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07 July 2004, 11:23 AM
Hi Allan,
I also have a DVD question. I looked up your DVD at turbosquid and subscribed for a membership. As in most cases (refering to american sites) they only accept credit cards for payment. I live in Germany and I don't have a credit card. :( It's a pity!!!! I really would like to buy this one.
Will you offer your DVD at other online stores? Or maybe you would sell it at ebay through paypal?!

07 July 2004, 12:34 PM
Hey Cortex. Depending on what your particles are going to look like,

you can add a "Shape Instance" operator to your flow - this points to a hidden object in the scene.

Another way is to add "Material Dynamic" operator. this is more like texuring the object rather than making the particles a specific shape.

You have to make the texure in the material editor and then assign it in the "Material Dynamic" operator.

Hope that helps:thumbsup:

07 July 2004, 04:29 PM
hey guys I sent a reply last night but I guess it didn't come through?

basically in that tutorial I've more focussed on the particle theory rather than making shapes etc. So you need to define a shape, I just used low opacity facing sprites with some moblur nothing too exciting.

I'll have some shader tuts etc. up in the near future which cover this stuff a lot more indepth, and there's also that dvd floating around somewhere too ;) But so far a lot of the stuff on has been focussed on how to get up to speed and take full advantage of pflow - as a lot of the shading theory from older particle systems is still applicable to that. Although will have some new material up when I get a chance.

In regard to overseas sales - turbosquids the sole vendor of the product so you need to get in touch with them as unfortunately I haven't much to do with it after it leaves my hands unfortunately. But you could always call them up or email them and ask if you could arange a money order or something like that, or send a check?
Else pay one of your friends/parents the money and use their credit card :) that used to help me out before I got my hands on a CC :)

07 July 2004, 05:13 PM
Hey Allan,

Your DVD just arrived in my mailbox. It really looks good and I'm looking forward to diving into all the tutorials. Looks like I funded at least one beer for you this weekend :) Thanks for helping show us the light with PFlow and Max!


07 July 2004, 12:36 AM
Thanks guys I'm glad to help!

07 July 2004, 04:35 AM
Shipping rate to Germany is still $35 :sad: , only the the name of the service changed to "DHL Intl. Priority"...

07 July 2004, 07:02 AM
Hey Boa yeah they might still be working on it trying to implement a cheaper service.. kinda sucks if DHL's the only option. DHL's reliable and FAST although obviously for those who can wait a bit longer a more slow boat approach would probably be a better option.

I'll hop in a row boat and drop off over for ya ;)

07 July 2004, 07:18 AM
Hey Allan,

Love the DVD. I just got it today and I love the Afterburn section of the DVD. I had trouble using afterburn but after seeing the DVD, I'm more comfortable using afterburn right now.

Well anyway I just want to say thanks for the DVD.

I just want to give you guys the heads up about DHL. I got the DVD damaged & what makes it worst was that the delivery guy through the package infront of my door. The DVD cover was completely damage but luckily I was still about to view the DVD. I file a big complain to Turbosquid about DHL.

F.Y.I. I payed for FedEx, but DHL delivered the package "whats up with that"

Love your work Allan
Keep up the good work

07 July 2004, 04:34 PM
ouch! Here's where I wave my hand in the air and say "I just make the DVD!!!" that really really sucks primal101! Did you call/email turbosquid about it? Hopefully they'll send you a replacement asap on good faith since that's kind of sloppy shipping :\

I'm guessing they ship fedex around the states and DHL internationally.. kick em in the butt
for it hopefully they'll remedy it a little.

Glad you like the DVD, been a long time coming so glad it's out :)

didn't mean to hog this pflow thread with the DVD news by the way! :)
erm new website will go live after this weekend finally, been getting home at 10pm every night lately which has leant very little time to getting personal stuff out of the way unfortunately :\

07 July 2004, 05:17 AM
I'll hop in a row boat and drop off over for ya What a nice idea! That is what I call support :D

I'll post for the other Europeans interested as soon as I notice a cheaper shipping rate.


08 August 2004, 07:27 AM
haha boa!

Hey guys - website will be up soon - just need to run cleaner on all my old video tutorials and I'll then upload the whole new site.
DVD' going great which is excelent news! Also will be heaps of licenses at siggraph at the turbosquid booth. I'll also be giving away a license of afterburn at my discreet master class.
To answer a few emails:
RE: Siggraph - I'll be around the discreet booth a bit (and around lots of pubs!) I'll also be at the blur party if you're lucky enough tog o
And of course my master class on wednesday (I think!??!)
I'll also be at the discreet launch on Monday.. not sure if I'll be in the crowd or up on stage at this point (hoping to be in the crowd) but check that out, it's going to be the most amazing event I think I'll see all year!!

Have a meeting tomorrow - needed to grab some of my more recent material, this stuff's quite old still, it's not ALL my stuff.. but just misc stuff that I have gotten my hands onto. but if you wanted to see some max eye candy, a majority of this stuff was made with pflow...

it's really bad quality and not editted.. but needed to upload this portion, so figured I'd mention the link here.

Hope to see everyone at siggraph!!


08 August 2004, 07:37 AM
I emailed Turbosquid about shipping costs to the UK, and they replied this morning saying they implemented a new $25 option.

I went there to buy it, and the only option is still $35 ?

08 August 2004, 05:15 PM
yeah I guess email em back again and let em know
I'm a bit confused as to all the stuff going on.
all I know is once people get their DVD they're happy - just the inbetween process is a bit bewildering :)

08 August 2004, 05:22 PM
It has just arrived. :bounce:

I will see the content tonight and start making some destruction with it... heheh

Alan, btw will you be making some tutorials regarding to materials?

08 August 2004, 05:49 PM
man - what have I done? everyone's going to be blowing the world up before long ;)

yes, will be doing lots of stuff on shading particles soon - so much stuff I gotta do! after siggraph, blur and 5000 other things I'll have time in october to start doing stuff I want to do :)

08 August 2004, 02:20 AM
allan, would you happen to have a tutorial or be able to point me in the direction a of a tutorial of the road breaking up animation on your site?

08 August 2004, 04:17 AM
that one that cracks apart procedurally?
ack.. only tut for that one's on the DVD sorry.
it's more scripting than anything, to trigger morphing the pieces etc. through pflow scripting

08 August 2004, 04:27 AM
on the dvd, thats kool. I plan on buying the dvd in a couple of weeks anyways. My baby girl was born 3 weeks ago and that totals 4 kids now so I am in the middle of buying school cloths first. Its a priority thing. But rest asured, the dvd is not that much behind the kids in the priority list, lol.

08 August 2004, 05:19 AM
Mate, congratulations!
I'd be horrified if you had your priorities in any other order than that! ;)

08 August 2004, 05:54 AM
Since it's all about particles, I have to post it here :-)

I will be showing the new Particle Flow Tools plug-in during the coming SIGGRAPH at the Discreet pods:

Tuesday, Aug. 10th: 11:30 – 12noon
Wednesday, Aug. 11th: 10:30 – 11am
Thursday, Aug. 12th: 3 – 3:30pm

Particle Flow Tools is a set of operators and other software tools to extend and improve the Particle Flow capabilities. The Particle Flow Tools operators come in three basic categories:

Groups: Organize and categorize particles within the particle system. These include Group Operator, Group Selection, and Split Group.

Painting: Interactively place particles exactly where you want them. These include Particle Paint, Birth Paint, Placement Paint, Birth Texture and Mapping Object.

Utilities: Speed you work flow and extend Particle Flow’s capabilities. These include Particle Flow Utility, Utility Operator, Preset Flow, Initial State and Lock/Bond.

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 06:31 AM
oleg.. what would you know about 'particles' ? ... oh wait... :)

cool I'll be there
probably hungover from the night before.. but I'll be there.

O - are you going to be at the evolve event Monday night? Seems everyone's there.

it's going to be pretty damn cool!

08 August 2004, 06:47 AM
>are you going to be at the evolve event<
I'll miss this one. Long flight from East coast :-(
But I'll keep an eye on you at the Blur :-)

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 12:07 PM
Oi, Oleg! Great news! Will you have some teasers out after Siggraph? Unfortunately it's way too expensive for me to fly over to the states to visit. Would really have loved to go, sounds like a blast! Especially Blur's party. ;) Crystal Method? Wow!!

08 August 2004, 01:23 PM
Hi Oleg,
I have seen preview avis of new PFTools. U are doing a Gr8 work. Would it be included into Max7 or is it comercial plugin? (May be it is stupid question /but I am just asking/)
And to all others - I hope I coud post this link. /I got it from discreet forum./ Looks gooooood.

08 August 2004, 01:47 PM
>Would it be included into Max7 or is it comercial plugin?<

Particle Flow Tools is a commercial DCP (Discreet Certified Plug-in). The plug-in is compatible with any 3ds max platform that has Particle Flow in it, means 5.1, 6.x and above.

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 05:27 PM
Yummy, that looks tasty! Would love to sink my teeth in that! Any previews on what it does?

08 August 2004, 12:52 AM
>Will you have some teasers out after Siggraph?<

The evaluation version will be available very soon, before the Siggraph show.
As for the teasers, here's some animations that I already posted in another thread: (10.5Mb) (4.5Mb) (6Mb) (2Mb) (3.5Mb) (2.5Mb)

The animations were done with Particle Flow Tools. They are just R&D, and not a marketing material.

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 11:44 AM
Wow, that's amazing! I was working on wavy grass, but didn't get the results I was after. Is the grass waving by a turbulent wind force or by a noise map in that first avi?

08 August 2004, 12:00 PM
The effect of the wind force is localized to moving gizmos of the Group Selection operator. The Lock/Bond operator has strong bonding for location, and flexible bonding for rotation.
The Lock/Bond and Group Selection operators are part of the Particle Flow Tools plug-in.

I'm "remodeling" the Orbaz site ( ( Once it's ready, I'll upload the max files there.

Oleg B.

Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 05:01 PM
Right, its my turn to do a little hi-jacking here. For those guys who are still interested in some Particle Flow tut DVDs, check out the new CG Academy Range of DVDs @

Right now there is a whole bunch of Particle Flow dvds in production that will cover things from the very basics, to advanced levels. Even our very own Mr Allan McKay is on there!!!

Cheers Guys ;)

Chris Thomas
CG Academy

p.s. Oh yes, if your wondering who I am, I was the guy that did the particle flow spiders tut waaaaay back. More goodies along those lines comming along soon ;)

p.p.s To help us target our DVDs to your needs, just what would you guys loves to see on new DVDs? and it doesn't have to be just on Particle Flow, what do you want in general?

08 August 2004, 08:53 PM
Geez that mckay guys such a sellout! :)

Great once Chris!
Personally would love to see more stuff on material and lighting - as there's so much you can do to really make or break a scene when it comes to that stuff, as well as building complex shader trees hundreds of layers deep, for example with making rusty old metal on a jeep or withered rock with cracks in it, grass/dirt/rock terrain etc. etc. and of course lighting.

Oleg - pflow tools is looking better by the day ;) can't wait to check out the presentation at sig.

08 August 2004, 11:05 PM
hi Chris & allan,

This training site is wonderful and are you also selling the Particle flow DVD which is available at Turbosquid or is it different?

regards, rohit

Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 11:39 PM
Yeah Allan, lighting is such a crucial element to good CG and everyone really can benefit from a basicly understanding of lighting. Even a modeller can enhance their models for their showreel so much by using some decent lighting. I have plans for a textureing series of DVDs and also for a lighting series, in some ways they share common isues, such as colour theory, and also sampling issues of one form or another. I'm a big fan of "artistic" lighting, that is to say, lighting for non photoeal results i.e. the work of Pixar or PDI, though of course "mechanical" methods such as HDRI is pretty much crucial these days for fx integration.

So... which comes first, the lighting/rendering or the texturing series :)

Oh yeah, and no, the DVD on Turbosquid is another DVD Allan produced before joining CG Academy, I here its also pretty damn good.


Chris Thomas

08 August 2004, 12:29 AM
>can't wait to check out the presentation at sig.<


Since the age of the ppl on the Siggraph floor should be over 16, I'll show an "R-rated" example for Particle Flow Tools: "Blood dripping". Or maybe better name it "Blood bath" ? :-)

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 01:15 AM
Basically the stuff I'm doing for CG acadamy and the stuff I did on my DVD are completely seperate and quite different. I never intended for these two to come out at the same time, as my DVD was due to come out 6 months ago.

Advanced visual effects is pretty essential I think to anyone's collection - it covers all areas of fx (shaders, procedural animation, scripting, particles amongst everything else).
The CG Academy Afterburn set is obviously focussed on every in and out of Afterburn, with the focus being on taking full advantage of it for film. So it covers how to create explosions, smoke, steam, even cool liquid! and very indepth with how everything works. But the other two are unique in the fact that they're actually going through the practice of getting a single FX shot and tackling it from start to finish. Whereas the other is a large toolkit/knowledge base of effects.

I'm very happy with both and obviously if you're a serious fx guy, I'd always recommend grabbing both(!!) :) But can't really say they equally compete as they're focussed on very different things in the end and the approach to both is quite unique too.

This is just the tip of the ice berg - as I have litterally pages upon pages of stuff I want to cover, and every day I'm developing and building new ways to do cool effects, even just recently with paycheck, scooby 2, blade3, hellboy, lord of the rings, exorcist the list goes on and on on effects I've developed pipelines for and plan to document in depth on how I've built them. So keeping that in mind, there's an infinite amount of new material both free and commercial - that I'll be focussing on down the line.

08 August 2004, 02:01 AM
I'm developing and building new ways to do cool effects, even just recently with paycheck, scooby 2, blade3, hellboy, lord of the rings, exorcist the list goes on and on on effects I've developed pipelines for and plan to document in depth on how I've built them. So keeping that in mind, there's an infinite amount of new material both free and commercial - that I'll be focussing on down the line.That would be nice Alan, to see all the processe required from the start till the end of the production.

