Water Animation

This is a test render that I did with 3ds Max. It is Arch&Design material with some minor tweaking. HDR background is used.

Software: 3ds Max 2011
Renderer: Mental Ray

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- color map
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Three Ways to Use the Crop Tool in Photoshop

Author: DuncanNow

The Crop Tool in Photoshop is used for trimming images but there are several useful things the tool can do.1
Open an image suitable for cropping. Select the Crop Tool on the main toolbox. In the top options bar is a small window called Resolution and with this we can set the resolution the image will be after cropping. So enter a value of 100, the resolution of the image will change to 100 pixels per inch. If a value has been put in, press Enter.

If the Resolution box is empty then the resolution will remain the same as it is already.

Starting in the top left corner of the image, drag the crop symbol across the whole picture.

The small squares, or handles, of the crop frame are used to adjust its size.
The centre handles will move a whole side in.
Moving a corner handle in will move two sides in together.
Holding Shift while moving in a corner will keep the image proportions the same.
Holding Alt while moving in a centre handle will move its opposite side in the same amount.
The crop area can be rotated. After positioning the crop frame where desired, position the cursor near a corner. It changes to a double arrow and the frame can be rotated.
The darkened area represents the part of the image which will be removed.
Press Enter or Return to make the crop.
Cancel the crop with Ctrl + full stop (period) / Cmd + full stop (period).
There are also Cancel and Commit buttons in the top options bar.

The Crop Tool can be selected with C.

Width and Height can be set in advance in the options bar.
This is useful for cropping a number of images consistently.

For example, there might be a number of images of various shapes and sizes. A large part of the images or just small sections of them might be required as illustrations in a layout or on the net.
Enter the sizes required into the Width and Height boxes.
Be sure to include px for pixels or in or cm.Enter a Resolution value.Drag the Crop tool across the image to include the area required. Press Enter.

Whatever the size of the original image, the cropped image will be of the dimensions entered into the options bar.
When cropping, if no specific dimensions are required, leave these boxes empty.

All option bar boxes can be cleared quickly with the Clear button.

Check the resolution in its info box in the lower left corner. If the scan was at 2700ppi or some other odd number, it is often more convenient to use the industry reproduction standard of 300ppi. Putting 300ppi in the Resolution box will cause the dimensions to resize in proportion.

If the image is flattened, the options of Delete and Hide are greyed out.
If the image is a layer, then Delete will remove all of the image outside the cropping lines. Hide will merely hide and not delete the cropped areas.  Press Return or Enter.

If Hide was checked, the hidden areas can be seen by moving the image with the Move tool. These parts of the image can be retrieved by increasing the Canvas Size.

Perspective can be adjusted with the Crop tool; useful when the subject is a building which needs to be straightened.
Hold the Alt key and double-click on the Background in the Layers panel to convert it to a normal layer.Select the Crop Tool and drag it across the image.In the top options bar there is a box to check for Perspective.
If Hide is selected, then the Perspective box will be greyed out.
The Delete option needs to be selected.
Once Perspective is checked, the Hide and Delete are greyed out.With the use of the corner handles, adjust the cropping box to make the sides parallel with the building.
By moving the corner handles, the building can be skewed all over the place and the method gives great control over the final shape of the building.
OK with Return or Enter.

And here's a bonus

The Crop tool can be used to increase the overall size of an image.

Open an imageWith the Move tool, drag the bottom right corner of the frame down and to the right so that there is more grey area around the image.Press D to set the default toolbox colours of black over white.Choose the Crop Tool from the toolbox and drag it over the image.Hold Alt + Shift and drag the bottom right corner anchor point of the crop frame down and to the right.  Press Enter.An extra white border is put around the image. If the image is not flattened, then the extra area will be transparent.This is useful if you want to put a different border around an image without eating into the subject matter too much.A unique border can be added as a separate layer and dragged across while holding Shift to centre it. Changing the Blending Mode of the border can merge it into the image better.

Duncan Wherrett is an experienced professional photographer and Photoshop instructor.
Want to know how a selection can be used for cropping?
This and more can be found via ---->
How to Use Photoshop and look for 'Photoshop In A Day'.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_827794_11.html

About the Author: Duncan Wherrett has been a professional photographer for many years.
Although he still use traditional film techniques for Arty pictures, everything else is digital now. He has been doing digital imaging for more than 10 years and is also a Photoshop instructor.


