the path. You also want to create a target as well, so that the particles (fish) flow from one point to another. Throughout this tutorial I have used several techniques, and also a map you might not have. Therefore, I have compiled a ZIP-file with all three scenes (scene.max, weed.max and bubbles.max) and the caustic.jpg map for the caustic light. Download examples.zip here and take a look first-hand. Please not that you will need the caustic.jpg map in your maps directory to render the main scene. You will also need Sand Blaster installed if you want to look at bubbles.max. Here is an image I created a while ago. It is an underwater scene where I use all of the above techniques.
In this tutorial I'll show you how to make lights struggle to stay on. I assume that you know some basic knowledge of 3D Studio Max 2.5 which is the one I'm using.
1. Lets load a new scene in max. I created couple of boxes with some building lights textures, a level ground and a lamp for this tutorial. I hope you can do that much else you should find another hobby if not a job. 2. As the light bulb, I used a Capsule from the Extended Primitives option with a materiel as follows: Defuse Color = white, Shininess and Shin. Strength = 0 and Self Illumination = 100. 3. Create a Target Spot light below the Capsule we just created and direct it towards the ground. At least for this tutorial you're going to do this. 4. Now that we have created the scene we'll make the light blink. Open up the Track View Spot). and find the spot light's Multiplier track under the Object (Target
5. Assign a Noise Float Controller by clicking on Assign Controller while the Multiplier track is selected and selecting Noise Float. 6. Right click on Multiplier track and select Properties from the pop up menu. There set the Strength to about 1.8 and check the box next to >0. The Strength
will randomly create a value for the Multiplier of the light which is the intensity of the light. The checked box confines it to the positive value so that there would be some light instead of it shining black light like a black hole or something. 7. You may also play around with the Frequency and Fractal Noise Roughness. I chouse 0.5 for the Frequency and 0 for the Roughness with the Fractal Noise box checked. These values should be played around with since it depends on what you're trying to create. 8. To see what your getting while playing around without having to rendering the animation click on the Function Curves to see the values for any frame. At whatever frame the point of the curve is located that is the value of the Multiplier. 9. Now if you render your professional animation you'll notice that the light blinks, but not the light bulb. Select the Multiplier and Copy the Controller . Scroll around till you find the Capsule's Self-Illum. under the Material #1. Select the Self-Illum. and Paste the Controller . 10. Right click on it and select Properties. Set the Strength to about 185, but leave everything else the way it is since it should act the same way as the light. Now you can render your animation and see what comes out. Note1: Play around with the values to get what you want. The values I gave may not work well for you since each scene is different and the results may be different as well. Note2: Just in case you're wondering the Ramp In and Ramp Out values are used to create a ramp for the noise where the values increase to their maximum or minimum. Well just set one of them and see what happens to your spiky curve, then you'll know what I mean Animatable sky backgrounds by Pål Vågsæther Karlsen This is a quick tutorial on how to make sky backgrounds in 3D Studio MAX. As standard, MAX has the possibility to add environmental maps, meaning the move and roate as the camera moves and rotates. This is however not a very impressive effect, since making a background with this is very hard to look real. Very often, you get seems where them map's borders meet, and the map also needs to be huge to not look fuzzy, unless you use some kind of tiling, which isn't good for much more than star backgrounds. This tutorial will show you how to make skies in 3D Studio MAX that not only look good, they can also easily animated. You can make the clouds change shape, move, rotate, change size or almost anything you want. I will take a step back in technology however, since this technique does not work with environmental maps. For that reason, I will use a mesh for the clouds, the mesh being a large object.
First of all, we need a landscape or something. If you haven't already done so, read the landscape tutorial I wrote, available on this site. Here is the landscape I made:
It doesn't have to be very detailed for this tutorial. I used 50x50 steps in the box.
The background also needs a colour. This colour should be the SKY colour, not the cloud colour. I use a light blue colour here:
Set the background colour in the Environment control box. You know where it is.......
