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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.
One of the most important parameters in mr Photographic Exposure Control is the Exposure Value and this is the single number that represents how much light is coming into the virtual camera's sensor and it's a very simple way of controlling brightness. The maximum you will ever need here is about 15 and that would be on super bright daylight on an exterior scene. The lowest you would want to take this might be zero or even negative numbers are allowed. So lower numbers let in more light and that's kind of the opposite of what you might think, but as you see if I increase this Exposure Value to let's say 5, and press Enter, you will see my viewport preview becomes much darker.
Let me move this over here. So with an Exposure Value of 5 we have got a pretty dim scene. If I increase this number greater, we are going to be letting in less and less light to the scene. If I set it to like 1, then that's going to be pretty bright. Now I am not restricted to whole numbers. I can use fractional numbers if I want. The spinner buttons go up by whole numbers but I can type in a fractional value if I want like 2.5.
These numbers represent essentially F- stop. If you are a photographer you are familiar with the concept of an F-stop and as I increase this value by 1, then I am stopping down by one full-stop and when I stop down by a full-stop, it's letting in half as much light to the camera. That doesn't necessarily relate to half as much light subjectively in the rendering. In other words, technically I am letting in half as much light each time I do this but aesthetically it doesn't seem light gets half as much light in the rendering.
So as I mentioned negative numbers are okay. We can actually go into negative land if we have to. In this case I don't want to because it's starting to blast out with this 100 watt bulb, but you were illuminating a scene with single candle or something like that it would be necessary to use a negative Exposure Value. In this case I think a value of two or three is probably appropriate. Let's do a quick render of that and see what we get. Okay that's a good starting point. Maybe I could open up the iris a little bit, so stop-up by one stop.
We don't have any shadows in here yet, so it's a bit over-lit but it's probably a good starting point. So now you know how to adjust the brightness with Exposure Value form this single number.
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