Posted by: Jeff | 2012/09/17

PFlow: Box#3 – Disco Ball

Here’s a preset which can be used to create a Disco Ball using PFlow Tools Box#3.

Using the Preset:

  1. Download and copy the Disco Ball.pfp file onto your local “Particle Flow Data Presets” folder.
  2. Open 3dsMax and Particle View.
  3. Create the ff. setup.


  4. Set Birth Start and End Emit to 0 (zero), and set the Amount to 1 (one). The Data Op will be spawning from this single particle.
  5. Leave the Shape to the default Cube 3D (or set it to any shape you like), and set the Size to 1.0 (one), this is because we would want to control the size of the particles using the Disco Ball preset.
  6. Set Display to Geometry to see the particle shapes.
  7. Load up the Disco Ball preset for the Data Op. (or load up a Data Preset Op instead)

    Data Operator: Load Preset

  8. Lastly, under the parameters for the loaded preset, click on the PF System, and select your current PF system.

    Set PF System

You should now see something similar to this on your viewports.

Disco Ball on Viewport


PF System – Set this to your current particle system. The Disco Ball data op uses it to read it’s own specific particle data internally.

Radius – Controls how big you want your Disco Ball.

Size – Sets the size of your objects (Mirrors). Normally, you would have to set this  size to be the same as the size of your Particle Shape.

Twist Value / Seed – Upon creation, your particles will be rotated to face outwards from the world origin. This parameter adds some random variation to the rotation. It’s an effect you might typically see on a real world Disco Ball where each mirror is not perfectly aligned to the surface of a sphere.

Offset Value / Seed – this will randomly rotate and offset the longitudinal alignment of each row of particles.


  • Particles will be created relative to the world origin.
  • Since this is particle based, you can do lots of things to it like change the particle shape to whatever shape you want, randomize/animate the scale using a Scale Op, randomize Materials etc..
  • I saw a script by kenzor which is called Kenzors Mirror Ball uploaded at Scriptspot, might also be worth checking out if you don’t have box3.


Default Settings. Size 10.0

Size 5.0

Size 25.0

Some Random Twist Rotations

Using a different Particle Shape



  1. excellent example Galagast.

  2. cool
    I create something like this with Rhino and grasshopper

    but don’t know that it can be created with PF

  3. Impressive and simple in the same time!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Thank you Jeff Lim 🙂 !

    • Thanks to you too Josh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: