Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

3ds Max 2010: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Welcome

Demonstrates one of the most powerful toolsets for photorealistic 3D image visualization, the mental ray renderer in 3ds Max.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 28s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
    3. Setting a project folder
      3m 31s
  2. 13m 49s
    1. Understanding mental ray
      2m 44s
    2. Understanding local illumination
      4m 9s
    3. Understanding global illumination
      2m 22s
    4. Assigning the mental ray renderer
      2m 11s
    5. Using the rendered frame window controls
      2m 23s
  3. 6m 12s
    1. Understanding gamma
      2m 39s
    2. Recognizing the symptoms of incorrect gamma settings
      1m 55s
    3. Applying gamma correction
      1m 38s
  4. 19m 46s
    1. Understanding raytracing
      1m 30s
    2. Limiting the trace depth of reflections and refractions
      3m 39s
    3. Applying a raytrace reflection map to a standard material
      3m 19s
    4. Applying a raytrace refraction map to a standard material
      4m 55s
    5. Setting the index of refraction
      2m 28s
    6. Using architectural materials for raytraced reflections
      3m 55s
  5. 11m 1s
    1. Modeling thin, transparent objects such as window glass
      3m 3s
    2. Disabling shadows
      1m 53s
    3. Setting simple transparency
      6m 5s
  6. 42m 42s
    1. Understanding the pros and cons of mental ray materials
      3m 22s
    2. Getting familiar with the Arch & Design material
      3m 54s
    3. Learning from the Arch & Design templates
      4m 17s
    4. Working with diffuse color and diffuse level
      3m 4s
    5. Setting reflectivity and glossiness
      7m 55s
    6. Rendering thin wall reflections
      3m 7s
    7. Rendering solid glass
      4m 56s
    8. Controlling BRDF
      4m 36s
    9. Rendering translucency
      3m 17s
    10. Using ProMaterials
      4m 14s
  7. 39m 3s
    1. Understanding photometrics
      3m 56s
    2. Understanding the importance of modeling to scale
      5m 39s
    3. Using free lights
      4m 32s
    4. Selecting photometric templates
      3m 18s
    5. Understanding mr photographic exposure control
      2m 54s
    6. Adjusting brightness with exposure value
      2m 45s
    7. Using photographic exposure settings
      3m 15s
    8. Understanding color temperature
      3m 10s
    9. Setting the exposure whitepoint
      4m 52s
    10. Adjusting contrast with exposure image control
      4m 42s
  8. 26m 20s
    1. Installing and using photometric .IES files
      8m 2s
    2. Choosing a light distribution type
      3m 10s
    3. Setting light intensity
      4m 19s
    4. Using target lights
      2m 37s
    5. Adjusting spotlight hotspot and falloff angles
      2m 59s
    6. Emitting light from shape
      5m 13s
  9. 14m 14s
    1. Understanding the pros and cons of shadow types
      3m 34s
    2. Controlling shadows via object properties
      1m 30s
    3. Controlling shadows via light exclusion
      2m 50s
    4. Rendering shadow map shadows
      3m 34s
    5. Rendering raytraced shadows
      2m 46s
  10. 24m 47s
    1. Understanding final gather
      2m 33s
    2. Adjusting exposure control for final gather
      3m 24s
    3. Setting initial FG point density and rays per FG point
      4m 10s
    4. Setting interpolation and diffuse bounces
      3m 15s
    5. Tuning final gather settings to the scene
      2m 8s
    6. Controlling object properties for final gather
      3m 53s
    7. Optimizing final gather for animations
      5m 24s
  11. 10m 9s
    1. Controlling render quality with samples per pixel
      4m 11s
    2. Understanding spatial contrast settings
      2m 27s
    3. Using filter settings to apply blur for anti-aliasing
      3m 31s
  12. 27m 12s
    1. Creating a daylight system
      2m 1s
    2. Setting the location, date, and time from the Motion panel
      3m 2s
    3. Choosing mr sun and mr sky from the Modify panel
      2m 3s
    4. Understanding the mr physical sky environment map
      2m 18s
    5. Adjusting exposure value and image control
      3m 40s
    6. Setting the exposure whitepoint
      1m 51s
    7. Choosing a sky model
      3m 24s
    8. Controlling haze
      5m 28s
    9. Working with mr sky advanced parameters
      3m 25s
  13. 9m 18s
    1. Understanding mr sky portals
      2m 37s
    2. Creating mr sky portals
      2m 9s
    3. Controlling mr sky portal shadows
      4m 32s
  14. 30m 24s
    1. Understanding the pros and cons of environment mapping
      1m 40s
    2. Acquiring or creating background images
      2m 7s
    3. Modeling a flat image plane backdrop
      4m 1s
    4. Increasing map output for use with exposure control
      4m 34s
    5. Adjusting the color map to color-correct the backdrop
      6m 43s
    6. Applying a LookAt constraint to the image plane
      5m 46s
    7. Modeling cylindrical panorama backgrounds
      5m 33s
  15. 12m 27s
    1. Understanding alpha channels
      1m 11s
    2. Rendering still images for After Effects or Photoshop
      3m 6s
    3. Converting the alpha channel to a Photoshop layer mask
      3m 1s
    4. Using Photoshop adjustment layers for color correction
      5m 9s
  16. 9m 34s
    1. Understanding ambient occlusion
      2m 5s
    2. Enabling AO in the arch & design material
      1m 53s
    3. Using color from other materials
      1m 50s
    4. Setting ambient occlusion parameters
      3m 46s
  17. 22m 14s
    1. Understanding the need for a "poor man's global illumination"
      2m 50s
    2. Creating a standard omni light at the origin
      1m 51s
    3. Setting intensity and enabling ambient only
      1m 56s
    4. Creating an ambient/reflective occlusion map
      2m 51s
    5. Adjusting type and samples
      1m 7s
    6. Setting bright and dark
      2m 44s
    7. Understanding spread
      1m 40s
    8. Setting max distance and falloff
      3m 8s
    9. Excluding transparent and self-illuminated objects
      4m 7s
  18. 8m 13s
    1. Understanding atmospheres
      1m 0s
    2. Adding a volume light atmosphere
      1m 28s
    3. Setting exposure physical scale to "unitless"
      1m 23s
    4. Adjusting volume light parameters
      1m 56s
    5. Adding noise to the volume light
      2m 26s
  19. 10m 17s
    1. Understanding lens effects
    2. Adding a lens effect to a light
      3m 19s
    3. Adjusting lens effect globals
      1m 40s
    4. Setting glow element parameters
      2m 14s
    5. Adding a star element
      2m 13s
  20. 10s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
3ds Max 2010: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray
Video duration: 0s 5h 43m Intermediate


