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Discovered a Nebula creation method in vanilla max...
show user profile  HANZZ
It's rare to be surprised by max after using it for nearly twenty years. But I've found a way to create super realistic and sophisticated looking nebulae using the Electric shader. Here's a dropbox link to the max file and two opacity maps.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/35665366/Max%20Nebula%20Setup/Max%20Nebula%20Setup.zip

Currently rendering frames 0-3000 at 25 step intervals WITHOUT perturbation in the shader. The results are more cloud blob/stringy nebulae, whereas the images below are WITH perturb. turned on. Further, turning off 'exponential' as well results in hazy fuller clouds, which pretty much covers all aspects required for making some pretty great looking nebulae or even fire-like effects.


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 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 411 times
4/28/2016 6:13:01 AM (last edit: 4/28/2016 11:31:31 PM)
show user profile  TiMoN
These actually look really good.
I imagine that you can mix/overlap some of these for more color diversity.

Terribly boring signature.
read 374 times
4/28/2016 10:28:25 AM (last edit: 4/28/2016 10:28:25 AM)
show user profile  ijzerman
wow, looks nice!
how did you get to this result?
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Pushing buttons since "86
read 361 times
4/28/2016 2:21:45 PM (last edit: 4/28/2016 2:21:45 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Hey guys! Here are a few that are without perturbation but still WITH exponential. It gives a 'blobby nebula' kind of look. I'll give an overview of the process and a dropbox link to the source files when I'm done uploading the pics..

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Here are some more gaseous or cloudy looking nebulae achieved with no perturb nor exponential...


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 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 340 times
4/28/2016 8:58:34 PM (last edit: 4/28/2016 9:03:59 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
These are pretty sweet.


Click here to send me an emailClick here to visit my websiteClick here to visit my photo gallery on Flickr

read 333 times
4/28/2016 9:35:18 PM (last edit: 4/28/2016 9:35:18 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
This particular batch of results was pure serendipity. The scale of the model/mapping seems to have been key. I use max 2009, the units of measurement is meters, and the only things you need are planes, the Blur Studios "Electric" shader, (get it at http://www.maxplugins.de/max2016.php?search=electric&sort=Author
) and time to tinker with the shader settings.

My setup is:

Create a plane 3471.264m wide / 2059.617m tall. I then (for whatever reason) uniform scaled it down to 391.571m wide / 232.332m tall. (I don't know if this affects anything, but just in case.)

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Make an array that is at least 80 copies deep (the example here is actually 200 copies deep), as shown. You want the copies to be lined up going away from the camera view, which you'll set up eventually for rendering.

Attach all the planes together, and shrink down the model to the final size mentioned earlier.

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Apply a planar UVW to the face set as channel 1.
Apply another planar UVW to the top set as channel 2.
Channel 1 will give opacity through all the planes from their face.
Channel 2 will give opacity through all the planes from their top.
The purpose of this, is to define a set 'volume' for the shader to be additively rendered within.

Material setup is:
All black
Self Illumination (for 200 planes) set to 5. If you have less planes, give more illumination. (less planes will give a 'steppy' rendering effect, so more planes will avoid that.)



Fall should be out, set to 100, and additive.

Give the diffuse the Blur Studio Electric shader.
Give the opacity slot for the material a 'composite' map type.

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In the Composite map, add a second layer. Add the brighter dot into that map slot, and assign it channel 2. Change it to Spotlight blend, but you can try others if you wish. Add the dimmer dot to the bottom layer and leave it channel 1.

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For some odd reason, this shader gives a repeating pattern into a central point when you render it without offset. So I avoid this by offsetting it -100 as shown on X.
Change the Coordinate Source type to Object XYZ"

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Set the noise type to Fractal.
Set it as Exponential.
Size is 990
Width is .095
Levels are 6
Center is .01
And from frame 0 to 3000, there is a phase of 63. MAKE SURE to change the ease In/ease Out to flat. Less phase will give more similar results from one frame to the next, while more phase will give wider variation.

Set the colors to black and whatever color you wish. You can add multiple colors as you wish as well.

Perturbation takes about 3 times longer to render depending on your perturbation settings and levels. Here, I've set this for:

Primary Perturb.:
size: .2 Levels: 5
Freq: .2 Phase: 0

Secondary Perturb.:
size:20 Levels: 5
Freq: .1 Phase: 0

Set a camera looking into the planes, but AVOID LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO THE CENTER.
The inner edge which is normally invisible in quads will start to render a black line when you stack 100 or more planes in a row that are transparent. I have yet to find a way around this.

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Rendering at 1280x720 takes me around 15-18 minutes without pertubation (my computer is 6+ years old), and about 32 minutes average if perturbation is on. More plane layers requires longer renders.








 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 327 times
4/28/2016 10:41:02 PM (last edit: 4/29/2016 11:57:07 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
And here's something pretty neat too: you can leave the planes stationary and fly a camera through the 'nebula'. You'll likely get a stair-step effect, but then again, using an inverted sphere that's cut to encompass all of the camera view, and made as a child of the camera, will allow you to 'fly' through the nebula entirely. Only thing is, the brightness in the clouds will always move with you instead of staying still.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 312 times
4/29/2016 1:37:02 AM (last edit: 4/29/2016 1:37:02 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Rendering out a huge batch of these now. Can't seem to stop finding really awesome looking results with the current settings. I'd like to make a big collection of really high quality1280x720 renders, but it'll take my computer forever. If anyone would like to assist, let me know and we can coordinate. I'd also like to put them up on Deviant Art for people to use, as well as here.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 299 times
4/29/2016 6:57:14 AM (last edit: 4/29/2016 6:59:38 AM)
show user profile  preciousSTONE
Wow this looks lovely! Downloading now to have a play :)

axiotis.com.au


read 293 times
4/29/2016 7:34:24 AM (last edit: 4/29/2016 7:34:24 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
For me, being a long-time lover of stellar objects, this is like pure joy. Going to try my hand at coloration schemes in max/photoshop next.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 270 times
4/29/2016 11:52:29 PM (last edit: 4/29/2016 11:52:29 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
More renders....some are more interesting, some are less. Anyone wanting to use these may use them for any purpose. If you do, or if you come up with your own renders using the file, post pics! :D

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 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 258 times
4/30/2016 4:47:06 AM (last edit: 4/30/2016 10:41:59 AM)
show user profile  Error404
nice!

www.DanielBuck.net - www.DNSFail.com

read 238 times
4/30/2016 9:57:44 PM (last edit: 4/30/2016 9:57:44 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Rendering a low rez straight fly through of a nebula now. It looks promising. Will post a link in a bit.

Here's a link to the nebula I chose for the flythrough...

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For the flythrough, I gave it more fuzz, changed color, and eliminated the red glow at center.

Here's a link to my youtube channel and nebula video....

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxuL0t-9NlVAsq-DvcDRPw

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 233 times
5/1/2016 3:35:26 AM (last edit: 5/1/2016 5:37:32 AM)
show user profile  markoid
Very cool Hanzz.
The flythrough is looking good too.
Thanks for posting up the detailed methodology and file to play with.



read 222 times
5/1/2016 8:36:17 AM (last edit: 5/1/2016 8:36:17 AM)
show user profile  Dave
HANZZ, long time no see, and you bring goodies from your travels! This nebula stuff looks pretty sweet, cheers for sharing.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 214 times
5/1/2016 3:25:45 PM (last edit: 5/1/2016 3:25:45 PM)
 
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