AfterBurn builds a volumetric effect around a particle center. User can add more or less detail to the volume, change color, rendering method and more. Most of the parameters can be animated over the particle age (or some other property) by using AFC and Interpolation Controller.


AfterBurn 4.0 New Features

  • New AfterBurn Shadow Map brings a great speed improvement without significant shadow quality loss. Speed improvement over Raytraced Shadows in AfterBurn 3.2 can be more than a factor of five for dynamic scenes and even up to factor of ten for static cloud animations.
  • AfterBurn no longer needs special type of shadows to be able to calculate self-shadowing effect as it supports standard light’s interface for atmospheric shadows (light’s “Atmosphere Shadows” option).
  • FusionWorks support. AfterBurn will properly blend with FumeFX, ScatterVL Pro and Standard 3ds max Fog. FusionWorks support also brings output to FusionWorks Z-Depth Render Element as well as output to non-clamped colors, used in .exr, or .hdr file formats.
  • AFC View is a new workflow improvement that allows users to edit all AFCs and Gradients from one place.
  • Geometry Clipping option enables that particles that are contained inside geometry do not render outside of it.
  • Completely reworked built in noise types are now in form of a plug-ins for AfterBurn that can also be developed by 3rd parties. New 3D Texture Map allows users to use 3ds max 3D Map as a noise generator inside AfterBurn.
  • AfterBurn Daemons user interface is displayed directly inside AfterBurn UI.
  • New Cebas’ ThinkingParticles controller that allows using TP’s channels to replace AfterBurn values.
  • New max script functionality.


AfterBurn Features


  • AfterBurn is based on particle system to build a volumetric effect, but user can choose to use Atmospheric Apparatus Gizmo as well.
  • AfterBurn’s wokflow enables fast initial setup and parameter tweaking. It has three preview windows to minimize guesswork, which can be time consuming when it comes to atmospheric effects.
  • User can preview shape, color and transparency parameters change directly inside 3ds max viewport. Viewport display is useful to see AfterBurn effect proportions in relation to the scene, but any serious noise adjustment should be done in main preview window.
  • Inside main preview window user can see how AfterBurn effect will look like when rendered. It consists of one particle that is rendered using currently selected engine.
  • AfterBurn Deamons user interface is integrated inside AfterBurn so that users do not have to search for a Daemon through the scene to be able to change it’s parameters.
  • AfterBurn has an extensive support of ParticleFlow in the form of AfterBurn-ParticleFlow helper object. This operator gathers all the particles from a particular event and passes them back to AfterBurn. This way, use can easily distribute multiple ParticleFlow events into multiple AfterBurn entries.



  •   AfterBurn supports Sitni Sati’s FusionWorks atmospheric renderer that is accessed via the Environment rollout. The effect is highly customizable, as is control over quality/speed demands.

AfterBurn comes with three different rendering engines:

  • RayMarcher engine is a high-quality rendering engine in AfterBurn. It is capable of producing very crisp shadows on high-density smoke, explosions and clouds. Light interaction algorithms provide superb lighting and shadowing. However, they have a serious impact on the rendering speed because of complex calculations between AfterBurn and light interaction. Therefore, use it only if you really need the photorealistic output that the Raymarcher offers in your animation. Use AfterBurn Shadow Map to reduce rending time significantly.
  • The OctaneShader provides up to 10 times the rendering speed of the RayMarcher, but lacks the latter’s crisp, self-shadowed volumetrics. This render engine is good for light dust and background smoke or "atmosphere" in your scenes
  • HyperSolids is a completely different approach in volumetrics rendering and it’s built into AfterBurn since version 2.0. Using this technology it is possible to render liquids and other objects without a single polygon. Along with metaball shape, users can create liquids and similar continuous surfaces that render very fast. With built in antialiasing the effect renders smooth, without artifacts.
  • AfterBurn volumetric effect can be seen through surface with refraction applied, and also seen on reflective one. User can also decide weather the effect will be visible to camera, reflections or refractions.
  • Geometry Clipping enables that particles that are contained inside a geometry do not render outside of it
  • Since AfterBurn has its own buffers for storing age values, Z-buffer, and ID's for each AfterBurn volumetric pixel, one can apply Video Post filters to true volumetric effects. AfterBurn can also occlude lens flare effects
  • Cell shader features up to three colors that can be used for shadow/midtone/highlights. Position of every color can be set to desired value, so transition from light to dark areas can occur at any level of illumination.



  • AfterBurn comes with a highly optimized volumetric AfterBurn Shadow Map plugin that allows fast shadows rendering. In comparison with earlier versions of AfterBurn, rendering times can be even tenfold faster, while keeping the same quality.
  • AfterBurn Shadow Map has user defined size and quality that can be used to change quality/speed ratio as well as memory consumption.


