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Introduction to Mass FX

This lesson will take us through the journey of rigging and simulating a wrecking ball hitting a pillar, while the lateral gets destructed into pieces. We will use Mass FX inside 3DS Max for creating this scene while also using a free script from '' for breaking the model of the Pillar into several tiny parts.

01.          We will learn some basics of Rigid Bodies in Mass FX while creating a Ball and Chain constraint with the Mass FX Tools. Open up the ‘Wrecking_Ball_Begin.max’ file and select the first part of the chain ‘Static_Hook_01’. As we want this part of the chain to act as a fixed object therefore we will make it a static rigid body by choosing ‘Set Selected as Static Rigid Body’ from the Mass FX Toolbar.

02.          Access the modify panel of the object in order to access the Mass FX Rigid Body parameters. Open the ‘Physical Shapes’ menu and set the ‘Shape Type’ as ‘Original’ in order to leave the shape of the geometry mesh as its original geomet…
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Rigging and Animating a Flock of Fishes

This lesson will take us through the process of rigging and animating the 3D model of a fish inside 3DS Max while we also go through the process of creating a fish school swimming in the ocean. For rigging the fish model we will use a free max script easily available on the internet, 'Spring Magic'. While we will generate the basic Fish School effect by using 3DS Max's Particle System.

01          Fire up the 3DS Max scene file 'DFX_Fish_Flock_01.max' from the project folder where we have a set of 7 fishes ready for the rigging process. These models of the fishes have already been textured and shaded to save us our precious time, as we would like to concentrate on core rigging and animation parts in this lesson.

02          Select and isolate the '01_DFX_Blue_Gill_Fish' and start creating a rig for it using the bones object. We will start creating the bone chain from head to tail with at least 7 to 8 bones in the rig. Adjust each Bone's Height and Widt…

Interior Lighting Using Radiosity

In this lesson we are going to look at the advanced lighting feature called Radiosity which is a very effective method inside 3DS Max for calculating Indirect Illumination. Radiosity is a Physically Accurate method of calculating Indirect Lighting compared to 3DS Max's other Advanced Lighting feature 'Light Tracer', which depends on a bit of approximation.

01          The rule of thumb for fetching the best results with Radiosity is to model the scene on real world scale units and to use the 'Photometric' lights. A Photometric Light is meant to be a lot more physically accurate so it is actually based on a little bit more real world values instead of simple arbitrary brightness or color values like the 'Standard' lights.

02          We will start working with the 'Photometric' lights by creating a 'Target Light' in the scene from the 'Photometric' lights menu. But whenever we start to create a Photometric Light in the scene, 3DS Max…

Sand Mesh and Material

This lesson will take us through the procedure of making a Procedural Deserted Land while we create a Sand Material and a Procedural Terrain by using Procedural Maps and Procedural Modifiers.

01          We will start by creating a plane in the scene which will define the sand layer. Name it as ‘Sand Plane’ and set its Length and Width to 200 feet each. We will also increase the Length and Width Segments to 100 each in order to provide enough segments for creating the sand dunes displacement.

02          We will add some elevation over the plane by using the Noise Modifier. As we require the elevation on the plane in Z axis, therefore we will Increase the ‘Z Strength’ value to ‘16’ and further scale the noise up by increasing the ‘Scale’ value to ‘400’. Apart from th is smooth uneven surface of the sand we will add another layer of dunes on top of it with the help of ‘Displace' modifier.

03          Now in order to make the 'Displace' modifier work we will add a map onto i…