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3ds Max® 2008 Bible by Kelly L. Murdock

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Chapter 36. Creating Particles and Particle Flow

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding the various particle systems

  • Creating a particle system

  • Using the Spray and Snow particle systems

  • Using the Super Spray and Blizzard particle systems

  • Working with MetaParticles

  • Using an object as an emitter

  • Using particle system maps

  • Using the Particle Flow interface

Every object that you add to the scene slows down Max to a small degree because Max needs to keep track of every object. If you add thousands of objects to a scene, not only does Max slow down noticeably, but the objects become difficult to identify. For example, if you had to create thousands of simple snowflakes for a snowstorm scene, the system would become unwieldy, and the number wouldn't get very high before you ran out of memory.

Particle systems are specialized groups of objects that are managed as a single entity. By grouping all the particle objects into a single controllable system, you can easily make modifications to all the objects with a single parameter. This chapter discusses using these special systems to produce rain and snow effects, fireworks sparks, sparkling butterfly wings, and even fire-breathing dragons.

Understanding the Various Particle Systems

A particle is a small, simple object that is duplicated en masse, like snow, rain, or dust. Just as in real life, Max includes many different types of particles that can vary in size, shape, texture, color, and motion. These different particle types are included in various particle ...

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