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Local TutorialTutorial: Create A Warp Starfield

animatoranimator0 Posts: 0Member
edited November 2006 in Tutorials #1
Here is a simple yet effective way to create a "Star Trek-like" Warp Starfield. You can do it in any version of 3DS Max above 5.0. If done correctly a frame should take approximately 6 seconds to render, depending on your PC of-course :D.

OK, on to the tutorial. The first thing to do is open up max and reset your scene. Create a particle "Blizzard" as shown in the below image.


Rotate it so that the directional line is facing upward.


Next, you will need to create a "Tube" object, but place it somewhere, where you cannot see it in the perspective view. Set "Radius 1" at 0 and "Radius 2" at 0.76. Finally give it a "Height" of -98.825 and set the color to white. When this is complete, rotate the "Tube" so that it lies down flat on the "Perspective" grid.
To set-up the particle "Blizzard", click on the emitter and choose the edit tab. Then choose "Particle Type" and at the top, click the check-box for "Instanced Geometry". Scroll down a little and you will see a section called "Instancing Parameters". Choose the "Pick Object" button and click on your "Tube" object. What you have done now, is set your particle "Blizzard" to emit lots of "Tube" objects. You will also notice that when you move the animation slider, all you see are small X'es. To Fix this, scroll up to "Basic Parameters", and under the "Viewport Display" section, click the "Mesh" check-box. Now, move the animation slider, and you should have something like this:


Looks pretty chaotic ha? But this is exactly what you need. Scroll down to "Rotation And Collision" and set the "Spin Time" to 0. Now, if you rotate the "Perspective" view, it's really beginning to look like a starfield!


But there is still something not quite right.... To solve this, click on your original "Tube" and decrease "Radius 1" to 0.12. That makes a big difference, now the stars look like stars and not big tubes flying through space ;).
Next, click on your emitter and under "Particle Generation", click the "Use Total" check-box. This gives you the ability to choose how many stars appear at a time. Set this at 50. Then scroll down to "Particle Timing" and set "Emit Start" to -60. For "Emit Stop", choose 100. Under "Particle Size", look for "Variation" and set it to 30.
Lastly, place an "Omni" light in the centre of the emitter and set it's multiplier to 4. Then find the least dense starfield image possible (or make one yourself) and set it as a background. Render it and if you did everything right, you should get this :):


Also, for those who find it hard to follow the tutorial I have included two different versions of this starfield in .max format :D.

Enjoy! ;)
Post edited by animator on


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