I am currently working on a river scene invloving grassy/muddyterrain, boats and standard buildings.
I am having a little trouble trying to animate water travelling around a channel shaped like a U. In other words, I need the water to flow around a u-turn bend. I am also aiming to get the water to perhaps 'bounce' off the edges of the banks, and to set up an appropriate UVW map in which depicts the foamy edges.
I would be very, very grateful if anyone can give me any tips on how to overcome this problem, or perhaps send me a link to a useful tutorial.
I dont really know of any good max tutorials for this, but I have had some similar projects before.. I actually just finished a water park project that included a 'lazy river' ride, and I have used the same basic technique for fountains and etc....
I would start with a spline, set to be renderable, and make it square, and the size you need (if you have MAX 8 or 9 - I would use a loft in MAX 7) - make sure you check on 'generate mapping cordinates'
You can then use a UVW Unwrap modifier, and it will take its mapping cords from the spline, making the unwrapping process much easier and less time consuming.
From there, you can generate your texture maps in photoshop, or after effects (if you need to have an animated texture). Theres tons of tutorials out there about how to make image maps, so I wont get into that part of it right now....
Lastly, if you need stuff to be floating along your river, you can duplicate your water spline, make it not renderable, and use a path constraint so your object follows the path of the water. The path constraint will stick the pivot point of the object to the spline, so if you want to make your floating stuff move away from the center of the water, just use the 'affect object only' mode and move the geometry to one side or another of the pivot point