I have already went to the site but, the advanced DVD are a bit expensive, and they only covers one single shot. If all the process is covered than i think it might be ok (not shure, still think its a bit expensive). For the Particle FLow DVD i think for what its covered on it, 49$ humm... maybe you can give us some insight on them.

Dont take this in a bad way, i would love to get my hand in all of them but just dont have the money for it (Ive already bought yours, maybe its just a bad timming). Just for an an example Alan here in Portugal the minimum wage is 350€ and the DVD is 89$ + Shipping, do you see what i mean... education is too expensive, damn.:sad:

Cheers My friends

08 August 2004, 02:44 AM
Exactly!! People don't usually realize, to do any fx shot usually takes months, there's no way to really summerize it in 30 mins how to do it all from scratch, which is why on one DVD I may go through so many different effects, but of course cover just how to do that one effect... and neglect to show a finished product.
Of course then I get people saying I didn't cover the shaders, the additional stuff and comping it.. which I reply "yes but that'd take 2-3 hours minimum!" :)

All of these effects aren't just one effect, they're multiple all rolled into one, which gives you a more indepth look at the process involved. Ideally most gnomon and other DVD's cover 3 tutorials in the span of 2-3 hours, and even then it's just the actual effect (for instance the alias advanced particles DVD). There's a lot of useful information you can get one from subject if it's done right as it might only be a few fx pieces in there, but there's a lot more time covering the theory as well as putting it all to work.

In this case I think it's really interesting way of doing it, and if you look at it as a complete set it works out quite well. Of course I do agree also that perhaps having 2-3 main tuts and a couple of small things also thrown on there is an ideal formula for doing a DVD which keeps everyone happy.
In this case I saw it as a complete set that'll teach you everything you'll ever need to know about afterburn.

RE: All the stuff I'll be doing - it's mix and match, I'm busy 'til xmas, but after that I'll be focussing on things like this where I can contribute to a set, but there'll also be my own products, as then I have the freedom to build the the content I choose, and make it 14hours to 3 weeks long if i choose to too :) but also I think having sets like CG Academy's have their uses, especially stuff like this where someone might be panicing on a job "oh geez I need to do an air strike or a fireball!I know! i'll get that DVD!" :) j/k

geez I've written a long reply...

RE: advanced DVD is not the CGA one, it's a lot more than 1 tutorial, although of course more of a bag of tricks than a full blown thing.

actually jut to reitterate further, yeah I agree that DVD's are expensive, I think they're appropriately priced for most people but still aren't convenient for everyone.
I'm never really involved in the pricing and other stuff - i make the content and give it to other people to handle, and of course if it's too harsh then I'll raise my hand and say "hey that's not on" I think both of these DVD sets are great resources andwell worth their money, but i can sympothise with people about it being seen as steep too.

08 August 2004, 09:29 AM

Havent been around much this summer, due to having no computer ( It litterary blew up ) and working alot. Checking in now makes my mouth all watery and slimey! Very nice work to all that have posted the last month. I need to get ahold of that DVD of yours McKay, tho shipping is a bitch to norway ;)

I'll be getting my new FX-53 system next week, so I will redo my site ( it looks quite gay ) and add some more tutorials I've had brewing up in my head.

And cant wait for the new PFlow tools or a new version. OlegB, thos videos looks really kickass! Really LOVE the TeapotArt movie :)

Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 10:18 AM
Yeah, pricing is a difficult issue. let me give you some idea of the thinking of the pricing for the CG Academy DVDs. Please don't take this the wrong way, but don't use Allan’s Turbosquid DVD as a benchmark for your standard tutorial DVD in terms of cost vs. duration. If you want to get a better look at the broader market, consider Discreets own training material, and also Gnomon's and Alias's material for the Maya market.

Our products are pretty much inline with Gnomons, apart from our MASTERS series, which is a little bit more expensive, not much though. Also, consider that on average our DVDs are nearly always longer than their standard 2 hours (sometimes twice as long) this is because our policy is to pick a topic at a certain level and then teach it, whether it takes two hours or four does not matter. However, we do ceiling out at a maximum of five hours per DVD due to file sizes, don't forget our DVDs are recorded at 1280x1024 in 25fps which gives perfect visual clarity and allows our instructors to teach max in a real production resolution (I’ve not managed to work out how to fit on dual monitor footage yet though ;) ). In terms of other markets DVDs, I believe Alias's DVD's go for approx $200 a pop also... Anyway, CG Academy isn't Gnomon or Alias. So here's our current price structure and the thinking behind it.

Basics DVDs = $49
These DVDs are for beginners, that both includes students and also persons transferring from other software. Due to the higher proportion of persons buying this series that are likely to be in training or in more modestly paid positions the price has been lowered.

Intermediate DVDs = $69
These DVDs are aimed at users that already have good skills in 3dsmax. These DVDs for instance would be aimed at Particle Flow users that know how it works on a basic level and want to explore more techniques, some of which will border on advanced. This set is aimed more at industry professionals, people that are earning reasonable money and want to get their skill set up to expert level in their field, as an example Particle Flow DVDs on scripting in PFlow (coming soon from Laszlo) would be in this bracket.

Advanced/Master DVDs = $89
These DVDs really are aimed at people near the top of their respective fields (or who are heading there fast). These DVDs are always tought by instructors who have a working pedigree in their field, and who in the max community are the guys that are pushing the envelope and give the Maya/XSI guys a run for their money. The user buying these DVDS should have a well paid job (if not, something’s wrong, get a new employer quick! ;) ).

And finally here are some more points to put things in perspective. Training DVDs for the 3dsmax market have tiny sales when compared with entertainment DVDs i.e. movies. A movie DVD in the UK will sell for £20 when released and will often sell in the millions. Our lowest priced DVDs are £27 and certainly wont be selling in the millions. Its a tiny market and as such we have to charge more per DVD or we simply will not make any profit. Not to be egotistical, but I get paid a very decent rate when working within the film industry, all our instructors do, now why should we spend our time doing DVDs for you, when we can make more money in our normal day jobs? Were passing on our knowledge to you, and all we ask is a fair return for our time.

These DVDs are an investment, its as simple as that. Their not for fun (though we try to make them fun where we can). Their about teaching new skills that will then allow you to progress as a professional, get a better job and hopefully earn more money yourselves. They'll teach you new skills that you will take with you for the rest of your career. CG Academy is designed to be a kind of online degree course hence my choice of name. Our DVDs will not just teach 3dsmax specifics, but where applicable wide ranging theory, like programming practice, colour theory and so on. And rather than picking up tips and tricks on forums piecemeal, you get it all in one concentrated, targeted power package.

All I can finally say is, why not try one? The Particle Flow Basics1 DVD is a very good example of what were about, and imho is a bargain at £27/$49.

Chris Thomas
CG Academy

08 August 2004, 03:45 PM
deetee! Been doing too much effects eh? had to blow yer pc up for reference? :)
I'll try and get some pflow tools tuts out upon it's release on top of the ones that come with it just to help get the ball rolling with how to make the most of it.

08 August 2004, 06:18 PM
Btw Alan since you are in the business can you explain me whats the procedure when you've done your work.

Lets say you have finished all the work on the particle and than? You just export the file like it is, and give it to someone to composite. Can you explain how ithappens?


08 August 2004, 03:00 AM
Additional operators and utilities for Particle Flow are available at Turbo Squid NOW! They are bundled together into a plug-in "Particle Flow Tools: Box#1"
For more information go to:

There is no Eval/Demo version at the Turbo Squid site yet, so here's the direct link to the demo version: (0.5Mb)

Unzip it into the 3dsmax/plugins folder. The new operators will appear in the Particle View depot. Keep in mind that this demo build is for the 3ds max 6 release. Support for the 3ds max 5.1 release coming soon.

And here's some scenes to illustrate the PFlowTools usage: (2.2Mb)

The demo version has some restrictions: it cannot render and cannot save files.

I gave the links to the animations earlier but here it goes again: (10.5Mb) (4.5Mb) (6Mb) (2Mb) (3.5Mb) (2.5Mb)

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 07:55 AM
Congrats oleg! GREAT NEWS!
Allow me to buy you a beer next week :)

I've updated my website, the design sucks I know - but right now that's all I have time for ;)
But it's better than that temp POS I had built.
So now I can start contributing more scenes, tutorials, behind the scenes on movies I work on, links, products, other info and useful stuff.

There's that fire tut I made up there now too, and other stuff.

Anyways.. figured I'd point it out.

08 August 2004, 08:16 AM
Hello all -

Was curious if anyone has Allan's great 3ds max fracture .ms script and his two PFlow Fracture tutorial videos handy, that cover using his script.

Thank you!

08 August 2004, 05:42 AM
G'day - will put them online after siggraph - so next weekend if that's cool?

08 August 2004, 07:22 AM
Awesome - thanks Allan!
I look forward to it, and best of luck this week at SIGGRAPH; they always rock.

Say, anyone know by chance any handy 3ds max 6 script/plug-in which can randomly assign different Object Colors (not material) to your given selected objects ? To better see each object when working with PFlow, reactor 2, and lots of different objects in the viewports.

08 August 2004, 10:09 AM
I'm curently trying to create foam on a animated surface.
How can I keep the particles stick on the moving surface while adding speed and forces to them?

any suggestion?

08 August 2004, 03:19 PM
it'd be a lot of scripting to get them to lock but let forces/speed effect them.
if you're using pflow tools it's really easy! I've already built a demo scene of objects bobbing up and down on a sea surface... not sure if olegs included it or not, if not then I'll release a bunch of scenes when it's officially out.

pixel roy, here I'll write you the script

script start-----------------

temparray = $
for i in 1 to temparray.count do
temparray[i].wirecolor = [random 0 255, random 0 255, random 0 255]

script end ------------------

might double check that, tend to have lots of typos when typing on my laptop ;) but that should work. Just have the objects you want to include selected when you run that.

08 August 2004, 07:15 PM
After reading this entire thread just today (my goodness, 70 pages!!) I am really interested in Allan's DVD. Now, I am from Germany as well, and so, again, the shipping costs really make me hesitate. Here's my idea: All German people in this thread, who are interested in the DVD, might put on a collect-order... we'll split shipping costs, and then simply ship the DVDs inside Germany (at affordable 1,44€).

Problem for me is: I don't have a credit card...

What do you think? Can we pull this off?

I have a question. I am trying some none-AB volumetric smoke shaders, and now I have a problem with the lighting, especially with the shadows. When I use raytraced shadows, the smoke itself doesn't look good, but therefore the shadow cast on the ground looks correct. When I use shadow maps, the lighting on the smoke looks great (because it's much softer), but the shadows on the ground look just wrong, especially since they don't react to material opacity. So even when the smoke material is already 100% transparent, the shadows of the spheres are still cast onto the ground plane.

Now, is there a way in MAX to make the shadow on the ground and the self-shadow on the smoke be cast by two different lightsources (one set to raytrace shadows, the other being set to shadow maps)?

08 August 2004, 03:21 AM
Thanks Allan.

I copied and pasted your script and was getting some odd results till I learned how to use scripts raw like this. I appreciate it. I saved the script than found I have to Run it to get it to take affect.

Object Wirecolor Randomizer v1.0 3ds max 5/6 script for those interested:

08 August 2004, 07:29 AM
Laserschwert, show us your result with non-AB volumetrics.I interested in too!
If you use MentalRay Material , you can use the Edge Shadow(Lume) in the Shadow channel. You can degrade the edges, add noise,and blur to the border of the shadows using it.

please, show us a render of your test

08 August 2004, 07:32 AM
WOw! I just watch SHRECK2 tonight... What a awsome fluid particle works PDI done!!!!!!
Anyone know which soft they use?

08 August 2004, 09:43 AM
For rendering particles PDI used their very own POINT RENDERER... arrgh, I want such a thing too.

If Allan says it wouldn't be too hard to write one, than somebody has to DO THAT!!!

Oh, and I'll put some of my smoke stuff up later. By the way, it's no MentalRay-material (I am still using MAX5.1).

08 August 2004, 10:39 AM
I spoke about fluids (water and foam) in shrek, so no point render for that. Smoke is not amazing in shrek2, this is look like Maya smoke system... nothing more

But I m waiting for a point render too !!!! :)

08 August 2004, 11:07 AM
As far as I know the DID use the point renderer for their water and foam effects... at leasts that's what the German magazine "digital production" says...

08 August 2004, 12:33 PM
Foam that are "just" bilions of particles with other motion, color, transparencie. So point renderer is realy good way. I think that U coud use point renderer for other thinx that just smoke. It looks like perfect way for mimic natural effect esspecialy becouse it can handle huge numbers of particles on witch other approach stuck. But this information is mainly my imagination. I coud not find any resourses of informations exept 2 or 3 messages on this, splutterfish's and discreet's boards. But particle point renderer for max definitly exist. But not in our dimension.

08 August 2004, 01:12 PM

sounds good, but i doubt someone take the risk. a better way is to ask official discreet dealers in germany, like dcp (gibts die noch?) or someting. may they react if they get enough requests for allans dvd.

ab shadow prob: just render two layers, each one with the shadows you like, and put them together in the post-process.

08 August 2004, 07:03 PM

sounds good, but i doubt someone take the risk. a better way is to ask official discreet dealers in germany, like dcp (gibts die noch?) or someting. may they react if they get enough requests for allans dvd.

that would be great if this would work out for us but not sure if they are still exist

08 August 2004, 08:04 AM
so last night i was lying in bed thinking(see what kind of life i have), hmmm i can't wait till max 7 comes out, but wait... i don't remember reading anything about particle flow in the max7.pdf?

does anyone know if they have enhanced it in any way? maybe i missed something?


08 August 2004, 08:36 AM
jason: I do believe it ships with 3ds max 7 yes, but I am not sure of any new features/fixes it may have

08 August 2004, 11:21 AM

I am trying to make a scene in 3ds max with pflow. It´s a glas window and through that, a bullet or something should pass through and break the glas in pieces, but not the hole glas, just a hole as realistic as possible.

