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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. 3D Studio Max
Cgi

Creating A Rain of Arrows Scene in 3ds Max

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

Preview


1. Setting Up Arrows

Step 1

Open 3ds Max.

Open 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max

Step 2

I've made a simple arrow using polygon modelling technique which I will use in the tutorial. You can download the arrow.max file from the download section.

arrowmax
arrow.max

Step 3

Rename this arrow as Static Arrow.

Static Arrow
Static Arrow

Step 4

Make a copy of the static arrow. Rename the copied arrow as Dynamic Arrow.

 Dynamic Arrow
Dynamic Arrow

Step 5

Apply Bend modifier onto the dynamic arrow. Drag the Gizmo a bit up and then animate the value of Angle parameter till 15 frames to make its tail wobble.

Bend modifier
Bend modifier

Step 6

Make at least two more copies of the dynamic arrow. You can have multiple arrows with a bit different wobbling time for each as it will give you the effect of randomness. 

Make at least two more copies of the dynamic arrow
Make at least two more copies of the dynamic arrow

Step 7

With all three dynamic arrows selected, go to Group menu and create a new group as Dynamic Arrows Group.

Dynamic Arrows Group
Dynamic Arrows Group

2. Setting Up Particle Flow System

Step 1

I have prepare a very simple scene setup with a ground plane and a box standing on the plane. The purpose is to show the arrows coming from the left side and penetrate the ground and the wall.

Simple scene setup
Simple scene setup

Step 2

Go to Create > Particles > Particle Flow Source and create a Particle Flow icon in the viewport.

Create  Particles  Particle Flow Source
Create > Particles > Particle Flow Source

Step 3

Create the PF Source icon at the left end of the ground plane. Rotate the icon a bit to shoot the particles in 45 degree angle and towards the box.

Create the PF Source icon
Create the PF Source icon

Step 4

Press 6 key on the keyboard to open the Particle View window.

Particle View window
Particle View window

Step 5

Click on Birth operator. Set the values of Emit Start to 0, Emit Stop to 60 and Amount to 25.

Birth operator
Birth operator

Step 6

Delete Shape operator and instead of that, bring Shape Instance operator in the event. Select Static Arrow mesh as the Particle Geometry Object.

Shape Instance
Shape Instance

Step 7

Go to Display operator and choose Geometry as the Type option. Now you can see the particle ticks have changed into arrows in the viewport. But the arrows are coming out randomly and without any specific directional axis. 

Display operator
Display operator

Step 8

To force the arrows to fly in the specific and right direction, bring another Rotation operator in the event. Change the Orientation Matrix mode to Speed Space Follow and set the Y axis to 90 degree.

Orientation Matrix
Orientation Matrix

Step 9

Now you can see the arrows are going in the right direction.

Arrows direction
Arrow's direction

Step 10

Go to Space Warps > Forces > Gravity and create an icon of Gravity in the viewport. 

Space Warps  Forces  Gravity
Space Warps > Forces > Gravity

Step 11

Insert Force operator in the event. Add Gravity in the Force Space Warps list.  Due to effect of gravity, the particles of arrow bend towards the ground. 

Force operator
Force operator

Step 12

Change the values of Speed and Variation so that the arrows could fall on the box. You will have to play with these values of Speed operator to get your desired result.

Speed operator
Speed operator

Step 13

Go to Space Warps > Deflectors > UDeflectors and create two icons of UDeflector in the viewport. 

Space Warps  Deflectors  UDeflectors
Space Warps > Deflectors > UDeflectors

Step 14

With the first UDeflector icon selected, click on Pick Object and select the ground plane mesh to make it as deflector.

Pick Object
Pick Object

Step 15

Following the same way, select the second UDeflector and click on Pick Object to select the box mesh to make it as deflector as well.

Pick Object
Pick Object

Step 16

Insert Collision test in the event. Add both UDeflectors in the list and set the Speed to Continue. This will allow the arrows to continue even after the collision with the ground and the wall.

Collision test
Collision test

Step 17

Create another event and first of all insert Shape Instance operator in it. Connect the string of Collision test to this newly created event.

Shape Instance
Shape Instance

Step 18

Choose the Dynamic Arrows Group as the instanced geometry. 

Turn on Group Members, Object and Children and Object Elements options. 

Turn on Animated Shape option as well because the dynamic arrows have animation.

Dynamic Arrows Group
Dynamic Arrows Group 

Step 19

Go to Display operator and choose Geometry as the Type option.

Display operator
Display operator

Step 20

You can see that the arrows, after collision, still pass through the obstacles. So, you need to apply a force here which could stop the arrows after penetration.

Go to Space Warps > Forces > Drag and create an icon of Drag in the viewport. Set the Linear Damping values for each axis to 45

Space Warps  Forces  Drag
Space Warps > Forces > Drag

Step 21

Insert Force operator in the second event. Add Drag in the Force Space Warps list.  Set the Influence value to 3000

Force operator
Force operator

Step 22

Now you can see the arrows stop just after penetration.

Penetration
Penetration

Step 23

The Influence value is quite important. If you decrease this value, the penetrated arrows will penetrate much deeper and if you increase this value the arrows will penetrate less deep.

Influence value
Influence value

Step 24

Play the animation and you will see the spectacular rain of arrows penetrating the wall and the ground.

Final Scene
Final Scene

Conclusion

Particle Flow is a robust particle system in 3ds Max. You can make tremendous effects with Particle Flow. I will bring more exciting tutorials on the different aspects of Particle Flow.



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