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Create an Awesome Exploding Glass Effect with Thinking Particles and 3ds Max

It is always a good idea to learn as many new techniques as possible to help flesh out your CG scenes.  In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an impressive breaking glass effect using 3ds Max 2009 and Thinking Particles 3.

Thinking Particles 3 is an advanced rule-based particle system for 3dsmax and Cinema4D, and if you are not familiar with it, we recommend that you follow some basic TP3 tutorials to understand how this awesome plug-in works.

Create a Cylinder and change the name to "Glass". Set the "Radius" to '7', the "Height" to '30', and the "Sides" to '6'.

Move the cylinder to the coordinates: x = 0, y = 0, and z = 2.

Add an "Edit poly" modifier. Click the "Polygon Selection" icon, and select the bottom polygon.

In the "Edit Polygons" rollout, click the "Bevel Settings" button. Set the "Height" value to '1.8' and the "Outline Amount" value to '-1.5'. Press OK.

With the bottom polygon selected, click the "Inset Settings" button, and set the "Inset Amount" to '1'. Press Ok.

Select the top polygon and delete it.

Add a "Tessellate" modifier. Set the "Tension" value to '0.0' and the "Iterations" to '2'.

Add a "TurboSmooth" modifier. After that, add an "Optimize" modifier. Set the "Face Threshold" value to '0.02', the "Edge Threshold" value to '0', and the "Bias" value to '0.5'.

Finally, add a "TurboSmooth" modifier again.

ThinkingParticles 3 creates fragments based on surface edges. The idea is to create glass with random edges, but with a smooth surface. You can see a few examples in the screenshot below.

Create another Cylinder, and change the name to "Bullet". Set the "Radius" to '1', the "Height" to '5', and the "Sides" to '12'.

Convert this "Bullet" cylinder to an "Editable Poly", and model it out bullet using the following image as a reference:

Press the 'A' key on the keyboard, to turn on "Angle Snaps", and rotate the "Bullet" by '90' degrees on the 'x' axis.

Move the "Bullet" to the coordinates: x = 0, y = 100, and z = 15.

Create a box for the ground, set the "Height" to '-2', and add more segments.

Go to "Command panel > Create > Particle Systems > Thinking", and place a "ThinkingParticles 3" icon in the Viewport.

Go to the "Modify" panel, and click "Properties" in the "Thinking" rollout (you can also use 'Alt + Shift + P' to open, and 'Alt + Shift + C' to close the "ThinkingParticles 3" user interface). In the "DynamicSet Tree" view, select "Master Dynamic". Disable "Edit on the fly" to see the changes in real time. Enable "Show Mesh" to see the particle shape.

In the "Particle Group Tree" view, click the "Create" button, under "Master System". Name the group "Glass Particle", by clicking on the name "Group" twice (slowly). Create two other groups.  Name the first group "Bullet Particle", and the second group "Fragments".

Now you need to create a "Dynamic Set" to dictate what the particles do.  In the "DynamicSet Tree" view, click the "Create" button, under "Master Dynamic", and name the new Dynamic Set "Generate".

Highlight the "Generate" "DynamicSet", and then go to the right-hand side of the dialog, where you will see a new set of "Create" rollouts.

Select the "Operators" icon, and then choose "Generator" from the drop down list. Select the "Obj. to Particle" node, to highlight it, then click in the schematic portion of the "Wire Setup" view, and add this node to your "DynamicSet".

In the "Obj. to Particle" rollout (on the right portion that appears), click the "Pick Object" button, and select the "Glass" object in the viewport. From the drop down menu, select "Glass Particle" as your "Group", and enable "Instance Shape".

Click the "Pick Object" button again, and select "Bullet".  Then select "Bullet Particle" as your "Group", and enable "Instance Shape".  The "Obj. to Particle" operator, turned the "Glass" and the "Bullet" into particles, so you can hide them now.

Create a new "Dynamic Set" and change the name to "Bullet". In the "Create" panel, click the "Groups" icon, then add the "Bullet Particle" group, in the schematic portion of the "Wire Setup" view.

Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Dynamics". Add a "Force" operator, and set the "Strength" value to '300'. Connect the "Bullet Particle" group to the "Force" operator.

You will notice that the bullet particle is moving in the wrong direction, so you need to change the direction vector. Click the "Helpers" icon, and add a "Point3" helper. Set the "Y-Value" to '-1'.

