10 BEST FX tools for 3ds max

A list my personal 10 top tools for FX artist inside 3dsmax.
List of tools:

10. Forest Pack www.itoosoft.com
9.Xmesh http://xmesh.thinkboxsoftware.com/
8.Razor/Fastcutter www.effectivetds.com
7.Stoke/Genome www.thinkboxsoftware.com
6.FumeFx www.afterworks.com
5.Krakatoa www.thinkboxsoftware.com
4.Frost www.thinkboxsoftware.com
3.Vray www.chaosgroup.com
2.Flowline www.flowlines.info
1.Thinking Particles. www.cebas.com

Videos from Forest Pack, Thinkbox, Fu Liu, Scanline VFX, Paul Fuller, Eloi Andaluz, Mathias Muller, Arnold.

Are you missing anything? Explain me what are your most used tools on the comments!

My advance course in Thinking Particles: https://effectivetds.com/resources/fx-education/thinking-particles-chain-tool-course/

My intro course in Thinking Particles in spanish/My curso introductorio a TP en espanol: https://effectivetds.com/resources/fx-education/thinking-particles-chain-tool-course/

Forum: https://www.effectivetds.com/forum

My website: https://www.andvfx.com

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48 Comments

  1. OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Thank you so much for this video

  2. OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Muy buen video.
    Aunque me parece lamentable que se necesite tantas herramientas exteriores para poder trabajar profesionalmente ya que con lo que incorpora 3d max apenas se pueda hacer nada.
    Un programa que cuesta mas de 1200 $ al año, que encima tiene herramientas obsoletas k no cambian y que dividan las funcionas entre Maya y Max, es de traca.
    Espero que con el tiempo aparezca alguna compañia k revolucione como lo hizo Pixologic y destrone a estos programas anclados en el pasado.
    Es que ni los menús van fluidamente ni estan acorde a los estandartes actuales…..
    Lamentable.
    Buen video eso si y gracias!

    • OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Fernando Diaz hombre, los menus se adaptaron a qt hace dos versiones, para mi son muy fluidos. El punto del video es que max tiene un ecosistema enorme y tienes muchas herramientas entre las que elegir. Se puede hacer muchisimo con 3dsmax solamente! Pero con los centenares de plugins y miles de scripts la mayoria gratuitos se puede hacer incluso mas.

  3. OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Hi Eloi. I would say that RayFire is widely used as well. I use it a lot in combination with TP. And it can do much more than just a simple fragmentation’s. You can create unique patterns. Love it…

    • OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
      Rispondi

      SolidMotion VFX you are right. I was thinking about adding rayfire on the list. But at the end I did a personal selection. Agreed rayfire is a very used product and a good tool, that I use as well time to time, only that not as often as my 10 top picks.

  4. OrangeAnimation 09/04/2018
    Rispondi

    I absolutely agree with you altough MagmaFlow is still a bit of a mistery to me 🙂

    • OrangeAnimation 10/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Magmaflow its an awesome addition to max. Im preparing a complete course on http://www.effectivetds.com about dealing with millions of objects on sims, and will cover TP/magmaflow/frost interop. I will do there some basic magmaflow operations, that I think are easy to understand even you are not too much into math.

    • OrangeAnimation 11/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Cool. Great stuff Eloi. Thnaks.

  5. OrangeAnimation 10/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Very helpful thanks

  6. OrangeAnimation 10/04/2018
    Rispondi

    FumeFX at number 6 sound a bit unreasonable. Also, flowline being not commercially available it should not be even listed over here.

    • OrangeAnimation 10/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Is a personal list, so I guess any opinion is valid here. I like FumeFX, and obviously if you do mostly Fume simulations, should be higher on your list. Is on this position because I order the tools depending on how useful they are to me. In my case my top 5 Tools are tools Im using almost daily, and I use it for a wider range of FX.

    • OrangeAnimation 10/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Eloi Andaluz Fullà sure I get that but if you than put this video online for everyone to watch it than at least you should make it in a way that normal people can relate to and exclude everything that no one have access to

  7. OrangeAnimation 11/04/2018
    Rispondi

    great content!

