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3DS Max Tutorials Category

Max 2010 FX Elements

3D Studio Max 2010 Particle Flow FX Elements
With the release of 3DSMax 2010 – Autodesk has added in a lot (over 100+ to be exact) particle flow setups, ranging from fire, smoke, earth, water, and in addition – Logos. These contain lots of different set ups, and also conceptual files demonstrating how to create various effects.

I was brought on board to create these earlier this year (2009) for the release. Although with certain limitations such as not utilizing any plugins and not making the scenes too slow in the viewport and copyright on textures or stock footage, it meant they needed to be more sample files to demonstrate how to create a flow for the set up, rather than a full blown production ready sample, at least in some cases. However I believe that pretty much all of these scene files that ship with max are very informative and useful in day to day production. A lot of the key concepts here are the core elements of what I use in building a lot of my more complex effects and flows. Check out this video just discussing how to use them and make the most of your Particle Flow En devours!

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Particle Flow Presets

Are you overlooking Particle Flow Presets?
Surely you’ve forgotten that Particle Flow in Max 2010 has a preset function, that allows for you to save and load particle presets. This feature has been around since Box Set 1, however it seems most people really overlook it.

This is in fact a really powerful feature, which of course is great for saving and loading preset systems, but also for saving pflow scripts, and constantly used set ups, even just some to make “rotation, spin, position, random_scale” on the fly. Here we just quickly jump in and point out the potential and usefulness of this great feature in 3D Studio Max 2010.

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Maxscript for beginners #1

Brand new tutorial in a series of Maxscript for beginners – here we introduce basic terminology and generating objects and managing them through basic mat and scripting lingo.
This series is designed to move artists into more technical subjects easily and apply them to appropriate subjects for real production.

http://www.vfxsolution.com/site/video/tuts/Pflow_PreBakePos/prebakeposv2.avi

Download Tutorial

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Legacy FX Tutorials

Here you can find literally hours of content on Particle Flow, Fume FX, Afterburn, Dynamics, Compositing and other FX related material for 3D Studio Max.

Before you download – nearly all of these use the camtasia techsmith codec you can download here

These tutorials are labeled LEGACY as they are all pre 2009. As part of this websites redesign I’ve archived these here as they are still downloaded 150-200 times a day, and 99% of the information is still very valid and useful in day to day production and learning. However I plan on building loads of new content, some of which will re-cover some of the same material here.

If you have any cool ideas for tutorials or subjects you would like to see covered, shoot me a quick email!

If you find this information useful, please feel free to tweet/diggs/stumble or whatever it is you do to get this information out there for others to discover!

Thanks!
-Allan McKay

Case Study: Galaxy
Level Advanced
Duration 19 mins
date: 2008
Link Download Here

Also known as Galaxy Explosion Tutorial – This is based on a 1 day pitch I put together for the new Dolby DTS logo piece. This isn’t the actual pitch but a quick remake of it just explaining how it was built and a lot of the concepts behind it. This is interesting as its a more hands on tutorial rather than theory, going through creating the particles, shaders and rendering them and then later compositing all of the elements together.

Particle Flow: Particle Dispersion
Level Intermediate
Duration ~15 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Pretty much a coin phrased term now, this was one of the first tutorials for particle flow I ever put together, based on a simple fx test I put together in 2003 to demonstrate particle flows potential for 3dsmax 6′s launch event. This takes a simple concept of creating particles and having them blow away in a control motion through taking advantage of particle flows events driven system.

Particle Flow: Rain dripping System
Level Advanced
Duration 45 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Another very popular tutorial that still holds up very well by todays standards. This tutorial covers how to build a rain drop system and have it create automated splashes on the ground when rain drops come in contact. But takes the method one step further, with rain drops that land on the main object in the scene, will then run down the surface leaving a trail of water as they do, and then fall off and splash on the ground. Highly Recommended

Fume FX Tutorial 1: Intro
Level Beginner
Duration 18 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Tutorial

In this Fume FX Tutorial we go through the basic functions of Fume FX in 3dsmax, including the interface, primary controls and how to initially set up a example of fire burning in ffx.

