Particle Age, Bitmap, and Mental Ray - MAX 2013


I’m using a particle system with an animated bitmap on each particle, and it’s rather important that the bitmaps run according to particle-age, rather than all being in sync. And it seems there is a checkbox to make exactly this happen in the Time rollout of the Bitmap window in the materials editor.

However, I find out now that this functionality isn’t supported by the Mental Ray renderer, which is the one I am using.
MAX does this a lot, it seems: some things only work in one renderer, some only work in the other, and you need both effects in the shot you’re rendering.

So, what I’m asking is this: is there an alternative?
It seems that, on occasion, MAX offers the same functionality for different renderers, but under a different name, or it requires a different type of object, or some darn thing…does anybody know how to make this happen?



Pflow->Material Dynamic does this and is also supported by MentalRay.


Ugh. I have found PFlow to be so thoroughly counter-intuitive; nothing seems to quite work as advertised.

Still, if it’ll get the job done, I guess I gotta actually learn the bloody thing for real.

Thanks. :slight_smile:


Oh. While we’re on the subject…is there a way–perhaps with a plug-in if it’s not built into MAX itself–to have something like Particle Age, but with more than three slots? Or is there an ‘add’ function in Particle Age that’s just really well-hidden?

Even four would be helpful; I find I’m having to compromise far too much on the effect I’m trying to achieve with only three.


You can do this by using a Gradient Ramp map.

Set it to mapped mode and use a particle age map as source.
Now you can ‘remap’ the particle age map’s gradient as you like. :deal:

Or… you can use (the free) bercon gradient map for this

Or… you can use this technique


You know…I think I was looking for that functionality, but the place I’d heard about it used a different name, and I was surprised MAX didn’t have it. But I guess it does. Huh.

Thank you. :slight_smile:


Yeah sometimes the neat little things are hidden away and hard to find.
You’re welcome :slight_smile:


Oh, my, yes.
It took me a tiny bit to work out the nuances, but this totally does what I need.
Thanks again. :slight_smile:


You are really one funny person, he he…


Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but I’m having a devil of a time with this again.

My problem is that I cannot seem to get a PFlow system to behave like SuperSpray. I have the SuperSpray version working perfectly, but I’m quite unable to replicate it in PFlow.