Understanding Reflection and Refraction
Hello, everybody! Here I'm going to show how to get reflection and refraction without having any anti-aliasing problems, using the Scanline Renderer in 3ds Max. I'm working in 3ds Max 2012, but the process is the same in all versions so let's get started.
Create a basic cube, convert it into a poly and extrude the opposite faces in order to get a nice bar shape. Then chamfer the edges to smooth everything out; in my case I've used a setting of 16 (Fig.01).
Press "6" to open Particle View. Create a flow with a Birth Event, Position Icon, Speed, Rotation, Shape Instance, Spin, Scale and Static Material (Fig.02). Then use the following settings:
• Birth Event: set Emit Stop and Emit Start to 0, and Amount to 60.
• Position Icon: set Location to Volume and Select Distinct Points Only to 10.
• Speed: set a 300 var%0 and Directions to Random 3D.
• Rotation: set Orientation Matrix to World Space, Width (X, Y, Z) to (70, 30, 180) and Divergence to 0.
• Shape Instance: in Particle Geometry Object select the bar we created just now.
• Scale: set this to 100% var%0.
• Spin: set Spin Rate to 180, Variations to 45 and Spin Axis to Random 3D.
• Scale: type Relative First and set Scale Factor (X, Y, Z) to (98, 98, 98). Also set Scale Variations (X, Y, Z) to (116,116,116).
• Material Static: as we didn't create anything specific, put in some basic material for testing the scene.
• Display Event: set Type to Geometry.
After using the above settings, you will get something like this (Fig.03).
Now place your text, logo or whatever you want in the center of the particles (Fig.04).
We can see that the particles are animating at this stage, Now select the frame where you want to show the text in the scene. In my case I select frame 105 (Fig.05).
The particles are still animating. To stop the particles on frame 105 we can use PFlow, but it will be a bit messy. A better idea is to use the Mesher tool. Go to the Compound Objects dropdown and select the Mesher. Draw the pyramid anywhere in the viewport (Fig.06).
Now go to the Modify panel of the Mesher, select the Pick Object None button and select Particle Flow (Fig.07).
Now we can see two particles in the viewport (Particle Flow and Mesher). As we move the time slider both the Particle Flow and Mesher will animate together. To break this chain simply right-click on the Mesher particles and use the Convert To > Convert to Editable Poly option (Fig.08).
We can switch off Particle Flow as it is no longer required now, or delete it and place static particles in its place. Adjust the particles if they are colliding with the text or logo, Delete them by going to PolySelection > Element and selecting the ones you want to delete, move, rotate or scale.
It's time to make things good now, so create a Camera and adjust it so that it views correctly. Create three omni lights and put them in different directions with Ray Traced Shadows, Multiplier set to 0.7 and Color RGB to: 245, 245, 245. The omni light positions are (Fig.09):
• Omni 1: X:-622.021 Y: 328.778, Z: 358.253
• Omni 2: X: 850.731 Y :-204.176, Z: 97.157
• Omni 3: X: 18.854 Y: -584.146, Z: 97.157
In Particle Materials take the empty slot and use these settings:
• Diffuse: RGB: 150, 150, 150
• Specular Level: 53
• Glossiness: 55
In Maps use these settings:
• Reflection: Reflect/Refract
• Refraction: Raytract
• Text Material Diffuse: RGB: 242, 247, 252
• Specular Levels: 95
• Glossiness: 16
Now do a test render. You can see the image is not good at all because there is an anti-aliasing problem (Fig.10).
As you look closely at the final video, you can only see the text in the reflections on the bars; you can't see it directly. Right-click on the text, then go to Object Properties and uncheck Visible to the Camera. After doing this you will only see the text in the reflections (Fig.11).
Here's a quick test result (Fig.12).
To get a good result in the final render we should tweak some settings. I'm using Scanline Renderer for this effect. Go to the Renderer tab, and in the Antialiasing section set Filter to Mitchell-Netravali, and Blur to 1.0. In the Global Super Sampling section, tick Enable Global Supersampler, select Hammersley and set Quality to 1.0 (Fig.13).
Render the scene and here's the final result (Video.01).
That's it - I hope it's been informative.