Particle Flow Discussion


If I may suggest avoiding Pflow on this (though, it’s definitely possible), and try to do the job with great free plugin Ky_trail.

It’s really simple to use. Just pick you emitters (dummy would do just fine), set the duration of trail, and that’s about it. :slight_smile:


I have managed to get a solution using Betterwind using it’s Keep Distance, it’s still a bit finicky to get the right settings. When the project is done I will try clean it up an post a max file for any interested.

I was thinking that would be the best way, using box3 possibly, as it would be different for every particle as they have very different life spans. Is it possible to tell how close to death a particle is? I’m pretty sure I have seen stuff controlling scale to death so must be…

Ky_Trail is fantastic, but the issue is not the trail, it is the actual flight paths. I don’t have the time or even the strength to manually animate the hundreds of paths required for this so that is why a particle solution. But thanks for the reminder, I have used Ky_Trail before, many years ago. It will make the trails much lighter than pflow versions I’m sure.

Thanks for the input guys



Hi guys I am trying to get the same particle generation as   in this video from 
[b]0:02 (seconds)  to about  0:05(seconds)[/b]
1) The Particle(petals) seem to be growing on the path  rather than flowing
2) after some time they align themseleves with the path
3) When particle start moving on the path The particles on path are not of equal size at the tip they are SCALED CONTANTLY on the path

I have tried  searching  for TUTORIALS,3DS MAX HELP .. but no use 
 I have not been able to counter the three problems can anyone HELP PLEASE


This is a bit of a cheat as its not using pflow. I am not sure how much control or variation you need , but if you just need the effect like the beginning of the video. you could try clone modfier from Itoo. you can animate the parameters its handy.


I have tried Itoo as u suggested …it brings me near …but randomization is very non realistic… Can “railclone” help me better?


I have used it… but the realism of scattering is not helping…can “railclone” give me more control on it???


Yeah its limited, I dont think railclone with help. sorry.


That’s why I believe Max needs a better cloner imho, something like MoGraph would be a dream, but already a better cloner would do the job. I’m sure someone can come up with some tricky solutions with Pflow and some data operators, but honestly… that’s not as fast and easily doable in an everyday-fast-pace- environment. Don’t get me wrong, Pflow it’s amazing and the very thing that Max comes with it makes me happy and keep me using Max, because even though I’m not a TD whatsoever, still for many things it’s quite easy to use.
But what a better companion than a good mograph tool? :slight_smile:

just my 2 c.


The first thing I thought of when seeing this was Joker Martini’s ATK


Hi I had a quick at it with an idea that I had, its the good old reverse method its not perfect but it might work. Just play the animation backward you will see what I mean. It will work better if you have a way to bake the geo like xmesh or something similar then you can add the tapering and path constraints on top of that. Hope you find it useful its not elegant but perhaps you can take it further.


How can i make particles spawn in one direction??
i’ve an arrow flying which multiplies into many after 25 frames but the spawned arrows should be restricted to one direction…


Speed Follow or Speed Space Follow for the Rotation Modifier.
(err I mean operator, too much Waldorf Blofeld programming of late)


Hello everyone.
This is impossible to understand how some bugs can be missed for years.

Simple example:


4 spheres are linked to teapot. Same teapot is in position object operator. But particles are placed on entire herarchy tree. Anyone notice this before?


No I hadn’t noticed that either. I recreated a hierarchy and I noticed the if the teapot is the parent, particles will propagate down to the children. It is only one way. If I select the the last child particles only populate that geometry.

Interesting find. It seems to me that it should not respect object hierarchy. What if you only wanted particles birthing on a characters palm of the hand and not the arm+rest of the character?


Thanks Johnny.

That’s i’m talking about. Picking a children working normally, but you can’t pick a parent. Particles will propagate down the herarchy. And it’s doesn’t matter how many levels you have. They will be placed down the entire tree. Crazy bug.

The only workaround is to use dummys, making parent object become children.


I am surprised I hadn’t noticed this before I link often, although mostly to points.


Yeah, I just checked, same behavior is in 3ds max 2011 and even on 2015 versions. Just reported to Autodesk. Finger crossed :beer:


isnt there any way to make the cache disk (max2014) not history dependant?

I mean, it seems that particles are cached from one frame to the other (only the frame to next frame move is stored)
So it’ s a real bliss when I scrub frame after frame,
but as soon as I need to jump many frames ahead, it lasts ages to refresh
(Because , i venture, PF needs to go trough each of the frame in the interval to build the resulting state)

Of course each frame would weigh much more and frame loading time would be higher, but storage is a minor issue and SSD make access time way faster so it d worth it


Well if it is lagging like that one of two things comes to mind, the cache is massive or you haven’t cached the system.

Cache Disk was designed as a manual process, so tweak, update cache, tweak, update cache. Unlike Standard Cache which will update on the fly until its ram allocation is full.

Does that help?


Hi guys. :slight_smile:
Is it possible to send (m)particles to another event by texture map?

For example, I don’t want to use deflector to continue to next event, but I want to use animated gradient ramp to send particles to another event.

If it’s not clear, I’ll explain better.