Connect the "Vector" output of the "Point3" helper to the "Direction" input of the "Force" operator. Now the bullet is moving on the 'Y' axis.

Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Standard". Add a "Mass" operator, and change the "Mass" value to '300'. Connect the "Bullet Particle" group to the "Mass" operator.

Create a new "Dynamic Set", and change the name to "Forces". In the "Create" panel, click the "Groups" icon. Add the "Glass Particle" group to your Dynamic Set.

Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Dynamics". Add a "Freeze" operator, near the "Glass Particle" group, and set the "Freezing" value to '100'. Connect the "Freeze" operator to the "Glass Particle" group.

Add the "Fragments" group to your Dynamic Set. Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Dynamics". Add a "Force" operator, and change the "Strength" value to '-30'. Connect the "Force" operator to the "Fragments" group. This will act like a gravity force for the particles.

Create a new "Dynamic Set" and change the name to "Fragments". In the "Create" panel, click the "Groups" icon. Add the "Glass Particle" group to your Dynamic Set. Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Shape". Add a "Fragment" operator, near the "Glass Particle" group.

To create the fragmentation effect, you need to animate the "Threshold" value in the "Fragment" operator rollout, so turn on "Auto Key". Go to frame '15' and change the "Threshold" value to '0.25'. After that, go to frame '14' and change the "Threshold" value to '1'. Don't forget to turn off "Auto Key" when you are finished.

Change the "Fragment Count" to '100', the "Sorting Type" to "Top > Bottom", increase "Life Span", change the "Speed" value to '0', and set the "Thickness" to '1.5'.  Connect the "Glass Particle" group to the "Fragment" operator.

Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Standard". Add a "Group" operator, and select "Fragments" as your "Group". Connect the "*Born Particle" output of the "Fragment" operator to the "Particle" input of the "Group" operator. This operator is used to transfer the glass pieces into the "Fragments" group.

Create a new "Dynamic Set", and change the name to "Collisions". In the "Create" panel, click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Dynamics". Add a "Shape Collision" operator, and select "All" as your "Particle Group". Change the "Floor Voxel Grid" to '20', to get more realistic simulations.

Click the "Helpers" icon and add a "Node" helper, then click the "Pick Node" button and select the "Ground" object. Connect the "Node" output of the "Node" helper to the "Floor Node" input of the "Shape Collision" operator.  Play back the animation. The particles should collide with each other, and with the "Ground".

To add materials to the "glass" and the "bullet" particles, create a new "Dynamic Set" and change the name to "Materials". Add to this "Dynamic Set" the "Glass Particle" and the "Bullet Particle" groups.  Click the "Operators" icon, and from the drop down list, select "Material".  Add two "Shape Material" operators.  Connect the first with the "Glass Particle" group and the second with the "Bullet Particle" group.

Create a glass material. Because I used "Default Scanline Renderer" for this scene, I created a "Raytrace" glass material, but you can use any materials or render engine you want. Drag and drop this material into the "Shape Material" slot. Do the same thing with the bullet material.

If you are using the "Default Scanline Renderer", you can an apply image motion blur effect directly to the ThinkingParticle icon. If you want to apply different motion blur effects to the particles, select "Master Dynamic", in the TP3 user interface, and enable "Groups as Objects". Now you can select the ThinkingParticles groups, as objects in the viewport.

Select the "Fragments" group in the viewport, and apply an image motion blur effect with a "Multiplier" value of '0.25'. Do the same thing with the "Bullet Particle" group, but set the "Multiplier" value to '1'.

Make sure the image motion blur effect is enabled!

Create some lights to illuminate your scene.

To create the camera shaking effect, add a "Noise" modifier to the camera. Change the noise type to "Fractal", enable "Animate Noise", and change the "Frequency" value to '20'.

Click the "Auto Key" button and, when the bullet is near the camera, set the "Strength" value to '0.3' for all the three axes. Go back 5 frames, and forward 5 frames, and set the "Strength" value to '0'. Turn off "Auto Key".


Finally, create a reflexive material for the "Ground" object, and add an image for your background. If you want to obtain a different fragmentation effect, you can move the glass object on the 'x' axis, until you get something you like.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Below you can see my final results.


From: http://cgi.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-an-awesome-exploding-glass-effect-with-thinking-particles-and-3ds-max--cg-682


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4663 views    44 comments

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tre576211 2021-12-11

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lavanya9294 2018-06-30

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