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Volumetrics: Combustion
Added on: Sun Aug 20 2000
Page: 2 3 4 5 


Combustion is a volumetric plugin for 3dsmax, Essentially what it does is create firey explosions although it can be used for many gas like real world elements such as smoke, steam, clouds and so forth. As well as tendril fire.

Combustion uses volumetrics rather than polygons, volumetrics are nothing like polygons, instead of using faces and textures they are volumetric pixels filled into a primitive shape. The way they work is the volumetric form will use a shape such as a sphere, box or cylinder and fill itself within it taking that form.
Volumetrics are much slower than faces since rather than being hollow inside they have actual content meaning you could go right inside of the shape and see what's inside rather than see the otherside of the polygons. This means there is much more to render but the effect is much better in quality.

Creating the Gizmo

To the left is the gizmo and next to it is the rendered combustion that used the gizmo to get it's shape. What combustion has done is used the gizmo to work out how to fill itself within the gizmo, much like water fitting into a cup. Of course it has it's firey look to it but the actual shape does still resemble the gizmo's original roundness.

The gizmo is an important step telling combustion the length, width and height and position in the world. To create a gizmo it is located in atmospheric apparatus in the helpers menu.

To get to this click on create (1) and then click on the helpers menu, then in the drop down box select atmospheric apparatus, choose spheregizmo.

Now a small drop down box apears, these are the basic settings that control the gizmo but do not effect combustion too much. First is radius, this is the actual radius of the gizmo, this is a major setting, next is hemisphere checkbox, this controls wether it is a sphere or just a hemisphere, the difference is one is a sphere and one is half a sphere.

This can be useful when making explosions that are sitting on the ground rather than floating in mid space. Seed controls the random fractal algorythm, which essentially just gives it a random look, new seed randomly generates a number to go in there.

As said before the gizmo only controls the shape, more the transform values of the explosion, such as length, width and height, as well position. Apart from that it is just a helper to combustion. The real settings and controls that really define the look and actions of combustion are in the combustion enviroment menu.

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