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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
The final consideration that we need to look at here with cameras and rendering is what is our output format going to be, and we can adjust our Render Settings accordingly, and that will be reflected in the Camera Viewport as well. So if I change my Render Output Settings, the Camera Viewport will update. So I am going to go back into my Render Setup dialog, and I want to point out to you that within this Output Size Section, I have got some Presets here for some of the most common film and video formats.
So, for example, let's say you wanted to output to a Standard Definition DV for the United States, and that's an NTSC DV. So I can choose that Preset, and you will notice that now I have got all those settings plugged-in for me here. So the Width and Height are 720x480. You will also notice that we have non-square pixels here. So the Pixel Aspect is 0.9, and the Image Aspect is not quite 1.333.
So this is just to illustrate that DV is actually kind of a strange format. If I Render this now, you will notice that it looks kind of stretched. Don't panic, because this is normal. 3ds Max has rendered this out as a 720x480 with non-square pixels. So if I save this image out, it would load up fine into a video editing program that had the DV preset chosen. And that's all fine. But the Rendered Frame window here is not capable of displaying non-square pixels, and in fact, a standard computer desktop is not capable of displaying non-square pixels.
So this looks wrong here, but it's actually right. And if I loaded this into something like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro or whatever, those programs are able to compensate for non-square pixels and basically stretch the image so that it looks correct on a computer desktop. It's really quite messy. So a lot of times what I advice is instead of using the preset, so that you are not confused by all of that, what I tend to do, and this is what's done sometimes quite a lot actually in production, is if your final output medium is supposed to be DV, render it out to square pixels and then actually squash it in post.
So this is just kind of a little bit of the voodoo of outputting to video. What I would do here is I would set my Width to 720 and the Height to 540, with square pixels. And then when I bring this into Premiere or whatever, then I can crunch it down, and this way I am not confused by seeing one thing in the Viewport here and another thing in the renderer. Now, there is just a little bit more weirdness to this. You will notice that the Image Aspect here is 1.333, but the Aspect for a DV or DVD is actually 1.35.
So I would actually want to set this Height to not 540 but 533, and that's as close as we can get. So I know that this is all kind of strange and weird, but if you use these settings, then when you output your renderings, the files will all have square pixels, and that means you will be able to take them into Photoshop and work with them easily. You won't be confused by it looking stretched or weird. And then when you bring it into your editing program, you can compensate this by just compressing the height down, and that will actually happen automatically for you in those programs.
So again, if you are outputting to DVD, these are the settings that I recommend. We have got square pixels here and no weird stretching. So that's just a little bit of the voodoo around setting up render output for different media.
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