Thursday, July 23, 2009

Create Falling Leaves using 3dsmax Particle Part 1

This simple tutorial will contain two parts. In Part 1 here we will setup a particle event to simulate the leaves fall and stop on the ground. The next part will show you how to use a pre-modeled tree and make its leaves blow off by wind and fall onto the ground.

Let's talk about the concept first. We will have leaves (Particle) falling from a tree (PF Source 01) and stop on the ground (deflector) once the leaves hit (Collision event) the ground. So we will end up having:
  1. 1 x Particle Flow Source (Particle, PF Source 01)
  2. 1 x SpaceWarps (Deflector)
  3. 1 x Particle Event (Collision)
Alright, we should be clear at this point, let's start to do it!

Creating Particle
  1. Open Particle View by hitting "6" key on your keyboard or Graph Editors > Particle View
  2. Drag a Standard Flow from the Depot, into Event Display. A PF Source 01 will be created on the origin.
  3. Now try to slide your time slider back and forth, you will see in the viewport the particles generated from PF Source 01 are moving down at Z-axis.
  4. Ok, it works pretty fine but we should move the PF Source 01 higher so that we can create a Ground object in the next step.
  5. Close Particle View.


  1. Now, create a Deflector (Create > SpaceWarps > Deflectors > Deflector) to use as ground, where we will make the leaves stop falling once they collides with the ground.
  2. Name it Ground_01.
  3. Place this Deflector right beneath the PF Source 01, its size to be set to cover all particle.

Setting up Particle Event

  1. Open Particle View.
  2. Drag a Collision from the Depot into our Event 01 (see image below), you can place it anywhere, its position makes no difference.
  3. Now under Collision parameter, click Add and pick our Ground_01 (see image below).
  4. Try to slide our time slider again, you will now notice the particle being bounced off at the point they hit Ground_01. This is not something we wanted, but we're almost there.
  5. Next, while we still have Collision event selected, go to Test True if Particle > Collides > Speed > Stop (see image below).
  6. Now run the time slider again.
  7. Voila! Our particle now stop when they hit Ground_01.

To be continue... Part 2.