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"Smokin 3" - Advanced 3dsmax Particles
Added on: Sat Dec 09 2000
Page: 1 2 3 5 6 

To use motion blur or not to use motion blur... and glow:
A lot of people tend to use motion blur on all of their particles, a lot of the time it's to hide the actual shape and try to make them look like something other than a bunch of boxes emitting from a shuttle or something, though the more advanced fx animators who know what they're doing still tend to use motion blur sometimes. But it's always good to know when and when not to use it.

Motion blur can sometimes hide seems in the particles motion or it can make it look more strong in motion sometimes, but when you are creating sand or pieces of dirt and chunks of debris being emitted, you hardly will ever want to use motion blur since it will distort the fine detail and shape that you are emitting and sometimes ruin it completely.

Motion blurring can soften images up but wether you want to actually soften them up or keep the actual contours and details in is up to you, it always depends on what you are animating, but never throw motion blur on as a default action since half the time it's going to look totally wrong.
Plus you have to decide wether to use object motion blur or image motion blur. Image motion blur is waaay less computer intensive but is very messy and inaccurate, but using object motion blur on a lot of parrticles will kill your rendering times, image motion blur I pretty much recommend for anything when it comes to bluring particles since object motion blur is just overkill.

Glow is another topic which is exactly the same situation, people chuck glow on to make their particles look cool when in fact it makes them look cheap. I never touch glow unless I have to, but sometimes it acctually works out okay tinting things around the particles as iff they are emitting off light, but if I do end up using glow I make it so suttle it's unnoticable, just there but hardly noticable.

Glow can be used well for waterfalls, and for burning debris, lasers ect. but for anything else it's most of the time useless.

Making very light smoke/steam

Here we are going to make very light steam type smoke. Basically very transparent smoke. Okay you know the deal, create a spray particle system and set up the basic parametres to emit some particles, probably around 150 of them with a size of 25.

Use the old smoke material you made before, but go to the opacity map and under map kill off the two noise maps and adjust the colours to black and very dark grey, I mean very dark too, 15 grey value.

Right now you're making a very transparent map, which is easy enough to explain, but the more complex you make your masks the more cool it gets. Essentially with transparent maps, if a particle leaves the body of the particle system is fades away because without particles behind it to give it more colour depth it can't keep alive alone so each particle relies on eachother to become opaque, so if particles go stray and leave they die
essentially giving a more clean look to the particles and yet still very transparent.

Always keep in mind the more transparent your material is the brighter the background has to be, otherwise you just won't notice it. Also if you want a ghost like look to the smoke, make the material additive in the material editor under extended parameters so that it brightens whatever it composes itself over.

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