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nivao
26th Oct 2008, 18:21
I finished my event horizon and decided to make a tutorial:

Open 3ds Max (I use MAX 9) and place a tube to represent the Stargate.
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/8034/step1oq6.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

Then add a plane that is the same size as the outer radius of the tube with 50 segments (width and heigth).
http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/1206/step2bh8.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

Either add an Edit Mesh modifier or convert the plane to an Editable Mesh.
Use Polygon Select to delete the polygon's inside the tube but so that the plane still fills the gap.
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/859/step3hx9.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

Add 2 noise modifiers and set them like this:
Set the first Z Strength to 1 and the second to 2 - Set the first scale to 3 and the second to 5 - Check Animate Noise.
http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/840/step4qf8.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)
(you can tweak the settings but use Z strength if the plane is vertically placed)

Open the Material Editor (M) and choose an empty slot and asign it to the plane. Add a Gradient Ramp in the Diffuse slot and make it Radial. Tweak with the setting to get the desired color texture. I made it like this:
http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/4141/step5zh6.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)


Then add a Gradient Ramp (Radial) to the Self-Illumination map and set it so that the center illuminates. In Shader Basic Parameters set Self-Illumination to Color.
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/412/step6po4.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

Open the Curve Editor [Graph Editors - Track View--Curve Editor], go to [Plane - Noise] and click the [-] to see the keyframes, select all of them and click on 'Set Tangens to Linear' to make one straight line (do this for both Noise modifiers). This should animate the noise to get a solid animation.
Finally you can add a Raytrace map to Reflection (amount to 40) to get a shiny gel effect but this could result in unwanted reflections of the environment. (I was unable to add a shiny effect without reflection, if anyone can please reply).

The result could be like this
http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/4673/finishjn1.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

nivao
5th Nov 2008, 16:07
To disable other objects so they won't reflect on the event horizon, you should use the 'Exclude' button in Raytrace and select all objects. To still enable the reflection add a plane below the event horizon with a grey or blue color, right-click and in 'Object Properties' deselect 'View in Camera' so the plane will not be rendered but still enables reflection. Tweak the position and rotation to get the desired effect.

Soon I will add an additional tutorial to get the 'caustics' realistic but easy.
Something like this
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/attachments/3d-questions-answers/55428d1217175705-stargate-textures-correct-refl.jpg