are a few ways to perform this effect. Animating geometry either by animating
a subtractive Boolean Operand or Slice modifier is the first, but is very awkward
to produce due to the Boolean failing or Slice producing wayward results. The
second would be a plugin solution; there are several out there which do the job
effectively, but at a cost. The third, and most effective (apart from the plugin
solution) would be material-based.
the problem, we need to produce a ‘wave’ that constructs the wireframe mesh, fill-shades
it, then textures & lights the object(s). Due to some limitations of Max’s materials,
and this technique, we will unfortunately have to duplicate every mesh element
in the scene that is to be ‘constructed’. This shouldn’t have too much effect
on rendering times as the mesh copy should have cast & receive shadows turned
off, no light being cast on it, excluded from all raytracing (etc). The reason
we are copying the mesh is due to the Wireframe material. We would assume that
we would create a Composite or Blend material to mix the Wireframe, Wave & Textured
materials. This wouldn’t work due when the Wireframe material has been introduced
to the Blend, it turns the entire Blend material to wire, hence the mesh copy.
the Wireframe material (with additive transparency) assigned to this mesh copy,
the blend of the Wave & Textured material can be created, with a Gradient Ramp
Map in the Mix slot. This should have an unused Map id assigned and be set up
to mix the materials half and half (or whatever your preference). In the Wave
material, another Gradient Ramp Map with the same id should be created in the
Diffuse slot to colour the wave accordingly, also another in the Opacity slot
should you wish to fade it in or out before the Texture material is blended in.
A Gradient Ramp Map with the same id should also be created in the Opacity slot
of the Wireframe material to fade it in and out.
these materials now assigned to the scene, an instanced UVW Map modifier should
be created on both wireframe and wave/textured meshes and it’s id set to that
in the Gradient Ramp Maps. Remove all tiling from the Gradient Ramp Maps to eliminate
the materials appearing outside the UVW Map’s Gizmo, and position the Gizmo outside
the mesh’s boundaries. Note that you may need to amend or invert the Gradient
Ramp’s colours in the Opacity and Mix slots due to the now solid colour outside
the Gizmo as tiling has now been removed. To see this, turn on Show Map in Viewport
in the Gradient Ramp Map and ensure that the material should not be viewed outside
the Gizmo by performing a few test renders.
the Gizmo passing over the meshes and when rendered you should see the scene begin
to ‘construct’. You may need to scale the Gizmo up further and/or amend the Gradient
Ramp key positions so the Textured area remains and is not cut off by the following
edge of the Gizmo.
effect can also be used on multiple objects in the scene; the scene should be
collapsed to one mesh, and then treated as one simple object as before. The materials
and material id’s will remain, and the resulting Multi/Sub-Object material should
be extracted to blend with the Wave material.
3D World magazine, Issue
15, August 2001.
2001. Reproduction without