pflow Crashing with collision


I had set up pflow and rendered the effects with a 1 million particles and more. While now, when i have only added collision nodes, the system crashes at render point (can’t transform vertices) with only 100 000 particles.

Sometimes it renders but not always. I have isolated the particle system so there aren’t any other things to weigh down the scene and returned the pflow the the original state (without collision). But still crashes occur, though less. I also tried using a Cache node but didn’t help.

I have never seen pflow engaging any of my cpu cores at 100% and got plenty of ram for it to use. So it “shouldn’t” be a bottle neck.

Has anyone had experience with such “lovely” 3ds max crashes?


Hundreds of lovely crashes like that from particle flow…
Lots of them if you use mParticles and Cache operators at the same time and then forget to turn them on and off in the wrong order.
I didn´t have that many crashes from particle rendering itself, pflow mostly crashes on me during setup.
If it ONLY occurs during rendering, make sure that the amount of particles used for preview in the viewport and during rendering is the same.


Also: What kind of particles are you rendering? simple shapes or shape instances?


Using simple objects, tetra to be specific. It’s a dispersion effect. I had plenty of crashes if i go to a specific point in time directly, its fine if i go frame by frame though. Guess that’s related to pflow being history dependent.
I decided to knock off collision and material. I had arranged the particles so they don’t hit any obstructions before i figured out how to get the collision going ( this one was very annoying as well ), and added color in post.


Yeah, going to a specific frame also led to quite a few crashes for me…
Caching, if possible with cache disk op should fix that though. Once cached I always turn off everything but the display and render ops, because otherwise, at least with some setups, pflow keeps evaluating ops, even if they should be cached.


Decided for my self to keep pflow related effects to a minimum unless not heavy or start using an alternative particle system/program. Still good info to know


Yeah, Pflow is definitely one of the most crash attracting parts of 3DS Max…I´d love to have the time to learn TP, even though I have no idea if its actually less crash attracting…


I can’t get myself excited about learning particles, even though I got more comfortable about pflow. So many random mumbo jumbo to learn for simple effect, damn particles learning curves. :smiley:
Not sure if knowledge translates from system to system, or each has its own logic and says: “nope i am unique, start from scratch” :smiley:


there aren´t that many systems to begin with…for 3ds Max you´re pretty much stuck with either Pflow or Thinking Particles…
I think they are mostly the same and some of the limitations that I´ve encountered during the last three years with Pflow would probably be solvable, if I had the nerves to dive deeper into advanced data manipulation, so the only benefit of switching to Thinking Particles I could see right now would be the possibility of it being more stable…its definitely not less complex…


I guess (kind of) that being another reason for max not being that much of a vfx tool. Which reminds me that I should stay in the comfort zones of Max, unless i hop on to the maya/houdini train.