I saw a plugin for maya called BlastCode and they have a few animation clips there with the same FX, check out for more info... Looks so cool.... And i want to do the same with 3ds max and pflow... Is that possible?

Thanks for ANY help with setup in pflow due i am rather new to this plugin... Maybe Allan McKay can give me some help or somebody else here?



08 August 2004, 11:28 AM

I am trying to make a scene in 3ds max with pflow. It´s a glas window and through that, a bullet or something should pass through and break the glas in pieces, but not the hole glas, just a hole as realistic as possible.

I saw a plugin for maya called BlastCode and they have a few animation clips there with the same FX, check out for more info... Looks so cool.... And i want to do the same with 3ds max and pflow... Is that possible?

Thanks for ANY help with setup in pflow due i am rather new to this plugin... Maybe Allan McKay can give me some help or somebody else here?



08 August 2004, 03:51 PM
Hey I'll answer everyone's msg's when siggy's over, but max 7 doesn't really have any pflow enhancements, it's more on the character side of things in this release.

Oleg B just announced pflow tools - which is a HUGE enhancement for pflow, although of course sold seperately.


08 August 2004, 05:11 PM
And what about Thinking Particles 2(Dcp, so it should work with afterburn). Seems great 8) on surface

08 August 2004, 05:42 PM
iceman: This is a great plug-in for Maya I had no idea was out, so thanks. I have not seen something this well done yet specifically for 3ds max. But I did write them and ask; in a year we will be able to use the stand-alone Blast Code as 3ds max works with RealFlow.

The closest thing we have to this in 3ds max is actually reactor 2 and its Fracture constraint. I am not sure if reactor 2's Fracture system is as accurate as Maya's Blast Code software, but it will do a good job after you prefracture your model. You can do this bullet effect with reactor 2 and Fracture - but need to model actual geometry for reactor 2, since it must use rigid-bodies to do it, whereas Blast Code does not seem to.

I am still trying to learn why some objects with reactor 2 surface-penetrate even when they are high geometry detail and set to a Concave Mesh. On my spare time I do a lot of simulation systems with 3ds max's reactor 2, and glass shattering like this is what I am trying to learn to prefracture model. So far I have done some basic tests at: on a long sheet of prefractured brittle glass (there are not small glass bits in these tests, if I wanted those I'd use PFlow with a break)

The key to reactor 2's Fracture system is coming up with a great way to prefracture the model itself.

As for a complex bullet hole, all you really have to do is get the tiny bits into 3ds max and extrude, and then give them all to the reactor 2 Fracture constraint and tweak it.

Maya's Blast Code however appears a lot more accurate in preventing surface-penetration and does not always use rigid-bodies.

Reality3D: not used Think Particles 2 a lot yet, but I will look into it as well.

08 August 2004, 01:23 AM
I found a good basis to pre-fracture shattered glass is Habware's free "Spider"-plugin, which could actually be used to create spider-web-like objects, although it looks pretty similar to shattered glass. Some more cuts here and there should make it work.

08 August 2004, 03:20 AM
will play catch up tomorrow on the forums.. but RE: Thinking Particles 2, glad it was announced at Sig. One thing to keep in mind no it WONT work with afterburn in any shape or form, and I doubt will ever work with afterburn. I'll just say that it's all on Cebas' end that they haven't helped get it to work - for reasons I guess they want pyrocluster to compete or I don't know what other reason.
Which is a shame I guess.. but then again ...


08 August 2004, 01:37 PM
Since now is dcp I supposed it would work with Afterburn. ****ing DCP :twisted:

08 August 2004, 02:25 PM
Hi guys, sorry to double post this. Online at redpixel a new serie of video tutorials. This time I teach how to make in 3ds max 6 a powder wire to be consumed during the animation and to free sparks with Particle Flow.

They are in Portuguese, but you can easly understand what's going just whatching the video in mute. An image worth a thousand words.

3 videos - 16 minutes - free content.

Direct links:



Particle Flow

Best regards,

08 August 2004, 04:30 PM
it's not dcp's fault, it's cebas
cebas won't talk to kresimir and make AB work - as it'll conflict with their "great" pyrocluster product.
excuse me if I sound jaded, but .. well... no comment I guess :)

did everyone like siggraph?
I'm still hungover from it all :)

Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 04:39 PM
Hey Allan, I'm still here at the rock face so to speak. Sorry I didn't catch you at the Blur party last night, it was a pretty big venue, lots of guys around. I'll try and catch up with you later this week if I can. I'm moving over to Venice beach area. Gordon Chapman knows the details. If you can make it over, it would be good to pop out for meal, and maybe a drink or two ;)

Hope everyone else had or is still having a good time at Sigg. ;)

Cheers guys

Chris Thomas (

08 August 2004, 06:03 PM
Yep Allan, but It shouldn't get a DCP category if it doesn't work with Afterburn!(that was one of the things dcp program were supposed to do)

08 August 2004, 09:04 PM
Hi I'm new to this forum and I was wondering if someone could help me solve a problem I'm having with particle flow. I have been trying to make a space ship produce particle streams from its engines using the pflow in Max 6. The ship has 4 engine cavities that I'd like to each produce a stream of particles. I've been trying to use the position object operator with 4 emitter objects, one in each engine cavity to emit one particle each. This particle would move with the ship. When the ship moved the particle would spawn additional particles by travel distance. The problem I'm having is that the position object operator doesn't seem to distribute the particles evenly among the objects in its list, when its location is set to pivot point.

What seems to happen is that if I have 4 particles in the birth event, 4 will be distributed among the last two objects in the list rather than evenly among all 4 objects. Is this a bug in pflow? Or is it in fact distributing the particles randomly? I thought according to the reference that when the position object operator's location is set to pivot the particles should be distributed evenly... Would it be very difficult to do this with a script? I'm still not very good at scripting but I think I could do it this way. Anyone else run into this problem before? Thanks for any help you can give! :)



08 August 2004, 09:44 PM
yah - cebas is a special case :)
I've got mixed feelings about all of that but won't get into it.
after blur - I'll try and focus on some learning material for pflow tools as it's got some amazing features, although Michele Bousquet has already done a fantastic job with building lots of training material already for PFT.

CT - yeah last night was pretty out there, spent most of my time with the frantic crew drinking away Tim and discreets' hard earned money :)
If only we could have gotten benoit from DD out on the dance floor we'd have the owners of all 3 of the worlds leading max studios on the floor 'getting jiggy'.

Was a great turn out, I honestly wasn't looking forward to the party but it turned out great - getting up for work the next day after lecturing and then meetings and THEN partying 'til 4 kinda made it hard though :)

Chose the wrong week to lose my phone down at long beach though :( missed a lot of important meetings because of that.

Great to meet everyone - I haven't really been too active on this side of the world so this siggraph was really interesting. Did anyone go to discreets particle class? Hope everyone enjoyed it - I had so much material I had to cram into 90 minutes so hopefully everyone felt satisfied.

08 August 2004, 05:36 AM
Good to see you back in forums Allan, and I look forward to all material you share with us and your website. :wise:

Vanoth - The problem is I think with the original spot when an object is created, that spot seems to be the original spot of the object's pivot point, and particles can emit from just that; but the object may have to be rotated to emit the direction you want. Or you could create a small cube primitive object and with 2 width and 2 length segments and then pick the center vertice on the desired side and use a Position Object operator to emit by Selected Vertices.

The next thing is, the PFlow system is allocating the particles among the multiple selected objects in the Position Object operator, and seems to offset their emission over time, and this creates "the grabs". If you add more objects, the operator likely has to distribute a particle per object, and this process is not absolute I think, so particles do not shoot out equally and with an absolute rate and distance. They seem to be offset in emission the more objects you use in the Position Object operator.

The only way I could get a even and steady proportional emission from a selected vertice was by using just one object in the Position Object; for that entire PFlow system. I do not think there is a work-around. The solution for your engines is perhaps to create 3 different PFlow emitters and each one dedicated to one engine. But I maybe overlooking something.

08 August 2004, 06:05 AM
Hey Allan and Chris, it was great meeting you guys. And yeah Allan, I had a good time at your particle class, showed some neat stuff. Arrg! How dare you talk about the blur party in front of me. :) Anyway, I hope all you guys who went to siggy had a great time like I did and hope next year is even better.

08 August 2004, 07:29 AM
Hey Tyler will reply to your email tomorrow sometime, just got back to work so playing catch up now (ack 12:30am, and still at work - great!)
and will play catch up on the last few days of cgtalk threads too :)

looks like I'm starting at blur this weekend and have a meeting friday so it's quite probable that I won't have time to meet up again before you leave :\ although will let you know how I go. Eitherway was great to meet up with the infamous tyler reed - it was too bad I was a lil scattered running allover the place trying to organize what was going on that night etc.

looking forward to the next sig, hopefully will have more time, as always I never end up getting to really see what's happening at sig cause of meetings,demos and talks etc :\

and great meeting everyone by the way! sorry if I snubbed anyone to run off in the direction of the beer! :)

08 August 2004, 10:05 PM
Here's a cut down version of the subway sequence at the start of blade 3, here a lot of the extra effects shots I think have been taken out, so a lot of the cool bits of skeleton crumbling apart etc. aren't in there unfortunately.

but check it out if you're bored - by far not the coolest part of the flick, but there's plenty of max work in there :)

We did all the ashings etc.


08 August 2004, 10:58 PM
Very nice work.
These fiery visual special effects are impressive and well crafted for the action and directorial.

08 August 2004, 09:10 PM
Hello :)

Im a new one here. I have a one simple question.
Can everyone help me vith mapping PF source in Particle View ?!??
I have a few good particle animation but Im not able to put a material on thouse particles :banghead: :cry:

Please, cen anybody help me ??? :deal:


08 August 2004, 09:41 PM
Was a great turn out, I honestly wasn't looking forward to the party but it turned out great - getting up for work the next day after lecturing and then meetings and THEN partying 'til 4 kinda made it hard though :)


This was my 3rd Blur Party, 1999 was a small one, but legendary ("Heaven and Hell"), 2001 was big but too crowded (how many 3D geeks + chicks can you compress into a small club?), so my expectations were low this year, but 2004 turned out both big and potentially legendary, thanks to the very large theatre with many outdoor areas and the great dance music...
It was a very nice positive surprise!
I even didn't mind the absence of free T-shirts at the end... 2001 I got 4 T-shirts and still didn't like the party! ;)

To quote The Brain (you know, the white lab mouse with world ruler aspirations), "Free T-shirts are the strongest force in the Universe". That's why I am measuring the quality of Siggraphs by the number of collected T-shirts.

I gathered 7 this year, all unique (last year I had 11, but half of them were the standard 3dsmax 6 Evolve model). I missed at least 3 - the Massive, the Eyeon Fu5, and the CGartitect one (but it was red this year, and I hate washing red ones)...
Taking into account the severely reduced time I had this year because of the numerous presentations I had to do, I think this Siggraph was a very good one!

08 August 2004, 09:53 PM
What seems to happen is that if I have 4 particles in the birth event, 4 will be distributed among the last two objects in the list rather than evenly among all 4 objects. Is this a bug in pflow? :)

Yes, since the Position Object is using a Random function, it is not distributing evenly. Oleg wrote a PositionObject2 version which has the added bonus of distributing evenly, for example if you are emitting from vertices, it would emit a particle from each vertex before repeating a vertex.

A workaround would be to create 4 Events below the same Emitter with 4 Birth Operators and 4 Position Operators, while still keeping all other operators either in a following Event or in the Emitter. This will give you independent control over the 4 engines, but a single set of force, material and whatever additional operators you might have...

Just an idea.

(At Siggraph, I demoed an automated script called "Collision Flow" which would link dozens or even hundreds of Events with own Birth+Position operators to the same Emitter to get time-offset secondary particles emitting when scene objects would collide.)

08 August 2004, 10:43 PM
Bobo - nice workaround! I plan to try this out.

Madrid - Welcome - now, can you 1) mention a bit about your PFlow setup? Perhaps some example or something to see - even a screen shot, and 2) how you want the particles to finally look.

You could even use an existing piece of work to show what particle texture you are after.

08 August 2004, 04:01 AM
ok so heres the thing.

I have several words in my scene and I am able to get those words to disolve (so to speak) into particles and collect into one major particle system but how do I go about to get that particle system to change back into one word?

any help would be appreciated


08 August 2004, 01:40 PM
In this thread is a samplefile I posted that does that. Looks crappy, but with some more fidling u'll be able to make it look better.

Just add more emtters (tekst in your case) and add them to the flowsetup.


08 August 2004, 05:01 PM
To get particles to assemble and dissasemble is a pain in pflow right now - purely as the position node will just tell the particles toa ssemble randomly onto the surface, it isn't a smooth 'transition'.

check out pflow tools at or it's a verrry powerful new plugin from the creator of pflow - it works wonders, especially for doing what you're asking, amongst dozens of other examples.

bobo yeah my partying hasn't ended, I was out at blur all sunday and ended up going out drinking with one of the TD's at digital domain, some 5 or 6 hours later and all the bars shut - I was feeling quite seedy :)

BIIIG weekend - biiiig hangover :)

08 August 2004, 05:42 PM
What is the trick to using procedural textures on particles?

I have an asteroid field animation I am working on, but the asteroids move through the textures instead of the textures remaining locked on.

How do I lock the UV's?

08 August 2004, 05:54 PM
thanks allan and chritter.

I had basiclly the same thing set up last night when I rendered this small animation. I am sorry for the bad quality and the double divx sig in the animation. The first animation was over 3 mb and the pflow uploader's max size is 2 mb. Also , sorry for the .rar format. Second animation was just a bit too large still.

