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Changing object colours in Autodesk 3DS Max?

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Paul Wilson
Changing object colours in Autodesk 3DS Max?
on Jan 27, 2011 at 5:30:03 pm

So. Started using the shareware and I've only got 9 days left. Perhaps someone can direct me in what to do.

Here's what I want. I want a nice 3D glass text, camera to pan around it etc.

That bit is done. Got a nice glass material effect using, specifically, the following link....

Got a background environment. Got the camera pan fine and it renders out nicely.

Now here is what I want to do and where someone can help.
There are 3 words in the 3d title. Each is a separate object with the same glass material.

Half way through I want to "light up" the first word in white, a few seconds later the second word to "light up" in red and a few seconds later the last word to "light up" in blue.

I dont mind whether this is a lighting effect shining over the word.
I don't mind whether the material itself glows in each colour.
I dont mind the texture "becoming" solid.

Ideally I would like the glass to seem like fluorescant tubing light.
As if each word was a glass bulb and then each turns on individually to glow out each of the colours mentioned above.

I cant work out how to get the material to morph and therefore create it that way.

When I try light sources they either give a weird effect whereby it only shines off certain sides of the text rather than from within.

I dont know if it's best to do this as lightning, as some sort of material morph (if that is possible) or something more advanced like an animation of some kind.

With any of the above I cant seem to get them to activate instantly and insert a keyframe to simulate the light being turned on. Its either always on or not at all.

So in summary I need to know what method is best to give my glass texture a coloured glow and how to get said glow to turn on at a fixed point changing it from it's initial glass look.

I am an extreme noobie to 3DS max so I'm sure what I am asking is able to be done but it's just my lack of experience.

Any tips / links to helpful tutorial vids would be great. I have looked but with no luck.

Cheers in advance for any help anyone can offer.

EDIT. In the above link, if people are using it for reference as to where I am at, I did not complete steps 10 - 12 as I am happy with the text up until that point.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Changing object colours in Autodesk 3DS Max?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 2:05:47 pm

Materials can be animated in the Material Editor. You'll need to read up on it a bit, but it's straightforward. You can add any number of glows in Video Post, by adding a glow in the video post effects.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Paul Wilson
Re: Changing object colours in Autodesk 3DS Max?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 4:37:00 pm

Thank you kindly for the repsonse Joseph.

Part of me was a little hasty in the post although I am still struggling a bit.

I discovered a good way to make glows via the material editor and the effects option via the rendering menu (lens effect > glow)

Every video I have found relating to modifiers and morphing is rather in depth. A lot of the vids are quick with no clear indication as to what options people are choosing. They tend to be videos from people with at least some knowledge of 3DS and I need the real bare bones basic stuff. I'm that new that even the simplest of words / jargon relating to 3DS has me scratching my head.

I now have 9 materials.
Glass for words 1, 2 and 3...
Which should transfer / morph to...
Strong glow and colours I want for words 1, 2 and 3...
Which finally should transfer / morph to...
The same as above but the glow toned right down so you can read the words properly again.

So 9 materials.
Text 1 glass, text 1 coloured with strong glow finishing on text 1 coloured with light glow.
Then the same for each of the other words. 9 total.

I have all those materials setup. The issue now is getting them to morph into each other along the time line.

Through lots of digging I managed to find 1 video that helped me do all of the above.

As explained some of the videos that then go on to explain morphing / animations / modifiers are (A) Pretty thin on the ground (B) Don't do exactly what I'm wanting to do e.g. morph in polygon shapes rather than material or (C) Are very jargonistic (well only to a total beginner at 3DS like myself). They jump right in there for people with a basic understanding which I do not have. They skip the simple directions of click here, click here, this does that. It's all the complex, fiddly stuff inbetween.

I dont suppose you know of any good tutorials / tutorial vids just showing how to morph from one material to another along the time line?

You confused me with your comment on Video Post? What does that mean? Probably a very easy question to answer and goes to show how little I know. Picking up what I can by trial and error and the limited tutorials that help.

Thank you kindly once again and I would appreciate any further help you can offer.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Changing object colours in Autodesk 3DS Max?
on Feb 2, 2011 at 3:52:54 am

Paul -

This link will get you into the basics of animated materials:


Here's a site with some good Video Post explanations:


The Area, which is a 3D Studio official site, has tons of good tutorials and tips as well. It's a long journey with Max - so much functionality, and depth to the software. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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