Particle Flow Discussion


Afterburn is a Photoreal render volumetric effect,with shadow ecc…

with pflow, u can do the simulation of the explosion, but when u go to render ur scene, what u see?Cubes?sphere with some cool materials?? without some sort of volumetric effect,the explosion can’t be Photoreal…


Anyone know when this Aura will be released? It looks really nice, and are there ways to do something like this with afterburn and pflow?


For volumetric effects you need AfterBurn, I haven’t heard of any free plugin for those…


See first you need the movement of the particles. After that you add all the volumetric goodies to them to get the look you want. And no afterburn is incredibly easy to learn.

Also I have a scene with Afterburn and PFlow and I need help. How do I get AB to only effect this certain event in PFlow. I have the PFlow-AB operator in the event I want it in, but the AB effect is going on the whole particle system. Any ideas?


show us the flow and we could hunt the problem down for you.
after burn and pflow works great together with the 3.1 release


Well I can’t give you the max file because the files to big or just a screenshot, cuz the maximum size is 20kb. I can get it to be 50KB but not 20KB. :wip:


Originally posted by treed
Also I have a scene with Afterburn and PFlow and I need help. How do I get AB to only effect this certain event in PFlow. I have the PFlow-AB operator in the event I want it in, but the AB effect is going on the whole particle system. Any ideas?

Are you sure that in the Afterburn settings (Environment tab) you are selecting the Pflow-Aburn operator and not the PFSource?


Ahh sweet, thanx KaMe. :slight_smile:


I can get it to be 50KB but not 20KB

just zip or rar the file, then see what you get. max files are outrageously bloated :slight_smile: i have a few 50+MB files that zip down to 4mb


Yeah, I tried that but it was still too large of a file.


Customize>Preferences>Files>Compress On Save
This helped me alot for saving HD space…


I just wanted to point you to Brandon Davis homepage where he put out some cool online video-tutorials about Particle Flow. Brandon has been closely involved in the development of Particle Flow.

Brandons homepage:

And his tuts:



And did you see this cool example of Particle Flow use … in combination with Max Scripting from Christopher Thomas - his crawling spiders example :eek:

Chris Thomas homepage:

And his tutorial:


PS. Note that Max 5.1 and finished animation is availabe for download on the tutorial page.


I love the way that he used pflow to animate the spiders, but I don’t have the scripting knowledge to keep up with him. I would love to get to spend some time in after burn some time.

I will have some more test renders up later in the week, im swamped at work right now.


Pflow is a very flexible system and will allow most users to acheive most effects most of the time. However, some times you will quite simply hit a brick wall and need to find a solution. Thats where scripting comes in. Also, somtimes you may want to try something beyond the initial scope of pflows core operators. Again this is where scripting comes in.

To be honest the same goes for much of Max, and indeed CG in general. I would really recommend going through the pflow scripting tutorials that can be found on Bobo’s site.

Each of those tutorials demonstrates a basic feature of scripting with pflow and if you read through those tutorials and the associated scripts you will see that you do not have to be a scripting ninja to script in pflow. (and indeed I am not, and I did)

First steps are try modifying Bobo’s scripts to do something similar. Or maybe combining them. After doing these tutorials I was able to start thinking of doing my spider script.

The idea behind the spide script is to show that you can drive the animation of particle by using various particle paramaters. In my example I’m using the speed of the particles to controll the animation speed of the spiders legs. However it would also have been possible to animated the spiders heads, palps or abdomens and have these animate based on proximity to food for instance or maybe to each other i.e. spider passes by on the left, and it looks over at it. If someone wanted to they could have taken this idea and created a crude kind of flocking system with it?

I recently also did a sample script that would take 200 pre-made omni lights, position them based on particles (omni_01 = particle1 positon etc). And then modify their hue and brightness based on the speed of the particles. It could be easily modified to modify the hue based on proximity to an object or maybe on size?

Anyway, there are a world of possibilities there, it just to be taken on board. Have an open mind and have a go. If you fail you don’t have to tell anyone?



Wow, thanks jmonkey2000,

I had seen his tuts. when I was looking around at p-flow stuff. I had never really thought about using p-flow for more than its original assumed purpose, particles. Now I see that with some scripting and some luck, you can achieve untold effects. Tonight, I will read up on some scripting and see how far I get before my head pops. A big thanks has got to go to Bobo for spending the time to make the awesome tuts. and go through it step by step.

The hardest thing right now is coming up with particle effects that my computer can handle. I am looking into some computers to buy and I think that I will focus in on a machine that can run some elaborate particle setups. Some kind of duel processing beast or something.

Best of luck and I hope to posts some examples soon. And I hope to see some also.



Welcome to the thread Chris!

Thanks for the pointer to Bobos tuts (Wow!), and for your enlighting comments.

I love the idea and implementation of your spiders - something that I would have thought required Character Studio or similar. I also was thinking about flocking systems when I saw it. Cool idea having the spiders turn their head when some other spider is close, using the particle speed to control the legmotion etc.

That idea with creating lights based on particle also sounds very interesting. Could you not also create lights on the fly as particles are emmitted … or is creation of objects not possible in pflow scripts? - is it possible to see your omni light pflow animation?

I hope to get some time soon to look more into depth on Pflow … there is enough already to keep me busy for a very long time :slight_smile:



Here’s more interesting research on smoke and fire. Again, would be nice to create something similar with Pflow.


Ok, here are the omni lights and particle flow example files.



Ok here is my first fire test…
I did not spend any time on the texture. I really just put this up here as a starting point. I need to find out better how the wind settings work. I will do some looking tonight.

I know that the fire is going to fast, and I would like to have some flames that break off and make the fire not so stream like. I think that I can do this by having the particles spawn new sets one they reach a certain age.

ZIP of Max file