Noise Types

  • With seven different built-in noise types (Fractal, Turbulent, Fbm Fractal, Fbm Turbulent , Rock, Smoke, Spots) and ability to use 3ds max 3D Maps as a noise source, plus parameters that allow for total control of noise shape, an infinite variety of noise shapes can be created.
  • AfterBurn facilitates easy tweaking of noise effects, essential for realistic noise motion. With only two mouse clicks, noise becomes more or less resistant to motion, and the animator can easily get the noise to look 'just as it should'. Noise phase can also be animated over particle age. The influence of these 'drag' forces is specially suited for explosions, and heavy smoke motion.
  • AfterBurn noise types are extendible by a 3rd party developers as they’re in a form of a 3ds max plug-in. Such extensibility might be an important feature in extensive production environment.



  • AfterBurn Daemons are helper objects that affect AfterBurn and AfterBurn Combustion in different ways. (Think of them as “Space Warps for volumetrics.”) These daemons affect the volumetric effects by altering the noise and shape of the puffs.
  • For example, the Wind Daemon can affect the puffs and make them appear as if they are moving in a particular direction.
  • With Swirl Daemon user can create a vortex-like effect. It has animated strength and falloff allowing user to fine tune amount of swirling, or to fade it based on the Swirl Daemon object position.
  • Explode Daemon is used to create realistic explosion-like shading of the volume. User can easily adjust radial color gradation, ranging from center of the particle to the edge. Several blending modes allow user to choose how colors from AfterBurn and from Daemon will be mixed.



  • In 3D Studio MAX, each particle is represented depending upon it's own age/life. Since Track View is not suited for representing animation over particle age, a new form of animation control was necessary. AfterBurn's Animation Flow Curves (AFCs) represents the change of parameters over particle age. With such flexible animation graph control, the animator is completely unfettered when it comes to re-creating real or imaginary scenery. AFC supports different key types including Corner, Smooth and Bezier. AFC also supports various Interpolation Controllers such as 'Particle Age', 'Paticle Velocity', 'Object Distance', 'Expression' and more.
  • Color change over particle age is animated via gradients (linear and TCB types). In AfterBurn each key color and position can be animated over the particle age, and time. Similar to AFC, gradients also support various Interpolation Controllers.


Interpollation Controllers

  • Interpolation Controller is one of many original AfterBurn features that allow better flexibility when it comes to procedural animation control.
  • Each AFC and Gradient has an Interpolation Controller (IC) attached and allows user to choose how interpolation between parameters will be performed.
  • AfterBurn includes several Interpolation Controllers: Particle Age, Particle Velocity, Emitter Distance, Object Distance, Expression and ThinkingParticles data channel.



It is a well known fact that 3ds Max does not support proper blending of various atmospheric entries. Inside 3ds Max, atmospherics are rendered according to their order inside Atmospherics rollout, regardless of their distance from camera, or their possible overlapping in world space.

  • FusionWorks is our new technology that will overcome this problem and allow Sitni Sati atmospheric effects (FumeFX, AfterBurn and ScatterVL Pro at the moment) to blend properly. It also allows proper blending between FusionWorks enabled plug-in and standard 3ds Max fog. Image below is an example of proper blending between FumeFX, ScatterVL Pro and standard 3ds Max Fog.
  • Additionally, FusionWorks can transfer channels, such as Z-depth, Material ID, and unclamped colors directly to 3ds max G-buffer. This will allow user to apply various Rendering Effects including image motion blur and glow, as well as exporting unclamped colors to .exr or .hdr file.


Version / Release Updates

AfterBurn 4.0b

  • fixed: Object shadows are now listed when you write inside MXS listener : show $
  • NumSubs() now returns 2
  • fixed: accessing AB Shadow Map via MXS, resulted in system exception
  • fixed: AfterBurn's metaball HyperSolids render bug fix
  • added: Shadow Map will now display a name of the light for which it's built
  • fixed: Noise PW crash fix
  • fixed: The AfterBurn Wind and VMap Daemons' rollout didn't appear in the AfterBurn UI when you select them in the Source Particles/Daemons window.
  • fixed: black spots with Octane Shader

Specifications & Licensing

System Requirements

Hardware Requirements

AfterBurn can run on any system that meets the system requirements for the version of 3ds Max.

Host Requirements

  • 3ds Max 9, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012




After purchasing an email is sent that contains activation keys and download links. The download links expire 6 days after so you must download the software as soon as possible.

The installer that is downloaded includes installation options for license manager, Plug-in and render node.

For network licenses you must install the license manager on your license server first then activate your key on the license server.  After that you can install the Plug-in on your 3ds Max workstation, launch 3ds Max and access the plug-in from within. When you first attempt to use the Plug-in you will be prompted to activate or give a license server host name. Once you enter your license server info you will be able to use the plugin.

For render nodes, follow the same steps above for the workstation, after you have successfully accessed the plugin from within 3ds Max on the render node, shutdown 3ds Max and your done.

Additional Info


RFX is available for all your support needs