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..::watery paint splats::..

Enlarge Screenshot Paint has a nice sub-surface scattering effect, so for this example the Mental Ray SSS Physical Material will be used as it yields an effective result based on object size – the thinner the object, the more the background is visible through it. The trick overall is to create the desired geometry. This isn’t exactly difficult, though does require a fair amount of particles and a decent distribution thereof.
Enlarge Screenshot In the supplied 3ds max scene, the Particle Flow system has been designed to simulate a single falling paint mass from a single particle which then is distributed outwards using multiple Spawns – one to initially create the distribution of leading droplets, and an additional one to create trails coming off these particles. The distribution is also emphasised by using the initial (now non-renderable) particle to force the spawned particles outwards in a more realistic fashion.
Enlarge Screenshot These particles also collate together using inverted Keep Apart operators so they gloop together. Finally, the entire system is selectively surfaced using a Blobmesh object with an additional Meshsmooth to quickly add detail and a Relax modifier added to smooth out the geometry. The Mental Ray SSS Physical material is also assigned with a low Scatter Coefficient to make the paint “thinner”.
Download the max file! Zip file to accompany.

Initially published: 3D World magazine, Issue 105, July 2008.

Copyright Pete Draper, July 2008. Reproduction without permission prohibited.