Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In 3ds Max the Render to Texture dialog is a powerful tool for rendering textures out into the UV space of an object. Rather than rendering out an animation or imagery to be viewed, this instead will produce a rendering late into those carefully crafted UVs we have. On this object, if we look in the UV Editor for the warehouse, we can see I have laid out the walls, doors, and windows to use up this space as much as possible. The first Unwrap modifier is actually there just to show the tiling maps, which we can see clearly here in the viewport: the brick, the doors, the windows etcetera, done with UVW maps and Poly Selects previously.
I'll press 0 to access the Render to Texture dialog. With an object selected it shows up here in the name field. Multiple objects will list down. In that, there are a couple of key things I want to keep track of. The first in here is what channel am I using. I'm using Map Channel 2, which we can see here on the Modifier panel and the Channels rollout for the Unwrap. That's the Unwrap where I have laid out the whole building. The second part is, well, what we would like to render. Right now I have this setup for an Ambient Occlusion Render at 2048 on a side.
If we click on the Add button, we can see that we have lots of options here in terms of what we can do. It's very possible to render out everything in a complete map or to just separate components to put them together later. It's very common to render out multiple layers and use them in conjunction with painting to add to a texture. Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt is a great example of this. With the occlusion set to render I want to put in the right size. Right now I've got this specified at 2048 on a side. This will give me a very high- quality render with lots of depth or data available around each window so that I see a smooth shade in the Ambient Occlusion.
Finally, third element I have Unique Settings. These settings Max Distance, Spread, and Falloff along with Samples concern Ambient Occlusion. I want to tune these to think of the cinematic mood we discussed previously. I also have options as to where to put this file. Am I outputting it into a source, meaning am I putting it into the base material, or simply rendering out a file for later use, which is the option I have checked? Right now, if I press M for the Material Editor, you can see that on this object I have a Multi/Sub Object material. The Multi/Sub has four sub-materials, each one handling a different part of the building: brick walls, dirty windows, rusty doors, and so forth.
What I will do is render out both the diffuse texture and an Ambient Occlusion texture, and I will pull those up in Photoshop to show some possible ways to put them together. This is how the occlusion looks once it's baked with the Render to Texture dialog. We can see that the Ambient Occlusion, with its darkness and mood, has baked into the UVs I've laid out. The gloom spreads cleanly up to the side of the building. This is an example of a diffuse texture. With the scene lighting, of which there wasn't any, plus the diffuse texture showing the brick, the rust, and the windows baked into those UVs, this also provides a great opportunity to use a procedural texture such as a generated noise and bake it into a set of UVs for later use.
When we combine these, we can produce one texture that has multiple attributes apparently, along with the cinematic mood we want in our game.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
107 Video lessons · 33067 Viewers
94 Video lessons · 22931 Viewers
78 Video lessons · 9273 Viewers
147 Video lessons · 3090 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.