  8. OrangeAnimation 14/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Thanks for videos. 🙂

  9. OrangeAnimation 16/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Arnold is amazing but Autodesk have a history of killing the progress of products that they buy. So for me I'll be sticking with Vray . There's little difference in quality unless your prepared to do a lot of high end tuning, and unless Autodesk change there ways VRay is likely to develop faster… though i'm hoping to be proved wrong because it would be sad to see a great tool like Arnold fall by the wayside.

    • OrangeAnimation 16/04/2018
      Rispondi

      kenzorman Im totally agree with you. We saw a lot of tools integrated to dont touch them anymore. But the good news here is that autodesk bought solidangle, but they remain a total outside company of autodesk, developing on his side Arnold totally indepemdent of autodesk, so I have good vibes about it!

  10. OrangeAnimation 21/04/2018
    Rispondi

    …slow down….

  11. OrangeAnimation 21/04/2018
    Rispondi

    there are not many very important plug-ins. One of the best renderers that supports the video card Redshift render.

    • OrangeAnimation 21/04/2018
      Rispondi

      Gennadiy3x Safronov Redshift is very good. And very good rendering volumetrics. But has as well a lot of limitations at this moment to be used extensively on FX.

    • OrangeAnimation 24/06/2018
      Rispondi

      hmmm , like what?

    • OrangeAnimation 24/06/2018
      Rispondi

      Ol 11 Until last week was not able to render directly Thinking Particles, or any motionblur on deforming meshes (it can but x10 times slower), they fix compatibility with TP, so I will consider check it out for fx now.

    • OrangeAnimation 25/06/2018
      Rispondi

      Thanks

  12. OrangeAnimation 22/04/2018
    Rispondi

    Thank you for sharing your videos Eloi 🙂

  13. OrangeAnimation 16/07/2018
    Rispondi

    What about MadCar 🙂 ?

  14. OrangeAnimation 18/07/2018
    Rispondi

    احسنت . نريد شرح مفصل لاحقا لوسمحت

  15. OrangeAnimation 25/07/2018
    Rispondi

    I wonder how you guys get so good lets say at thinking particles when there is almost no professional training for it? do you guys get a private teacher at work? i really dont get it.

    • OrangeAnimation 25/07/2018
      Rispondi

      Well, when you work 12 hours a day with a software, surrounded by good artists, I think you dont need a teacher, you discover more and more and get used to it. And slowly there are more and more training available. Like at http://www.effectivetds.com or by other Fx artists.

    • OrangeAnimation 25/07/2018
      Rispondi

      thx for your time. Do you think the Spanish course can be followed even if you don't understand Spanish? I am determined to learn Tp! If you have some more info on professional training for TP plz let us know. Do you also do paid personal training ?

    • OrangeAnimation 25/07/2018
      Rispondi

      I had multiple people that bought the spanish course even they dont speak spanish. But I will recommend you the Hrsito Velev intro to TP on Eat3d, or the free courses from Joe Scarr on vimeo.

    • OrangeAnimation 25/07/2018
      Rispondi

      thx

    • OrangeAnimation 14/10/2018
      Rispondi

      I've had this same question as I'm a "sole" animator who's worked alone for 25-years now. We are generalists and we don't have time to dive in and do say, "TP" for 5-months day after day. In larger studios, artists tend to specialize so you can become the "TP" guy and you learn from tutorials and other artists. After a few months, you get good with it and that's what you do 10-hours a day for years to come. You just get better and better. We individual guys just don't get that time to learn it that way because we need to generate cash flow. When you are on salary and can just play with it for months until you get good, and you get very, very good with it.

  16. OrangeAnimation 28/07/2018
    Rispondi

    Uso 3ds max desde la versión DOS 1990´s he usado todos los demás "TODOS" son mis aliados, pero siempre regreso al 3ds max . Decir que con sólo 3ds max no se puede hacer nada es ridículo, claro fanáticamente no se puede hablar de ningún software, ni pensar que los demás software están esperando paralizados sin crecer, copiarse, dividiendo mercado, evolucionando o poniendo bonitos interfaces para gustarle a los nuevos usuarios. Una cosa es el mercadeo y otra lo que se está haciendo realmente en estudios medianos y grandes de animación. A veces siento que esta discusión de Softwares que antes no era tan tediosa, partió cuando los diseñadores gráficos (MAC Users por lo general) empezaron a incursionar en animación y a traer sus controversias interminables como la tienen con Corel e Ilusttrator, Mac y PC etc etc.

  17. OrangeAnimation 29/07/2018
    Rispondi

    What about Corona render?

