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Controlling Final Gather

From: Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

Video: Controlling Final Gather

Our final task in the lighting setup is to adjust the final gather settings. Here it is with no final gather. We'll clone that rendered frame window so we'll have something to compare it to.

Controlling Final Gather

Our final task in the lighting setup is to adjust the final gather settings. Final gather is a method of calculating bounce light or indirect illumination. Currently, we have it turned off. We disabled it previously in order to get faster test renders. And let's see once again, what it looks like with final gather disabled. Here it is with no final gather. We'll clone that rendered frame window so we'll have something to compare it to. Okay, so here's our cloned rendered frame window.

And let's go into the final gather settings. That'll be in the Render setup dialog. Let's go to the Global Illumination tab, and turn on Final Gather. Enable Final Gather. And here you have some presets, and the default is the Draft preset. And that's going to give us a very rough approximation of the final gather. But I want to set these to actually optimal production parameters. If I move this slider around, you'll see all these values down here change. And if we bring this up to a high production preset, we get these high numbers here.

The first number is the initial sampling, or point density. The second number is how many rays bounce off of that particular surface and go out in all directions. And the third number is how much blending there is between those rays. Over the years, I've played with this a lot and I've found we can get very good results by using different numbers than we see here. I'm going to set the number of Initial Final Gather Points down to just one. And the number of Rays, I'll bring down to 100.

But I'm going to increase the Interpolation or the blending to 100 as well. And then finally down here we have the Diffuse Bounces. This parameter determines how many times a ray of light is permitted to bounce off of a surface, but it's a bit misleading because we always get one diffuse bounce for free. And this value of zero is not really quite accurate because in fact, with the value set to zero, we are getting one diffuse bounce.

In other words, a ray of light is permitted to bounce off of a surface to illuminate another surface. And that's the default, we're getting one diffuse bounce always. If we bring this value up, what we're doing is we're saying we want an additional diffuse bounce beyond the first one. So, in fact with a value of one, we're going to get two bounces. A light ray will hit a surface, bounce off that surface, hit another surface, and then bounce again. And this is really the optimal value here. Any more than this and it'll take longer to render, but we won't really see any difference on the screen.

Alright. So these are pretty optimal values here. Go ahead and close that dialog and do a test rendering. As you can see, it takes a little bit longer to render. There's a two pass rendering algorithm. The first pass is the final gather, which has this kind of interesting blocky mosaic effect, and then the second pass is the actual rendering. And we can see the difference between final gather enabled on the left here, and disabled on the right. And it's most dramatic in the shadow areas. Final gather is filling in the dark shadows. We can see it over here in the watch band.

It's kind of light over here. And in the version with no final gather, it's a bit darker. We can zoom in on that a little bit with the mouse wheel. So we can see once we zoomed in here, it's a bit easier to see, that we've got more illumination with final gather because light is allowed to bounce off of surfaces. Cool, so we set up our lighting, and now we're ready to move on to materials.

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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 · 955 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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