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One of my favorite features of 3DS Max lights, is the ability to adjust the contrast of the light itself. We need to do a full rendering to see that, or use active shade. I'm going to load active shade into Perspective view, click Perspective> Extended viewports> Active shade. And then select the Light. We want to scroll down. We're looking for a section labelled Advanced Effects. And open that up. And you will see Effects Surfaces, Contrast. And if we increase that, it does just what you would expect.
It cranks up the contrast. Ana if we bring it all the way up to 100, then, certain areas are going to be overexposed. You will see how in some of these areas, it's actually kind of posterizing a bit. Let's get in closer on the character. Because, this will show up better on curved surfaces. I'm going to close active shade and then dolly in on my character. And then once again, Extended Viewports > Active Shade. With a very high contrast, we get an extremely hard edge, and we also get highlights that are kind of blasted out.
I don't usually bring that up that high. If I use it at all, I might bring it up to about 50. So, here's a value of zero. Where we have a very fine, sort of, transition or gradient across that surface, from the brightest part to the darkest. And then with a contrast of 50, it's a sharper transition. And with a contract of 100, it's become posterized. Okay, I'm going to set the contrast down to 50. And then play around with this value here. Soften diffuse edge.
And, that's going to maintain this contrast. But it's going to make this edge be a little softer. Set the soften diffuse edge, to a value of 50, as well. And so, it's not quite as harsh. I've increased the contrast. But, then I've softened up that edge. Let's do a couple rendering so we can see them at the same time. I'm going to right-click and Close, and then do a rendering with these settings of 50 and 50. And then I'm going to clone this window off, so I can compare it.
And now, I've got a copy of that window. And then set these values back down to their defaults of zero and zero, and render with the default settings, and see the difference. Okay? So, on the left we have default settings of zero and zero. And on the right, we've increased the contrast, and the soften diffuse edge, to a value of 50 and 50, and essentially, it's brightened up the entire scene. The blacks are still black, but the brights have kind of spread out further, and sort of taken over more of the image.
Cool, so that's just one way that you can fine tune the look. Of lights, in 3DS Max.
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