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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.
As you see We've got a Reytraced Reflection on our logo. But it's currently not showing up terribly well, because we have no environment in this scene. Almost all of this scene is just blackness. So I need to have something in the scene for the Raytracer to reflect. Now I could put a fake environment in there in various ways, but it's very difficult to control and visualize in the Viewport. So what I advise is that you create an environment from a sphere or a cylinder. I'm going to do a hemisphere. So I'll go to the Create panel, and I'm just going to make a Sphere.
And I'll just drag that up and make that very large. I'll change its color so I can see it a little bit better. And I'll back out. I can right-click to exit Sphere creation, and it'd be nice if I could see just the inside of this Sphere. So I wouldn't be distracted by looking at the exterior here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn on Backface Culling. Go to the Object Properties from the Edit menu, Edit > Object Properties. I'll turn on Backface Cull. Say OK.
Then I'll flip the surface by adding a normal modifier. Modify > Modifier List > Normal. And I can Flip those Normals. So now I'm standing outside my world and looking into the interior of this Sphere, pretty cool. I can zoom in. Ctrl+Alt+ Middle Mouse to dolly in forward. And I just need to apply some image to this Sphere.
So I'll go back to my Material Editor. That's the M key on the keyboard. And I'll make a new material. And I'll call this one environment. And I'll add a Diffuse Color. So I can click on the button next to Diffuse. This is going to be a Bitmap. So I'll double-click that. And it takes me to the usual place, current project sceneassets\images. I'll choose this Sky image. Click Open, and I can turn on Show Map in Viewport once again.
I might need to select the object in order to refresh, and I'll go ahead and assign that. There we go. I've got an image on there. Now I could play around with mapping coordinates and all sorts of stuff. The only thing I really care about here is the Tiling. So I might want to change the U Tiling to 2.0, or I think it's the V Tiling I want to set. Just so that it's stretching a little bit better across that surface.
The only reason that this environment exists is so that we'll get a reflection on our logo. We'll never actually see this backdrop in our rendering because when we actually set up our camera, it's going to be much closer, and this will be out of the frame. So I'll select the logo and press the Z key to zoom in on that, and then we will do a test render to see what it looks like. So I'm not seeing much here now, and it probably has to do with the fact that my Reflection is too low, and also the fact that my environment is not self-illuminating.
So in other words, in the environment here is actually an object, and it's actually black right there. It's kind of hard to explain. But there's only a single light in my scene here. It's not scene light, but it's a default light that's attached to my camera. What's happening is that this sphere is actually not receiving any light and so we're not seeing any reflection here. So what I want to do is I want to go up back to the top level of my environment Material. And I've got a Self Illumination parameter here.
And what that's going to do is cause the object to be fully bright, no matter what lighting is in the scene or not in the scene. So I'll just set the Self Illumination to 100%. And now you see this is fully bright. Try another render of that. There we go. Now we're getting a nice, nice solid reflection on there, cool. So I can play around with this a little bit more in the Maps. I might choose to play around with the balance between Diffuse Color.
Actually, I want to go over here to my logoMaterial and play around with the balance of that Diffuse Color versus the Reflection. So I've currently got a Reflection amount of 70, and I could bring that down and/or change the color of my Diffuse Channel, and/or play around with my Reflection Dimming. So I've brought that down. And it's actually been brought down a little bit too much.
So I'll just go back up here, and let's try to split the difference here, maybe 65 or so. But basically you're just going to play around with this and season it to taste until you get the look that you want. So that's how you can create a false environment in your world just for the purpose of creating reflections.
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