In this tutorial, I'll show how to create a realistic spider web in 3ds Max using inbuilt tools and simulation techniques. Later I will composite the spider web simulation in After Effects to make it look much convincing.
1. Creating Spider Web
Open 3ds Max.
Go to Create > Standard Primitive > Plane and create a plane
in the front view.
Keep its Length Segs and Width Segs as 80.
Open the Modifier List and apply Cloth modifier onto the
With the plane selected, click on Object Properties button. In the Object Properties window, select plane and turn on Cloth radio button. It turns the plane into cloth.
Click on OK button.
Open the cloth modifier roll out. Select Group.
With the extreme left column of vertices of the plane selected, click on Make
In the Make Group window, rename the group name as Group001.
With the Group001 selected, click on Preserve button.
With the extreme right column of vertices of the plane selected, click on Make Group button.
In the Make Group window, rename the group name as Group002.
With the Group002 selected, click on Preserve button.
Go to Space Warp > Forces > Wind and apply the wind force in
With the cloth selected, click on Cloth Forces button.
It opens the Forces window. With the wind001 selected inside
the Forces in Scene list, click on the forward arrow button.
Now the wind001 comes in the Forces in Simulation list. Click
on OK button.
2. Applying Spider Web Texture
I have a black and white image file of spider web which I will use as the
texture for the cloth.
Press M to open the Material Editor.
With an empty slot
on Diffuse channel. It opens the Material/ Map Browser
window. Select Bitmap and click on OK.
Select spider-web.jpg image.
This will be used as the texture of the cloth.
Apply this texture onto the cloth. You can see the spider web patters on the cloth. But this is not transparent. To make it transparent, I'll remove the black color.
Drag and drop the same texture from the Diffuse channel to Opacity channel. Select the Instance option and click on OK button.
Now you can see the black parts vanish and it becomes transparent.
2. Spider Web Simulation
With the cloth selected, click on Simulate button. The simulation starts and you can see the spider web simulation in the viewport.
Press F10 to open the Render Setting window. Render the
simulation in image sequence till 200 frames and in TGA format (32 bits).
Open After Effects. I have a live sequence which I import as a
composition. I have to composite the spider web simulation in this scene.
Import the rendered spider web image sequence and put it over the live plate. With the spider web layer selected, go to Effect > Generate > Fill and apply the effect onto the layer.
Choose the color as white. Now hit the play button and you will see a
realistic spider web simulation over the live action footage.
You can make tremendous effects with cloth modifier in 3ds Max. I will bring more exciting tutorials on the different aspects of cloth modifier.