No no… I don’t mean the song that I think was the best tha came from the World Cup… but let’s look at how to make our own using 3D Studio Max

The tools I will be using are pretty generic but just so you know, I’m using 3D Studio Max 2010 to get this effect.

First of all, of course, start a new scene and toggel the viewport so you can see top, left, front and perspective.. well, you don’t have to, but that’s the way I do it.

Now, go to the geometry selection under the create tab and in standard primitives click the plain.

On the front viewport now, draw the plain to the sorta size you want your flag to be. Of course you cna change this later so don’t worry too much on that point.

Now go to the modify tab and increase the number or segments… some people use 20 (width and height) but depending on the speed of your system, use up to 50… mesh smooth doesn’t do quite what you want in this so we want to get the initial polygon count up.

Now let’s add the mesh select modifier from the modifier list and click the vertex button. You’ll now have all the vertices hi-lighted, likely blue.

select all the vertices other than the first column on the left… these will be the holding point of the flag while the selected will now be given flex.

So yup, you guessed it… while these are selected, go to the modifiers again and choose flex.

Now move to the bottom of the flex modifier’s options and enable Show Springs (just so we can see when the work is done). Also expand flex in the list and choose weight’s and springs.

Go back up and click Create Simple Soft Body. You will now see the springs in the viewports. Uncheck show springs.

Go back to the create tab and select space warps.
Under forces click Wind, draw it in one of the viewports and rotate it face along the flag (size doesn’t matter here)

Select the flag again and go to modifiers again (flex should still be open)
Move down to forces and click add… then select the wind object.
Now select Centre under Flex and move the focus to the position that gives you the look you like… most likely toward the holding side of the flag.

From here it’s totally up to you to play with the levels to get the specific look you want…
The variables to play with are the parameters under flex, adn on the wind object look at Strength, Turbulence and Scale (mainly).

Move your animation slider to see the effect in action and render to your hearts content 🙂

Flags used to show the final results
1st - Spain; 2nd Netherlands; 3rd Germany