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Here is brief introduction about Mental Ray 3.8. The following content is quoted from http://www.maxunderground.com/archives/010780_mental_ray_3_8.html

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(Updated) Ken Pimentel from Autodesk has explicitly stated that Iray will not be included in Max 2011.
New features in the Mental Ray renderer that comes with Max 2011 include: Iray rendering mode on graphics hardware, MetaSL 1.1 features support, MetaSL unified automatic shader deployment, stereoscopic rendering in a single run, dynamic texture filtering, importance-based Final Gathering, optimizations in ray tracing performance, improvements in hair rendering performance, interactive ray tracing support, Map Container features and performance, and advanced unified image display. A word of caution: these are the features provided by the renderer, access to the features depends on Max’s connection to Mental Ray. Read the details at Autodesk.com.

-----------------------------end of quoted content----------------------------

A simulation done by me in 3ds Max with RayFire.

3ds Max 2011 preview is available. There are many new features added to it.

1.Object Paint
This cool feature enables users to paint objects on a surface, just like the one found in Vue Xstream. It could be useful if you are creating some stuffs that are intended to be scattered around.

2. New User Interface
There is also a new user interface. The user interface seems to be user-friendly. Slate material editor is also added. It aims at providing a more efficient way for editing material especially for the component relationship.

3. Quicksilver Hardware Renderer
Besides, Quicksilver Hardware Renderer is an incredible new feature. It highlights super fast rendering with quality.

Object Paint

User Interface Customization Part 1

User Interface Customization Part 2

There are many more new features. Check out from the official site.

RealFlow Review

RealFlow is a sophisticated software that simulate particle flow. It is widely applied in the industry. Many famous movies use this software to create stunning and impressive particle special effects such as The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. In my opinion, this is a great software and it features the following advantages.

1. Easy integration and high compatibility with other popular software

RealFlow is highly integrable with other CG software such as 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, etc. Taking 3ds Max as an example, as I am a 3ds Max user, it is quite easy for me to export particle mesh animation to 3ds Max from RealFlow. It can be done by creating a Mesh Loader in 3ds Max. Besides, you could import 3D models into RealFlow easily. It supports many formats such as .3DS and .FBX. Those imported objects are used for particle simulations, for example, pouring water into a cup.

2. Highly customizable for simulating realistic particle flow

There are two important steps when simulating particle flow in RealFlow. Firstly, you could tweak the settings of the particle emitters. It determines the attributes of those particles emitted such as the speed, viscosity, density, etc. The second step is building mesh out of the particle simulation. There are some essential settings such as Filter which contributes to reality of the fluid largely. The above settings enable users to create the types of fluid that they want intuitively.

3. Intuitive to create simulation environment

You could add gravity and many other daemons to the environment easily. Unlike 3ds Max, you do not need to do "Bind to Space Warp" for each object for simulations. Once a daemon is added to the scene, it will affects all the particles automatically without manual "binding".

Please visit the official website of RealFlow: http://www.realflow.com/

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What's motion blur?

Motion blur is an effect that blur the selected objects while they are animated (or moving). It is useful for objects that are moving blazingly fast (e.g. jet fighters, bullets). The appropriate use of motion blur could add a sense of reality.

How to use it?
1. Right-click on the object that you want to blur. Choose Object Properties.

2. Once the Object Properties window opened. Under the General tab, you can see Motion Blur panel at the bottom. Check the box Enable and the radio button Object.

IMPORTANT: If you are using Mental Ray renderer, please make sure you do not choose Image. Image does not work with Mental Ray.

3. Go to Rendering > Render Setup. Under the tab Renderer, there is a panel called Motion Blur. This panel is for tweaking the details of the effect. Check the box Enable.

Tips: If you would like to blur all the object, you can select Blur All Object.

4. Tweak the value of Shutter Duration. The greater the value, the more blurred is the object.

5. Increase the value of Time Samples if you want to get better results (longer render time of course).

That's all! The following renders of an exploding teapot compare the different values of Time Samples.
Shutter Duration: 0.5
Shutter Offset: -0.25
Motion Segment: 1
Time Samples: 5
Shutter Duration: 0.5
Shutter Offset: -0.25
Motion Segment: 1
Time Samples: 20

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You can find Extrude inside the rollout of a editable poly. These two tools are really useful when you do modeling. Extrude, as the name implies, it extrudes faces both inwards or outwards. I'll tell you the things that worth bearing in mind when using Extrude. The screen capture on the left shows the rollout of the editable polygon.

As shown in the following screen capture, there are three extrusion type. They have own characteristics which help you deal with unique situation.

1. Group
Group means the extrusion of all the selected faces towards the same directions. The original curves of the selected faces is preserved.

2. Local Normal
Local Normal still retains completeness of the extruded surfaces. In contrast, the faces are extruded according their own normal respectively.

3. By Polygon
By Polygon doesn't retain the completeness of the extruded surface. Same as Local Normal, it extrudes faces according to the normal of each face.


This is my latest CG work. Rendered with Mental Ray for 2 hours.

This is my latest work. I'm trying to apply TurboSmooth and see how it turns out.

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