This is one of my favorite attacks from DBZ, even though it became one of the "weaker attacks" very early on. I guess anything of Piccolo's is just awesome.
SKILL LEVEL: BEGINNER
Studio Max (I think any version will work)
Step 1: In the front viewport, create a Super Spray particle system from the Particles tab. Right click on the Movie icon and position the particle system at the origin. Name the super spray Core Beam.
Step 2: Under the Basic Parameters, set the Off Axis = 2, Spread = 1, Off Plane = 2, Spread = 4, Percentage of Particles = 100, and Display Mesh. For Particle Generation, use the following settings. Lastly, under Particle Type, make sure the type is set to Facing.
Step 3: Under the Shapes tab, create a Helix shape in the front viewport. Set the Helix parameters to: Radius 1 = 12, Radius 2 = 22, Height = 600, and Turns = 8. Before going any further, move to about frame 55, so you can see where your Core Beam particles are, and make sure they shoot out directly down the center of your Helix shape.
Step 4: Again in the front viewport, create a normal Spray particle system. Use the picture below to set the spray parameters. Rename the spray Spiral Particles.
Step 5: From the Space Warps tab, create a Path Follow space warp. Click the Pick Shape Object button and select your Helix shape. Under Motion Timing, set the travel time to 65 and Last Frame to 500. Finally select your Spiral Particles and bind them to the path follow space warp.
Step 6: Your particles should move along the helix, creating the spiral for the canon. Now it is time to set up our materials. Hit M on your keyboard to open the Material Editor. Rename the first empty material slot Core. In your Core material set the Diffuse color to a very pale orange, make sure Specular Level and Glossiness are set to 0, and set the Self Illumination to 55. In the Maps rollout, click the Opacity map slot and select Smoke from the Material/Map Browser. You can leave all settings at their default here. Select your Core Beam particles and apply the Core material.
Step 7: Rename the next empty material slot Spiral. Set the Diffuse color to R= 255, B = 200, G =110. Make sure Specular Level and Glossiness are set to 0, and set the Self Illumination to 55. In the Maps rollout set the Opacity Amount to 75 and then click the Opacity map slot. Choose a Smoke map. Under the Smoke Parameters, change the size to 55. Apply this material to your Spiral Particles and close the Material Editor.
Step 8: Select your Core Beam, right click and choose Properties. Set the Object Channel to 1, enable an Image Motion Blur and set the Multiplier to 1. Click OK. Right click your Spiral Particles, set the Object Channel to 2, enable Image Motion Blur and have the Multiplier set to 3.
Step 9: Time to set up your camera. I’ll let you position your camera wherever you’d like it.
Step 10: Now we’re going to add the glow, so open up Video Post. Click the Add Scene Event button and add your Camera. Then add an Image Filter Event and select the Glow filter. When the Edit Filter Event dialogue appears, click the Setup button. Leave everything under the Properties tab at their default. Under the Preferences tab, change the Size to 5, the Intensity to 55 and set the color to User (R = 255, B = 70, G = 20). Add another Glow filter. Again under the Preferences tab, change the Size to 1, the Intensity to 25, set color to User (R = 255, B = 190, G = 20).
Step 11: Add one last Glow filter. This time change the Object ID to 2 under the Properties tab. Under Preferences, set the Size to 2, the Intensity to 30 and leave the Color at Pixel.
Step 12: If you want to go an extra step further, you could add a lens flare to the beginning of your Core Beam. Just create an Omni light, align it with your Core Beam and animate the light so that it is always at the very tip of your Core Beam particles. Then add the lens flare inside Video Post (I found that the afterfx3.lzf preset works good), just adjust the size a little. You can see what it looks like with the flare in the pic below. NOTE: Remember when you’re working with Video Post that you must render inside using the Execute Sequence (little guy running) button and add an Image Output Event in order for the effects to work.
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