I will continue to work on it still and show u the progress later. :)

Oh ya, I am a noob with particle flow and max as it is only my hobby so dont laugh. lol

08 August 2004, 08:12 PM
I made some improvements on the dissasemble and reasemble of the words that I was having trouble with and it looks alot better but not 100 % yet. Please take a look and post comments or questions. What ever you want. :)

I do have some runaway particles but I dont have the slightest clue on how to fix it yet. I will probably learn that part soon, lol. Did I say I was a noob yet. :rolleyes:

avi file below

08 August 2004, 09:10 PM
DarkVIP - nice improvements. I'd like to see it a bit brighter and maybe see an intermediate mesh in-between the current transition you have, for a bit of turbulence - just an idea.

Allan - you think you might be able to post your great PFlow fracture process/script?

08 August 2004, 12:55 AM
Yep for sure - right now I'm in the middle of a crunch on the new superbowl opener for next year as well as freelancing for blur studios so it's kind of killing me right now to do anything when I actually get back home at night, but will put it on my to do list and see if I can get around to it. But definitely will be releasing a lot of stuff now my half arsed page has been at put together to accomodate that kind of stuff.

DarkVIP - cool animation!

Pongo - check Bobo's made a tut on how to script that stuff to work. Once again, pflow tools can do that stuff very easily, but it's not impossible with pflow vanilla as long as you don't mind getting your hands wet with a lil scripting.

08 August 2004, 02:33 AM
Thanks for the suggestions PexElroy and Bobo. Bobo I tried your workaround. It worked fine, although for some reason the original event was 'leaking' particles when the ship wasn't moving. Deleting it and copying one of the clones fixed this though. Also I found I had to also include the spawn event in each one of the cloned events or else the original four particles wouldn't follow the ship.

I'm certainly interested in Oleg's new plugin for Pflow but I think I'll need to save up a bit for it. That Colision Flow script sounds cool. Not sure I entirerly understand what its for, but sounds neat!

08 August 2004, 03:37 AM
hey, anyone know how to make something like this:


If you know a site that has a tutorial to make it, please share :)

thanks :D

08 August 2004, 07:36 AM
c0rtex: try pm "treed" tyler reed, by the looks of the url he did it, he posted something on the prvious page!!


08 August 2004, 01:13 AM
it's not dcp's fault, it's cebas
cebas won't talk to kresimir and make AB work - as it'll conflict with their "great" pyrocluster product.

From what I recall about the concepts of the dcp requirements... each dcp plugin should work with other dcp plugins. I spoke to Beau when finalrender stage1 was released as I was reviewing it at the time, and he mentioned that it worked with afterburn, which it did :) Personally I was amazed that he managed to get the two parties talking, but he managed it. Now from what I understand, Pyrocluster2 isn't a dcp plugin, but TP2 is, so technically if it doesn't work with AB, it's going against the dcp requirements. I'm just about to start reviewing TP2 and will more than likely raise these issues with Beau and see what he has to say on the matter.

Anyone who has been using max for a while knows there's no love lost between the two companies... its just a shame that, after the problems had been resolved, it seems like war is upon us once again...!


08 August 2004, 02:08 AM
regarding the disassembling and reassembling of an object... as allan mentioned its a right ol pain in the backside to get working with pflow at the moment.

Sandblaster, and other particle systems such as TP perform this operation by fragmenting the object, relocating the particles, and re positioning them on the target object. The particle fragment shape changes over time from object_fragmentA to object_fragmentB by scaling down A from 100% to 0% and B from 0% to 100%. So therefore, all we need is a system to generate the fragmented particles of both objects at position A, then relocate them to position B in the correct places, while scaling one down and the other up. We therefore have two problems... the fragmentation of the objects (there needs to be the same amount of fragments on both objects), and the relocation and alignment of the particles to the second object in the correct places.


08 August 2004, 04:31 AM
Working on it...

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 06:47 AM
I was boozingit up with one of the TD's at digital domain 'til about 3 in the morning Monday morning... I had my shitty discreet evolve bag on me - managed to actually get mobbed by a combustion user who spotted my bag which was kinda funny at 2 in the morning ;)

Honestly - I don't get into 'software wars' and I'm not a biased person, but there are only two software companies who although haven't 'screwed me over' I've made a decision to just not work with unless I absolutely have to - and unfortunately now I'm at the place that I'm at I 'have to'. TP2 is a fantastic product, although it's just so petty how 'they' won't work with others to fix workarounds like this, whereas you get most other companies wanting to aim for compatibility - I sure know I'd choose AB over Pyro any day, so losing TP/AB compatibility will only hurt their product more.
Kresimir is very open to trying to get them to work - it's taken 'me' pushing the buttons of several cebas affiliates to even get a response back to Kres about the whole ordeal, and they're still not very open about it all.

Anyways I could talk all day about a lot of the situation with Cebas and other various things tied in there - although I think it's probably in my best interests not to say anything than to 'say anything' :)

Pete! You're doing a review of TP2? That'll be fun - it's definitely come a long way, we're using it for Blade stuff - lotsa vamps getting killed.
TP2 has blurp - which is a fun tool but still pretty primitive, and keep in mind it's a 'fragmenting' tool, so getting particles to assemble from dust or stars or any other kind of effect isn't really easy to do in TP...

I was going to say something else but can't remember, looking forward to the day when I finish my day job, I finish working for the evening, ... ZZzzz.


08 August 2004, 10:23 AM
TP2 has blurp - which is a fun tool but still pretty primitive, and keep in mind it's a 'fragmenting' tool, so getting particles to assemble from dust or stars or any other kind of effect isn't really easy to do in TP...

yeah I remember this being a pain in TP1... did a major particle-based medical animation with it a couple of years ago and was screaming for blood (kieron can vouch for me on that one!) :)

it is definately a shame that the two products won't work together... I'll leave my conclusions until I've spoken to Beau, but as you mentioned it is only going to hurt a product if it is not compatible... if I've already got AB (which I have) i wouldn't go out and buy pyro2... however I would seriously consider tp2 (again, I haven't actually reviewed it yet, so my assumptions may change later on) if it worked with AB.


08 August 2004, 04:31 PM
What is TP1?

08 August 2004, 05:00 PM
Tp ->Cebas Thinking particles

08 August 2004, 12:05 AM
Working on it...

Oleg B.


Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 12:12 AM
Is that aphex twin in the booth with you Pete?


08 August 2004, 12:16 AM
yep... scary faces a go-go!

still not got over the jet lag eh chris?? :)


Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 12:25 AM
nope.... I love staying up all night


08 August 2004, 04:50 AM
Chris - and don't dare you go to sleep! Files almost done uploading ;)

Pete - that hair real? my mate lived in london for 10 or so years, and his hair's almost that big - and natural! scary eh?

08 August 2004, 08:20 AM
Pete - that hair real? no, I've just got an exceptionally big head :D

(ie no, not really hair - funky 70's afro)

word to your mother (etc)

disco p

08 August 2004, 09:48 AM

08 August 2004, 06:12 PM
Allan - when can you upload your PFlow fracture script/process for us?

[typed] All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

08 August 2004, 09:15 PM
yep sorry - I'm doing a weekend over at blur, then gotta do some final tweaks to some CG Academy stuff tonight - but sometime during the week.. I'll write it down now so maybe tonight when I get back to my neck of the woods..

Sorry - things have been insane lately, especially with siggraph. Heading back to Australia for 2-3 weeks, so will make sure I put up all my scripts etc. before I go, cause I know moving back and forth around the planet I get sidetracked with that kind of stuff.

08 August 2004, 10:13 PM
:thumbsup: Thanks Allan - 'cause any help in your insane schedule is treasured...

08 August 2004, 02:57 AM
Won't be insane for too much longer - leaving DD in a couple of weeks!

Will be making some pflow tools tut stuff soon to show off all it's cool features etc.
and will get that fracture script out as soon as I can!

- btw with my new site (ugly aint it?) you guys find that project stuff useful? like how you click on the paycheck poster or scion and it has info on the project?
Can get more indepth on how a lot of the fx were done etc. if people have some interest in that.

-Allan McKay

08 August 2004, 03:58 AM
of course we are interested. All your work is great :)

08 August 2004, 04:51 PM
Bring it on! :buttrock:

08 August 2004, 09:02 PM
Hi all, I'm using PF for the first time, just been trough this thread but couldnt quite find the answer for my problem.
I want a emiter, box for exemple, to start emiting then go trough a few space warps and then gather onto another object and stick to it, I've managed to do it, but my problem is that I want to have the second object animated and want the particles to follow with it.

What i have rite now is something like this:

Emiter (Box)-Age test->Force(s)-Age Test->Find Target (Sphere)...then I have Speed (0 Value), but when move the sphere the particles dont move with it.

Hope this makes any sense to any of you, if so, help would be much apreciated.


08 August 2004, 11:51 PM
The standard Particle Flow operators don't do the "stick to an animated object" thing, if this is not the very first event where the particles are placed with the Position Object operator. It is possible to do with the Script operators but it involves heavy scripting. The Position Object operator places particles in random order and doesn't honor the current particle position.

The effect is easily achievable with the Lock/Bond operator of Particle Flow Tools. See the animations below as an example: ( ( (

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 11:55 PM
I did some workaround, but it does not support object deformation, only position rotation(activavte speed by icon orientation check) and scale

08 August 2004, 12:28 AM
Hey I have a question. I'm trying to make a script so when i make a pfsource it defualts at showing 100% in viewport and not 50%. I made a macroscript but its worthless cuz you actually need pfsource01 in the scene for it to change it. Here was the original macroscript. But I'm pretty sure I need to make just a script file and not a macroscript. Any idea on making this work?

macroscript CustomPflow category: "ParticleFlow"
$'PF Source 01'.Quantity_Viewport = 100

08 August 2004, 01:06 AM
I think it should be a macroscript button that actually creates a new PFSource, and then assigns the proper viewport multiplier value. Something like that:

pfSource = PF_Source()
pfSource.SetPViewLocation 0 0
op1 = RenderParticles()
pfSource.AppendAction op1
pfSource.Quantity_Viewport = 100

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 01:07 AM
Just put this

macroscript CustomPflow category: "ParticleFlow"
for i in objects do
if(classof i==PF_Source) then i.Quantity_Viewport = 100

08 August 2004, 01:29 AM
Oleg, thnx a bunch man it works perfect now.

Reality3D, I tried what you said but it did the same as my macroscript did. It only worked when there was a pfsource in the scene.

08 August 2004, 06:25 AM
hey haven't had a chance to read the latest posts yet..
but anyway here's the fracture script, no idea why anyone would want this as it's not finished but it'll do what it's intended to do.
nothing fancy though - will release more info soon on how to use this in conjunction with scripting in pflow to get it to read this geometry in as particles.

08 August 2004, 07:57 AM
Thank you for the script Allan, I'm testing it out, but everytime I try to fracture something, i get a "MaxScript Rollout handler exception" saying -- unable to convert: undefined to type: <node>

what is this? :)

08 August 2004, 08:33 AM
Won't be insane for too much longer - leaving DD in a couple of weeks!

- btw with my new site (ugly aint it?) you guys find that project stuff useful? like how you click on the paycheck poster or scion and it has info on the project?
Can get more indepth on how a lot of the fx were done etc. if people have some interest in that.

-Allan McKay
yeah allan, i have a question about that scion clip. there is some kind of camera shutter effect.
i ve tried to get this effect but dont really get comparable results. maybe you can explain that thing. anyway on this project i really wish to get more infos and details.


08 August 2004, 10:05 AM
The standard Particle Flow operators don't do the "stick to an animated object" thing, if this is not the very first event where the particles are placed with the Position Object operator. It is possible to do with the Script operators but it involves heavy scripting. The Position Object operator places particles in random order and doesn't honor the current particle position.

The effect is easily achievable with the Lock/Bond operator of Particle Flow Tools.
Oleg B.I did some workaround, but it does not support object deformation, only position rotation(activavte speed by icon orientation check) and scale
Thanks for replys, the budget doesnt really allow to spend money on Particle Flow Tools, so will have to figure out other way of doing it, managed to get the particles to follow mesh but if I apply a modifier the particules dont follow the mesh deformation, ultimately what I want to do is for the particles to stick to a animated character(s) using biped and phisique/skin...


Mr Fudge
08 August 2004, 08:48 PM
Like if for example I have created a Parray, converted it to object fragments. I then want to hook a particle flow on to each fragment. I have used the mesher and assigned it to the Parray. The particle flow doesn't seem to follow the Parray.

Anyone have any experience with this????


08 August 2004, 01:33 AM
try in pflow position_object operator - turning 'animated' checkbox to 'on'... then it'll read the new vertex transformations.

08 August 2004, 08:41 AM
Like if for example I have created a Parray, converted it to object fragments. I then want to hook a particle flow on to each fragment. I have used the mesher and assigned it to the Parray. The particle flow doesn't seem to follow the Parray.

Anyone have any experience with this????

FMaybe this will help you:

Mr Fudge
08 August 2004, 12:24 PM
Yep, you are right, that works.

Thanks Allan.

The scriptspot tutorial also looks interesting, will go through it when I get more time.


08 August 2004, 08:14 PM
neods - are you still having issues with that script?
or is it working now?
will look into it if it isn't working - but seems to always work for me.
will release the pflow side of the script very soon too.

08 August 2004, 10:50 PM
i know this may be asking too much, but how about posting a quick video tutorial or at least a to do list. Do this and then that followed by this and I am sure he might get it then. Oh ya, I might get it too when i get back to my computer, lol

I havent tried yet. :(

08 August 2004, 07:15 AM
Yeah, still having problems with it. If i create a box for example, and then change it to a editable poly, run the script, select the object, then I get the MaxScript Rollout handler exception, which says -- unable to convert: undefined to type: <node>

donno if I'm doing something wrong? but I will be waiting for the tutorial and the pflow side too. Thanks

08 August 2004, 04:55 PM
Allan - even your "tests" you do and those non-final scripts are very useful to us all, so never underestimate your tool, even if not 'final'. And thank you for posting it, I will be playing with it this week and weekend to shatter meshes with PFlow and reactor 2 - and will unquestionably share my work with you all.

