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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's have some fun with Reflections. Since this is supposed to be sparkling, we want to have it reflect its environment. So I'm going to go back to the logoMaterial. And I'm going to add a Raytrace map into this Reflection channel. So previously, we added a Raytrace into the Refraction channel to simulate a transparent object. Here we want to make a highly polished object that reflects its environment. So in this logoMaterial, I'll click on the Reflection channel.
I'll get my Material Map browser up once again. And I want to choose Raytrace. Now you want to probably steer clear some of these other ones, Reflect/Refract and those sorts of things. Raytrace is really the one you want. So I'll double-click on that. And you'll see in my Sample Slot, I'm getting a very strong reflection. You'll see now I'm also looking at Parameters and really there's nothing much that I need to do here. Auto Detect is fine. It's going to know that since it's in the Reflection channel, it should behave as a Reflection map.
I'll go back up to the top level of my Material, and you will see I have Reflection turned up to 100% currently. Well I probably don't want it to be quite so intense. But I'll tell you what, I'll do a quick render at this and see what it looks like. Get in a lot closer on that and click the teapot on the extreme right-hand side of the main toolbar. You see it takes a little bit longer to render now, but we're getting reflections, especially here on the sides. We're not getting any reflections on the front here, and the reason is that there is no environment in my scene.
So in the next movie, I'll actually create an environment so we'll have something to reflect here. But if I back out here again, you'll see this is all just blackness out here. There's nothing to reflect. I can play around a little bit more with this Material. And I can use the Sample Slot as a guide. Maybe I don't want so strong of a Reflection. Maybe I'll dim that down to maybe like 70%. Scrolling up to the top and maybe changing the color here. I'm not too happy with this pink color. So I'll change the Diffuse Color to something more like maroon or like dark orange, almost brown. There you go.
That's kind of brownish. And that's just kind of tinted my reflection a little bit. I'll do a quick render to see what that looks like. It's all right. I haven't added any lighting in here yet so I can't expect it to look like much. There's one other little thing that I can do here to make this a little bit more interesting. And that is in the Extended Parameters here, I can open that up, and I've got Reflection Dimming, and this is useful because sometimes reflections, if you do it through this method, they tend to be too strong and kind of unreal.
So what I want to do here is turn on Apply and what this is going to do is it's going to basically enhance the contrast of the Reflections. So in an area where it's not illuminated, it's going to be darker, and in an area where it is receiving direct illumination, it's going to be much more strong. I can make this clearer by actually turning off the back light in the Sample Slot and so this is with Reflection Dimming with the single light source. So the Dim Level here is basically the black level. So if I set this to 1, it's not actually doing any dimming.
So I'll set it to maybe .4. Then I've got the Reflection Level, which is the white level. I'll bring this down to maybe 2, for example. I'll open up my Rendered Frame Window again. So we can compare the difference. So I'm not clicking on the Render Production button on the extreme far right. I'm clicking on the Rendered Frame Window button so I can compare this with another image. So this is what I rendered previously. I'm going to click this button here to clone that out to a separate window so that then I can do another rendering with the settings from my material.
And in this case, I think it's kind of a subtle effect. But this is with no Reflection Dimming over here, and this is yes Reflection Dimming over here. You can see here that it's kind of overlit in these areas, and we're getting a nicer shadow here. So those are some of the essential techniques for adding a Raytraced Reflection using a standard material in 3ds Max.
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