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This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a realistic campfire scene like the image bellow.
Some material blending experience is required.

Tut06Pic01.jpg (62341 bytes)

1.    In a new max scene create a large box with no height for the ground.  The texture for the ground I used is a blend of grass and dry mud using a fractal noise as the mask.  Set the Low value for the noise to about 0.3 so that more of the rocks will show.
2.    Create a circle from the Create, Shapes side bar with a radius of 100.  We'll use the circle to position the rocks.
3.    Now create several GeoSpheres with different radii and apply noise modifier from the modify side bar with different seeds and strengths.  Just use your creativity to create a bunch of rocks of different shapes and sizes.  You might want to create some longer rocks and apply a bend modifier or perhaps a FDD modifier.   Just don't go over board for they are only rocks.  Then position them in a nice circle like in the picture bellow.  Make sure that they all are above the ground appearing as they are just laying on the ground.  Just don't make them hover over the ground like a UFO or something.  Create a few small rocks to fill in the gaps between the large ones.
Tut06Pic02.jpg (52480 bytes)
4.    Apply different maps to the rocks so that they are not all the same.  Some maps I've added at the end of the tutorial that may be used as the material.  Set both the Shininess and Shin. Strength to 0 to give it a less plastic look.

5.    Next we'll go on creating the wood in the fire which should be straight forward.  First create like three logs (Cylinders) and place them in a triangular position like you would on a real camp fire.  Have them resting on one other like in the image bellow.

Tut06Pic03.jpg (62110 bytes)

6.    Create a bunch more cylinders or cones and apply a noise modifier and position them like in the image bellow.  When you create cones make sure that the radios of the top of the cone is smaller then the bottom one.   That will make it look like branches.  Your obvious intention is to create a campfire so the don't have to be neatly positioned.

Tut06Pic04.jpg (46626 bytes)

7.    The texture for the logs and branches will be just a simple noise texture.  Values: Tiling X = 20, Color #1 = R: 33 G: 17 B: 0, Color #2 = R: 172 G: 97 B: 0.  Leave the rest as is.  Set the Shininess and Shin. Strength to 0.

8.    Now create a few GeoSpheres no bigger then the rocks we made before.  They will be like the charcoal so place them in the campfire.   You might want to add a noise modifier just to make them look a bit less then perfect spheres. 

9.    The texture for the charcoal will be a noise texture with the values:  Fractal, Color #1 = R: 255 G: 42 B: 0, Color #2 = R: 255 G: 163 B: 0.  Also set the Self-Illumination to about 80.

10.    For the final object create a cylinder with very little height and place it in the campfire.  Make sure that if fills the entire ground in the camp fire like in the image bellow.  Try to make it not go outside of the circle of rocks.  This will be the ashes in fire.  Apply a noise modifier.

Tut06Pic05.jpg (72120 bytes)



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