I haven’t touched AB in a long time, but if I remember correctly it is the percentage of your particle life, not your total frame count.

So if you have a particle spawned at frame 0 with a delete operator set to delete them at frame 60, then 100 in the AFC equals 60 frames of particle life, and 50 in the AFC would equal 50% of the particles life so 30 frames. The total frame count of your animation doesn’t matter.

I’ve been told you should always have a delete operator with afterburn or else the AFC’s won’t work properly because of what I stated above.

Just trying to clear things up in case there were some misunderstandings. :slight_smile:

(if I’m wrong then please correct me)


I don’t have AB but a thread in the main Max forum about Max’ volumetrics quirks got me wondering about how/if AB handles volume lights. Can an AB user give me some information?

Does Afterburn interact properly with Max’s built-in volume lights with regard to shadow casting? I.e. if you were to put a distant volume light above an group of AB clouds, would you get a sun-streamer type effect below the clouds?



That needs a clarification. The volume lights simulate participating media(water/dust in the air, for example), without the participating media being there. The volumetrics, like AB, create the participating media. AB defines color/density for a point sample in 3D space, so every light that shines on it can be volumetric.


I think what he wants to know is, if you get voulmelight shadows from the clouds, which is true :slight_smile:
didn’t know that…


Yes, that’s what I wanted to know. Thanks.


Anyone have any handy hints for using vray with AB 4. If anyone knows about some online info that would be great.

Muchly appreciated in advance:cool:


Hey Guys,

I just bought Afterburn 4.0 for 3ds Max 2009 and it keep crashing during render. I only have 2 particle objects, a spot light, and an omni light. I’ve narrowed it down to the omni light causing the crashes. When the omni light is too close to either one of the clouds, it causes 3ds to crash.

Is there a workaround this?




It still crashes even when I render with Brazil Rio using standard omnis.


IN the tutorials I have done dont they use a direct light? Maybe that will help.

Cheerio Chris


But other users of Afterburn have reported that omni lights are commonly used to create explosion effects. No other settings seem to be out of the ordinary, 3ds 2009 is just crashing. I also did a clean install of 3ds 2009 before I installed Afterburn 4.0, so what gives?


I can confirm this.

I think Mckay can too, it wouldn’t have been possible to complete his “VFX for film” workshop without using omnis with AfterBurn, it was practicallly standard setup.

  • Jonas


afterburn & matte material question,I make a smoke on the sea,I give the sea the matte matte material,I don’t check the matte materia’s apply atmosphere,the afterburn smoke and the sea overlap part the afterburn smoke disappear,look like the smoke behind the sea,actually the smoke is in the middle of the sea plane.I check the matte materia’s apply atmosphere,the smoke under the water appear,what goes??? How to solve the question?


check at object depth…


It works,thank you very much!:slight_smile:


Do you use ABshadow (with athmosphere shadow unchecked?) And if yes which size are you use using for the shadow map?

I noticed ABshadow map crashing when increasing shadow map size above 128.


Hi all,

I have the first Afterburn Masters DVD but I noticed it’s based on Afterburn 3 and I’m using Afterburn 4 with max9.

While not too much was changed in the controls, what bothers me most is that the simple default render you get out of Afterburn4 is much different then the initial first default render shown in the DVD. Allan shows a simple render out of a 2 unit pflow emiter and the default render is quite dense and just by adding a light and self shadow it turns out to be a think dense volcano smoke.

When I do the exact setting its not as dense and overall looks completely different…

Ok I think I found the main different default thing that made it look so different. I guess AB3 used a Turbulence noise type as default and AB4 uses an FBM Fractal instead.
Changing it to FBM Fractal and increasing the levels makes it closer to the look I was after.


Another difference you may not be aware of is that AB4 uses the the new AB Shadow map on a very low setting as default (I think).

While Allan in those dvd’s use the AB Ray Traced shadows. To get results similar to the AB Ray Traced shadows in AB4 you can use normal ray traced shadows with atmospheric shadows enabled. I have AB4 and I use normal ray traced shadows for many of my effects because I can’t stand fiddling with the parameters of shadow maps when ray traced shadows seem to give perfect results always.

I haven’t opened max in months so this is just taken from memory. :slight_smile:


Thanks for your reply… Yes I noticed the shadows has changed too. Although it’s now called AB Shadow Map, there’s also an AB Shadow Map rollout and under Object Shadow the default is checked on Use “Ray Traced Shadows”. So I figured it’s still using ray traced shadows… Enabling the atmosphere shadows makes the render much slower, but anyhow… I’ll check it as you suggested and compare with the quality result.


how to make the afterburn render fast?I made a
explosion scenes with pf and afterburn,the particle’s amount is only 20.Afterburn setup size is 5,the density is to 0 when the particle die,my compute is win xp 64bit ,4G RAM ,8 cores CPU,I render size is 1920*1080,when render the animation nealy end ,the time is 3 hours more one frame it is too slow,if I increase the setup size it is faster,but the animation will flash.if you have the same question?how to control the afterburn to balance the time and the animation’squality ?


lower density = longer computation time

use final render, renders about 3 times faster than scanline. and maybe don’t render full res, but only the half of it, or 2/3.
check if you have lights casting shadows which are not really nescessary, or doesn’t really affect the look of the clouds, smoke…or what ever it is.


But I use final render ,my max9 will crash,my smoke must disappear so the density must be zero,the question can’t be avoided