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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.
We've added our environment map. It would really help if we could see it in our viewport, so let's enable it for the camera view and the perspective view. With the camera view active, go to the Views menu and choose Viewport Background > Environment Background. Now we can actually see that image in the background. Same with the perspective view. Select it. Views > Viewport Background > Environment Background. And now if you tumble or orbit around, you can actually see the environment at an infinite distance away from your scene.
And so that you can see more of it, you might want to zoom out a little bit with the field of view tool here in the perspective view. So click on Field of view, down in the lower right hand corner, and drag downward, and you'll be zooming out. That way you can just see more of that environment. And now if you orbit or tumble around, you can get a good idea of how that environment is going to affect your rendering. Cool. Now, we want to adjust the placement on this invisible sphere. And to do that, we have to go into the bitmap parameters.
We'll go back into Rendering > Environment. We'll also want to open up the Material Editor. And we'll want to drag the environment map into the Material Editor. Let's just give ourselves a little bit of room to work with. I'm going to close the Material Map browser and then use the middle mouse button just to move these other nodes off the screen. Okay, and drag the environment map from the Environment and Effects dialog into the Material Editor. And we're prompted, do you want an instance or a copy. We want instance, so that if we make changes here, it will actually affect our scene.
Okay, we can close Environment and Effects. Go back to the select tool. We don't want to have that field of view tool still active. And double-click on the bitmap, and we've got its parameters available now. So let's see what happens when we start adjusting these. First of all, you will see that the size is set in centimeters here, even though this is an environment. And we want to actually change this to ordinary tiling values. And to do that, we'll switch it into texture mode for just a moment. And turn off real world scale. And then turn it back to environment mode.
And we want a tiling in U of 2. Because in this case the image that we're working with is only a hemisphere, and not an entire full sphere. So, we'll need to have that tiling set to 2. And if we tumble around or orbit with Alt+middle mouse, we can see that now it's not stretching. We're just getting two copies of that environment. One facing the front of the scene and one facing the back. Alright, so we're in a good place now. We can also adjust the offset values here, and that will control how it will move left to right.
So if we want to focus this a little bit better so that the sun is shining directly onto the surface here, we can give this an offset of, let's give it negative 0.18. Now, obviously, I know what value to put in here, because I've already tested this scene. In your own scenes, you're going to have to adjust that value, do a rendering, adjust it again, do another rendering, until you get it the way you want it. And then there's one last thing we would like to do here, actually, which is to give it a little bit of blur. Just a tiny bit of blur, under Blur offset here.
Because if we don't, then the reflections are going to be really sharp and kind of obvious. We'll give this a blur offset of 0.01, which is a very, very low value, but you can see that it changed in the viewport here. If we set it to a value of 1, it's going to blur it out completely. If we give it a value of 0.1, it's going to be really super blurry. The value of 0.01 is just a little bit of softness, and that's just about right. Cool, so we've got our environment set up. And next we'll look at rendering this and adjusting the exposure.
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