IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding the various particle systems
Creating a particle system
Using the Spray and Snow particle systems
Using the Super Spray and Blizzard particle systems
Working with MetaParticles
Using an object as an emitter
Using particle system maps
Using the Particle Flow interface
Every object that you add to the scene slows down Max to a small degree because Max needs to keep track of every object. If you add thousands of objects to a scene, not only does Max slow down noticeably, but the objects become difficult to identify. For example, if you had to create thousands of simple snowflakes for a snowstorm scene, the system would become unwieldy, and the number wouldn't get very high before you ran out of memory.
Particle systems are specialized groups of objects that are managed as a single entity. By grouping all the particle objects into a single controllable system, you can easily make modifications to all the objects with a single parameter. This chapter discusses using these special systems to produce rain and snow effects, fireworks sparks, sparkling butterfly wings, and even fire-breathing dragons.
A particle is a small, simple object that is duplicated en masse, like snow, rain, or dust. Just as in real life, Max includes many different types of particles that can vary in size, shape, texture, color, and motion. These different particle types are included in various particle ...