3DS Max / Mental Ray animated opacity tutorial

April 6th, 2009

If that title is gibberish, move along.

The tutorial describes an effective way to get around Mental Ray’s lack of support for 3DS Max’s “visibility” object property. This is a huge problem (for me, anyway, because I need it like every day). Sadly, doing many things in 3DS Max is painful and it must be beat it into submission to do even the simplest tasks. The fact that this rather involved tutorial had to be written is heart breaking if you think about it.

Animating the transparency of groups of objects in 3DS Max (using the Mental Ray renderer)

Other concepts covered in the tutorial:
Assigning Material ID’s to objects
Compound Multi-sub-object/Blend (what?!) materials
Custom Attributes (like sliders)
Wiring attributes together
Adding Bezier Float controllers to properties/nodes that are not keyframeable by default (<-- that you have to do this is nuts, too!) Suggestions/Comments are good, too. This tutorial is also posted in CGSociety.

Diet Jail

April 6th, 2009

A weight loss program that is a jail. You pay someone to lock you in a prison for a fixed amount of time. They feed you a fixed amount of food. You go crazy and demand more food, better treatment, just as if you were in a regular prison. Maybe they force you to do manual labor, too.
When they let you out, you’re skinnier and in better shape.