Here’s an interesting video created by our ‘3dsMax HowTo’ team, showcasing how you can easily create a heat distortion effect in 3ds Max. This insightful 2-part tutorial was recorded in: 3ds Max 2012 and Combustion 4. (Although any post tool, for example Adobe’s After Effects or Autodesk’s Composite, will follow the same principles.)
As an added bonus, you can also download the 3ds Max files used by clicking here.
In this first part of the tutorial, we see how to simulate the effect of heat distortion as seen emanating from a heat source, such as a desert ground or a jet engine. Although the effect starts with a 3D particle system, the end result is best created in post.. The latter will be used in the second part of this tutorial.
In the second part, we examine how we can use the rendered sequences created in the first movie and combine them in Autodesk Combustion (or similar tool) to create a heat distortion effect. As a reminder, you can use other post effects applications to achieve the same impressive results.