Magmaball Tutorial for Mental Ray & 3D Studio Max

Hi everybody.. welcome to my first tutorial. This tutorial is for Mental Ray and 3ds max 2008!!!

Here is what we are going to make Final Movie and here are the scene and texture files Final Scene.

So... because there are many tutorials on how to make materials I only will explain how I made the glowing magma. I started with a simple room, a camera, a path and a sphere with a "Path Constraint". (img.1)

We need two materials and a mix-map for the magma-ball, so we have to get a "blend" material (name it Magma_Ball). Ok, go into the first material slot of the "blend" material and apply a stone texture as diffuse-color and a bump-map. Name this material "stone" or something like that. (In this example the settings of the stone material are not that important because it is very dark)

Go into the second slot of the "blend" material and get an "Arch & Design" material, name it "magma". Scroll down to "Self Illumination (Glow)", set everything like on Img. 2.

Apply a "noise map" in the "Filter Color" slot and set it like on img. 3.

Now you have a basic "hot-glowing" material. Go back to the "blend" material click the button next to "Mask" (None) and apply a bitmap (cracks for example). If you got everything right, the first step is done! (img. 4)

Open the render dialog (MentalRay should be active) switch to the "Renderer" tab and scroll down to the "Camera Effects" rollout. Under "Camera Shaders" click the button next to "Output" and assign a "Glare" shader. Now render the sphere to see the glow effect. Yea... you have a glowing magma like material!

but... we need one more step to bring a bit life to it.

Open the "Mask" slot where you have applied the crack image, scroll down and open the "Output" categorie. Check "Enable Color Map" add a new point to the curve (quite close to the left point!!!) & animate it up over the time. (img. 5)

This causes that the mix map will change its black/white values so the magma material comes out stronger. You only need to set up the "Glare" shader how you like it (I changed the spread to 1,1).

Then copy the animated crack map into the "Displacement" slot of the magma material (choose "Instance") and animate the displacement value. (frame 0 = 0,15 -> frame 48 = 0,5 but it depends on your scene) You don't need this step but it helps a little bit to underline the pulse effect.

Ok, everything is done ... phuu but since we want the sphere to illuminate the scene casting real light and shadow we still need to do a few small things.

First go to the "Indirect Illumination" tab in the render dialog and switch on "Final Gather" and set the preset to "Draft". The glow material now illuminates the scene but we need a light-source to cast real light and shadow.

Create an "Omni" light align and link it to the sphere change its settings and the "Far Attenuation" parameters that it doesn't illuminates the whole room (img. 6).

Create two other omni lights which helps illuminating the scene (img. 6).

Ok... ok... here comes the very last step ... our material, scene and render-setup is almost complete but we animated the displacement- value and the crack maps output value only in one direction but we want to have a pulse effect.

Select the sphere and open the "Mini Curve Editor" search for the "Magma_Ball" open it and open Material 2 (Magma). Scroll down till you see "Displacement Map Amount" select it (you should see a curve on the right side) select the curves' points click the button "Controller" then "Out-of-Range Types" and select "Ping Pong". Do the same for the cracks' output-value (img. 7).

On the left side of the curve-editor open the "Displacement Map" under "Displacement Map Amount" then open "Output" -> "Mono Color Map" -> "Curve 1" and select "Point 2". Select the curves' points on the right side -> Controller -> "Out-of-Range Types" -> "Ping Pong".

If you have chosen "Instance" when you have copied the crack-map into the displacement slot the "Out-of-Range Types" should be changed, too.
That's it ... you got it =) if you want you can animate the light, too (the one which is in the sphere)

I hope everthing was understandable and that you like this small tutorial C&C; would be great
If you have any questions feel free to send me an e-mail cheers - Cravil

Download Final Movie
Download Final Scene (scene and texture files)

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