And if I do face any problems or errors, I will post them here too so we all may mutually benefit which is another reason why anything we create is always useful to some degree, even if very small.

Keep pushing the envelope everyone and think outside the box! :)

08 August 2004, 05:51 PM
ack - my bad. The script stuffs up, I fixed it last night, but then when I restarted max it stops working, so obviously there's some global variable I set that it lost again.
Will look into this after the blade wrap party Saturday. Things have been crazy, and with the exception of probably flying back to Australia next week, things will be quiet as of this weekend ;)
So will release the fracture script "fixed" as well as a bunch of other scripts I've written and a heap of pflow scripts, also will release a tutorial or two if I can.
And some other stuff on pflow tools too.

Until then - I'm kinda awal :) modeling stuff for superbowl and catching up on my sleep.

PS. that fracture script relies heavily on JB's function, mines just the sugar coating on creating all the elemetns and setting it up, it goes through and detatches the elements.. so nothing too special. Will be making a tut on how to script out a pretty powerful birth script which procedurally reads a lot of what happens in your scene and builds itself around it etc. so that should be pretty interesting.

Chris Thomas
08 August 2004, 07:21 PM
A quick heads up here guys...

Allan McKay’s Afterburn Masters series is now available as a boxed set. This series of DVDs goes into Afterburn in great depth and is a great resource for those learning this powerful plugin or who simply want to improve their skills. The boxed set offers a saving of £24 / £41 over buying the series DVDs individually. You can find more info here…

Thanks for your time

08 August 2004, 07:30 PM
Thanks Allan. Cant wait to get my hands on those. And I hope you all the best when you go back home. Is it nice going back to Australia?

08 August 2004, 08:38 PM
I like Australia more than LA - but there's positive and negative sides of everything.

I haven't definitely made up my mind about my plans - but I'm leaning towards going back in a week or so, at least for a while. But it's been great over here, lot of fun.

08 August 2004, 06:02 PM
You rock Allan. You deserve our respect, and have it.

I look forward to your fixed fracture script and any future content you share. Plus I am glad to hear you're getting sleep in your schedule :wise:

jmonkey2000 - thanks for this info, I will get the box set soon.

08 August 2004, 11:46 PM
no sleep yet... on teh weekend I will :)
blade 3 wrap party tonight in hollywood.. if I don't wake up in a jail cell with some guy calling me fish or bubba then I'll be happy.

but hoping this weekend to get back on top of things
have a few days to maek up my mind about the whole LA or Australia thing.. so lots to do
but fracture stuff will get done for sure.

08 August 2004, 04:57 AM

While we seem to be on a "fracture" technique I thought I'd ask if anyone has a MAXscript that will take an object that is composed of Elements (I used PArray to fracture a sphere then did snapshot), and detach it into individual objects? I need a high res model so there are over 400 elements in the model. Doing this manually is very time consuming.

Is this what Alan's script does? If so then I might as well wait until Alan uploads his script. If not I could really use a script to do this operation. I'm not enough of a coder to figure out how to write a DO loop to find each element to detach to an object.


08 August 2004, 06:50 PM
Hi Allan, Hi everyone, greetings from Indonesia,
I've been learning particle flow for sometime now and getting more and more into it... love the stuff,
well I'm still so faaar away from you guys but it seems to me that I can learn much more from you all.

I've seen your tutorials Allan, and looking forward to get my hands on your DVDs as well :)
Btw, is it possible to post some case study for particle flow learning/practise? or is there any around already?

no sleep yet... on teh weekend I will :)
blade 3 wrap party tonight in hollywood.. if I don't wake up in a jail cell with some guy calling me fish or bubba then I'll be happy.You'll be fine,.. just got party have fun! :)

but hoping this weekend to get back on top of things
have a few days to maek up my mind about the whole LA or Australia thing.. so lots to do
but fracture stuff will get done for sure.Why don't you come over have a holiday in the tropics?
can also teach us some cool particle things to play with as well ;)

best regards
--( milan )--

08 August 2004, 07:41 PM
As Allan fixes his fracture script, it should fracture models, how good and how much "fracture variation control" is still something I am not sure of yet, or how it works to yield realistic fractures.

08 August 2004, 08:35 PM
=( We'll I purchased the DVD last week and was hoping it would show up by today (no mail on sunday/tomorrow). I was reallying looking forward to spending the weekend with ya allen, (I bought a nice wine and some candles too. Let's see, hmm, 60 bucks for DVD, 20 bucks for wine, 5 bucks in candles, jeez whats a guy gotta do to get a date around here!. lol*jk). I guess a few late nights next week will hafta do. *sigh*

p.s. Is anyone watching/maintaining the p-flow uploader? seems to be getting a little bit polluted. Maybe a cleanup might be in order soon. I'de love to see it become a solid resource of "show and tell" regarding Pflow, theres seems to be some flash, and random texts kicking around, as well as some "look what I did" vids, with no corresponding max files or information. (just an thought, easier to prune now than later, if time is an issue for anyone, ide be happy to help. I'de offer my not so green thumb and pruning sheers every couple o' weeks or so).

I think the uplaoder is a great idea, is all.

Best Regards

08 August 2004, 02:17 AM
DRSWOBODA (member.php?u=94881) if you check out my script, the john burnett function does exactly that. you might need to set it up as a for loop or something... but you can do it
email me offline if you want and remind me, I'll see about writing it. I might be a lil unaccessable this week but I'll try to get onto it.

RE: The script, I had time to look at it today, it's just some undefined variables which are now fixed.

I'll do some pflow stuff tonight or tomorrow in regard to that.

ArtiZta - cheers. I haven't done any major case studies using pflow yet. In terms of film, Frantic did one on scooby which covered pflow/scripting. I'll be doing some down the line in terms of films I've worked on and maybe 'some' simulation stuff.

razzblade: Doh - yeah hope that dvd arrives soon :)

08 August 2004, 06:49 PM
Thanks Allan.

Any help is welcome - If I fracture a standard 2D Plane object, I seem to get these face/vertice edge discrepancies. I do not know why or how to avoid these discrepancies (they also appear in a render) - see image:

Also, is it possible to add in a Seed field? Does PArray allow a different fracture seed? Even if I use 25 or 27 fracture pieces, the fracture pattern seems to be the same.

08 August 2004, 06:59 PM
Hey, I have a question about the fracture script too. How do you get pflow to automatically read in the geometry? Like whats the pflow process in that?

08 August 2004, 07:05 PM
about the verticy face discrepencies.

I am not a coder or anything like that, also I could be wrong in this but I think it might have something to do with.

When you select one piece of the fragment, it will select it but also select it as a square or rectangle. not the shape of the fragment.

08 August 2004, 08:01 PM
a seed feature would be really easy to implement. This script though is a POS so it's hard to want to add stuf to it, it's like decorating a pile of doodoo and being picky about one or two flowers or streamers you put on it ;)

Heya Tyler how's it going?
The way the particles adopt the pieces is through a birth script I wrote. I've uploaded a tutorial on how to do all of this, hope it helps.

I originally wrote a more complex version of the script, it was really cool, I could link physical objects to the particles and have it keep their original position etc. but animate via particles, really tricky an really cool. This here Fracture script is just instancing and a bit of extra stuff thrown in so it acts more procedural.

Anyway hope to see everyone breaking stuff in no time ;)

New vid tut which explains the pflow bit:

08 August 2004, 09:55 PM
Allan: what happened to your "more complex [fracture] version of the script" ?

PS - not sure all your Camtasia files were updated, the Flash is not loading for me.

08 August 2004, 11:15 PM
Its not loading for me as well. :( Guess we will have to wait.

08 August 2004, 04:35 AM
Flash is not loading for me either.

Btw guys, I'm late on this fracture discussion and wouldn't want to bother you with the old questions so can anyone point me to the beginning please?... I’m also not a coder but would like to know at least few basic things... :)

Away from the fracture, how do I make a particle collide and stick to the surface and follows the surface animation exactly where it hits?... similar to the surfacefloat tut from Allan. What I have is the particle respanws on different locations if i try to do that with animated surface. On static surface is working fine.


08 August 2004, 05:53 AM
There is something wrong with the flash controller file, it cannot find the movie flash or something. Anyways, I cant wait to see this, And thank you once again Allan..

08 August 2004, 05:55 AM
that's the direct url. not sure wtf's up with camtasia writing the htm swf controllers.. I'll fix it in the morning or something. Just means right now you have no vcr'esk controls so you have to play from the beginning which is a bitch.

The 'more advanced' script isn't a fracture script, it's basically a way to control objects via particles, which is nothing new, but it had a lot of advanced stuff in there so it keeps original positions which are easily updatable etc. So it works much more like a propper sim. Which means you can tweak the motion and have a lot of non particle type stuff go on throughout it. It's pretty neat.
All of this stuff I'll put up eventually, there's been hideous amounts of R&D I've been doing in my spare time - especially working at a place which is so pflow unfriendly I've built so much stuff IN pflow just to make a point.

But I've got a lot of non work related BS I have to sort through over the next few weeks, as well as working out where in the world I'm going to be living in a few weeks, so website will be updated once things are a little more stabalized ;) But will still try and put some new stuff up over the next week. Hopefully this fracture stuff helps a lil bit.


08 August 2004, 04:22 PM
Cool one Allan, thanks a lot :) just watched it after taking me a while to download ..
somehow the connection is so slow to your site :sad:
anyway, will experiment more with it tomorrow..
gotta go get some sleep now.


08 August 2004, 04:32 PM
That fracture script is really great... and the tutorial makes it damn easy to put to use.

I am not really familiar with scripting, but besides the mentioned "seed"-function, I wonder if it's possible to implement a "chunk size based on a greyscale map"-feature. For example, if I want to simulate a bullet hitting a glass window, I would want the chunks to be smaller in the center of impact, and get larger towards the edges, and so I would use a radial grayscale-gradiant.

Another question: Would it be possible to create a fracture-script that fractures objects in 3D-space? I have seen a Reactor fracture-tutorial containing an ice-cube smashing down and breaking into several chunks. But in this case the fracture-lines weren't just aligned to one 2D-plane, of course, they were traveling through the 3D object-space of the cube. I guess it would require the cube to be divided into smaller cubes (just as the plane in your fracture-tutorial is divided into smaller squares), which the fracture-script could cut its way through in some fractal (maybe based on a procedural 3D-texture?) or purely random way. Atlhough after that, the script somehow would have to "fuse" the edges of those cubes, that belong to the same chunk... probably a bit harder to do than just extruding the edges of the fractured 2D-plane.

08 August 2004, 05:05 PM
Well the first thing you're talking about is along the lines of brittle or stress test fractures. I will say 'right now' with pflow it can't do that, in fact no out of the box 3d package has that feature built in. Although like I said 'right now' it's not in there :)

The second thing is possible, you just have to think a little bit further than the tutorial. There I had it fragment a flat 2d plane. That doesn't mean you can't fracture ice cubes or whatever else you want. And there's a dozen ways to get it to crash on impact, it's all really straight forward. If you need a hint I'll drop em - but would much rather you work it out yourself :)
But you can get that type of effect really easily.

08 August 2004, 05:32 PM
Letting the thing crash down isn't the big problem for me... I guess I can do this with any physic simulation out there (like Reactor or SimCloth). The problem for me is getting the ice-cube (to keep this example) to be cut into the correct pieces. Cutting the cube by hand, using booleans, isn't only extremely tedious, it isn't as "random" as it would be having a script to do it.

Obviously you used particle-array to create the chunks for your script. This is of course very easy, when you have an object, that's already prepared for this, like a plane with many segments.

BUT if you have a volumetric object (and a cube is damn simple already), it wouldn't be enough to crank up the segments on the cube object, since this only causes the outer "skin" of the cube to get more segments. If I would apply ParticleArray to this, the object chunks would only be these skin-segment, extruded inside the object. But what about real procedural cracks "digging" their way through the cube, to split it into chunks, that aren't simple inward-extrusions? Is that possible at all? What about chunks, that do not contain ANY of the outward faces, but were pieces of the INSIDE of the cube?

08 August 2004, 06:58 PM
well not really.. because by definition polygons are like egg shells. they're hollow inside.
you could write a script which randomly does this, sends like a Z-Ray through to calculate depth, and then mass by dimensions alongside the velocity and area of impact to calculate a psuedo brittle sim, but that's breaking away from what I was trying to do with just implementing an easy way to do fragments in pflow :)
But it is possible, there's a lot of papers out there on that kind of thing, obviously what I described is more of a hack than a real sim, but it'd work just as well and be a lot less math overhead to write.

You can get the clashing and impact etc. through particles by the way. Don't need to rely on dynamics necessarily unless you absolutely want to. So you could have it test the velocity on impact and have it shatter and break apart like that. But pending on what you want as it sounds like you're breaking away from particles quite drastically in terms of some of the stuff you've mentioned.

I would say with booleans or slice/detach/cap/noise_Selection you can get some pretty good results that have 'volume/depth' if you wanted without too much trouble, and then use the fracture helper in reactor to go from there if necessary. Which I know you've already tried, but that'd be the most straight forward way. Otherwise get it to spawn particles on impact to fake the depth.

08 August 2004, 07:29 PM
But when simulating the shattering of an object through ParticleFlow, isn't there the problem of inaccurate collisions? If I got it right, "collision" only occurs, if a deflector hits a particle... not the shape of the particle.

For example, in your tutorial you have the deflector traveling through the field of particles, whereas each particle has the shape of a fragment. Now, the collision doesn't occure when the deflector hits the edge of one of the fragments, but the corresponding particle in the geometric CENTER of it... this means, that the deflector has to travel halfway through the fragment, before it even COUNTS as a collision... of course, for most simulations this way is absolutely sufficient. But for "physically correct" (as far as this can be simulated by modern computers) collision, you would still have to use a simulation, right?

