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Jack Torres
Jack Torres

PolyFX: Creating Stunning Effects with Key, Controller, and Particle Modes



PolyFX 3ds Max 2016 45: A Powerful Animation Tool for Breaking Objects into Fragments




Have you ever wanted to create an animation where an object breaks into pieces and flies away? Or maybe you want to transform one object into another using fragments? Or perhaps you want to add some realism and dynamics to your scene by simulating collisions and explosions? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be interested in PolyFX, a powerful animation tool for 3ds Max that can help you achieve these effects and more.




polyfx 3ds max 2016 45



What is PolyFX and what can it do?




PolyFX is a script and a modifier for 3ds Max that allows you to break an object into parts and animate them




PolyFX is a script that you can download from ScriptSpot or BodyulCG.com. It adds a modifier called PolyFX Modifier to your modifier stack, which enables you to break an object into fragments and animate them. You can also access the main window of PolyFX from the script, which gives you more options and tools to control the animation.


PolyFX has many options for fine-tuning the animation and several additional tools




PolyFX allows you to adjust various parameters of the animation, such as position, rotation, scale, visibility, color, material, etc. You can also use the built-in curve editor to modify the animation curves of each parameter. Moreover, PolyFX provides several additional tools that help you create different types of fragmentation, such as slice fragmentation, pattern fragmentation, and quick detach.


PolyFX is a great solution for creating promotional videos, game development, and other projects




PolyFX can be used for various purposes, such as creating promotional videos, game development, architectural visualization, motion graphics, etc. You can use it to create stunning effects such as transitions, transformations, collisions , explosions, and more. PolyFX can also help you optimize your workflow and save time by automating the process of breaking and animating objects.


How to use PolyFX in 3ds Max 2016 45?




How to install PolyFX and access its main window




To install PolyFX, you need to download the script from one of the links mentioned above and unzip it to a folder of your choice. Then, you need to run 3ds Max and go to the MAXScript menu and choose Run Script. Browse to the folder where you unzipped the script and select PolyFX.mzp. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm the installation. Click Yes and wait for the installation to finish. You will see a message saying that PolyFX has been successfully installed.


To access the main window of PolyFX, you can either go to the Customize menu and choose Customize User Interface. Then, go to the Toolbars tab and find PolyFX under the BodyulCG category. Drag and drop the PolyFX button to a toolbar of your choice. Alternatively, you can go to the MAXScript menu and choose PolyFX from the list of scripts.


How to choose an object and set its parameters




To use PolyFX, you need to select an object that you want to break and animate. You can use any type of object, such as a primitive, a spline, a mesh, a poly, etc. However, you need to make sure that the object does not have any modifiers applied to it, does not have any animation or transformation keys, does not have any sub-object selection or soft selection, and does not have any modifiers applied to it. If your object does not meet these requirements, you need to convert it to an editable poly or an editable mesh before using PolyFX.


After selecting an object, you need to add the PolyFX Modifier from the modifier stack. You will see several parameters that you can adjust in the modifier panel, such as:



  • Seed: This is a random value that affects the order of elements in the animation. You can change it by clicking on the Random button or by entering a value manually.



  • Elements: This is the number of elements that the object will be broken into. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Mode: This is the mode of animation that you want to use. You can choose from Key mode, Controller mode, or Particle mode. Each mode has its own settings that will be explained later.



  • Position: This is the position offset of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Rotation: This is the rotation offset of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Scale: This is the scale offset of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Visibility: This is the visibility of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Color: This is the color of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the color picker or by entering a value manually.



  • Material: This is the material of each element in the animation. You can change it by using the material picker or by entering a value manually.



How to choose a mode and adjust its settings




PolyFX has three modes of animation that you can choose from: Key mode, Controller mode, and Particle mode. Each mode has its own settings that you can adjust in the main window of PolyFX. Each mode has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of effect that you want to create. Here is a brief overview of each mode and its settings:


Key mode: animate by elements using keyframes




Key mode is the simplest and most straightforward mode of animation. In this mode, you can animate each element of the object by using keyframes. You can set the keyframes manually or use the Auto Key button to record them automatically. You can also use the Set Keys button to set keyframes for all elements at once.


The settings for Key mode are:



  • Start Frame: This is the frame where the animation starts. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • End Frame: This is the frame where the animation ends. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Randomize: This is a checkbox that allows you to randomize the order of elements in the animation. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



  • Reverse: This is a checkbox that allows you to reverse the order of elements in the animation. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



Controller mode: animate by elements using controllers




Controller mode is a more advanced and flexible mode of animation. In this mode, you can animate each element of the object by using controllers. Controllers are objects that control the parameters of other objects, such as position, rotation, scale, etc. You can use any type of controller that 3ds Max supports, such as noise, wave, path, etc. You can also use custom controllers that you create yourself.


