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Chapter 17. Introduction to Particle Flow > Particles for Environmental Effects

Particles for Environmental Effects

Consider a great CG scene that you found truly inspirational. Something evocative or exciting. Chances are that scene included atmospheric elements in the form of liquid, vapor, wind, fire, dust, or other environmental effects. While these sorts of elements aren't often the main focus of a scene, they contribute immeasurably to a scene's visual impact. After all, without a puff of dust and a spray of sparks, much of a meteor's impact would be lost. Less spectacular, yet no less essential, effects such as fog, rain, and dripping water contribute to a scene's emotional impact in ways that are more felt than logically analyzed.

A key tool in 3ds max 7 for environmental effects is the particle. The true power of particle systems is in the ability to dictate the behavior of a large group of objects with a system of controls, and Particle Flow excels at putting controls for precise particle behavior into your hands. This system allows for as little consideration for individual particles as you desire. Sweeping, general rules can easily be used to set a homogeneous group of particles in motion. If you want more precise control, you can cause smaller subsets of the group to branch off into other behaviors based on a variety of tests and conditions.


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