Fume FX Tutorial 2: Explosions
Level intermediate
Duration 16 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

In this exercise we cover the basic principles of creating explosions through heat/fuel/expansion etc. This was recorded as a very quick demonstration of the principles of explosions, I’ve since then developed several methods for building explosions for production that are a lot more advanced, so this is a core tutorial to get the basic understandings down – but I will be releasing some more up to date exercises on this very soon.

Fume FX Tutorial 3: Fuel Maps
Level intermediate
Duration 5 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

A very quick tutorial on Fume FX to understand the principles of fuel, and also utilizing fuel maps to drive fume fx simulations. In this example we’re able to create fire burning from one end an object along to the other over time, and in specified areas we control.

Fume FX Tutorial 4: Particle Flow Events
Level beginner
Duration 5 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

A quick method I discovered fairly early into Fume FX’s initial release that it appears most other people overlooked, so I put together a quick example of how I use use Fume FX and pflow together on a per-event basis.

Afterburn 4.0 #1: Introduction to the basics
Level intermediate
Duration 18 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Very quick tutorial on afterburn 4.0 and how it differs to 3.2, this example is a quick walkthrough of its controls and how to build some basic raymacher clouds.

Pflow Scripting: Attaching objects to particles
Level Advanced
Duration 13 mins
date: ~2007
Link Download Here

Quick introduction to particle flow scripting and linking physical objects to particles.

Maxscript for beginners 1: Basic Introduction
Level intermediate
Duration 14 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Very basic concept of maxscript, in this exercise we walk through the absolute basics for people who have never scripted before. How to build variables, modify objects etc. Designed for artists who want to jump into maxscript but want their hand held through their first few steps of getting their head around what it is and how it works.

Maxscript for beginners 2: Loops, Strings etc.
Level intermediate
Duration 17 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Very basic concept of maxscript, in this exercise we walk through the absolute basics for people who have never scripted before. Here we cover some more examples on building strings, generating objects, modifying them and building loops.

Maxscript for beginners 3: Building a scripted GUI
Level intermediate
Duration 11 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Moving forward in the maxscript beginners series, here we cover how to build a basic script and wrap it in a interface to use as a tool. This is an essential step in scripting, as we begin to develop actual tools.

Maxscript for beginners 4: Superstrings + Automation
Level Advanced
Duration 31 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

This is a much more advanced tutorial and very practical for maxscripters. Here we begin looking at SuperStrings and automating tasks such as reading directories, creating information and automating a lot of manual required tasks. Highly recommended.

Particle Flow Scripting: Particles Transform OBJ A>B
Level Advanced
Duration 28 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

This is another particle flow tutorial designed to script particles to transform from one object to another via pflow script.

Particle Flow Scripting: Utilizing the Quick-Frag Script
Level Advanced
Duration ~20 mins
date: ~2008
links Download Here
QuickFrag Script

Demonstrates how to use this quick script to fracture objects, but then import them into Particle Flow to completrly control through scripted events.

Particle Flow: Creating Particle Based Flames
Level Intermediate
Duration 30 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

Tutorial on creating flames using just particle geometry

Customize Interface: Customizing your UI basics
Level Intermediate
Duration 45 mins
date: ~2008
Link Download Here

This tutorial is an introduction to customizing your UI and setting it up to work better for how you work.

Particle Flow Scripting: Automated FX Tools Demonstration
Level Expert
Duration 20 mins
date: ~2008
Temporarily Offline

This is a demonstration of taking the strengths of maxscript to automate FX tools to do all of the work for you.

Pflow Basics: Setting Manual Initial State / Pflow Loops
Level Intermediate
Duration 6 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

This video tutorial is a bit out of date, as initially when pflow came out it didn’t have any ability to create an initial state, so here was a workaround for this.Initial state being pre-rolling your particles. However right after this I bugged Oleg B to create the initial state feature for pflow tools, as well as dozens of other cool tools – so fast forward to max 2010 it has initial state built in, however the method shown here has a lot of cool information on creating a nice shockwave effect, but also on creating particle looping events.