Of course, since this tutorial is about clouds, I should get around to that. Now we have a landscape and a sky colour. Now we need to add the clouds. First of all, we need a large dome. Make this by substracting (boolean......I know....) a large hemisphere (geosphere, check "Hemisphere") from a slightly larger one:
The two hemispheres. Substract the smaller one from the largest. A small note on this. When performing a boolean operation, you might get your mesh screwed up, so go to the Edit menu and click "Hold", so you can get it back if it get's hairy. Now we need the clouds themselves. We make those in material editor. Pick one of the standard materials, and turn Shin. Strength to zero. You can also set some self illumination. I use 100 fir this tutorial. You don't have to bother with the colours for this but you can if you want. In the Diffuse slot, put a Noise map. The noise will be the clouds. Enter the values in the screenshot below:
Enter these values. Make sure you have coordinate type UVW checked. Also, set the tiling to 2 and 8, and leave the last one at 1. The noise size should be 0.1. These values are of course just an example, so use the values you find useful. Now......copy the Noise map into the Opacity slot, and make sure you copy it as an instance. This way, the black areas in the noise will be transparent, so we can see the blue colour we behind. You're probably wondering why I'm not using blue instead of black and skip the opacity alltogether. I will explain that later. Now apply the material to the dome. Also, add mapping coordinates to the dome. Use spherical mapping, and move the gizmo so the top of it sits right on top of the dome. Now we can render a test:
A nice sky. And there is the map itself. Now we should take a look at animaition. As you know, animation in MAX is easy. You just turn on animation and do the changes you want. In this case, we should mess with the material itself. You can animate almost any parametre in MAX, including the parameters for the noise here. Let's take a look at the parametres again:
The parametres for the noise. Offset: will move the noise along the specified axis. Tiling: will specify the repetition of the noise. Angle: will rotate the noise around the specified axis. Size: the noise size. Phase: course of animation. As you can see, a lot of parametres define the noise. When we also know that we can animate any of them in MAX, we have endless possibilities. Phase will change the look of the noise, while the coordinates will change the position of it. Play around with these parametres to see what they do. Now you have the material for it at least. I said I would explain why I used opacity instead of just a blue/white noise. That would work too, but you will also be a bit limited. When using opacity, you have the possibility of adding several layers of clouds, just by adding more domes. You can also use gradients on the outer dome to make a sunset or whatever you want. With a blue/white noise, this would be difficult. Anyway, now you have the start of it. Do some experimenting to see what you can make of it.
This page was created by Pål Vågsæther Karlsen
CREATING A LATHED NURBS SURFACE
This simple tutorial will show you how to create a lathed NURBS surface and make it morph to another surface. NURBS surfaces are objects created with curves instead of with polygons. To create a NURBS surface in 3ds max, you must first do one of two things: • • Create a flat NURBS surface from the Create panel, or Convert a primitive, spline or NURBS curve to a NURBS surface.
Once you've done one of these things, you can select the NURBS object and go to the Modify panel to access all the NURBS functions.
1. On the Create panel, click Geometry. Choose NURBS Surfaces from the
2. Click Point Surf. Click and drag in any viewport to create the flat NURBS
surface. This surface will be used just to get the NURBS surface going. It could be either a Point Surf or CV Surf, it doesn't matter. A Point Surf is shown below.
3. Go to the Modify panel. The NURBS functions are available on the panel.
Expand the Create Curves rollout. Click Point Curve. Create a curve suitable for lathing. Make the curve with at least five points, similar to the one shown below. Click the Point Curve button to turn it off.
4. Turn on the Animate button. Go to a frame other than 0, such as 25. Access
the Points sub-object level. Click Select and Move and click and drag on one or more points of the curve to move them around. 5. Go to other frames and move points again.
6. Turn off the Animate button, and click NURBS Surface on the Modifier Stack
to return to the main level of the object. Expand the Create Surfaces rollout. Click Lathe, and click on the curve.
