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 Pawas 3D Studio Max Tutorials

(After buying the book "3D Studio Max F/X" by John Bell I found out that this tutorial is pretty closed to his description of Warp Speed. It was not my intention to take his work, and as I got this idea from a friend on net I guess it is originally from Bell (well I am not sure, but ... just to be sure, OK!!??). So please buy Bells book (it is very good!!), or use the tutorial here if you can't afford it!!)

As part of one of my animation the first scene will be focusing on empty space, just stars and maybe a planet or a sun. Suddenly there is a opening in the void, a warp in the fabric of space, a tunnel of light where a ship is passing through. The space warps will look something like this animated gif.

A Warp in Space I think I have managed to get a nice space warp effect. If you get a "wobble" in the animation it could be that your browser don't handle big animated gif files properly. Internet Explorer does have this fault. Netscape have no problems at all. Well .. that is after my experience. I use them both!

The effect was made with two expanding cones; they are morphing from nearly nothing to 1000 units long. I gave them a spin, one clockwise and the other counter clockwise, 720 degrees in 100 frames. The most important thing is that they are not parallel in there movement. First cone is morphing out in 50 frames and then back again. The other one morphs out from frame 25 to 75 and quickly retreat the last 25 frames. Both cone have there normals flipped and the cap removed so when I give them a materials this is visible on the inside of the cone. The materials is also given a low opacity so the stars shines through. It is also important that the cones have there receive and cast shadow check boxes unchecked. There is also a omni light in front of the tunnel. To place a light in front of the animated tunnel, and not from some Max default source, gives the illusion of the transparency cones and the self illumination of the flare maps a better effect. In the camera view under you can se the two cones as wire frames in frame 60, when one goes spinning out and the other one retreat.

Viewport view

The two cones are given texture made with RealLenzFlare, a plug in for max. The texture is animated as two 100 frames *.flc files through RLF in a basic phase expansion and streaks angel rotation.

Material manipulation: In short:
Diffuse = black, Ambient = black, Falloff = out, Type = additive. The *.flc are placed as diffuse map and copied to opacity map, both at 100 %.

These are the two flare materials maps (200x200):

RealLensFlare RealLensFlare


The stars in the background is made with the free video post plug_in Stars, a star field generator made by Tom Hudson.


Harald J. Martinsen of TMP. 31.10.97




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