But as I said, the collision part is the smaller task here. The "cutting the object into chunks" is the hard thing to do. I would really love to see a tool doing this procedurally. By the way, what do you mean by "noise selection"?

08 August 2004, 07:31 PM
Hey Allan

I checked out the CG academy DVDs on Afterburn and they look really good, but little strapped right now for money, was wondering if you could offer some insights into using the octane shader in afterburn to make particles look like mist or smoke. I have been trying on my own to get octane to look this way with little result. The screenshot of the smoke moving across a ground plane from the Afterburn Fundementals DVD is what I am looking to achieve.

Also I purchased your Advanced Visual Effects DVD and have been really pleased with the advanced nature and quality of teaching, thanks again for producing this little gem. I was wondering though does the CG academy series on Afterburn go beyond what is on the advanced visual effects DVD, i really want to try and master Afterburn so would it be worth purchasing.

Another question is there a way to simualte Maya's goal behaviors in Max. And I don't mean just getting particles to move across a surface, but with goal weight per particle attributes, goal U and goal V, basically all the controls you have in Maya but in Max.

I know you are really business so any information is very much appreciated


08 August 2004, 09:17 PM
yeah basically you have the fracture script and then the pflow side. if you wan to use particles, getting it to break isn't a problem, but of course when they land, they'll not have accurate collisions. It all depends on the size of them and how close you get to them, you can work around the collision part by having the pieces a little higher than the ground so their center keeps in the air and the edges 'look' like they're sitting on the ground. We did something like this in blade.

But basically a dynamics sim will give you more accuracy. There's actually a few particle systems now implementing rigid bodies into the particle simulations, which is a really interesting and cool concept.. once again we used this on blade as well.

So it's kinda cool. But your issues more the having it break apart etc. rather than how to animate it. I was actually thinking last night of doing another tutorial which is an 'advanced' or a version 2.0 of what I've covered, as right now it's using the fracture script, which personally if I'm using pflow and have an option I absolutely HATE not fragmentation, as I'd rather just model my own pieces with more detail, there's issues with bad mapping on edges, with there being no beveled edges to pick up light etc.

So maybe when I get a chance I'll show a few ways to build simulations with volume/density to them. But it's pretty much how I explained it before, there's some more procedural 'tricky' ways to go about it too, but essentially they're all the same, there's no real automated way unless you want to get REALLY heavy into scripting, as it requires a lot of additional work to get it to understand your geometry before it can make it.

thrasherstudios: Right now there's one particle system for max which is aiming for goal based particles.. although personally I think the maker of it doesn't really understand entirely what he's doing in regard to that, so it'll be very cool, but a lot of what's capable in maya I don't think we'll be open to. But maybe he'll suprise us.
On the otherhand pflow tools has lockbond which although doesn't have the control goal weighting in maya has, it definitely does bridge the gap. I've been trying to aim more for the goal based additions to max, without blatently ripping off maya's, as I think it's such a powerful feature. But if you want particles to lock to a surface, and have 'weighting' to it, pflow tools lock/bond can do that.
And if you wnat them to run along a surface, it can do it, I haven't looked into whether you can do it with code, like you do with maya via parentU=goal U; (goalU = time*2); or something, but you definitely get a heap more control than with normal speed by surface over a parralel surface.

I thoroughly recommend pflow tools, as it's gotten a lot cheaper now (don't shoot me if I'm wrong but I think it's about $195) and .. once again I WILL be shot if I'm wrong about this, but I think that.. well actually I'll leave oleg up to anounce anything just incase, but basically it's well worth getting as it really does bridge the gap with what you can do. I'll be releasing as much info in how to make the most of pflow tools as I can over the coming months, it really does kick butt.
oh.. by the way I'm not doing the sales pitch thing here.. but if oleg wants to give me $5 I'll take it :)
PS. sorry for the long post :)

08 August 2004, 10:33 PM
Here's somthing I ran into today. How would I get on particle system to affect the birth of another? I know it must be done in scripting, I just don't know how to. I'm trying to stop the birth of on system as soon as a certian amount get into a event. Thanks in advance.

08 August 2004, 10:40 PM
Allan thanks for the reply mate :)

Not sure if I understood, when you say pflow tools are you talking about the seperate application that you can buy or the pflow that comes with Max. I have never come across the lockbond feature in Max's pflow, is it there somewhere in Max, or do you have to use the standalone version of pflow?

I started to think about getting goals to work in Max. And it dawned on me that the Test Operator/Find Target acts like goals in Maya if the particles aren't moving across a surface, so that feature kinda gets us half way there, what do you think?

As far as getting particles to move across a surface, is there a way in Max Script to query an objects UV space and then tell the particles to start at lets say U location 0 and then have the particle increment its location in the U direction over time, that would be alot like goal U and V attributes in maya, of course I don't know crap about Max script but seems like it could be worked out without alot of code, maybe wrong though.

As far as the lockbond feature how does it work exactly, meaning how is like maya's goals and how does it differ from them. Does lockbond have a feature that limits the particles stickyness to a surface so it can be more influenced by forces, can it be turned on and off, or is this the wrong way to think about it?

One more thing have any insights for us into creating mist and smoke with the octane shader in Afterburn, getting it to look correct, I would really appreciate any info you can pass along on this topic, trying to create a ghostly animated mist character and I can't seem to get it looking right.


08 August 2004, 11:24 PM
sorry going on a bit of a tangent today, having to write a bunch of visa letters and other 'shite' that requires big convoluted words, which travels over into my would be 'to the point' thread posts :)

cyber can you rephrase that? are you trying to tell it when to stop emitting particles? like after frame 5 stop emitting or something? or.... ? or you're trying to tell a certain system to get enough particles in it, another system stops emitting?

There's problems I think with getting two systems to 'really' communicate back and forth right now in pflow, which sucks. But you can still do it, and in the future with pflow it'll become a LOT easier. But right now you'd really want to make a global variable of the value and then set up the birth operator to say if GLOBAL_VARIABLE_X =< 100 then pcont.addparticles = 0; or something along those lines. don't quote me on that, it's a lot more painful than it sounds to actually do! :)

08 August 2004, 11:39 PM
RE : find target, it essentially 'seeks' a target, it's primitive in what you can build on with it but definitely does a great job.
lock/bond is part of pflow tools, oleg b (author of pflow)'s new plugin suite for max/pflow.
Lock/bond basically is like a surface constraight for particles but on steroids, has a lot of cool options with it.
and yes you can do a u/v surface follow, but it's a lot of scripting and if you wanna go above 100 particles forget about it! gets hideously slow if done via pflow script.

the cool thing about lock/bond is you can keep it like a spring, it'll respect the surface and find it's goal but it won't be constrained 100% if you don't want it to be, so it'll keep bouncing back and forth, or ease in etc. find_target is node based and doesn't respect geometry, more just the center pivot (I know you can tell it to get to a surface and sit on it but it's not really the same in terms of what it's actually chasing).

So there's positive and negatives, in the end I love maya's goal weighting, you can do so much with it with very little code, and it's very fast. but for simple stuff like getting particles to go from A > B > C > D pflow out of the box can still do that very well.

end of long long paragraph.

08 August 2004, 01:18 AM
Laserschwert (member.php?u=80519), you need this script to do volumetric good fragmentation ;)

08 August 2004, 01:19 AM
>but if oleg wants to give me $5 I'll take it<
Well, the next Siggraph, in beer :-)

Here's some animations done with the Lock/Bond operator. I've published the links several times before but here goes again:

And here's the UI of all PFlowTools operators composed into a single image:

And yes, it's available at TurboSquid now for $195.

The demo version of PFlowTools is coming up once the remoding of the site is finished.

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 01:55 AM
Well, that Deconstructor-script is nice, but still it just cuts the object into cubes... so no naturally flowing cracks here either.

08 August 2004, 02:24 AM
Darn, always forgetting about that "water"-dripping example:

Also the work of Lock/Bond operator from ParticleFlowTools: Box#1.

Oleg B.

08 August 2004, 05:02 AM
DRSWOBODA (http://member.php/?u=94881) if you check out my script, the john burnett function does exactly that. you might need to set it up as a for loop or something... but you can do it
email me offline if you want and remind me, I'll see about writing it. I might be a lil unaccessable this week but I'll try to get onto it.Hello Allan, and thanks for the reply.

And also for the fracture script. I've messed with it and it is nice dispite your thinking its a POS :)

I have a comment about how it handles material IDs that might be a good addition if you ever update this script. In my current project I am using PArray fracture and then making a snapshot of the geometry. The down side is that it is all one object with 500 elements. The upside is that each particle maintains the mat IDs for front/back/side with a multi-sub material from the original PArray.

In your script the objects get one mat ID that is numbered the same as the object number, i.e. object 500 has one mat ID = 500.

With your pointer in previous message I will try to make a script with just the element to object code and run it on my snapshot geometry, and then I'll have my custom material still in place.

I don not really know MAXscript as I have been spending too much time coding for Neverwinter Nights game. . . But I was wondering if this line in your script is where the PArray is converted to a mesh?

addmodifier explMesher (edit_mesh())

If so, could I change this to <make snapshot code here> and possibly maintain the material IDs?

Thanks again for all your contributions.
-David Swoboda

08 August 2004, 08:09 AM
I am not really familiar with scripting, but besides the mentioned "seed"-function, I wonder if it's possible to implement a "chunk size based on a greyscale map"-feature. For example, if I want to simulate a bullet hitting a glass window, I would want the chunks to be smaller in the center of impact, and get larger towards the edges, and so I would use a radial grayscale-gradiant.
There is one plugin actually that can do that, it's called "Blast Code Demolition", the examples are amazing, but so far is for Maya

I managed to break a part an object using volume select and put some depth with shell modifier. Detaching had to be done manually though.. maybe there is a script for it, I don't know. I just opened maxscrip editor few days ago. :sad: So I'm trying to retype any script I want to use, will help me learn faster but I do have a silly question though, I always have errors although I've retyped the whole script exactly.
please help anyone?


08 August 2004, 02:15 PM
Hey guys, been a while since I posted, but I've been following the thread closely as usual.

Alan I was messing with your fracture script and trying to do something similar to your ground cracking tutorial a while back... i.e. just animating a sdeflector and having the road fragments tilt as it goes.

My problem is one of texturing... how do I go about texturing the fragment tops as a bitmap (screen environment mapped) of the road using camera mapping, whilst applying a nice asphalt texture to the sides and bottoms of the fragments? Is this even possible? I did all of the above to the original fragments using a multi-subobject material, and thought that maybe there was a way to include the material information in the birth script..

something akin to: in the declarations part: pCont.useMaterial = true
and later on:pcont.particlematerial = groundgeom[i].material
but somehow maintaining the material ids. I know this isn't proper scripting (I'm just getting into it) and that these aren't real commands, but they should get the idea across.

I think the previous poster is after something similar

08 August 2004, 05:32 PM
Hey Allan, thanks for the reply. Here's a detail of what I want. I have this battle setup with attackers and defenders (i.e. Matrix Dock scene) and what I want to do is, as soon as a Gun gets a enemy on it, it stops shooting. I have gotten fair results useing no script, but it's not good enough. I have two gun flows, with two guns per flow. The enemy is all on flow, from birth to target track, and death. The attack event has a find target setup to track the 4 gun meshes, and when the find one sends them out to a stop event. If you need me too I can upload my max file.

This is just a side project I am doing to learn pflow and scripting. Thanks again.

08 August 2004, 06:14 PM
DRSWOBODA - thanks mate. Yeah right now I'm using a mesher rather than snapshot. I believe it'd still keep the material ID #'s just I never specify them.
If I did update it I guess I'd chuck in a seed function as well as material ID's as well. I've never really bothered with material ID's, although for a film I recently worked on I ended up using them drastically to have a skeleton fall through a bunch of metal bars slicing it up and havign the particles emit from the fragments sides etc. that it gets sliced from, so that kind of thing would have been a pain in the butt to do without material ID's, so I completely agree it's a cool feature.

Thanks it'd definitely be a cool addition, I just had to write something simple for what I needed to do, and figured I'd throw an interface on it for others to use, but if people actually find the damn thing useful I'll try and give it a few more options etc.

ArtiZta - blastcode's cool.. but I think it's a 'realflow' scenario, where they made a half arsed product and put it on the market because noone else has anything commercially available. If you check out James F O'brien's paper on stress fracture simulations (I guess something like these are so old yet so very cool. And people are now implementing real time brittle sims etc. which are very cool! So Blast code kind of does an okay job but doesn't really give you as much control I think as you'd like to really 'bend' it to do any kind of sim that you'd be tasked with achieving.

MonkeyDonut - I can't test this right now but I believe if you dont use a material node, it'll read the material from the instanced geometry it's reading in in the birth script. So in otherwords if you texture map your road it'll keep that mapping info and texture. I believe I implemented the feature of gettign the mapping coordinates from the original object before it fractures it, so if that's the case you can apply uv coordinates to the original object and it'll fracture it for you, then just assign a material to the fractured pieces, and pflow will read that in. If that isn't the case, I'll implement it when I get a chance.

Hope that helps guys!


08 August 2004, 09:53 PM
"MonkeyDonut - I can't test this right now but I believe if you dont use a material node, it'll read the material from the instanced geometry it's reading in in the birth script. So in otherwords if you texture map your road it'll keep that mapping info and texture. I believe I implemented the feature of gettign the mapping coordinates from the original object before it fractures it, so if that's the case you can apply uv coordinates to the original object and it'll fracture it for you, then just assign a material to the fractured pieces, and pflow will read that in. If that isn't the case, I'll implement it when I get a chance.

I didn't assign the texture to the original plane, but to the fragments your script generated. When I imported those fragments into pflow via your birth script (and with no material operator in the flow) the texture information did not carry over. I'm going to have to play a bit more and make sure I've not done something stupid.

Thanks for all the cool stuff btw ;)

Mr Fudge
09 September 2004, 12:23 AM
Is there any way to have particles that have been face mapped, render in a way that adds their colour values together when they overlap???

