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Adjusting highlights

From: Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

Video: Adjusting highlights

We've created a good metal material, but we're Let's take a look at that once again. Let's clone that window off, so we can compare it to our new renderings. The issue here really is not the material but the lighting. And an easy thing to do to check the distance between the And right here, you will see the distance between the light and its target.

Adjusting highlights

We've created a good metal material, but we're not quite getting the look that we want. Let's take a look at that once again. I've got it stored in the rendered frame window. And you can see, it's looking a bit flat. Let's clone that window off, so we can compare it to our new renderings. The issue here really is not the material but the lighting. We look in the top view, there are a couple of things we can do to improve this. One is to move these lights farther away and another is to change the position of the environment dome so that more of that dome is reflecting in the surface of the watch body.

We'll need to unfreeze those layers. Go to the Layers window and unfreeze the environment and unfreeze the lights layers. We move the environment forward a little bit. Select it, grab the move tool, and then just move it so that more of that surface is going to be in front of the watch body. And remember that were not casting shadows or anything, so it doesn't matter that these lights may end up behind the back of the environment. The environment dome is on a layer that has cast and receive shadows disabled.

Okay, now for the lights. We want to back out a little bit in the front view here, as well. And we want to move these lights back a bit and try to maintain the angle that they're currently at. And an easy thing to do to check the distance between the light and its target is to simply go to the Modify panel. And right here, you will see the distance between the light and its target. Let's move this out to about 30 centimeters away from its target. And having moved it back in the top view, I've changed the angle here, so it's more, sort of, coming in at a flat angle.

So I want to compensate for that by moving it up slightly in the top view. And likewise, with the other key light, we want to bring that back until it's about 30 centimeters away. And also, move it up a little bit in the top view. Okay. And there's one last thing that we can do as well, which is to increase the intensity of the reflections in the self-illuminated environment material. And we'll need to go back into the Material Editor. And you might already still have it in the material editor, if you dolly back with the wheel. Probably still have the environment material there.

You can double-click on that to get at its parameters. If it's not still there, then you can scroll down into your scene materials. Remember this. You've got scene materials and you can drag this in and when you're prompted choose Instance. All right. Now the attribute that we want to play with here is under Luminance. We have the choice of unit list for this field or physical units. And if we choose physical units and set it to the same value of 4,000, it's actually going to brighten it up a bit. So we'll choose Physical Units.

And it defaults to 1500. We're going to turn that up to 4,000. Cool. All right. So we made a bunch of changes. We've moved the lights out. We've moved the environment forward and we've brightened the environment. And let's do another render. Okay, as you can see, that's made a difference. We're seeing more contrast here on the surface, and we can compare that to our previous render. Open up that cloned window, and here it is before we made the changes and after.

So we're getting much better contrast there. Now we could change this more. I mean, this is now a time when you would start, sort of, fine tuning the look. For example, we could, you know, move the lights slightly. And that might have a profound effect. You know, just moving it a little bit in one direction or another could actually affect this quite a lot. And then, one last thing I'll show you, is that if you change the size of the light, that's also going to change the size of the highlights. So if you want smaller more focused highlights, then you can go in to the area light parameters.

Remember, we previously set the radius to be 20 centimeters. If I bring this down to, let's say, one centimeter, it should be an extreme change. I'll do that for both of the lights just to demonstrate the process. The smaller the area light is, the more focused the highlights will be. And we'll do another test render. As you can see now, with smaller area lights, we're getting much sharper highlights and much sharper shadows as well. This is not actually the look that I'm going for, but I just wanted to demonstrate to you that, you know, changing the size of that area light is going to affect the render quite a lot.

In fact, I am going to set those back to 20 centimeters on whole. Okay, and the take away from this is that even if you have good materials, you also have to have good lighting if you want to have a successful rendering. So, in fact, you can never really separate materials and lighting. They always have to work together. Okay. And in the next movie, we will take a look at just varying those highlights a little bit by adding a bump map.

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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 · 970 viewers

Aaron F. Ross
Author

 
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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
      49s

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