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Creating an Asteroid
Added on: Wed Sep 06 2000
Page: 2 3 4 5 


This tutorial is designed for advanced 3dsmaxers, I plan to cover how to create an aseteroid in 3D studio max using only max's standard plugins. Essentially most of the work in creating the asteroid is done through three areas, particles, lighting and texturing.
All three of these areas are what make up the asteroids actual look and feel. Particles are what makes the actual form and shape plus motion, texturing makes the real look and shape of the asteroid, whereas lighting controls the real colouring of the particle system, although a lot of the colour can be portrayed through the diffuse channel in the material editor the colour is quite dull and lacks any real expression, the lighting really controls the look when it comes to lighting with the asteroid.

First of all create a dummy, we are going to use this for all of the animation, everything will follow the dummy around. Now what we want is to create a camera and set it up so the dummy flies past the camera, animate the dummy moving past the camera.

Now what we are going to need to do is create a bunch of particle systems which are attached to the dummy, first off we need to create the main particle system
which emits the firey/smokey stream of debris and vapor from the asteroid.

Go to the particles menu under the creation panel and choose spray, select it and drag it out into the viewpoint, make it semi large in radius but not too large. Go to the modify panel and change the options as follows: Make the viewpoint count for the particles whatever you like but the render count 500. Make the drop size 50.0 and the speed 20.0. Variation 0.13, render type to facing and make the particle emitter begin emitting at frame 0 and the life space for only 100 particles. Change the emitter length and width both to 70. Rename the particle system to "main trail"

Link the particle system to the dummy so that it moves with the dummy past the camera. Now what we need to do is set up the lights for the scene, essentially we have the global lights which illuminate all of the scene, and some lights which are more personalised to illuminate the actual asteroid by excluding everything but the asteroid. Create two omni lights which are to be placed up in the sky far away from the rest of the scene. Create the first light as an omni light and set up the parameters to be as follows:

Colour to be bright white (R: 255, G: 255, B: 255) and click exclude and choose the main trail particle system. Now adjust the multiplier to .31 Create the second light now just slightly behind it and give it settings like same colour, multiplier to .7 and exclude the main trail again.move the light down below the dummy vertically so it is far down below the actual dummy and particle system.

Now we are going to create four more particle systems, all the same although in settings. First of all create the first spray emitter, place it at the head of the asteroid where the dummy is move it ahead a bit from the main trail particle system. Give the view and render count a value of 180 and a drop size of 10, speed of 20 and variation of 3.175, set it up as facing render type and give it a life of 12. make the length and width values to be 50.

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