This would be cool.

Mr Fudge
09 September 2004, 12:25 AM
OK, Just forund it in the extended parameters options in the root of the material.

Have to say Max's material editor is the best. So easy, and always creates good results...

- F

09 September 2004, 12:42 AM
Which again reminds me, that someone still has to do some little point-renderer for MAX... c'mon guys, somebody just HAS to do it... of course this "somebody" can't be me, since I can't even get a simple 3D-fracture script up and running. But it could be YOU to change the look of... well... images using particles?

09 September 2004, 12:07 PM
hi guys,

Has anyone bought this book or interested in this book?

And allan, do you have any opinion about this book?

regards, rohit

09 September 2004, 05:01 PM
To get particles to overlap and not become additive, just adjust your 'filter colour' under extended parameters in the material editor. that'll fix it. bring it up to make it brighter, down to make it average out, and really dark to make it subtractive.

RE: Point renderers, I've used close to a dozen so far, although none are publically available.. and I don't think any of those will become commercially available.
however (you can tell I just realized you can do bold in posts huh?) there might be a few suprises for max coming in the close to near future in regard to point renderers, but not my place to say.

What book are we talking about? Drapers? Unfortunately I've never read his book (truth be told, I can't read!! :( ) But Pete's been very active over the years especially with 3D World Magazine, so he's definitely gotta have a lot of cool knowledge to spread around.
I'm still haven't finished the last book I read, inside 3d studio r3 for dos :)

Last week at Digital Dimension and then I'm off to blur for a month or two, so I'm glad I'm outa the valley after 6 months of breathing in this crappy air ;)

09 September 2004, 05:25 PM
Cool article Allan, thanks, although i think i'll need something more user friendly to do fractures... :) btw, your script is working great, now i was wondering in case of making a ground crack or like plane shape crack, is it possible of making a spline shape then extrude it for depth and than use those as fracture for particles? maybe a script that draws spline fractures? That way won't have the face based cracks right?

I noticed there is a limitation of 10.000.000 particles in pflow.. is there a way to go over that?

hey you still got that inside 3d studio r3 for dos book? may I borrow it when you finish it? :) :)


09 September 2004, 05:29 PM
ArtiZta, I think thats just the limit with each pfsource, but I'm not sure. If I'm right, each pfsource can have up to 10 mil particles.

09 September 2004, 05:42 PM
Yes treed you're right :)
now I should specify more my question,
is it possible to have more then 10mil particles in one pfsource?

another question, I was making some kind of underwater sand flying.. from using 100000 particles i went up to 3.5mil now from 3.5mil I made it up to 10mil but you can hardly see any changes... why is that?


09 September 2004, 06:00 PM
In your pfsource, go to your system management rollout.Try Increasing your particle ammount upper limit count.

Mr Fudge
09 September 2004, 06:16 PM
How do I get the particle age map to render per paticle instead of rendering the age of the entire flow.

Have searched the thread but no dice.


Mr Fudge
09 September 2004, 08:03 PM
OK I see that if you add a delete node you can get the effect I was after with the particle age map. However I have another question. How is it possible to make a particle grow in size for 10 frames and then start to shrink again after 20 frames. I think PArray used to have this functionality...

- F

09 September 2004, 08:14 PM
i think you can do that whit a scale operater

09 September 2004, 08:21 PM
whoo hoo. =) piles and piles of kick ass content, you rock allen.

09 September 2004, 08:28 PM
just jumping down the thread a little.. the limitation is 10,000k of memory, not particles. And yes you can up the limit. It's basically so max doesn't get killed by you typing in too many particles :)

So just go to the pf_source and change that to an infinite number if you run into limitations.
I know of some studios working with 18+ million particles. And I know when I was consulting with the orphanage about pflow for hellboy they were getting pretty high particle counts before they ran into their problems.
I know blur was running into this issue with extreme life, where Daniel needed large particle counts and had to work around it a little. 10+ million off the shelf is a lil extreme, you might want to do it in seperate passes (eg. render out, change seed, render again etc. then comp together).

offsetting scale, set it to absolute and animate it, offset the scale via particle age and you should get what you want.

RE: Art - yeah I don't use the fracture script myself I prefer to hand model geometry and get nice beveling and texturing than have it do it for me. you get more control. In terms of a scrip to generate the splines, well you could do it in photoshop, reference some broken glass or something.

09 September 2004, 08:39 PM
Mr. Fudge

here is a quick test that does what you whant(i think):)

09 September 2004, 05:23 PM
10+ million off the shelf is a lil extreme, you might want to do it in seperate passes (eg. render out, change seed, render again etc. then comp together).
Yep.. that's exactly what I end up doing :)
also came to a thought of using spawn just after the particle got born.. will leave the machine try to render that tonight. Lets see if it works, must be heavy on processing though. What do you think?

Cool.. i'll try the photoshop system.. thanks
btw, I don't know if someone asked you before in the forum.. but what hardware system you use Allan? I mean that can handle heavy particles like you're playing with?...


09 September 2004, 05:54 PM
another question for u allan.

When you go to work on a movie, do you use your own computer or do they have them all set up for u. probably number two, i think.

ok, two questions. lol

Do you decide on what plugins to use for an effect or would the person in charge decide. What if they dont have that plugin, would they get it for you.

Basicly, how much of a work area do you have. Is there always someone over your shoulders bitching and complaining so to speak, lol

09 September 2004, 05:55 PM
Hey everyone,

just read the request for a point renderer...any details on that ? like what would it have to be able to do ? render a single pixel per particle or what ?

i might wanna give that a try...


09 September 2004, 06:20 PM
Damn I thought I had put that answer in my FAQ, guess not eh?
a majority of my tuts are on either a 2.8 ghz single proc, or else a 3.2 ghz single proc, both with a gig of ram, and just a radeon 9700 or what not.
nothing mind blowing, I guess it's just a matter of knowing how optimize your scenes and particles etc. But everyone seems to think I run several cray's or something!

09 September 2004, 06:33 PM
It all depends, last year when I flew back to Australia, I set up my own shop and fed in freelance work like that, I had enough contacts that a lot of studios were bringing me work, and I just bought a few boxes and got to work. I also did that from my hotel room in sydney when I worked on the scion commercial, at night I was working on a pilot for the new macguyver tv series for Paramount.
In most cases when you go work for a post production facility (eg. any fx house) you sit down on their box, with their license of software, and get to work on the shots. It's usually rare to work outside of that. I sometimes rent out my laptop, as I have a lot of licenses I own and it's probably cheaper for me to use my own license than for them to buy the software if they just want to use it for one gig.

MOST places will just say "hey we need these fx done" and usually, especially if I'm lead on a project, I'll design the pipelines for everyone else to do the work, or at least for the stuff that I'm doing. It's always good to communicate with everyone else about how you intend to go about doing your work, as there might be conflicts with how you do it, a good but simple example is rendering your fx in scanline, when everyone else is using brazil, like with the stuff I was doing at blur recently. 99% of the time it works, of course for some shots where your fx work sits within all the matte geometry, you're going to have motion blur inconsistency's so it's better to at least talk with everyone (that wasn't the case, but just saying) and get an idea about how it'll all fit together.

However, lets say at the 'place' I've been working the last 7 months.. they have a very different mind set, and want things to be done a very specific way, to fit into their pipeline and so others can take it over etc. Which is great, although sometimes making everything a real world simulation can shoot you in the foot, because you have so much of a bigger advantage being that you're not restricted to the real world, so sometimes hacking things apart, and using multiple passes etc. CAN sometimes be the better way, but a perfect pipeline's always the better deal.
But it is frustrating when you build something in pflow and pretty much sign the effect off, and then have to redo it in thinking particles 'just because' :)

Okay this is actually a good question, it definitely gives some insight into how facilities work. Buying new software all comes down to the budget and if they're completely necessary. These days in max it's not always 100% necessary to buy new plugins, you can do so much without them. But things like afterburn can sometimes be necessary. If they need to be bought to get the job done, yes usually they'd work it into the budget. I've worked on projects where I've litterally been working in maya and gotten it 99% there, but there's been a few additional shots that I know max could do a heck of a lot better (and vice versa to be honest). So I'll switch around and do whatevers necessary.
Usually if you have a supervisor/lead they'll be telling you or at least recommending some approaches, pending on how confident you are about tackling the shots etc. although however you do it is usually okay, but it all goes back to communication. It's best to tell people as they might say it won't work with their stuff, and at the same time, some people can possibly point out a better way to do it. I've worked with character animators who are using a completely different package, and they might just give me a few key words that make a heck of a lot more sense than the convoluted way I might have gone about approaching an effect. Keeping it simple is golden.

09 September 2004, 08:36 PM
I was working on a pilot for the new macguyver tv series for Paramount.

Ha, we just rescripted (dialog) a whole bunch of old macguyver shows for paramount.

small world. lol

09 September 2004, 12:12 AM
I think it makes sense to put this here 8)
Aura public beta

09 September 2004, 12:22 AM
Reality3D, OMG thnx for posting that. That's hella good news!

09 September 2004, 04:17 AM
Interesting stuff Allan, can you tell us what is your favorite workflow system. I mean when you're handling a project. And what is your worst working condition you had? :)

I was also wondering about your opinion comparing particle flow with thinking particles...??

09 September 2004, 05:32 AM
Allan: very awesome background inside scoop man! I really enjoy reading about your process and how you conjure up your work. :)

Reality3D: Very sweet update on AURA; I've been watching this for a year and very glad to see that things are picking up. :eek:

09 September 2004, 07:02 AM
render a single pixel per particle or what ?... in very large quantities. Check out the "fuzzy_tentacle_love.max" example that comes with max5.1/max6. That many particles can't be renderd using the scanline renderer. On this site you can find really nice examples of what can be done with particles and a point renderer:


09 September 2004, 07:29 AM
RE: - yeah doc baily's a real character from what I hear. Love to say some things here but I'm sure eyes are watching and it's a small world :)

That's great Chaos' has release a public beta. Aura's great for fire, although for smoke etc. compared to some of the other voxel fluids systems in development for max, it leaves a little bit to be desired.

Yeah I've been interested in covering a bit of industry stuff, from how to get work, to a lot of the infastructure in most workplaces etc.
I have a 'worst job ever' story, although think I'll leave it for beers at a pub or something, as it's not nice to talk bad about places in such a publical forum :) But my one sets most others apart.

Mnd you, had a chance to work on that new anacondas film when I went back to australia last year, and man - I'm glad I skipped that show, it seemed to be nothing but pain all the way through.

RE: Pflow vs tp.. maybe after I leave DD tomorrow I'll be able to be a bit more vocal about TP vs pflow :)

It's a pretty big argument I'd love to cover at some stage. it's funny because after working for the last year on and off with this really wierd cebas groupie from Quebec it's made my opinion of Cebas and it's affiliates pretty warped. So I purposely keep my opinions pretty close to myself as there's so many unnecessary politics that are involved.
But TP2's shaping up to be a very great product, I just don't think cebas will ever get more than 10 licenses sold in the end, especially if the price raises anymore.
I'll always stick by Oleg's side as he really has the right idea when it comes to priorities, he's always made his products have a very powerful and functional interface and mindset that's made things less of a headache in the end. Using TP is GREAT, but sometimes I feel like I'm back in notepad/maya.

09 September 2004, 09:46 AM

Hi Allan

I remember you did a small AVI of a few arrows striking a wall and then shaking a bit. How did you create the motion of the arrow " The Tail" once it had hit the wall, while keeping the rest of the geometry stationery?

Cheers ;-)

09 September 2004, 01:11 PM
Yeah I've been interested in covering a bit of industry stuff, from how to get work, to a lot of the infastructure in most workplaces etc.
I have a 'worst job ever' story, although think I'll leave it for beers at a pub or something, as it's not nice to talk bad about places in such a publical forum :) But my one sets most others apart.Ouw, would love to hear that :), when you'll be around... beer? my treat :)
Anyway, tell us about the industry. What was you toughest task.. how long did it take to accomplish? I'm sorry for so many questions, but you see this industry here is sooo messed up.. and coz I can't go somewhere to learn maybe you can share your experience if you don't mind? :)

So you also got involved in anacondas? or I understood you wrong?.
as for pflow & tp, Leave the politics a side.. but from what I red of your work it seems to me that you prefer pflow.


Chris Thomas
09 September 2004, 02:25 PM
Dell, it will probably be something along these lines?

hope it helps


Chris Thomas

09 September 2004, 02:49 PM
Cheers Chris

I Knew it was something simple like that, cheers again :-)

09 September 2004, 04:27 PM
Simple Display question here.... I watch a lot of these demos and tutorials... great stuff and notice the DOTS are very small and fine... however as you can see with my screen capture, my dots seem huge in comparison. What setting is wrong?


09 September 2004, 04:37 PM
Hey Jean CLaude,
just use "Software" as Graphic Driver setup for 3ds max (no Open GL nor Maxtreme nor DirectX)

09 September 2004, 04:39 PM
There's gonna be a MacGyver-series? Have I just travelled back in time???

Ah, never mind... just tell me, if you're think I'm ready for it.

09 September 2004, 04:59 PM
It was for a pilot for the new macguyver series which never got picked up. lotsa explosions and action. Johannes Schloerb also was working on it as well, so glad we finally got to work together after all the trash talking about it :)

now THAT is something I did put on my faq page as everyone asks, yeah heidi/software draws the pixels smaller. Otherwise just use geometry and make little dots..

RE: arrows - yeah it's just offsetting the parrticles animation by age.

No I skipped anacondas, the deadline was really tight, and blade's schedule was conflicting, so I knew I wouldn't be able to stick around for the whole project, which was problem #1, and after asking a few q's about how big the team and getting answers like "from 8 to 20, we're not sure yet" and "we don't know the shot count" etc. I figured it's going to be a big nightmare in the end. Ended up meeting the guy who ended up doing the fluids stuff in the end, and he pretty much confirmed what I had predicted..

