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In this course, author Adam Crespi takes you through the full production pipeline for lighting, rendering, and compositing the exterior of a house in 3ds Max. First he'll show you how to create mental ray materials like wood, metal, and glass; customize the Daylight system for realistic daytime lighting; and adjust the lighting for dusk and nighttime shots with photometric lights. Then he'll render the scenes, optimizing and styling the bounced light with Global Illumination and Final Gather. Finally, Adam takes the image into post, adding the final polish required at the end of the pipeline with Nuke and After Effects.
An exterior rendering is a powerful way to sell a design, and serves as a great tool for, setting a place and a mood in a wide or establishing shot in a cinematic. Whatever the purpose of your rendering is, you should look at the design carefully first, before you jump into materials and lighting. And assess the possibilities in the design, and also look at reference of existing places. The real world practically screams out how to make the virtual look right, if we're willing to listen. For this particular design, there is broad overhanding eaves, a lower flat roof over the bedrooms, and finally, a larger, longer roof over the carport and main living areas.
This'll give us some deep shadows and opportunities for bounced light in an exterior shot in daylight. This design also has pendant mounted can fixtures over the carport, or rather from the carport onto the driveway, and then recessed can lights under the soffit along the main entry walkway. I'll take a look at some period reference, and get an idea of both the design colors and the quality of light in similar places. I'm here at palmspringsmoderntours.com, which is a site that is dedicated to touring mid-century modern and preservation homes in Palm Springs.
What we can see in this, right on the entry page, are some classic lines and shapes and also a great indicator of the quality of lighting to shoot for. For this house on the top of the screen, we can see it's got broad eaves. And we get fairly crisp shadows. And good darkness in the shadows underneath. The trees can be a powerful force here, casting dramatic shadows on a facade. And a lot of the, tones here we're seeing, are muted down earthy and neutral colors with white accents. When we scroll down a little bit more and look at Twin Palms, Frank Sinatra's first home, and also the Palm Springs City Hall.
We get some other good indicators of how to treat this. In a daylight rendering then, our windows are nearly dark. We shouldn't really be able to, see in much. And fine details like the flashing on the soffit casting a good shadow line right across that fascia are clearly revealed. Because the sun is so strong, we'll really have to work to differentiate the corners made by adjacent surfaces. Such as this, stone pier here. On Palm Springs City Hall, we can get a good idea of the amount of bounced light thrown up from a sidewalk onto a roof.
We can see here, and it's got recessed cans just like our design, that we're getting a tremendous amount of bounce light under that surface, and there's a considerable tint because the air is clear enough to really show some blue in the sky in there. This'll give us a good idea of where to go with our design. And I'll take a look at one more site. Here on About.com, in the Architecture section, I'm looking at Desert Modernism. And again, this is a great example of the kind of thing we're after. This is a more overcast rendering but what we can see in here are some of the same things.
The strong lines of the house or whatever the dwelling is, are shown in the sun. We tend to see a good bounce of light on the underside of eaves, and so we'll need to take that into account. This day is a little more overcast, but even with a few light clouds showing, we can still see the strong shadows cast by the cactus in the foreground for example. Back here in 3ds Max then. We can see in this design, where we're going to need some strong white colors on our roof. And we'll need to make sure that this new wood siding matches in that color scheme. It's probably not going to be a dark house.
We'll need to have strong shadows from our yucca plants. And these are shown in canopy mode at the moment. But selecting them shows their true geometry, with their spiky leaf balls and long stalks. We'll get a good bounce from our concrete driveway, up under this roof. So we'll need to make sure we're tuning our lighting appropriately. Finally, we can see in here that we've got a good bit of sky showing. And we'll need to see at least a blurry something through this block wall in the back. Now that we have a good idea of where our design should go, and we've got some ideas from real reference of how to treat this kind of a design, we can get started getting our materials on.
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