7. Go to the end of all rollouts to access the Lathe parameters. Choose the
correct orientation and location for the lathe object. You might have to click Flip Normals to get the lathed object to look right. Check the object in the Perspective view to make sure it looks right.
8. Play the animation. The lathed object morphs from one shape to another.
9. To get rid of the original flat surface, click Sub-Object and choose Surfaces
as the sub-object level. Select the original surface and press the <Delete> key on the keyboard. This tutorial should give you a basic idea of how to get started with NURBS surfaces and animation. Experiment with the NURBS tools to learn more.
For 3ds max 5 tutorials, go here. Even better, order my book, Harnessing 3ds max 5.
3D Studio MAX 3.1 tutorials
© 2000 Aaron F. Ross. #04: Cloning and the Xform Modifier (Daisy) We will be making a couple of flowers which blow in the wind. 1. Open 3D Studio MAX, or select File | Reset. Maximize the Perspective viewport and create a sphere at approximate coordinates (0,0,0). Give it a radius of about 20 units. 2. Select the sphere and go to the Modify panel. Click the Edit Stack button and select Convert to Editable Mesh. (Alternately, you may right-click the sphere and select Convert to Editable Mesh.) 3. With the sphere still selected, go to the Modifiers rollout of the Modify panel. Click the More button. Scroll down and select Xform. Click OK to add the Xform modifier to the sphere.
4. Minimize the Perspective viewport. Then click Zoom Extents All in the viewport control toolbox. All viewports zoom in to the sphere. Make sure the sphere's Sub-object button is turned on (yellow) and the selection level in the drop-down list is set to Gizmo. 5. In the Main Toolbar, click and drag on the Scale button. From the flyout, select Non-Uniform Scale. Right-click an empty area of the Top viewport to select it. With the Reference Coordinate System set to View, click the Y axis of the sphere's Transform Gizmo. Drag to scale the sphere along the Y axis of the viewport. As you drag the mouse, watch the Status Bar as it interactively updates the scale percentages. Scale the sphere to about 20% of its original depth. Your screen should look like this:
6. Select Edit | Clone from the Menu Bar, and create a copy of the modified sphere. With the second sphere automatically selected, go to the Hierarchy panel and click Affect Object Only so the button turns blue. 7. Click Select and Move from the Main Toolbar. In the Perspective viewport, drag the second sphere's Transform Gizmo in the Z axis of the View (or World) coordinate system. Move the second sphere up about 35 units. Notice that the Pivot Point of the second sphere remains at coordinates (0,0,0). Click Zoom Extents All again to zoom out. 8. Deselect Affect Object Only. Go back to the Modify panel and turn Sub-object on for the sphere's existing Xform modifier. In the Main Toolbar, click Select and Non-uniform Scale, then
go to the Top viewport and scale down the flower petal in the X axis in the View coordinate system. You should now have the center of the flower and one petal, like this:
9. Turn off Sub-object mode. Right-click on the Perspective viewport to select it. With the flower petal still selected, click Array from the Main Toolbar. The top of the dialog box should read "Array Transformation: World Coordinates (Use Pivot Point Center)." 10. In the Array dialog box, look in the Incremental section. Under the Y column, and in the row labeled Rotate, enter the number 30 and hit the Tab key. This assigns an axis of rotation, and an angle of rotation for each successive copy relative to the last, in degrees. 11. You will see that entering 30 degrees under Incremental causes an update in the Totals section. With the default Count of 10 objects in the Array, multiplied by an angle of 30 degrees, the total rotation is 300 degrees. Enter 12 in the box marked Array Dimensions, 1D, Count. Hit the Tab key to enter the number without closing the dialog box. The Totals section reflects the change: 12 copies multiplied by 30 degrees = 360 degrees total. Click OK.