3ds Max 2010: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray explores one of the most powerful toolsets for photorealistic 3D image visualization: the mental ray renderer in 3ds Max. Aaron F. Ross shows how to use mental ray's combination of materials, lighting, and rendering to achieve a variety of effects, from glossy surfaces to reflections and transparency. He provides an in-depth review of photometrics and the tools used to adjust lighting in 3ds Max, including brightness, intensity, and color temperature along with a wide variety of lighting scenarios. Aaron also devotes time to getting the most out of mental ray's powerful rendering engine and improving render efficiency. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Applying mental ray materials
  • Setting photometric lighting
  • Rendering glossy surfaces with raytracing
  • Using indirect illumination
  • Simulating exterior and interior lighting scenarios
  • Selecting appropriate special effects
3D + Animation
3ds Max


(Music playing.) Hi! I am Aaron F. Ross and welcome to 3ds Max Lighting and Rendering with mental ray. 3D graphics have sparked a revolution in image making and every year these tools get faster, easier and better. In this course, we assume that you have basic skills in 3ds Max. If you are a beginner, please check out one of our introductory 3ds Max courses here at In this course, I will show you how to achieve photorealistic renderings using techniques such as: applying mental ray materials, setting photometric lighting, rendering glossy surfaces with ray tracing, using indirect illumination and selecting appropriate special effects.

I have been teaching 3D graphics since 1999, and over the years, I have learned many techniques and shortcuts that I am happy to share with you. So let's get started with 3ds Max Lighting and Rendering with mental ray.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about 3ds Max 2010: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: In Chapter 17 on volume lights, my render did not look quite like the author's render. Why?
A: If you are using the 64-bit version of 3ds Max, you may experience issues with volume lights. They only really work properly with the 32-bit version.





Don't show this message again
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed 3ds Max 2010: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a Member and Create Custom Playlists

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of online learning video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Log in

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

You started this assessment previously and didn’t complete it.

You can pick up where you left off, or start over.

Resume Start over

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.