Please Note: The recording quality is quite blury, it was the first video tutorial I believe I ever recorded (I was writing tutorials rather than recording them back then!)

Pflow Basics: Deleting Particle Selections
Level Intermediate
Duration 6 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Old tutorial on the basics of being able to select and delete particles.

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Pflow Basics: Pflow attracting particles via forces
Level Intermediate
Duration 4 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Old tutorial on controlling particles via various forces. This is more old school ways of manipulating particles, that most people overlook these days, so I think its a good crash course in the core of particle manipulation.

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Pflow Basics: Creating cigarette Smoke
Level Intermediate
Duration 9 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Old tutorial on creating cigarette smoke with particle flow and manipulating turbulence forces.

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Pflow Basics: Surface floating particles
Level Intermediate
Duration 4 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Old tutorial on exercising how to get particles to stick and move along a surface, in this case a large ocean with people in it moving over the wave..

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Pflow Basics: More particle Effects
Level Intermediate
Duration 8 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Tutorial recorded to demonstrate other interesting old school particle effects, such as generating orb like particles emitting off an object.

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Pflow Basics: Velocity Test
Level Intermediate
Duration 12 mins
date: ~2003
Link Download Here

Old tutorial on having particles attached to a surface and then based on objects velocity detach. In this case a character covered in liquid that then shakes the liquid off.

Please Note: The video quality of this recording is a bit old and blurry, but still viewable.

Particle Flow 101: Introduction to Advanced Particle Techniques
Level Intermediate
Duration ~50 mins
date: ~2008
Currently Offline

Freestyle tutorial on explaining particles, how they work and lots of cool tactics and methods for using them.

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Generating initial object data via pflow & maxscript

New MaxScript introductory tutorial on mixing particle flow and MaxScript together. The goal of this exercise is to physically control objects in the scene via particles. In this case we’re setting up a large quantity of objects to generate and be positioned ready for a dynamic simulation.

This is more a theoretical exercise to get peoples understanding of MaxScript and its application to appropriate production scenarios.

http://www.vfxsolution.com/site/video/tuts/Pflow_PreBakePos/prebakeposv2.avi

Download Tutorial

Download birthscript

New MaxScript introductory tutorial on mixing particle flow and MaxScript together. The goal of this exercise is to physically control objects in the scene via particles. In this case we’re setting up a large quantity of objects to generate and be positioned ready for a dynamic simulation.
This is more a theoretical exercise to get peoples understanding of MaxScript and its application to appropriate productio

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Wrapping Tasks UP

Very brief demo on building basic tasks such as in this case creating customized forces and wrapping them into a one-click process.Originally this was going to be just a 3-line script, however I thought I would present it like this as it might explain what I’m trying to get across a bit better.Anytime you’re doing a task more than a few times, you might as well wrap it into an automated task and save yourself the hassle, freeing you up to focus on more pressing tasks.

http://www.vfxsolution.com/site/video/tuts/Pflow_PreBakePos/prebakeposv2.avi

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Afterburn 4.0 – Utilizing Explode Daemons

Level: Intermediate
Still covering more basic subjects just to add some more introductory content. Here we go through one of many methods for creating explosions in 3D Studio Max. This one is designed to really show how to use the Explode Daemon in Afterburn 4 as well as create an explosion without any key frames or lights necessary, purely all based off the particle age.

The point of this exercise is to just get you used to how the explode daemon works, as well as lead up to the next exercise where we then use this explosion to be procedurally triggered through a completely new system we set up to call for an air strike with bombs exploding.

Download here

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Afterburn 4.0 – Triggering Canned FX

Level: Intermediate
Following on from the previous tutorial, we then take our explosion and link it up to another system. In this case, its killer teapots! (Yes I was too lazy to make any actual planes flying around). The concept is very similar to the airstrike CG Academy DVD I created some years ago, however updated for Afterburn 4.0. This is a demonstration of creating canned FX and then being able to hook them up to other effects to control the entire thing through some basic controls you set up, rather than manually having to do all of this by hand.

Download here

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