    • OrangeAnimation 02/09/2018
      Rispondi

      Corona is very used in Archviz, but not really on FX where the most used renderers for my knowledge are Vray and Arnold.

  18. OrangeAnimation 30/07/2018
    Rispondi

    For sure RAYFIRE is more useful and complete than RAZOR/FASTCUTTER.

    • OrangeAnimation 30/07/2018
      Rispondi

      Flávio Costta You can not compare it, are totally different tools. Rayfire is a great combo of tools for destruction. Fastcutter/razor are focus only on cutting. If you only need a tool to cut, razor/fastcutter has way more options, and more solid than the basic cutting tools rayfire has, and at a lower price. If you need other things other than cutting, then obviously rayfire can be better for you.

    • OrangeAnimation 31/07/2018
      Rispondi

      In real i not tried to make a comparison between that tools, but, i just thought that Rayfire deserves a place in a "10 top tools for FX" list… then i choose the tool from list that reminds me some functions of Rayfire… sorry my crazy Brazilenglish haha.. cheers.

  19. OrangeAnimation 15/08/2018
    Rispondi

    what movies are showing up from 10:15 ?

  20. OrangeAnimation 06/09/2018
    Rispondi

    If you are learning to do fx td work, is it even worth it anymore to dive into 3Ds max when you have houdini?
    Surely in your list there are a few things that are more reponsive but on the business side, that as a lot of money compared to a year houdini.

    • OrangeAnimation 06/09/2018
      Rispondi

      did you do the numbers? Because 3dsmax + plugins year to year its cheaper than HoudiniFX. For my experience working with different CGsupervisors, most of them agree that FX artists working on max are generally faster than working with Houdini. for sure you can go deeper and for some specific FX, Houdini can be the ideal tool, but I still think 3dsmax for FX can be ideal for a lot of works.

    • OrangeAnimation 06/09/2018
      Rispondi

      I can't argue the 3Dsmax for faster turn arounds. It seems a lot easier and faster.

      But to come back on the price. To get similar results in Houdini:

      houdiniFX $4,495 perpetual license (+$2,495 USD every year for the upgrade to new version.)

      3DsMAX yearly $1985
      Razor $40
      Genome $50
      To save money, $600 for PhoenixFD which would be good enough for what I do and includes gas and liquid
      Vray $340
      Thinking particles $540
      Krakatoa MX $1000
      Stoke $725
      xmesh $495.00
      Frost $495.00

      Total = $6270 A lot of which are just yearly licenses.

      But if you go with the list minus the 600 dollars for Phoenix you add:

      FumeFX $695
      RealFlow €995.00
      Forest $220,00

      Total = $7580

      For big houses this is absolutely doable but sadly not for me. But thanks for the info! That makes me rethink my choices.

    • OrangeAnimation 06/09/2018
      Rispondi

      Your number for Houdini only make sense if you are a very small studio (less than 5 seats), if not Houdini is 7000 perpetual + 4000 anual to compare it with 3dsmax.
      Then, in your 3dsmax numbers a lot of them are perpetual licenses. Why you add Vray in 3dsmax but not in Houdini? I dont know many studios to dont say anyone using mantra for rendering. They render with Arnold mostly (one that you have when you use 3dsmax and in Houdini you need to pay extra, and very suitable for FX work)or they send FX for render to 3dsmax or Maya.
      Why you need Realflow? Now you can do a lot with Fluids in 3dsmax.
      And if you include on your list Krakatoa and Frost, why you need forest pack?

      For bigger studios max is cheaper, but you need to deal with a lot of licenses. For small studios, I will say prices are quite similar in both.

  21. OrangeAnimation 13/09/2018
    Rispondi

    i think new RealFlow 10 are much better for huge scale simulation like oceans, that Scanline. The 2012 movie is proof that FumeFx and RealFlow are nothing worse than Scanline VFX. And even much faster with less effort, you can get the best explosions and big tsunamis in 3ds max, and I think that this is a much cheaper solution.

  22. OrangeAnimation 25/09/2018
    Rispondi

    Thanks 🙂

  23. OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
    Rispondi

    WOW – AMAZING ! ! !

  24. OrangeAnimation 25/10/2018
    Rispondi

    muy intesante! y enhorabuena por tu reel, es brutal! saludos desde Barcelona.

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