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Letters falling in powder

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Philippe VerdoniLetters falling in powder
by on Dec 6, 2010 at 4:37:46 pm

I would like to animate a word in such a way that the letters it is made of fall in powder. I would very much appreciate your assistance to find a tutorial or the description of the process to do that in 3DSMax 2010. Thank you.

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Ryan JohnRe: Letters falling in powder
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 3:20:04 pm

You're not very clear on what you are asking for. It sounds like whatever it is you will need to use a particle system, have a look at possible plug-ins like realflow or krakatoa but other than that cant really help.

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Philippe VerdoniRe: Letters falling in powder
by on Dec 12, 2010 at 10:11:24 am

->Ryan John
In fact what I wish to do is transform a Text object into dust.
I have “googled” the names of the Realflow and Krakatoa plugins and found an illustration of what I would like to achieve on a very short Youtube movie

However the comments added to the movie are not very clear. Would you know a tutorial dealing with the method used to complete this kind of animation?
Thank you for your assistance.

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Ryan JohnRe: Letters falling in powder
by on Dec 13, 2010 at 2:08:55 pm

Depending on the quality of the dust and how powerful your machine you dont actually need a plug-in for this.

I dont know any good tutorials but Im sure there are plenty out there, if not here is a quick summary.

>Create Object
>Create Particle flow source
>Open Particle view and you will see a basic tree with a single event. this is where it gets complicated.
>Change the attributes of the birth operator to Emit start:0 Emit Stop; 0 and set the amount to a few 1000 to start with. (what you are doing is saying I want 1000 particles at frame 0 and no more.
>Delete the Position Icon Operator and replace with a Position Object, in the rollout for the new operator add the object from the scene its default location is the surface. (what you are doing is saying I want the particles to spawn on the surface of this object)
>Delete the speed operator and rotation operator.
>Select the shape operator and for the benefit of this quick guide choose 2D triangles and make them quite small(this determines what the particles willlook like)

What you have done so far is tell 3DS how many particles, what shape, where you want the particles and what you want them to be doing(nothing so far).

>Back in the 3D viewport create a Deflector (Spacewarp/Deflector/Deflector) above the object, select autokey, move forward a few frames and animate the deflector downwards. (this will be used to knock the particles off the object).
>Back in Particle view(keyboard shortcut; 6) drag a collision operator to the bottom of the event and add the deflector, change the collides dropdown to "continue" (this will send the particle to the next event when struck by the deflector).
>In the viewport add some wind (Spacewarp/forces/wind)
>Back in Particle view drag a force operator into the window to create a new event, add the wind to this.
>In the viewport add the original ?teapot? rightclick and exclude for render, you can also hide it from view.

If you scrub the timeline you should see the particles form the teapot shape then when the deflector moves over them they are picked up by the wind and blown off. you will have to tweak a lot of the strengths maybe add some turbulence etc. to get the desired effect, you will also want to add more particles in the birth operator and also tweak their size(if you change the Display operator option from ticks to geometry you can see what the particles look like in the viewport).

This is the basics to the effect you want, it is far from perfect and will take a lot of playing around, you can add more and more operators in the particle view or forces in the viewport to determine how the particles behave.

The problem with particles is they put a lot of pressure on your machince plus 3DS max generally does nto like that many of them, that is where those plug-ins come in handy as they manage particles better and you can have milllions instead of just thousands.....but master the basics or particle flows first, they are great fun and you can learn a lot of techniques through using them.

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Philippe VerdoniRe: Letters falling in powder
by on Dec 13, 2010 at 5:08:50 pm

Thank you very much Ryan for the time you have spent to describe this process so clearly. What you have done is in fact a real tutorial. I shall undertake to implement it this evening and will take the liberty to ask you further comments if necessary.
Thank you again

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