3ds max Island / Seashore opacity underwater tip

Software:
3ds max 2016

When creating a surface submerged in sea water,
Theoretically, it’s the Volume Absorption or ‘Fog‘ of the water shader that should do cause the surface to disappear under water.
But in many cases that doesn’t work well because we don’t actually model enough extended surface under the water for it to completely disappear without seeing the surfaces geometric edges that spoil the result.

One of the oldest tricks in the book is to use a Gradient Ramp map in the surface’s Opacity channel to make it gradually disappear before the geometry ends.

This can be done in most  3d software and render engines, I’m demonstrating it here using 3ds max and V-Ray:

Island

 

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3ds max Map Scaler Modifier

Software:
3ds max 2017

Use the Map Scaler (MapScalar) Object Space Modifier to make UV coordinates conform to a uniform map real-world size.

Tip:
Create effective UV coordinates for angular geometrical meshes quickly by applying an Unwrap UVW modifier, and in the UV Editor, selecting all the mesh, and choosing Mapping > Flatten Mapping, and than applying a Map Scaler modifier and setting its Scale parameter to the wanted texture size..

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Notes:

  1. When applying the Map Scaler modifier to an object with deformed UV’s, it will break the UV’s in order to force consistent scale.
  2. If the Scale parameter matches the file’s system unit definition in Customize > Units Setup > System Units Setup, than it will effectively work as real world map scale, and allow you to set a real world texture size in the Coordinates rollout of the texture in the Material Editor.

3ds max Project Folder

Software:
3ds max 2017

Setting up a ‘Project Folder’ for every project we work on in 3ds max can improve workflow efficiency by having the software file opening, saving, and importing operations etc. be directed to a specific defined destination in the hard drive by default,
And by doing that save us the time it takes to locate the same folders in the hard drive again and again.

When using this workflow, we must create a unique folder for every project we work on,
And set the Project Folder in 3ds max to the the relevant folder when switching between projects.

To set up a Project Folder:
File > Manage > Set Project Folder

or press the Project Folder button located at the top left of the 3ds max window:

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Quick friendly-topology sphere in Blender and 3ds max

Software:
Blender 2.79 | 3ds max 2017

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Blender:
Create Cube
Add ‘Subdivision Surface’ modifier and divide it couple of times
Apply the ‘Subdivision Surface’ modifier
Enter Edit mode and spherify the mesh using ‘To Sphere’ Command (Shift + Alt + S)

3ds max:
Create Cube
Add a TurboSmooth modifier and set wanted iterations
add Spherify modifier
Convert to Editable Poly if needed