Tutorial Two
A Swirling Fire Storm
This tutorial creates a swirling fire planet that can be animated using Enhance:AM. In the tutorial the only texture used is AM_fBm which can be downloaded for free. Just follow the links to the respective demo sections, depending on your AM version, from Enhance:AM Home Page

In this tutorial we are using the AM_fBM, a 3d noise texture. More details about AM_fBm can be found at The AM_fBm Manual Web Page

Step One - The Basic Fire Gradient
Create a new project using the default set up and add a primitive sphere. First, we need to add the AM_fBm plugin from the AM_Noise series. As we don't want to use any bumps go to the Bump section and set the Bump Height to 0 turning bump mapping off. Next, we want to create a fire like color map. To do this go to the Color Map section. Set Color1 to 64,0,0 a dark red, Color2 to 255,128,0 a medium orange and Color3 to 255,255,0 a bright yellow. These are a basic fire gradient colors. To get the gradient to look right we need to change the blend points so go to the Blend section and set Blend1 to 20%, blend2 to 50% and blend3 to 100%. As described in tutorial one, what we are creating is a color gradient that maps to the texture function. The texture function in this case is fBm. Here, the object will be color1 (dark red) until the texture function reaches 20% where it will blend to Color2 (medium orange) until the texture function reaches 50%. From here it will blend to Color3 (bright yellow) until the texture function reaches 100%. The basic color gradient is shown on the right. Again. if you want play the blend points to get the fire gradient to your liking.

Step Two - Let it Glow
The next thing to do is make the fire glow. Basically, we want the dark red section to be dull and the glow to increase to a maximum where the object is bright yellow. To achieve this we are going to control the object's ambience using the alpha map. Again, as described in tutorial one, the alpha map is a channel separate to the color map that can be used to control the other attributes of the object. Go to the Alpha Map section and set Alpha1 to 0%, Alpha2 to 50% and Alpha3 to 100%. Bear in mind that the alpha values work in conjunction with the blend point just like the colors. So the alpha settings will be Alpha1 (0%) until the texture function reaches 20% where it will blend to Alpha2 (50%) until the texture function reaches 50%. From here it will blend to Alpha3 (100%) until the texture function reaches 100%. This can then be mapped to the object's ambience by going to the Affect Object Section. Here, set the Ambience to 100% and turn the Affect Ambience switch to ON. The ambience in now being controlled by the alpha map and at any given point will be the alpha value for that point multiplied by the Ambience setting. NOTE Although percentages are used the values are actually varying from 0.0 to 1.0 so 10% = 0.1, 50% = 0.5, 100% = 1.0 and so on. So, the ambience will go from 0% (Alpha1 x Ambience = 0.0 x 1.0) blending to 50% (Alpha2 x Ambience = 0.5 x 1.0) and ending at 100% (Alpha2 x Ambience = 1.0 x 1.0). The object should now look like the picture on the right.

Step Three - Stir It Up
Now that the gradient looks right we are going to stir it up using the noise function built into all Enhance:AM textures. This allows a noisy turbulent function to distort the current texture. Go to the Noise Parameters section and make the Noise Magnitude 100, the Noise Scale 200 and the Noise Octaves 8. Again these can be changed to suit your tastes (again refer The AM_fBm Manual Web Page). The object should now look like the picture on the right.

Step Four - Animate It
The last thing to do is animate the fire. This is done using the built in noise function again. Basically, animating the Noise Time in the Noise Parameters section makes the noise swirl through one complete animation cycle. This means that it ends in the same position as the start so that it can be looped. The Noise Velocity controls how animated or mobile the noise is in the animation. In our case set it to 50. Again, this can be changed to suit your requirements. In order to animate the noise create an action for the sphere object. Navigate down through the action until you reach the AM_fBM texture. Here create a linear morph from 0% at frame 00:00:00 to 100% at your desired end frame for Noise Time. Drag and drop this action onto the sphere object in the choreography. The final animation should look something like the animation on the right.

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