3DS MAX Data Channels Tutorial
In this tutorial, elara, will teach you how to create a Data Channels modifier in 3DS Max that references a volume-select modifier. It will cache your soft selection and modify it to allow for a displaced and “torn” mesh. The key benefit to the Data Channels Modifier is that it allows you to read information from your mesh and modifier stack, alter this information, and pass it up the stack for further manipulation. If you’ve worked with the P-Flow system in 3DS Max for particles, you’ll notice a similar level of control available to you on the vertices of a mesh using a data channels operator; especially when used in conjunction with existing modifiers.
The Data Channel modifier has a on operator stack, which behaves a bit like a mini-modifier stack. You’ll see options that allow you to soften, sharpen, shift, and save your selections. Input and output operators will let you share the modified data with modifiers higher in your stack. In this way, meshes can be pushed, pulled, painted, and even sliced without having add a considerable amount of complexity to your modifier stack.