This is a 3d max particle flow tutorial , i'm going to create lightning bolt effect using 3d max. Lets get started.
First go to particle flow.(Graph Editors----->Particle Flow or you can press 6). look at the following picture.
Right Click on the empty space , and goto "New"----->"Particle system "-----> "Standard flow". Rename basic standard flow, "PF_Source01" to "Lightning Bolt".Change Display type to "Dot".
Goto Birth event , change emit stop time 100 and make sure you click on "rate" radio button , set rate value to 30,000.In order to get better performance ,put a "Cache View port" operator into "Geometry" field.
Delete "Rotation " event and "Speed " event. Put "Shape" operator into global node by dragging "Shape" operator into "Render_Geomatry" field.
Right click on position icon ----> insert---->Position Object 01.Click on the "Add" button ,select geometry which ever you want( in my case its, tesla coil ,which is a simple torus ) .This will act as a originate point of our particle system.Hit play button , now you can see particles are emitting from our tesla coil.
Next, we need to add some forces. Goto , Create --> Space Warps --> Forces --> Wind & Drag. Add both forces into perspective view.Select both force icons and change co-ordination to (0,0,0) as shown
Select Wind force and goto modifiers panel and change the parameters as shown below. Strength - 3.5 ,Turbulence -4 , Frequency - 2.0 , scale - 0.2 .
Step 8 :
Select Drag force and goto modifiers panel and change paramters as shown below.on time - 0 , off time - 150, z axis Strength- 18
You can place your particle source(tesla coil) where ever you want. In this tutorial i use ( x=0, y= 100 , z= 200).
Then we have to link forces to our particle flow. To do that goto particle view ( press 6 ) , Right click on our Event_01---> Append --> Operator --> Force. Select force operator, on the right panel click on the add button , and select the two forces.
We don't want to remain our particle till the last frame, so append a "Delete " operator into our PF_Flow and change the parameters as shown below. Life span = 7, variation = 0.
Next , we need to create branches from our main Lightning branch, to do that right click on our main event---> Append --> Test --> Spawn.
Step 13 :
Select "Spawn " operator and change the parameters as shown below.
Do a Shift Drag to "Display" Operator and make a copy of "Display" Operator. Rename this event as "Branch".
Connect "Spawn event and our new Display Operator" .
Add a new "Delete Operator" to out Branch event, set the life span parameter to 1. To give more realstic look we can add second 'Wind" force and link with out "Branch_Event" as we did to our main event.
Step 17 :
Finally we have to add a Glow to our particle flow, to do that right click on our main event and goto properties. Give object ID as 1.
Step 18 :
Goto Rendering Menu --> Effects. Under Effects tab add "Lens Effects".
Under "Lens effects Parameters ", add a "Glow" ( select glow from left panel and click on the right arrow)
Step 20 :
Select "Glow', and then you'll see a new panel called "Glow Element" and change parameters as shown below.
Step 21 :
Under the "Glow Element" window goto "Options tab" , make sure that you have checked "Object ID" radio button. give Object ID value as 1 ( This should be same as the main event object ID)
Step 22 :
Here's the final output.