Version 0.1.0

Help Document

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Introduction

Cloud Tunnel is a MaxScript for Autodesk 3ds Max. It creates clouds, tunnels of clouds for fly through animations, rocket trails and many more kinds of cloudy stuff.

This script is based on a tutorial by Jonas Ussing [http://jussing.dk or www.duck.dk]. It can be found at : http://library.creativecow.net/articles/ussing_jonas/clouds_3dmax.php and some more websites.
Cloud Tunnel is totally free for any kind of use and modifications, and is open sourced.

 

Features

  • Creates clouds, tunnels of clouds, rocket trails etc.
  • Shows a live preview render as you change the parameters.
  • Uses the 3ds Max PF Source Particles and standard materials. No extra plugins needed.
  • Provides a very easy UI to get the results quickly.
  • Parameters to control the particle properties and materials.
  • You can specify your own emitters.
  • You can specify any image as a mask to control the cloud shapes and styles, from realistic to cartoony.
  • The parameters are animatable.

System Requirements

Autodesk 3ds Max version 2011 to 2014. May work with lower versions too.

Installation and usage

No installation is needed, simply run the script from Menu command Maxscript-> Run Script.

Upon running , it creates a simple cloud tunnel scene with everything in place. You can simply render it out or can change the scene using the parameters on the UI. You can also specify your own objects as emitters.

You can also dig into the Particle View and Material Editor to customize everything, as needed. You can animate certain things like size, colors etc from the UI itself.

Parameters & UI  
Cloud Tunnel Rollout Contains parameters to customize the looks of the clouds and shows an instant preview of the results.
Preview Render Shows the instant preview, whenever you change anything using the UI. Click on it to update it manually, in case you change something directly in the scene. It renders the camera view.
Count Number of cloud puffs. Note that the actual number of particles will be twice this number, because of the highlight clouds.
Size Size of the cloud puff. If you set it too low, you will see the individual clouds, which is odd looking. If you set it too high, the clouds will look more like smoke and may take a long time to render.
Seed Random seed that controls the distribution of the clouds on the emitter object. Change it to get a new distribution.
Light Intensity of the light illuminating the clouds. Its an ambient only omni light.
Light Color Color of the above light. Useful for giving a tint to the clouds.
Cloud Color Color of the main cloud layer (darker one), which faces the camera.
Highlight Color

Color of the cloud layer used to get the highlights. Its just behind the main layer. (as seen from the camera)

Sky Color

Same as the Background Color setting seen in the Environment settings dialog of Max.

Emitter Object

Pick any object as emitter for main cloud layer using this pick button.

Highlight Object

Pick any object as emitter for highlighted cloud layer using this pick button. Note that the positioning of this object is important. It should be just behind the main emitter object, when seen from the camera.

Mask Map

Select a different Mask Map. The Mask Map determines the shape of a cloud puff. It needs to be a greyscale square image. Some examples are provided with the script.

Known Issues and troubleshooting

If you delete the scene contents created by the script and then try to change it via the script, the script will die. Simply rerun the script if this happens.

You can safely delete the old emitters, once you select a custom emitter.

You will see some straight lines in the renders occasionally. This is due to intersecting particles. To reduce this artefact, try to reposition the dummy linked to the camera, away from the camera. This dummy is the look at object for the particles and can be used to orient the particle facings if needed. (you can specify the camera itself as the look at object, but the artefacts will become more obvious).

The script may slow down if there are too many particles. This is because of the time it takes to render the preview.

The script will set the renderer to Default Scanline to enable fast previews. You may need to change it in Render Settings for final render, if needed.

About Cloud Tunnel The MaxScript Cloud Tunnel is totally free and open sourced for any kind of use and modifications. Oormi Creations provides it as is and takes no responsibility of any kind for any issues/problems or harm of any kind that its use may cause.
   
 

Oormi Creations

http://oormi.in

© 2014