The settings for Controller mode are:



  • Controller Type: This is a dropdown list that allows you to choose the type of controller that you want to use. You can choose from Position, Rotation, Scale, Visibility, Color, or Material.



  • Controller: This is a button that allows you to assign a controller to the selected parameter. You can click on it and choose a controller from the list or create your own controller.



  • Randomize: This is a checkbox that allows you to randomize the order of elements in the animation. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



  • Reverse: This is a checkbox that allows you to reverse the order of elements in the animation. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



Particle mode: animate by elements using particles and texture maps




Particle mode is the most complex and powerful mode of animation. In this mode, you can animate each element of the object by using particles and texture maps. Particles are small objects that move according to certain rules and forces, such as gravity, wind, collision, etc. Texture maps are images that define the color, transparency, bumpiness, etc. of an object's surface.


The settings for Particle mode are:



  • Particle System: This is a button that allows you to create or select a particle system that will be used to animate the elements. You can click on it and choose a particle system from the list or create your own particle system.



  • Texture Map: This is a button that allows you to assign a texture map to the selected parameter. You can click on it and choose a texture map from the list or create your own texture map.



  • Map Channel: This is a spinner that allows you to choose the map channel that will be used to apply the texture map to the elements. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Invert Map: This is a checkbox that allows you to invert the values of the texture map. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



How to use the built-in curve editor to modify the animation curves




PolyFX has a built-in curve editor that allows you to modify the animation curves of each parameter. Animation curves are graphical representations of how a parameter changes over time. By modifying them, you can fine-tune the speed, timing, and intensity of the animation. You can access the curve editor by clicking on the Curve Editor button in the main window of PolyFX.


The curve editor has a toolbar with several buttons that allow you to perform various actions, such as zooming, panning, selecting, moving, adding, deleting, etc. You can also use the right-click menu to access more options. The curve editor has two panels: the left panel shows the list of parameters and elements that you can edit, and the right panel shows the curves of the selected parameter and element. You can select a parameter or an element by clicking on it in the left panel, and you can select a curve by clicking on it in the right panel. You can also select multiple curves by holding down the Ctrl key or by dragging a selection box.


To modify a curve, you can use the handles that appear at each keyframe. A keyframe is a point on the curve that defines the value of the parameter at a certain frame. A handle is a small circle that controls the shape of the curve between two keyframes. You can move a keyframe or a handle by dragging it with the mouse. You can also use the spinner or enter a value manually in the bottom panel. You can add a keyframe by double-clicking on the curve or by using the Add Key button. You can delete a keyframe by selecting it and pressing the Delete key or by using the Delete Key button.


You can also use different types of interpolation to change how the curve transitions from one keyframe to another. Interpolation is the method of calculating intermediate values between two known values. You can choose from linear, smooth, step, fast, slow, custom, etc. You can change the interpolation type by selecting a keyframe and using the Interpolation Type dropdown list in the bottom panel. You can also use different types of tangents to change how the curve bends at each keyframe. Tangents are lines that touch the curve at each keyframe and define its direction and slope. You can choose from auto, flat, linear, smooth, custom, etc. You can change the tangent type by selecting a keyframe and using the Tangent Type dropdown list in the bottom panel.


How to use the built-in tools to create different types of fragmentation




PolyFX has several built-in tools that help you create different types of fragmentation for your object. Fragmentation is the process of breaking an object into smaller parts or elements. You can access these tools by clicking on the Tools button in the main window of PolyFX.


Slice Fragmentation: slice an object along a plane or a spline




Slice Fragmentation is a tool that allows you to slice an object along a plane or a spline. A plane is a flat surface that divides an object into two parts. A spline is a curved line that divides an object into multiple parts. You can use this tool to create effects such as cutting, cracking, shattering, etc.


To use this tool, you need to select an object and click on the Slice Fragmentation button in the Tools window of PolyFX. These tools are Slice Fragmentation, Pattern Fragmentation, and Quick Detach. Here is a brief description of each tool and how to use it:


Slice Fragmentation: slice an object along a plane or a spline




Slice Fragmentation is a tool that allows you to slice an object along a plane or a spline. A plane is a flat surface that divides an object into two parts. A spline is a curved line that divides an object into multiple parts. You can use this tool to create effects such as cutting, cracking, shattering, etc.


To use this tool, you need to select an object and click on the Slice Fragmentation button in the Tools window of PolyFX. You will see several parameters that you can adjust in the tool panel, such as:



  • Plane/Spline: This is a dropdown list that allows you to choose whether you want to slice the object along a plane or a spline. You can choose from Plane X, Plane Y, Plane Z, or Spline.



