Step 1: Open up Studio Max. In the front viewport create a Plane object that is the same height and width of your photo/video scene that you want to add your rain to. Also increase the Length and Width Segments to at least 40. Right click on the move button and set the X,Y,Z coordinates to 0.

        Step 2: Before we do anything else, we'll need to set the size of your Render Output.  Go to Render-Render. Make sure your Time Output is set to Active Time Segment, otherwise you'll just render a still image. Under Output Size you'll have to enter the height and width of your original video. Under Render Output click Files and set your file name and format. Exit the Render dialogue. In your Perspective view, right click on the word Perspective and choose Show Safe Frame. Now you can only see what will be rendered.

        Step 3: Go to Create-Camera-Free camera. Actually a Target Camera works just as well, but for simplicity we'll use the free camera. Again, right click on the move button and set the coordinates to 0. Make sure your Perspective view is selected and hit C on your keyboard, this brings up the Camera view. Now in the Left viewport, move the camera back along the X-axis until your Plane object fits nice and neat inside the
Camera view.

        Step 4: Hit M on your keyboard to bring up the Material Editor. Select an open material slot. Name the material Background. Under Blinn Basic Parameters, set the Self Illumination to 100%. This insures that there won't be any shadows on your background.  Now click the little button just to the right of the Diffuse color (not the color itself).  The Material/Map Browser will pop up, select Bitmap. Under Bitmap parameters click next
to where it says Bitmap, find your background photo/video and select it. Make sure your Plane object is selected, then click the Assign Material to Selection button and then the Show Map in Viewport . Now that your background is set up, let's make some rain.

        Step 5: Still with your Plane selected, go to Modifiers-Selection Modifiers-Volume Select.  Under Stack Selection Level choose Vertex. Under Surface Features, select Texture Map, then click the button right below and select Bitmap. Find your splash mask video we created in part 1 and select it. You should now see some red/orange verticies outlining the objects that will get splashed on, and the rest should be blue verticies.

        Step 6: Go to Create-Particles-PArray and drag it in the Top view somewhere close to your Plane object. NOTE: The actual icon size of the PArray doesn't affect the particle system at all. Rename the PArray Splashes. Under Basic Parameters click the Pick Object button and select your Plane object. Just below that change the Particle Formation to At All Verticies and check Use Selected SubObjects. Under Particle Type change the standard particles to Tetra. Finally, use the picture below to set the parameters for the Particle Generation.



        Step 7: Go to Create-Space Warps-Wind and create a Wind space warp in the Top view somewhere behind your Splashes particle system. Change the Strength of the wind to 0.01, the type to Spherical and the Turbulence to 0.4.

        Step 8: Now go Create-Space Warps-Gravity. Again, create the warp behind Splashes in the Top view. Change the Strength to .15 and that's it for this warp.

        Step 9: Select your Splashes particles, click Bind to Space Warp , and then Select by name . From the list, select your Gravity warp and then repeat the process for the Wind warp. NOTE: For each successful bind you should notice a change in your particles.

        Step 10: We have the splashes done, now let's to make the rain itself. Create a Spray particle system (Create-Particles-Spray) in the Top view, in between your Plane object and your camera. It's important that you don't have the Spray too close to the camera, or it could cause problems later. The exact size of your Spray system will depend on how wide and deep your scene is, and will also determine how many particles you'll need.
You may have to adjust the settings to suit your scene, but the ones in the picture below worked for me. NOTE: When determining the particle count, adjust only the Render Count, the Viewport Count will slow your computer. Rename the Spray system Rain.
 


 

        Step 11: Select both your Splash and Rain particles and open the Material Editor again.  Select a new material slot and name it Water. Click the roll down under the Shader Basic Parameters, choose Anisotropic and check 2-sided. Under the Anisotropic Basic Parameters set the Diffuse color to white, the Opacity to 25 and Glossiness to 0.  Finally, under the Maps rollout, click the Refraction map slot and choose Thin Wall
Refraction. Assign the Water material to the Splash and Rain particles, then exit Material Editor.

        Step 12: Now select only your Rain particles, right click them and choose Properties.  Under Motion Blur, set the Multiplier to 0.5 and the type to Image. Once you're done with that, select the Splash particles and repeat the process, only this time set the Multiplier to 4.

That's it. Hopefully this'll keep you nice and dry.

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