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Deconstructing the Elements with 3ds Max, 3rd Edition by Pete Draper

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       10 Atoll

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Introduction

In this tutorial we’re going to create a procedural Atoll (or Barrier Reef) formation as viewed from lower earth orbit. To remove any type of uniformity to the structure and to break up the effect, we’ll use nested Gradient Ramp maps to drive the distribution and shape of the islands, coupled with an additional Gradient Ramp map to control its color, which will be sampled from the source material so that we get the colors just right. We’ll finish off with a touch of shading to the overall scene and a little Bump mapping to add a bit of texture.

Analysis of Effect

(a) An Atoll normally, judging by reference photos, ...

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