  • Plane Size: This is a spinner that allows you to change the size of the plane that will be used to slice the object. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Plane Position: This is a spinner that allows you to change the position of the plane that will be used to slice the object. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Plane Rotation: This is a spinner that allows you to change the rotation of the plane that will be used to slice the object. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Spline: This is a button that allows you to create or select a spline that will be used to slice the object. You can click on it and draw a spline in the viewport or select an existing spline from the scene.



  • Slice: This is a button that allows you to perform the slicing operation on the object. You can click on it and see the result in the viewport.



Pattern Fragmentation: fragment an object using a bitmap or a procedural map




Pattern Fragmentation is a tool that allows you to fragment an object using a bitmap or a procedural map. A bitmap is an image file that defines the color, transparency, bumpiness, etc. of an object's surface. A procedural map is a mathematical function that defines the color, transparency, bumpiness, etc. of an object's surface. You can use this tool to create effects such as breaking, crumbling, dissolving, etc.


To use this tool, you need to select an object and click on the Pattern Fragmentation button in the Tools window of PolyFX. You will see several parameters that you can adjust in the tool panel, such as:



  • Map Type: This is a dropdown list that allows you to choose whether you want to use a bitmap or a procedural map to fragment the object. You can choose from Bitmap or Procedural.



  • Bitmap: This is a button that allows you to assign a bitmap file to the selected parameter. You can click on it and browse to the folder where you have your bitmap file and select it.



  • Procedural: This is a button that allows you to assign a procedural map to the selected parameter. You can click on it and choose a procedural map from the list or create your own procedural map.



  • Map Channel: This is a spinner that allows you to choose the map channel that will be used to apply the map to the object. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Invert Map: This is a checkbox that allows you to invert the values of the map. You can check or uncheck it as you wish.



  • Fragment: This is a button that allows you to perform the fragmentation operation on the object. You can click on it and see the result in the viewport.



Quick Detach: detach selected faces or elements from an object




Quick Detach is a tool that allows you to detach selected faces or elements from an object. A face is a polygon that forms part of the surface of an object. An element is a group of connected faces that forms part of the object. You can use this tool to create effects such as peeling, tearing, splitting, etc.


To use this tool, you need to select an object and click on the Quick Detach button in the Tools window of PolyFX. You will see several parameters that you can adjust in the tool panel, such as:



  • Selection Type: This is a dropdown list that allows you to choose whether you want to detach faces or elements from the object. You can choose from Faces or Elements.



  • Selection Mode: This is a dropdown list that allows you to choose how you want to select the faces or elements that you want to detach. You can choose from Manual, Random, By Material ID, By Smoothing Group, or By Element ID.



  • Selection Amount: This is a spinner that allows you to change the amount of faces or elements that you want to select and detach. You can change it by using the spinner or by entering a value manually.



  • Detach: This is a button that allows you to perform the detachment operation on the object. You can click on it and see the result in the viewport.



What are the benefits and limitations of PolyFX?




Benefits of PolyFX:





  • It is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. PolyFX has a simple and intuitive interface that allows you to access all its features and options with ease. You can also customize the interface by resizing, docking, undocking, or hiding the windows and panels.



  • It is fast and efficient and does not slow down the viewport. PolyFX has a high-performance engine that can handle large numbers of elements and complex animations without affecting the speed and responsiveness of the viewport. You can also preview the animation in real-time and adjust it as you wish.



  • It is flexible and versatile and can create various effects. PolyFX has three modes of animation and several tools that allow you to create different types of effects, such as transitions, transformations, collisions, explosions, etc. You can also combine different modes and tools to create unique and original effects.



  • It is compatible with 3ds Max 2010 to 2024 and supports layers. PolyFX can work with any version of 3ds Max from 2010 to 2024 and supports layers. Layers are groups of objects that can be organized, hidden, frozen, or locked in the scene. You can use layers to manage your objects and animations more easily.



Limitations of PolyFX:





  • It does not work with objects that have modifiers applied to them. PolyFX does not support objects that have modifiers applied to them, such as bend, twist, taper, etc. If you want to use PolyFX on such objects, you need to convert them to editable polys or editable meshes before using PolyFX.



  • It does not work with objects that have animation or transformation keys. PolyFX does not support objects that have animation or transformation keys, such as position, rotation, scale, etc. If you want to use PolyFX on such objects, you need to delete their keys before using PolyFX.



It does not work with objects that have sub-object selection or soft selection. PolyFX does not support objects that have sub-object selection or soft selection, such as vertices, edges, faces, etc. If you wan


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