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Creating Waterfalls Tutorial

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  Waterfalls in your scene or even in your animation adds a stunning effect to your works. Creating it in 3D programs is a long dream and a challenge to many artist. In this tutorial I would like to show my work flow on how to create  a waterfalls with the use of 3DMax particles sytems.

I want to share my workflow on how to create a Waterfalls from 3D Max Particle System.

Scene Preparation

1. To start with, set units to meters, and renderer to default scanline renderer.

 You can download my raw model for the building  located on the following link.

 raw model scene download(3dmax 8 and above)

 Raw image should look like the image below

2. Modelling the accessories.

 To model the riverbed..
 Create a plain lenght = 20m, width 25m, segments = 8 x 8
 Applied with Noise Modifier : scale=0, strenght x=1.7, y=1.5, z=.25
 Positioned it and leveled with the building bottom

 To model the water surface
 Create a plain lenght = 20m, width 16m, segments = 8 x 8
 Applied with Ripple Modifier :amplitude 1=.06m, amplitude 2=.15m
  Wave Lenght=1.0m, phase=.1, decay=.001
 Positioned it about .5m below the ground floor fo the building.
 
 To model the main rocks,
 Create a box, lenght=12m, width=2, height=8m segments 40 x 20 x20
 Apply with Noise Modifier to make it rough and bumpy.
 Then apply with turbosmooth modifier to smoothen the surface
 Position the bottom just level with the riverbed.
 
 Accessorized the scene with small rocks, same procedure with the main
 rocks but with a smaller scale 
 
 The raw scene model will now look like on the figure below

3. To model the water falls. From the Creating Panel, select Geometry and choose Particle  Systems. On object type choose PArray. Then drag anywhere on the screen to  create a PArray Icon. Size of the icon doesnt matter, as long as you see it then it  would be fine. Or go to Tab Menu, choose Create then browsing down, choose  Particles, there you can find also PArray

 

4. To model the water source. Go to Creating Panel then Standard Primitives and on Object Type rollout choose box. On your top viewport, create a box about the width of the main rocks say length=8m, width=0.1, depth=0.2m. Positioned it on top of the main rock or where the waterfalls be located. Named it as source box. See figure below

5. Linking the source box to the particles. Select PArray Icon, go to modify, under Basic Parameters go down on Object Base Emitter  and press the box Pick Object then select the source box. Now click anywhere on the screen to turn off the selection 
 

6. Now go to you perspective viewport and zoom a bit on the source box facing to where the water will fall.box , select the source box right click and choose convert to poly. Then on modifying panel select polygon, then select the front of the source box. Turn off the selection, by clicking on the gray box aligned with the word  - Editable Poly, this will just turn off the highlighted portion but still the selection is active.

7. Select again the PArray Icon, go to modify and underneath the Particle Formation tick the box of Use Selected Sub-objects. This means that water will come out only on the face of the source box you selected.

8. Now make the four viewport viewable, zoom in to the source box and make some initial testing, move your time slider to 20 or 30 and see what happens. The particles emit at horizontal direction

9. Fine tuning particles for initial settings. , from the Viewport Display of PArray select Ticks, and for the Percentage of the Particles make 100%.

 On the Particle Generation click on Use Rate=100, for the speed= .2 meter,
variation 50, divergence 20

 Speed  -The velocity of the particle at birth, along the normal,
   in units traveled per frame.

 Variation   - Applies a percentage of variation to the speed of
   emission for each particle.

 Divergence - Applies an angular degree of variation by which
   each particle's velocity can vary from the emitter normal.


 On Particle Timing, emit start at 0, stop at 100, Display until 100. life at 100 and variation at 25. On Particle size, put .06m, variation size about 10. This means that  drops of water is about 60mm so it is viewable on my camera. See illustrated image for the initial settings.

10. Now adjust the time slider on about frame 40. As you can see in the image below, the Particles now have some development

11. Redirecting the Particles to fall downwards. For the meantime, drag the time slider back to frame 0, then maximized now your top viewport.

From the Creating Panel, select space warp (wave symbol), then on Object Type select Forces, then Gravity or go to tab menu, select create - space warps-forces then gravitty. Or go to Tab Panel and choose Create Menu, on the pull down menu items select SpaceWarps - Forces - then Gravity. See illustration below

Drag anywhere from the screen to make a gravity icon. On top its a square icon with x on center and on elevation its a line with an arrrow. The arrow indicates the direction of the force. Size and location doesnt matter as long as you see it. See figure below

Make the top viewport active, go to main tollbar and click on Bind to Space Warp icon, then click on Gravity Icon (the mouse pointer will change into small box with wavy diagonal lines) and drag them it to the Particles Icon. The particles will be highlighted in a second which means the binding is okay. Then go to modifying panel, on parameters, adjust strenght = .04 
 

 Strength = Increasing Strength increases the effect of gravity; that is, how objects   move in relation to the Gravity icon's direction arrow. Strength less than 0.0 creates   negative gravity, which repels particles moving in the same direction and attracts   particles moving in the opposite direction. When Strength is set to 0.0, the Gravity   space warp has no effect.

 Decay = When Decay is set to 0.0, the Gravity space warp has the same strength   throughout world space. Increasing the Decay value causes gravity strength to    diminish as distance increases from the position of the gravity warp object.    Default=0.0.

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