Hollywood Visual Effects with 3ds Max Master Joe Gunn

Posted by Louis Marcoux, 17 August 2010 8:00 pm

This week, i am trying something new: I have invited 3ds Max Master Joe Gunn to share some 3ds max tips and tricks based on his experience using 3ds max on Hollywood movies such as 2012. Joe was very generous to accept the offer and he has recorded a very cool particle effects trick for the blog. Having guests on my blog is something i have never done before but i think it brings a lot of value to what i am trying to do here which is to share techniques, tips and tricks around 3ds max.

Who is Joe Gunn?

First, here is a little video interview to learn who Joe Gunn is. I asked him a few questions on his accomplishments and how he uses 3ds max in production.

Joe is an Autodesk 3ds Max Master since 2009. Autodesk masters are elected by the community based on the contribution they have made to advance 3D techniques using one of Autodesk software. It’s a very prestigious award and you can find out about why he was nominated here:


Joe is very generous of his knowledge. As he says: “if you don’t know, better ask somebody”. If you are interested in the video tips and tricks i have made on the Area, you’ll find Joe’s free tutorials very interesting. You can find them here:


On his free tutorial page, you’ll find tutorials on many subjects as well as 3ds max scripts that he has written to speed up his workflow. Among the tutorials you’ll find there, here are some subjects that  he covers: save and load animation, Glue3D fluid simulation examples, cloth tearing, Arch & Design material mass changes, hair lighting and sub surface scattering techniques. He also has iPod downloads for all his free tutorials.

Joe has release a few DVD’s on advanced 3ds max techniques. You can find them here:


His DVD’s cover Hair out of the box, Cloth beyond character, Rigging for FX and Mental Ray Studio Car Rendering.

Joe's Tip : Window Cracking Effect with PFLow

For the blog, Joe has recorded this very cool tutorial on how to use PFlow to create a cracking window effect. I hope you’ll enjoy this.

I really enjoyed working with Joe for this blog post. I will try to invite more 3ds Max artists in the future so that they can share some of their techniques with us.

Autodesk Masters 2010

If you know someone who, like Joe, has contributed to the advancement of 3D using any Autodesk 3D software and would like them to become an Autodesk Master, you can nominate them here:


Allan McKay and Fume FX in 3ds Max

If you have extra time, invest it in watching Allan Mckay's new video. He did a great video post this month about a VFX presentation he delivered for a major VFX house. Check it out here:




Rob Geddes

Posted 17 August 2010 7:06 pm

Great vid! I'm also really curious about the mr studio light tool.

Jeff Hall

Posted 18 August 2010 7:36 am

What is distributed rendering?


Posted 18 August 2010 11:08 am

Distributed rendering, that's network rendering. Using multiple machines on a network together to render faster than a single machine can.
See Backburner, or DBR (distributed bucket rendering) in mental ray.

Nik Nastev

Posted 20 August 2010 8:39 am

Thanks Joe!
I'm interesting in your Mental Ray Studio Light setup. Is it available for free?


Posted 17 September 2010 2:32 pm

Hi all and mr. Gunn

I second Nik Nastev's question. Is there any way to get my hands on the MR Studio Light Rig? I'll pay if i must.

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