A very cool power from one of my favorite X-Men.  This is probably my favorite effects I've created for X-Men.  A fairly simple tutorial that doesn't have a huge rendering time and looks great.

Materials Needed:

    -3DS Max 5 (Earlier versions will work)

    -Digital still or video camera

    -Deck of playing cards (Optional)

        Step 1:  Load 3DS Max.  Create a rectangle from under the shapes tab with a width=90, length=130, and corner radius=8.  From the Modifiers list, select the Extrude modifier and set the amount to 1.  NOTE:  This is creating the geometry for the playing card, if you are using a real deck of cards, you can overlook this step.

        Step 2:  Name your new rectangle Card.  Right click on the card and select properties.  In the  properties dialogue box change the Object ID to 1.

        Step 3:  Under the Particles tab, create a PArray Particle System.  Click the Pick Object button and select your Card geometry.  Scroll down and set the Viewport display to Mesh and 100% particles.  Under the Particle Generation rollout, use these settings.  Under Particle Type change the Standard Particles to Facing.  NOTE:  If you're using real playing cards, position the particle system directly over the card image.

        Step 4:  Name the PArray Card Aura.  Right click on the particles and set the Object ID to 2 and under Motion Blur, check the Enabled box.  Set the Multiplier to 7 and set to Image.

        Step 5:  Under the Space Warps tab, create a Gravity space warp.  Place the Gravity a little higher than the top of your Card geometry and then set these parameters.

        Step 6:  Go to the Create panel and select the Space Warps section.  From the space warps select the Vortex space warp.

        Step 7:  Place the Vortex directly above your Card geometry and use the following settings.  Again, based on the length of your composition, the timing will vary.  You should start the vortex about 20 frames before your composition starts and 5 frames passed the end.

        Step 8:  Enter the Video Post and add your Perspective or Camera view.  Create 2 Lens Effects Glows.  In the Setup for the first glow go to the Preferences tab and use these settings.

        Step 9:  Under the Inferno tab, use these parameters.

        Step 10:  In the second glow's setup, under the Properties tab, make sure that the Object ID is set to 2.  Go to the Preferences tab and enter these settings.

        Step 11:  Make sure you add an output event before you render.

        Step 12:  Open up your Material Editor by hitting the M on your keyboard.  In a new material slot, set the diffuse color to 217, 64, 255.  Set the Specular and Glossiness levels to 0 and your Self-Illumination to 55.  Now open the Maps rollout and set the Opacity to 55%.  Click the Opacity map slot .  When the Material/Map Browser pops up choose Noise.  Leave the default settings, but animate the Phase.  Move your time slider to the end of your composition and hit the Auto Key button (Animate in earlier editions).  For every 100 frames you have, animate the Phase by 1.  Apply this texture to your particles.

        Step 13:  You can either surf the internet for a playing card texture, or you can snap a quick picture of one yourself and upload it to your computer.  Once you've done that, select a new map slot in the Material Editor and apply your playing card texture in the diffuse map slot.  Apply this to your card geometry.

        Step 14:  Now return to the Videopost and render out your final animation.

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