- Spiral Galaxy
This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a
spiral galaxy using basic particle sprays and some glow effects.
- 1. By now you should
know that you need max to be loaded in order to begin.
- 2. In the front view
create a particle spray. You can find it in the Create panel
under objects and select Particles Systems from the pull down menu just bellow the object
button. Make sure that the pivot point is in the very center. Click on Move button and
while having the spray selected right click on the button. In the window that pops
up set all values to 0.
- 3. In the Modify
panel set the values for the spray as follows: Viewpoint Count: 100, Render Count:
1000, Drop Size: 15, Speed: 2, Variation: 0, Render: Tetrahedron, Start: -200, Life: 200,
Constant, Emitter Width: 30, Length: 10. The drop size may be changed if the
particles are too big or too small. We set the start to -200 because we are going
to make our galaxy spin and we need the spiral effect.
- 4. Click the Animate button
and set the value of frames to 100. That would be the end of you animation assuming
that you started with 100 frames. Now in the Top View port rotate the
spray 90 degrees. Turn off the animation button. Now you have your first
- 5. Right click with your
mouse on the spray or it's particles and select properties from the menu. Set the
Object Channel to 1. This will identify the particles when we want to apply a glow
to it. Your image should look like the one bellow.
- 6. Now for the
complicated part. Open Track View and locate the spray. We are going to
move the transform track to the left. That will make it begin the animation before
the first frame so that when you render the first frame it will look like a spiral rather
then a line of particles. Move the black line to the left so that it's last point is
just before the first frame and that it is entirely in the dark gray area. The image
bellow should help.
- 7. Select the Rotation
Track and change the Curve Out-of-Range to Relative Repeat. That will make it
continue to spin in a circle forever so you can adjust the number of frames of your
animation and it will not stop spinning. Neat ey?
- 8. Now we're going to
array it. Select the spray and rotate it 60 degrees while holding shift in the Top
View port. Set the number of copies to 5. It should look like the image
- 9. Select one of the
sprays and clone it, but don't move it. Just select Clone from Edit menu. In
the Modify panel just set the Width of the Emitter to 100 and the Render Count to
500. That will make it look more natural. I mean stars aren't aligned in a
- 10. Array the spray 5
times by 60 degrees like in step 8. You should be getting an image like bellow.
- 11. Most galaxies have a
dense center so we are going to create a yellow center. In the top view port create
a PCloud and position it in the center. Set the parameters as follows:
Particle Formation: Sphere Emitter, Rad/Len: 55, Use Rate: 600, Display
Until & Life: "the length of you animation," Size: 2. Leave
everything else as it is.
- 12. In the Front View
port scale down the emitter along the y axis using a Non-Uniform Scale . It should look like the image bellow.
Also right click on the emitter and select properties. Set the Object Channel to 2.
- 13. Open Material Editor
and change the defuse color to light blue such as:
R = 0, G = 126, B = 255. Set the Shininess and Shin Strength to 0 and the
Self-Illumination to 100. Create another materiel exactly the same, but set the
defuse color to light orange-yellow such as: R = 255, G = 207, B = 0. Apply the
blue material to all the sprays and apply the other material to the PCloud.
- 14. Create a camera and
position it so that it faces the galaxy. When you render the image it should look
like the one bellow.
- 16. Open up Video Post
from the Render menu. Click on Add Scene Event button and select the camera which
you just created from the pull down menu. Now click on Add Image Filter
and select Lens Effects Glow. This is a Max 2.5 or higher plug-in, but you still can
achieve a glow effect with other plug-ins. Click on Setup and set the following:
Object ID: 1, Filter: Perimeter Alpha, Size: 3, Intensity: 50. Click the Ok
button. Create another Lens Effects Glow filter with the following settings: Object
ID: 2, Filter: All, Size: 4, Color: User: R: 255, G: 199, B: 0, Intensity: 45.
- 17. Create a starfield with
the following settings: Dimmest Star: 140, Star Size: 1, Motion Blur: Off, Count:
60000. Render the image at 400x300 resolution and you're done.