Autodesk-3dsMax-Tutorial by Saud - Water Simulation in Autodesk 3dsMax

Autodesk 3dsMax Tutorial

Requirements: 3DS Max (v 6.0 or higher recommended)
  3DS Max 7 or higher is required for using files provided for download
  Basic knowledge of working in Max
Special Notes: I used 3DS Max 7(in 1024x768 res.)
  I leave space b/w text lines because it make reading easy
Tutorial Type: Basic

Techniques you'll learn:

How to use the reactor water object.

How to use the mental ray to make water look real...


Water can easily simulated in reactor and using the mental ray you can make it like the real

thing(sort of:))but there's some limitations like it wont splash, or flow.

but still its something that very difficult to model/animate without reactor.

Lets Get started...

Modeling the container.

We need a container for the water .Start 3ds max,in the perspective create a box, on the modify panel set its

Length=200,Width=200,and Height=100.

Select the move tool (shortkey W),click on the spinners of xyz field of transform type-in bar at bottom to move the box in the middle.

Rename the box01 as Water Container.

Select the box,right click Convert To>Editable Poly.

In the modify panel click on the Polygon button
(in selection roll out) click on the top polygon and press Del key, it'll remove the polygon (poly gone;)

We can turn on the Force two-sided option for both perspective and render,but to give some thickness to the walls of box we use shell modifier.

Click on the Modifier List and keep pressing the S key until you see the Shell modifier.Apply it and we get our container box. taadaa

Create Water Object.

Creating reactor water is simple as dragging a plane,but to get a realistic water its quite difficult,you'll have to tweak the water properties.

On reactor toolbar click the water button

or on the menubar reactor>create object>water.Drag in the Top viewport,adjust its size in the modify panel,

give it same length and width as the box,remember? 200.

Select the move tool(W key) enter 0 in X Y, this will center it to the box. Our box is 100 pts high,we enter 90 in the Z axis.

Add a boat.

I think its a good idea to add a boat that float on the surface of the water.We'll make a toy boat you can skip this step but its highly

recommended that you continue :).

Create>Standard Primitives>GeoSphere.Drag on the Top view port to create a GeoSphere above the water.Set its radius to 10,turn on the

Hemisphere checkbox.

Click on Angle Span Toggle button
and rotate (shortkey E) at any axis to 180°,simply turn it upsidedown.

Press R for resize tool and increase the length of the sphere by dragging the Y handle.make your boat like one in pic.

Use Prism object(extended primitives)for the sail, align it to the cylinder.I hope you can do it yourself.

Menu Bar>reactor>create object>rigid body collection.

Select the newly added RB Collection icon and add box and boat to the list.

Define the object properties by clicking on the 
button on the reactor toolbar or Utilities Panel (hammer icon)>reactor>properties.

Select box and turn on the Unyielding option in the Properties rollout,in Simulation Geometry rollout set type as Concave.

To set the mass of the boat you have to open the group boat on menubar Group>Open.Set the mass of boat

about 15.close the group,

Select the water,and check the Landscape option, click 
button and pick the container.

This will cause ripples to reflect back from the walls of the box.

Select the Water set its
Wave Speed=20 Max Ripple=8 Min Ripple=3.(you can change these later)

Preview the simulation
Set the Performance>Substeps to 20 or more,depends on you PC speed.

Your boat should fall and floats on the surface of the water,on menubar click update max.Boat position changes on viewport.

We add a rock object to fall from the sky to make some ripples in the water. Create two small geosphere on the Top viewport

above the water,apply noise modifier change the seed value until you get your dream rock:)Use setting as show below or anything you like.

Select the RB Collection icon and add newly created rock object.Set rock properties to Mass=3000 (yeah its 3000).

Preview the simulation
 your rock falls and sink into the water.Do not select the update max command.

Create a plane and bind it to the reactor water.

Reactor Water is not renderable so we need to link it to something that render,Plane is most suitable for water surface.

Create a Plane object same size as water Length=200 Width=200.Move it to the center and set the

Z=to 90.Click on Bind to Space Warp
and pick the reactor water.Use select by name 
(H) You should see a bulb icon in Plane's modify panel, that means it binded to the reactor water.

Select your plane object, in the modify panel select the bulb icon and set the scale length to 2.0.Select the text Plane and set the

value as in the pic.In Render Multipliers set Density 2.0 which double the amount of faces of plane when it renders.

Change the default renderer to mental ray.

I think we are ready to apply the mental ray water material to our reactor water so that we can tweak both reactor water

and its material properties.

Some shader are only available when mental ray is assigned as renderer.To change the renderer press (F10 key).

Expand the
  rollout.In Production 
Click the ... button and choose mental ray

Mental ray's water

Select the plane (not reactor water) open material editor 
  (M key),select any unused slot(gray ball).Click the button labeled

Standard, and choose mental ray from the list,

A new rollout appears,click the None button next to Surface, scroll down and choose
Water Surface (lume)

In Water Surface (lume) parameters check all three options, see below

Apply this to the Plane we bound to the reactor water and do a quick render...

Water gets transparent, but real fun start when the rock fall into water.

Final Step - Activate reactor

we are ready for simulation....

Click Utilities Tab, look at bottom, reactor button should be there! Click it to reveal its rollouts..find and expand Preview & Animation

What we doing is solving our reactor dynamics simulation, or in other words throwing rocks into water :)

I want my movie to 180 frames in length so it make 6 sec (30*6=180)

Enter any frame length you like, be sure set you Time configuration as well...

Choose higher Substeps/Keys for more accurate results...I am using 75.

Please Save you file at this point.

I suggests you to save an original file, so you can tweak it later...

Hit Create Animation button....and you got your water!

Render a quick movie to see the water effect...


Now we done with our water, but you can feel free to tweak and try different settings for both reactor water and

mental ray water shader. You can view my render movie.If you think i missed a step to define then please let me know.

Use these link to view the final render of this 3dsmax tutorials and/or download 3dsmax file...


If you like this 3ds max tutorial then you can try these tutorials written by me: