Using Snapshot in 3ds Max – Part 8 – Cleaning up and Animating the Wave

Using Snapshot in 3ds Max – Part 8 – Cleaning up and Animating the Wave


In the final movie of this series, you clean up the wave you created and animate it for final effect. If you need to, open the file bat_cleanup.max to pick up where the last movie left off. To clean up the work, select the wave and add an Edit Poly modifier to the stack. You need it to remove the side (thin) surfaces and the bottom surface that make that wave to prevent inter-penetrations. To do that, start with the side surfaces. Using Edge mode, select one of the small edges on the side. Use the Ring tool to expand to all the vertical edges on the side surface. Now press Ctrl while clicking the Polygon sub-object mode. This converts the selection and by that, selects all the polygons that make the side surface. Press Delete to remove the selected polygons. Next repeat the procedure on the other side. Now that the sides are both deleted, you can use Element sub-object mode to select the bottom surface, and delete it. That’s it for cleanup. Exit sub-object mode, and in fact, convert the object to an editable poly to collapse the modifier stack. Add a TurboSmooth modifier with 2 or 3 iterations to smooth the wave out. If you want, create a material for the object. Simply use a wire material or create your own. Render to see the effect. You may want to revert back to a black background for better visuals. By default, a surface renders on one side only. Use a 2-Sided material for the wave to render from top and bottom. To animate the wave “building-up”, simply add a Slice modifier. Set it to Remove Top mode. Expand the Slice modifier and click Slice Plane. Enable Auto Key and animate the slicing plane between 0 and 95. You may need an additional key at frame 45 to control the speed of the slice plane. Some fine-tuning of the curve in the Curve Editor is always a good idea. As always, you have a completed file available for you to study if you need it. An animated camera has been added to create a more interesting shot at the wave, which can be now used as a tech company logo. In this tutorial, you have leaned different ways to use Snapshot to study motion. In one scenario, you used it to duplicate a flying airplane for a better study of the flight path. In another scenario, you used it in conjunction with the Visibility track to create a true ghosting effect. Finally, you used it as a tool to turn an animated object into an abstract, almost surreal wave that can be used as a logo for a company or a product. In fact, this is how the Autodesk product logos were created, from various animated motions. We hope you have enjoyed this series and we’ll talk to you again soon.

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