TP there's no real politics, just a very long story for a very confused cebas groupie :)
TP2's great. I can't show anything I've made with tp2 until it leaves beta, but I use pflow for learning material because tp2 will never become mainstream, it'll have an audience of 8 or so, and they'll do brilliant work with it, but pflow will always be more mainstream. in terms of what I use for production, it all comes down to what my options are, and whether I have to feed my pipelines off to other team members or not.

In regard to tough projects and other industry stuff, I'll cover that more indepth at some stage, it seems every post lately is a lot more lengthy than it has to be :)

09 September 2004, 05:11 PM
LoL, some of your posts does seem like an email length :)
that's ok.. I can wait, whenever you got time.. :)

Tell me something did you ever got to use RealFlow?.. or all liquid projects you used pflow?

09 September 2004, 10:10 PM
hi amckay and thanks a lot for sharing your experience and some tutorial !

amckay wrote

That's great Chaos' has release a public beta. Aura's great for fire, although for smoke etc. compared to some of the other voxel fluids systems in development for max, it leaves a little bit to be desired.

Did you tried aura and have you some infos about futur plugin for simuating fire and smoke ??

thanks alot for answer and sorry for my english

09 September 2004, 11:03 PM
hey guys

im quite new to the pflow scene and trying to figure out hwo it works

i've seen the tuts in max 6 about the bow wave but it isnt complex enough for me .. i want to take it just a step further .. can u guys help me create a realistic looking bow wave with pflow ?

by means of a tut somewhere [ive tried google no results]
or some pointers on what to use ?

09 September 2004, 12:02 AM
well it has been some time since allan has posted up his fracture script. Anyone have any cool clips or images to post?

I am still not sure how add a texture to it, it still has alot of weird looking shadows or something.

09 September 2004, 02:57 AM
Is there any way with a PFlow system to select a few particles and hide them, so they don't render? I can select them with the source's Selection tools, but I am not sure if it is possible thru this process to hide them so they do not appear in render:

I have messed with Allan's fracture script, but the fractures I get have face/vertex shifts, so I am getting these odd darker faces that are caused by something:

09 September 2004, 03:05 AM
>Is there any way with a PFlow system to select a few particles and hide them<
Use Split Selection test to move the selected particles to another event, and in this new event use either Delete op, or Scale op with scale factor of 0%.

Oleg B.

09 September 2004, 05:38 AM
I have messed with Allan's fracture script, but the fractures I get have face/vertex shifts, so I am getting these odd darker faces that are caused by something: fracture sript works fine for me... 1st I map the original plane and put UVW map on it.. the I fracture it with that script, then color it with the wirescript.. and then I apply again the material i had on my original plane. ok the dark corners I fix with smooth modifier just put it on and they're gone. oh after applying the material again I put the UVW modifier again on the fracture objects again.


09 September 2004, 01:55 PM
Can Pflow do interparticle collision? I know superspray can based on the pivot of each... I haven't been able to find it in Pflow... maybe am just blind.


09 September 2004, 03:01 PM
>Can Pflow do interparticle collision?<

Please look at the Keep Apart operator. By carefull setting of the radius value and forces you can achieve the interparticle collision effect. Be aware though that Keep Apart is doing the complete particle-to-particle check (all the pairs) so for large amount of particles it can be dog slow.

Oleg B.

09 September 2004, 03:40 PM
Oleg, when is your site going to be online again?? :)

09 September 2004, 06:06 PM
"Real soon" - I keep telling for the last 2 weeks :)

09 September 2004, 06:44 PM
Hey FYI - I l've left Digital Dimension as of last Friday. I don't think that's really big news or going to have any impact on anyone's lives, but figured incase anyone is trying to contact me at my old workplace, obviously use my email address instead.


-Allan McKay

09 September 2004, 06:46 PM
ArtiZta >the dark corners I fix with smooth modifier just put it on and they're gone.<
Thanks ArtiZta! I did not apply that to that test - very nice. Now all we need is a Seed feature in Allan's fracture script and it'll be real handy!

Down side is that even if I boost the script's fracture thickness, I cannot seem to get nice thicker chunks. But that might be due to PArray's fracture thickness peculiarity.

A very basic cube explosion test with reactor 2 Fracture. No motion blur used so one can see the fractures clearly. (QuickTime required)

09 September 2004, 03:37 AM
I wasnt able to fall asleep lastnight so I decided to make a small tornado animation using allan's fracture script to destroy the building. I am pleased with the results as I only spent like less than half hour working on the small animation.

I know that the professionals in this field use a more complex way of using tornados destroying buildings but hey, i couldnt sleep and didnt want to watch tv. lol

Any way, here are some pics of the scene.

09 September 2004, 04:55 AM
nice work!
if you saw the demo I was giving at siggraph - the twister wasn't that much more complex I assume. Nothing fancy, but once the initial idea of distributing the particles amongst the events is installed then it's easy to add all the cool complex effects on top ;)

09 September 2004, 05:02 AM
kool, i actually didnt go to sig, it would have been nice to but I was kinda busy that week.

09 September 2004, 05:05 AM
I have seen so many demo reels that people make. Did yours have a tornado terrying apart a building? If so, how did you do that effect.

I am also patiently waiting to see your new reel that your site said you were gonna make :) But december is along time :(

09 September 2004, 07:29 PM
To be honest I was planning to cut a new reel when I left DD in December, which was after Blade 3 was out so I could show that material etc. Obviously I've left DD a little early now etc. It'd be great to cut a reel with all the new stuff I've done the last two years for Paramount, Blur Studios, Frantic Films, Digital Dimension, Ambience etc. As my current reel I cut back in October 2002. Although in the end I don't think I can recall the last time I used my reel to find work.. so kind of wonder whether it's worth doing! But I'm not one to ever build and mantain a 'gallery' and none of my stuff is really ever gallery worthy, so perhaps when I head back to Aus end October put something together, but rather use that time to R&D new stuff and write papers on how I did my old stuff, than actually show it off :)

09 September 2004, 08:04 PM
hi amckay
I repost my answer...

hi amckay and thanks a lot for sharing your experience and some tutorial !

amckay wrote

That's great Chaos' has release a public beta. Aura's great for fire, although for smoke etc. compared to some of the other voxel fluids systems in development for max, it leaves a little bit to be desired.

Did you tried aura and have you some infos about futur plugin for simuating fire and smoke ??

thanks alot for answer and sorry for my english

09 September 2004, 08:07 PM
Just wanted to mention that the auro (chaosgroup) site was updated with some more, cool vids.

ah!..and in about ten years computers will be faster. Good for Pflow.

Thanks a lot for all these nice scenes and scripts. :thumbsup:

edit: ouhps...something like a double post:D
cheers mickatt

09 September 2004, 08:27 PM
Yeah, this is their current samples site -

However, I do not see yet where I can download the public beta

09 September 2004, 08:29 PM
me too...!?

perhaps you have to subscribe? or email them?...who knows. I don't :cry:

09 September 2004, 10:04 PM
I'm not on aura's beta - everyone and their dog I know seems to be, I'm on the alpha for a different fluid product, so I've avoided jumping onto aura's beta..

be patient with the upload - I'm sure the guys are on the other side panicing trying to get it up in time :)

09 September 2004, 01:26 AM
AURA's out now. Found the link on the Chaos group website.

09 September 2004, 02:58 AM
Thank you Jeff :scream:

Allan: you able to talk about your different fluid product or is it a non-disc.? :wise:

09 September 2004, 03:06 AM
i downloaded it already and messed it up. My son pushed my arm as I was about to click on something and then he made me click on the authorize button :( now i cant use it, dammit

09 September 2004, 03:18 AM
You have to email the code into chaos before it will work anyways, so it shouldn't be a problem.

09 September 2004, 03:21 AM
ok thanks for the help

09 September 2004, 03:23 AM
Just d/l it and waiting for my license code to be sent back to me. OMG, it's gunna rock!

09 September 2004, 03:25 AM
how long does it usually take to get it back?
I just sent mine as well

09 September 2004, 07:54 AM
Allan, please tell us which fluid simulator in developpement for 3dsmax you re workin on ...<:]
Is it Flood from FranticFilm?? or another?
do you try Flood (which work with PF) ?

09 September 2004, 02:39 PM
Aura s beta released, so here is my first steps
the second has a animated light at the base...

09 September 2004, 05:30 PM
I've been testing a lot of different fluids for max from early alpha, a majority are voxel based - not like glu3d or flood etc.
I was meant to work as a flood TD on scooby but ended up working remotely from Australia which I'm kind of glad it worked out that way in the end. Flood's doing some amazing stuff, Frantic's development team just plain kicks ass.

But yeah can't really talk about anything for any of the products, as I think because of how big fluids are for max right now, everyone's trying to have the leading edge. I will say that I'm really trying to push for something that's different and flexible and very film fx driven. I did do a lot of tests with fluids for giant sand storms in the exorcist flick, but in the end we didn't work on that sequence thankfully. Although I believe we might have done some fluids stuff for Blade, although not quite sure in the end whether we went with straight particles or not..

Aura does fantastic fire etc. I haven't had a hands on play with it but the guys here at blur have been kicking it around and seem to be pretty impressed. In the end it's going to be fluid wars just like with the renderers - but you get that..

Ps. Loran, cool tests!

09 September 2004, 05:39 PM
So Allan, when you gonna tell us some stuf from the industry? I mean more on how it works the system, specially in doing particle effects like you do?...

btw, i'm working on some small components of steam & smoke i might post the .mov when the thing is finished would like your comments, although is just a small part.

Oh, does your name get into film's credit titles? or you're hidden behind the company's names like frantic, blur.. etc?


09 September 2004, 06:20 PM
After things die down a little bit I should be a bit more free. I'm staying in a hotel in venice right now, so aside from being dragged out by the digital domain guys for drinks 'til the wee hours of the morning and wanting to throw up from this I should probably have a bit more time to concentrate outside of work etc. So if anyone's keen I can probably write up some stuff, there's no real secrets or wowing tales of the industry, but if anyone's keen I can write up some pipeline stuff and procedures etc. as there's a lot of stuff that "works" and "doesn't work" with every studio, so it's pretty interesting to see, some places are really self maintained, others have producers breathe down your neck all day, and they all have their ups and downs.
As I've said a hundred times, if people wanna mention stuff they want to see, whether it be tuts on fluids, floods, tornados or "hey how'd you do that in that movie" etc. I'm happy to document stuff, otherwise I'll just keep r&d'ing my own stuff and never get around to it ;)

Yeah post your stuff! love to see it!
Yeah name usually gets posted, pends on the movie etc. Some companies get a dozen names to put in there, others get only 3 or so, and it's usually the account and bunch of other people who had nothing to do with the film who get those spaces ;) but most of the time it's peachy.

09 September 2004, 07:11 PM
Ok, I know there is best picture, best actor, best stunts and all that other stuff. Do they have awards for best special effects? Like best kaboom award or anyhing?

09 September 2004, 12:12 AM
we're submitting this film for an emmy in 2 weeks time (the deadline) there's basically emmy's for best effects etc. mtv are starting to do a lot of best cg actor and other stuff like that (eg. gollum, ja ja (eek) etc.). And of course there's the VES awards. I was really depressed when I didn't win best CG poop after working on lots of bird crapping sequences in 2002 ohwell for a disney film

09 September 2004, 02:57 AM
first off, i'd like to say thanks for the wealth of information allready given.

that said, i would love to hear about studio practices, procedures, and production pipelines.

heh, say that five times fast.

09 September 2004, 12:25 PM
I'm about to start production and post on a new music video which is going to be quite cg intensive. There will be fireballs and smoke elements which is my area and I'm sorted thanks to Mr. Mckay, afterburn and Chaos' Aura ;)

There will also be cg water and splash effects, which I'm currently R&D'ing.

- How is integration usually achieved between practical water and cg water, for example in extending a body of water into the far distance? i.e. how is the seam blended normally?

Currently I'm considering glu3d, but pflow/blobmesh is an area I haven't checked out yet. Are there any other techniques or likely candidates for splashes, water droplets or fluid simulation that may be readily available? (Flood looks great but isn't available). Obviously we'll be shooting plenty of elements too.

09 September 2004, 05:32 PM
we're doing a lot of mud sims for a film we're working on right now, and everyone's gone for real flow being the solution. Which ultimately is the way to go (or glu3d) but the timeframe would only allow for half a day per sim, which is suicide for whoever takes on those shots. I've been doing some tests with particle flow tools' lock/bond operator and both blobmesh and afterburn. Afterburn is ideal because it's more cpu driven then memory, and so being that it's volumetric it renders extremely fast (hypersolids that is) of course you lose a lot of power in regard to texturing etc. But blobmesh can be dead slow sometimes.

In terms of blending CG and live action water off - if you look at what ILM was doing for perfect storm, and ug hammerhead (?) or whichever studio did a lot of the water stuff for master and commander (hungover again, venice has a bad influence on me - so I'm a lil vague here) shooting live action water and having it blend off to CG water etc. I believe it'd be a lot of reveal mattes, so best bet is to get the water as perfect as you can within 3D/corrected in comp so they're almost perfect, and then roto feathered masks to blend them together, it sounds pretty dodgy but in reality it works quite well.
In reverse if you were crazy and doing CG water blending to live action water... which is kind of impractical but if that were the case, then I guess projection mapping the live action water to get it fairly close, but I doubt that's the case so not really worth going too indepth there.

For anaconda (like I said I ended up not working on that) but they had to do a lot of CG snake/water interaction, so they were filming a lot of live action elements and in addition doing a lot of fluid sims (which ended up being all dumb particle sims in maya after they realized that was a silly idea) But you can get a lot of splashes, foam and other elements and mix them in. I know hammerhead/the_studio_I_can't_remember were actually using a lot of different shots of water and blending them together for master and commander which worked pretty well considering, so there wasn't much cg, just masterfully done comps of different takes all blended together.