Max 2010 Particle Flow Presets

Posted Mar 6, 2010
Last Updated Nov 12, 2011

When you install 3ds Max 2010, it does not automatically install any Particle Flow Presets. Just over a hundred presets are available in the Samples DVD that ships with Max. But even when you copy them to the correct folder, you must manually create a bunch of text files in order for those presets to be available. This page includes instructions on copying those presets and a link to download a slew of Particle Flow Preset text files that will enable you to load those presets in Particle Flow.

First, you must have a copy of the Samples DVD that ships with Max. In that DVD, go to Samples > Particle Flow Elements Library > scenes . That directory includes five folders (Air, Earth, Fire, Logo and Water). Each file inside those folders includes presets. Find all the ones you want and copy them to your hard drive*.

*Where you copy those files to depends on your operating system. When I first tried this I copied each of the folders (Air, Earth, etc) to my presets folder—that did not work; I had to copy all preset files from those folders into a single directory. Note in the path that if you are using a 32-bit operating system, you will need to change the path to use 32bit instead of 64bit. It's also recommended that you close Max when you install these. Also note that you must substitute YourWindowsAccount for the account you login to Windows with (probably your name or Administrator).

Windows Vista and Windows 7:

C:/Users/YourWindowsAccount/Local Settings/Application Data/Autodesk/3dsMax/2010 - 64bit/enu/plugcfg/Particle Flow Presets

Windows XP:

C:/Documents and Settings/YourWindowsAccount/Local Settings/Application Data/Autodesk/3dsmax/2010 - 64bit/enu/plugcfg/Particle Flow Presets

Now that they are on your computer, you still have one more step. For some reason, Particle Flow will only list presets that have an accompanying text file that matches the name of the preset Max file. You can either make a text file for each of the files you copied; or you can download the zip file from this page that includes the text files needed to run those presets. Note that all the text files are blank, but that is all Max needs to run them.

Particle Flow Resources:

These are some great accessories and plugins for Max particles.

Also... one of the best books you can ever get for learning 3D Studio particle system and special effects: Deconstructing the Elements with 3ds Max by Pete Draper. It was the best book I've ever read on using 3D Studio, and the online content available for the book is invaluable.

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