12. From the Menu Bar, click Edit | Select All. With the entire flower highlighted, right-click it and select Collapse Selected to Mesh. This erases the Xform modifiers and all Sphere parameters, leaving you with all objects of the type Editable Mesh. 13. Select the center of the flower. In the Modify Panel, verify that Editable Mesh is the current object type, listed under Modifier Stack. Scroll down to the Edit Geometry rollout. Click Attach List. When the dialog box comes up, select All objects in the list. Click Attach to close the Attach List dialog. You now have a single mesh object for the flower and its petals. 14. Add a new Xform modifier to the flower. Under the Modifier rollout, click the More button and select Xform from the bottom of the list. Make sure that you are in Sub-Object: Gizmo mode; it should be turned on automatically when you add the Xform modifier. Tilt the flower back a bit by rotating it in its local X axis. Right click the flower and Convert to Editable Mesh again. Go to the top of the Modify panel and rename your object "Flower." 15. In the Top viewport, create a cylinder at the center of the world to be used for the flower stem. Give it a height value of _200 so it is below the flower. Change the number of Height Segments for the cylinder to 12. If the cylinder sticks out of the front of the flower, reduce its radius or move it back so the stem doesn't come through the front of the flower head. After clicking Zoom Extents All in the viewport control toolbox, your screen looks like this:
16. Select the flower head. Under the Edit Geometry rollout of Editable Mesh, click Attach. Move your cursor to the stem cylinder; the cursor turns to a plus sign. Click the cylinder to attach it to the flower. Right-click an empty viewport area to finish the Attach command; its green button turns grey again. The Cylinder is automatically collapsed to an Editable Mesh and attached to the flower. 17. Add a Bend modifier to the flower. Turn on Sub-object, and select Center from the dropdown list. In the Front viewport, move the Transform Gizmo down in the Y axis, in the View Coordinate System. Move the Center of the Bend modifier's effect to the bottom of the flower stem. Change the Bend Angle to about 45 degrees. Bend Axis should be "Z".
18. Turn off Sub-object. Select the flower in the Front viewport. With the Select and Move transform on and the View coordinate system active, hold down the Shift key while dragging the flower's Transform Gizmo in the X axis. In the Clone Options dialog, select Instance. Now when you alter the Bend parameters of either flower, they both sway in the breeze.
19. Try creating reference objects instead. You can add more modifiers to referenced objects without affecting the master object or any of the other references. Any changes to the master object will be seen in the references, but additional modifiers in the references will not affect the master object. Return to 3DS MAX tutorials
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This tutorial I'll demonstrate how to create a nice brick wall using bitmaps. As simple it sounds you may not get a realistic result when it comes to corners.
1. To begin create a wall in the Front viewport with windows such as in the image bellow. Just use splines from the Create panel and then attach them all together. Extrude the shape and give it a value of about 10 if the wall is about 200 in width and 100 in height as in the image bellow.
2. Open up the Material Editor and set the defuse to bitmap. Chouse brkwea_t.jpg as the bitmap that comes with max and set both titling values to about 3. For the Bump Map set it to Bitmap chousing brkwea_b.gif which also comes with max and here also set the titling to 3. You can download the images from bellow if you don't have them. To make this easier click on the "Show Map in Viewport" button to see what we are doing. Apply and exit the Material Editor. the material to the object
3. From the Modify panel add a UVW Map. Set the mapping to box and click on the Sub-Object button just above. Now your going to have to play around with rotating the gizmo to get the right look. All I did is rotated it 90 degrees in the left view and set the smallest value as the value of the height which should be 100. Render it and see what comes out. If it doesn't look good just go back and rotate the gizmo. Pay attention the the map in the viewport, but it will not be accurate. Use the Fit button after you rotate the gizmo and then resize it so that the bricks on the side of the window look normal rather then very tiny. Anyway it should look something like the image bellow.
Materials: brkweat.jpg, brkweab.gif
Advanced water material tutorial
So you want to make some water that reflects the objects in the scene?
