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Adding a spherical environment map

From: Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

Video: Adding a spherical environment map

The conventional method for applying image-based And the Select Bitmap Image file dialog comes up.

Adding a spherical environment map

The conventional method for applying image-based lighting is to add an environment map. And that'll be an invisible sphere that surrounds your world. And we'll do it that way first. And then later in the course we'll look at how to create an actual geometric sphere for the image-based lighting. But first let's do it the ordinary way. We'll go into the Rendering menu, and choose Environment. That brings up the Environment and Effects dialogue. And here we can add an environment map. Click on the button that says None, and you get the Material Map browser, and double click on Bitmap.

And the Select Bitmap Image file dialog comes up. And you'll see I've got a couple HDR images here. One is in the format EXR and the other is in the format HDR. And I've just included these two, because although it's the same image and it'll work the same way, you'll notice that when you import one of these you'll get different dialogs to choose the settings for that particular image. So if I choose EXR, and then click Open, I get a dialog that says Open EXR Configuration.

And it tells me what the format of that file is. And it gives me the option to enable color correction. And I can preview this and play around with the exposure. As you can see, I can increase or decrease the exposure. Or I can change the black point or white point. Basically I can crop the data. I can increase contrast by doing this. All right, so that's a dialog that you get if you have an EXR file. I'm actually going to cancel out of here and choose the HDR format file instead, and click Open. And you'll see I get a different dialog.

And I actually prefer this because it gives me a little bit more control. I can see a histogram here that shows me the brightness values of pixels, and I have some options here. First of all, Default Exposure, that means I'm not going to make any changes to the image, I'm not adjusting contrast. If I disable that then I have the ability to adjust the white point here, kind of like adjusting the levels in Photoshop. You'll see, if I bring that white point down, then I'm basically clipping off all the brightness values here in the, in the highlights.

And that would result in much brighter highlights in my reflections. I also have a black point that I can enable, and I can do the same. I can bring this up and crush the blacks. As you can see here I'm increasing the contrast by just cropping off all of this information in the blacks. Okay well, this image is actually pretty well exposed. It's got a pretty good range. You don't have to have the histogram filling up the entire graph here. This one's actually fine. And so, in this case, I can just go with the default exposure and everything will be just fine.

So click Okay. Okay, our environment map has been added, and next, we'll want to adjust some of its parameters.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

42 video lessons · 818 viewers

Aaron F. Ross

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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 49s
  2. 32m 32s
    1. Setting the Customize UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 43s
    2. Choosing units and grid options
      1m 13s
    3. Importing a CAD file
      5m 12s
    4. Managing the scene hierarchy
      7m 46s
    5. Managing display layers
      3m 52s
    6. Working with Body objects
      2m 53s
    7. Modeling an environment sphere
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a camera
      2m 44s
    9. Framing the shot
      2m 52s
  3. 16m 46s
    1. Creating mental ray area spot lights
      4m 31s
    2. Creating photometric spot lights
      5m 9s
    3. Setting exposure for studio lighting
      3m 9s
    4. Controlling Final Gather
      3m 57s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Creating Arch & Design materials
      7m 26s
    2. Creating an environment material
      6m 14s
    3. Enabling self-illumination
      5m 33s
    4. Applying procedural textures
      7m 20s
    5. Working with reflectivity
      7m 10s
    6. Creating a metal material
      4m 33s
    7. Adjusting highlights
      5m 4s
    8. Varying highlights with a bump map
      6m 43s
    9. Working with transparency
      4m 44s
    10. Adding ambient-occlusion nodes
      6m 40s
  5. 37m 47s
    1. Understanding image-based lighting
      2m 42s
    2. Creating a skylight
      2m 10s
    3. Adding a spherical environment map
      2m 51s
    4. Controlling bitmap coordinates
      4m 5s
    5. Setting exposure for image-based lighting
      7m 36s
    6. Adjusting materials
      5m 38s
    7. Modeling environment geometry
      5m 42s
    8. Self-illuminated image-based lighting
      7m 3s
  6. 50m 6s
    1. Controlling mental ray Sampling Quality
      5m 18s
    2. Rendering to the high-dynamic-range EXR format
      5m 52s
    3. Defining After Effects color settings
      4m 0s
    4. Adjusting the image
      10m 4s
    5. Setting up render elements
      7m 51s
    6. Creating ambient-occlusion materials
      6m 9s
    7. Layering specularity and reflections
      3m 47s
    8. Adding all render-element layers
      7m 5s
  7. 49s
    1. Goodbye

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