Volume Light Noise Loop


Hello everyone !

I’ve been looking around for a bit, and while there are plenty of tutorials about creating a Volume Light in 3dsmax, it’s always in a single image render context, so nobody ever goes into detail about the “Phase”, “Wind Strength” and “Wind from the :” part of the Noise group.

From what I could gather, you have to animate the phase value for the noise to be animated (duh).
My question is, how to make this loop over 27 frames ? This applies to the wind part as well. Is there a way to create a volume light with animated noise and wind that loops over 27 frames ?


I might be wrong, so it’s best you test this if you get no other answers:

Afaik “wind” is simply a fancy word for translate. I don’t think you can loop that unless you go around in a circle, which probably would look strange and obvious, especially for a short time frame like that.

You could check if phase is looping at 1 or 100, but I don’t think so.

Overall it’s probably the standard noise with adapted names and if you have no access to that in order to blend it, you’ll have to render and blend two animations (one starting with the end values of the other) and adapt the contrast if necessary.

If you can use a renderer that supports volume textures you 'd have more control.


Unfortunately, I just tested that theory and no, the phase does not loop at either 1 or 100. But thank you for your suggestion !
I forgot to mention it, but I’m using Mental Ray, if there are more convenient ways to achieve the desired result.

Also, said light will be part of a complex scene, and I’m not familiar yet with the different techniques to render specific elements and blend them back in.


For simplest animation loop you have to have 3 keys, so for phase loop 1st and 3rd keys - same phase value,
2nd key different value.
And, of course not, phase value is not like rotation where 0 deg is “same” as 360.

But, believe me, even if you using max just for rendering, there’s much more interesting an useful stuff for learning/exploring and try to stay away from youtube teachers, at least till you learn enough from excellent help files and official tutorials, written and videos, just that you can recognize what’s worth of watching…


@Annonguy There are volumetric shaders for Mental Ray, but that’s as much as I know.

Adding the standard Volume Light in post shouldn’t be terribly hard. You can render an Atmosphere Render Element or render using black materials for the environment or a Matte material.

“And, of course not, phase value is not like rotation where 0 deg is “same” as 360.”
Not sure if that was referring to my comment, but there are software solutions out there which do offer looping phases (as it’s obviously very practical) and in case you were referring to the circle I mentioned, I was literally talking about going around in a circle, not rotation. (Assuming the wind component is actually just translation or offset., but seeing as you can only choose between 90 degree angles and in a radio button way, that’s moot anyway. What I’m saying is that wind is basically translation. Front, back etc. is the direction, phase is the offset and strength is a multiplier for the offset.
I don’t think that simply going back and forth in the phase will give you a good outcome, especially with a short loop like that.


I don’t expecting any outcome from that, thought it was clear from my comment.
Was just trying to explain animation loop cause i’m not sure author understand it.


Wouldn’t your proposed phase “loop” cause a ping-pong effect with the noise effect ? Sure the phase would be loopable then, but the visual effect wouldn’t make sense. But like you said, you don’t expect any outcome out of it. Thanks for the suggestion tho.

Rendering the Volume Light separately could be done, but that wouldn’t give me any more solutions of looping it :stuck_out_tongue:

At this point, I could do away with the wind if need be, but even if the noise churns in place, the phase reverse would be pretty noticeable.


If you can explain the effect you want to achieve, without offering method to do it?
It shouldn’t be difficult to explain if you are looking for something realistic. Try to explain even if it is not realistic.


Like said you’d either have to render two animated versions, one ending with the start position/settings of the other and blend the two, or you’d have to blend two noises similarly in the shader. In both cases you’d have to adjust the contrast/strength as the blended version will have less.
For example:


@domos The effect I was trying to achieve was slow-falling smoke, only within the spotlight cone, to give the scene some depth.

@Noren While the technique is interesting, I’m not sure how to go about implementing it in a Volume Light context. The example relies on the material editor, but in my case of the noise parameter on a Volume LIght, no maps are involved and nothing can be dragged as an instance in the material editor (as far as I know)


Yes, that would be the shader version, e. g. using MR.


@Noren Well I am using Mental Ray, but I’m still going through the Environment and Effects > Atmosphere > Volume Light panel. Are mental ray volume lights a separate thing ? I’m confused :open_mouth:


Come to think of it, you can link a 3D texture to the advanced parameters of e. g. a standard spotlight. If you render that with the Volume light effect, it should respect the texture and give you more direct control. That should work with Scanline. MR you’d have to check.

In case of MR, I can’t really help you, I’m afraid, but you wouldn’t use the Max Volume Light effect, but whatever Volume Shader that is available. Sorry for not being clearer about this.
Either by having a “real” fog all around that gets lit by the light, a Volume Mesh or a special volume light (or light shader).

The most simple solution might be comping a tiling/looping 2d-Textur over your light in post, if the camera allows it. Might look good enough.