Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Adjusting materials

Our exposure looks pretty good, but we're getting some However that's not really a solution in all cases.
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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 46s
    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 2s
  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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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
3h 25m Intermediate May 15, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating virtual product shots reduces the need for photography. But those shots need to be accurately shaded, lighted, and rendered to seem realistic. 3ds Max can help. It's a powerful application for design visualization. In this course, you'll learn to shade, light, and render a product shot in 3ds Max. Aaron F. Ross leads you through the entire production workflow, starting with a prebuilt CAD model. Once the model is imported and the scene is organized for 3ds Max, Aaron shows how to create Arch & Design materials, construct several different lighting setups, render in mental ray, and color correct in Adobe After Effects. Explore the power of 3ds Max to present your product renderings in their best light.

Want to learn how to create the same effect with Maya? Check out Creating Product Shots in Maya.

Topics include:
  • Importing solid models as 3ds Max body objects
  • Working with the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
  • Building Arch & Design materials
  • Creating area and photometric lights
  • Setting exposure control
  • Optimizing indirect illumination with Final Gather
  • Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
  • Lighting with self-illuminated geometry
  • Rendering to high dynamic range
  • Saving render passes with Render Elements
  • Adding ambient occlusion
  • Layering and color correction in After Effects
3D + Animation CAD
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Adjusting materials

Our exposure looks pretty good, but we're getting some strange highlighting on the front face of the watch glass. That's actually coming from the Skylight, and as I said earlier, the Skylight is optional. In fact, we could turn it off in this case. But we need to be aware of what we are doing, because the skylight is the only source of diffuse illumination and shadows in this scene. So the Skylight is providing all the diffuse light as well as shadows. And the environment map is providing all the reflections.

Well it just so happens that this watch is almost all reflections. The watch band has no diffuse component, because it's diffuse color is black. And the watch face has a diffuse amount of only 0.3. So if we completely disabled all diffuse illumination here, we would not see that big of a change. Let's take a look at that. Select the Skylight and turn it off. And do another rendering, see what it looks like with no diffuse illumination.

Now we're getting only reflections. And it actually has solved the issue with the front face of our glass and it's made the gold or brass of the watch face look more contrasty because now there's no diffuse light hitting it. However that's not really a solution in all cases. I mean it kind of works here, but I've got a test object here, this teapot, I'm going to move it into the frame so we can demonstrate the issue. So I will re-enable the Skylight and Render it with that teapot in the frame and you will see that we do have that pink tea pot showing up.

Okay, so that's what we are supposed to get but if we disable that Skylight then this will render a solid black. Go ahead and cancel that render in progress. Turn the Skylight off once again. And you'll see it's now, it's icon is in black and do a render. And we get no diffuse illumination. So the teapot renders as solid black. Because a teapot has no shiny highlights on it, it's all diffuse and we've disabled the diffuse component by turning off that Skylight.

So, yes the Skylight is optional, but you do need to know what you're doing. We do want it on actually in this case. I'm going to delete the teapot and turn that light back on again. Yeah, we want to have a little bit of diffuse component here. But we want to get rid of that pesky highlight that we're seeing on the glass, and the answer to that is to go back in to the glass material. So we'll go to the material editor, and zoom out with the wheel, and we should still have our glass material here somewhere.

Here it is, and if it's not in your scene then, of course, you can go in to the material map browser and go in to. The scene materials and drag it back in. We've got it just here. So double-click on that glass material. And what we need to adjust here is the BRDF settings. Remember that stands for bidirectional reflectance distribution function. And it has to do with the reflectivity of a surface, whether it's pointed towards the camera or at 90 degrees to the camera.

The glass template that we chose earlier in the course has bi IOR firnel reflections enabled. And that means that the reflectivity is going to be determined by this index of refraction parameter up here. If we change the IOR here, it's going to change the reflectivity, as you can see. The IOR of 1.5 is in fact accurate for glass. So we do want that to be set, so we'll get accurate refractions. But our reflections aren't quite working out.

We need to choose custom reflectivity. We'll need to set the zero degree reflection to zero. Remember that's the reflectivity of surfaces pointed towards the camera. And that will get rid of our weird highlight that we were seeing. Additionally, we've got the curve shape here, which is the falloff ratio. And so we can get some highlighting on the edges of things. We're going to set that curve shape to a value of 3. Okay. So we've got that sorted out. We'll do another test render. We've got our Skylight turned back on.

And we are getting our diffuse illumination down here. And we're not seeing that weird highlight on the front of the glass face. Okay good. So that's what we get, after having adjusted that glass material. The last thing we want to adjust here is the bump mapping on the material here. It's not quite right, it's a little bit too strong. I'm going to clone that window off so we can compare it. And go back into our material editor. And we're looking for the watch body material.

Double-click on that. I just want to reduce the bump amount a little bit. The value of 0.15 worked well in our studio lighting setup. But in this more obvious reflection on here. It's just looking a bit too bumpy. So I'm going to set that down to 0.5 and then do a final render. Alright. So we've got a really nice rendering here with image-based lighting. Once again we'll have to replace this background in post. We don't really have a choice around that. However, in the movie I'll show you an alternative method of image-based lighting with geometric sphere.

In which we can actually put whatever environment background in there if we want.

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