Read on! (I assume you have a basic knowledge of 3D MAX):
Enter the material editor, and create a RAYTRACED
material using the settings below
The settings for Map #2 (Noise) should be like this:
The raytraced material (and enabling og Supersampling) makes rendering much slower, but is necessary to make realistic reflections. So you better go out and make some cofee when rendering on that old 80 MHz computer of yours! T
Scroll down and make sure that the RAYTRACER
Controls are like this.Under OPTIONS make sure that Antialiasing is ON. Maybe you want to mess around with Reflection Fallof, to exclude far away objects from the reflections.
In the MAPS sections, only a sligthly BUMP is used.
The noise-map is the same as in the previos step #1 (see above):
4. 5. 6.
And now the most important part: Apply the material
to an object. I use a box (20x20x20 segments) with a largely scaled noise modifier applied to it. Place a couple of lights - I think I've only used 1 lightsource for the water in the above picture - tinted a bit yellow.
Render the scene (and have a coffee-break...)
Hmmm. Doesn't look perfect? NO! The water has to
reflect some sort of a sky to make it look realistic. So make that sky! "Why is your sky always bluer than mine?", Godmachine: Scenes from the second story - sorry back to MAX: In the scene I created a box and applied a picture of some clouds to it and placed it above the water, so that the water reflects the box - make sure the box is lit by a light or that its material is self-illuminated. You can see the purple box representing the sky in the left-view of the scene below:
[SHIFT]+Q. Voilá. End of the tutorial.
Ok this tutorials will show you how to get a really cool glass-crystal effect. Start iff by resetting max. Then choose the geosphere object and draw a geosphere on your perpective view
now to the right, under the geosphere settings unclick the smooth option, and choose Tera for your shape.
This should give you a nice choppy image like hte one below
Now we are going to extrude each patch of the shape. To do this right click on the image and choose convert> convert to editable patch.
Then right click on the image again, This time it should have a lot more options, clcik on "extrude Patch"
Now click somewere on the image. When you put your cursor over the spot that you clicked a new cursor image will apear. When it does, hold down the left mouse button and drag. This should start to pul a piece of the shape outward
Keep doing this until you get a shape like the one below
Now we are going to smooth it out a little. To do this go to Modifiers> subdivision surfices> and choose mesh smooth. The change the Ilteration to the value of 2 and dont change anything els. This should give you an image like the one below
Now right click on the image and choose duplicate. The resive you duplicated object to a small size and place it in front of your larg object
Now we are going to put a good material o it. Press "M" to bring up the material editor. Then click on this
icon, and then find the material called "Reflection Lake Gold"
Then double click on it to bring it up in the material editor. Now chck the option that says "opasity"
and then clcik where it says "none" and choose "falloff" Now click the button below
Now all you have to do is render it and you should get something like the image below
there you go, now you know an ewasy way to get a vey cool effect in max.
creating simple water in 3d studio max 5.x...
Well, it has been suggested that I come up with a tutorial on how I create my water planes in 3D Studio. So, here it is. I hope you can follow along with it, and if you have any questions, you know where to find me! First off, open Max. (duh!) Now, create a plane (200x200), with 10 segments for length and width (fig 1).
(Fig 1) Creating a Plane.... Now, with that out of the way, open up the Material Editor. Choose an open material slot, and we'll begin. This is going to be a Standard material, so you don't need to change the type. Click on the colour box beside Diffuse. You will then see a colour swatch selector (much like fig 2 below). For the RGB values, enter 35, 35, 35.
(Fig 2) Selecting the Diffuse Colour Now, do the same thing for the Ambient Colour (if they aren't already locked). Now, change the settings for the material to the ones I you see in fig 3 below.
(Fig 3) Changing Settings As you can see, I've set the Self-Illumination to 20, the Specular Level to 110, and the Glossiness to 35. If everything worked out fine, your material should look like this:
Yes, I know it doesn't look like water just yet, but hold on, cause it will! Now, click your map's rollout, until you see this:
(Fig 4) The Map's Rollout
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