Tutorial 6: AfterBurn HyperSolids (1)

In this tutorial, you'll get to create a procedural liquid using a unique feature called HyperSolids. AfterBurn's HyperSolids feature makes rendering solid procedural objects very easy and fast.


  1. In 3ds Max, select File->Open, and from your /Scenes/AfterBurn/Tutorials folder, select the file AB-Tut6.max.


When the file loads, you'll see a Spray particle emitter, Wind Gizmos, an Omni light and a Camera. If you scrub the Time Slider from frames 0-150, you'll see a fountain of particles flying up in the Camera01 viewport, spreading out at the top and then falling down. As always, the first thing to do is add an AfterBurn effect to your scene.


  1. Go to Rendering->Environment and from the Atmosphere rollout, click Add.
  2. From the resulting dialog, select AfterBurn to create an AfterBurn entry in the effects list.
  3. Under Source Particles/Daemons, click the Pick Particles/Daemons button and then pick the Spray02 particle system.
  4. Under Source Lights, click the Pick Lights button and pick the Omni01 light.


Now that AfterBurn is entered and you have a source, it's time to apply the HyperSolids technology to the particles.


  1. From the Engine Type dropdown menu, choose HyperSolids.



Now, since we're looking to create a liquid type of effect here, we want to change the way the blobbly particles look.


  1. In the Shading rollout, go to the Shading Type dropdown menu and choose Phong.



  1. Set Shininess to 0.7, then set Shin. Strength to 0.2.
  2. Change the Normals option from Shape to Noise.



By doing this, noise will act as a bump map on your HyperSolids objects.


  1. Set Shape Influence (the spinner marked S Inf. located to the right of the Normals radio buttons) to 0.0. This setting means there is no shape influence.
  2. Go to the Particle Shape rollout and under Type, change the Shape Type from Sphere to Metaball.



  1. Next, change the Mb. Radius spinner to 30.
  2. Set Mball Effect to 0.2.


By lowering the Metaball Effect value, the metaballs will be smoother.


  1. Inside Noise Animation rollout set Noise Size to 20.0.
  2. Drag your Time Slider to frame 66 and then render a single test frame from the Camera01 viewport.



The result looks rather jagged and it has no texture to it. We are now going to add some colors and reduce the bumpiness that is present.


  1. Go to the Particle Shape rollout and change Regularity to 0.95.


The metaball bumpiness is controlled by the Regularity parameter; the higher the regularity value, the smoother the bumps are.


  1. Re-render frame 66.



You can see that the jaggedness is reduced. The only thing left to do is to add some color to the Metaballs.


  1. Go to the Colors rollout, then activate the Color 2 radio button.
  2. Right-click the Color1 and Color2 Color gradient fields and choose Keyless mode for both.
  3. Choose the following colors for the Color1 and Color2 swatches:
  • Color 1: Yellow (RGB: 255, 246, 0)
  • Color 2: Purple (RGB: 170, 0, 170)
  1. In the Color1 area, set Pos. spinner is set to 0.0.
  2. Under c1->c2->c3 click on the Density button.


This way the colors will match the bumpiness of the surface.


  1. Render frame 66 again.



If you like, you can render out the full animation to see how the HyperSolids behave over time.


Beyond just surface bump maps, AfterBurn's HyperSolids can also have their surface normals displaced to create all sorts of craggy, rocky surfaces. In the next tutorial, you'll learn how to use the HyperSolids displacement capabilities.