I think he’s talking about the effect when Nightcrawler teleports around in this scene:

I’m not sure I would use Afterburn for this. It looks very “fluidy” and I would consider fumefx for this or just do it with lot’s of particles(krakatoa?) and space warps.


^ I’d use both FumeFX, Pflow or TP, AND Krakatoa for that, personally :smiley:

Nice explosion Twiik :wink: the first thing that caught me off was the debris bouncing and the dissipation of the smoke, the initial blast looks really nice!


Yeah, I noticed that right away when I watched the animation. Noticing stuff like that in max just from the frame rate, frame numbers and single frame test renders take experience I haven’t got yet. :slight_smile:

My “render farm” is arriving later this week so hopefully I will have a lot more horsepower under the hood for the final render, but even so it only took about an hour to render out those 150 frames so I shouldn’t make the smoke dissipate fast just because I don’t want to render 300+ frames. :slight_smile:

I still have a problem I don’t know how to solve though:

  • I don’t know how to make 3ds max lights show up on the matte/shadow material or equivalent so I can composite them in a compositing app. Anyone have any tips for me on that?


Have you ticked “Apply Atmosphere” in the matte/shadow params?


Yes, but it does nothing for my light.

I have this nice omni light lighting the ground in the initial blast, but I’m unable to take the ground light with me into After Effects in any way. :slight_smile:


Ooops sorry, wasn’t reading all the words:(, thought you were talking shadows not light.

Camera map your light pass.


so fumefx?.. for sum reason i cn never find good tutorial in fumefx to help me get better in it… especially to achieve what im trying to get to with this bamf affect


The fumefx plugin is only about 1,5 years old. That may have something to do with the amount of tutorials avaiable for it.

But I think the effect itself can be done with particle flow and space warps. Fumefx is only to achieve the final look of it.

Start experimenting with lots of particles and a spherical wind space warp with turbulence. You’ll get some pretty cool results.

Here’s another test animation of the explosion:

It’s twice as long, but I think it actually rendered faster. :stuck_out_tongue: Not sure what’s going on. The step size is 0,1 or something and still it renders insanly fast.

But the afterburn shader flickers around and looks a little rough. The rest of it has improved a bit now.

The bouncing and gravity still looks wrong though.


I have a question regarding the noise type settings rollout in Afterburn. The one with ‘Levels’, ‘Phase’, ‘Blur’ etc.

I can’t seem to wrap my head around how the AFC’s for those settings work.

If I set my particle life to 300 frames in Afterburn and I open a normal AFC the horisontal axis show 0-300 and the vertical axis show the first value going all the way up to the second value. Very intuitive.

But the AFC’s for Phase, Levels and the rest of the noise type settings go from 0-100 and 0-1.10 no matter what values you give them. Are these AFC’s bugged or did they just forget to make them intuitive?

I want the phase to only animate from frame 40-300, but when it goes from 0-100 and 0 to some arbitrary value 1.10 I have to guess where frame 40 is which is pretty weak.


yes and no, the AFC’s are actually a great way to work I’ve found. You might have to do a very simple bit of math if you wanted your fx to start at frame 40, such as frame 0 phase is 1, frame 300 its 10 then you put two keyframes of a value of 0 at frame 1 and at frame ~ 13ish ? its not precise but it means you can scale yourstuff out better for all types of particle lifes.

You can also write a quick maxscript that tells the particles age to be a specific value at any given time etc.

Personally I love the AFC curve, especially since it doesnt have to be applied to particle age, it can be distance from another object or velocity etc.


Yeah, that is true, but what is confusing me is why the noise type AFC’s are different from the rest.

its not precise but it means you can scale yourstuff out better for all types of particle lifes.

If I left it at the default 100 I could take it as 100 percent, but I want it precise so I specify 300 frames as my particle life. That’s why it’s bothering me that those 4 AFC’s at the bottom don’t listen to me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s some images from my scene as an example:

My animation is 300 frames long, and I’ve set the particles to be deleted after 300 frames:

I set the particle life in Afterburn to be 300 frames so the AFC’s will be correct, well most of them. :):

Here’s a good AFC. The values are where you would expect them and the length is correct:

But here’s the bad ones at the bottom for noise type. The arbitrary value 1.10 makes absolutely no sense, and why does it go to 100 when I specified 300? If I had wanted it to go to 100 I would have left it at the default. :):


0-100 is another way of saying particle birth (0%) -> particle death (100%)… the 1.1 i never understood… 0-1.1 is also a normalized set of values for your min value and max value (low value -> high value)… i’m sure they could redo it pretty easily, but it doesn’t affect workflow any, unless you really need to be specific with your numbers… in which case a calculator would come in handy. :smiley:


Check it out:

Over the last few days I have switched from one crappy 32-bit 2gb ram quadcore to five 64-bit 8gb ram quad cores. Setting it all up was tedious, but finally I can start rendering out stuff at blazing speeds (hopefully) :smiley:

The “manager” is an old, stable puter stuffed full of harddrives.

brag gloat boast smug nerd :blush:


Droooooooooooool! Pure awesomeness rig, now slap that bitch up dude!


haha twiik I see what you mean
to be honest I havent really looked at the values inside the graph for many many many many … many years. I usually know the values I want and just plug away without really thinking about it. So now I look at that graph, you’re right it makes absolutely no sense if you were trying to get your effect precise based on that graph. I soley recommend just showing previews in viewport and watching the values change based on that :wink: (for radius at least, levels or something would be interesting… personally I’ve never animated the levels because you’re essentially animating how much detail or octaves go into your shaders pattern… which isnt too heavily used).

good point twiik


“Satellite” processors allow any owner of a 3ds Max Design license to freely use up to eight slave CPUs to render an image using distributed bucket rendering (not counting the one, two, or four processors on the “master” system that runs 3ds Max Design).

This is written everywhere including the 3ds max 2009 included manual.

But you, Glacerice, told me that wasn’t true anymore and I went on to buy 4 pc’s instead of 2. And thank you for that. :slight_smile:

I just rendered an image with 20 cores working individually. It was beautiful to watch, lol.

Edit: About the AFC’s: I just found it odd. And I animate the phase quite often and this time I wanted it to start and stop at precise frames which was harder than it should have been. :slight_smile:


I’m trying a similiar effect for this but to no avail, can you shed more light about camera mapping the light pass? thanks :slight_smile:


Nice. :slight_smile:

May I ask how the render machines are setup? I mean, are they individual tower cabinets, with screens, keyboard etc, or are they a small stack of sound-free minicabinets without screen & keyboard, or do you have a switchbox for that… Please do tell. :slight_smile:

  • jonas


just thought I would share what I’m working on. The plane gets hit buy laser from ufo and crash lands into a fire ball. I do have all of you to thank for any of my progress. I know the geo on the Plane engines a bit low res right now. Will post some animations once I finish building my new duel X2 64 bit machine:buttrock: kinda on hold right now. Hey you guys what op should I install (while I’m here)? xp64 or vista64 I will be running a duel amd’s both duel core 2.6 gig with 6 gig’s of ecc ram. I have been told that vista eats a lot of ram? does the 64 version do the same? I don’t want to get off subject but I’m 2 days away from install.

hope you like the pic (sorry for the bad Quality)


looks cool so far man.
I don’t know about vista, I’m on xp64 and I am happy with it. the only disadvantage is that there are missing drivers for some software like quictime and stuff. but there is a automaticly created 32bit part of the windows, so you can run these softwares.
only thing you can not do is like rendering from max to quicktime when working in max 64bit. but rendering to quicktime isn’t recommended anyway :wink: