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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.
For compositing and image manipulation in this project we will be using Adobe After Effects. Our course there are a lot of programs we could choose, for example, we could use Nuke or Photoshop, and you maybe wondering since this is a still image why I'm not using Photoshop. It's because Photoshop doesn't really handle 32 bit color properly. It's got some issues, especially when you try to down convert from 32 bit to 8 bit. It actually changes the colors in that process.
And that's very frustrating, especially if you worked very hard to get the colors just right, and then at the very last stage when you try to convert the color space it alters all the colors, and that's very problematic. So, I don't recommend using Photoshop if you're dealing with a 32 bit color space like our EXR files. However, After Effects deals with 32-bit just right, and so it's perfect for our needs here. Additionally, if you did have an animated sequence, like a turntable rendering of your product, then of course you wouldn't really effectively be able to deal with that in Photoshop.
In order to use these EXR files, we'll have to set up our color settings in After Effects. We don't have a project yet, but we need to set up our color settings and then save a project. Go into the File menu and choose Project Settings. And in this dialog, we can adjust the color settings for the current project. First and most importantly is the bit depth. It's currently by default set to eight bits per channel. But of course we've got EXR files which are 32 bits per channel.
So for the depth we'll choose 32 bits per channel, float. Next we have the Working Space. This is the color space, or how After Effects is going to internally interpret, the pixels. And currently Color Management is disabled, and so working space is none. In this case, for our working space, we want to choose something called sRGB. That's the standard for desktop computer color, and if we want our colors in After Effects to match what we saw in 3ds Max, then we'll want to choose sRGB.
And then finally we have the switch here that's labeled Linearize Working Space, and we do want to enable that. An ordinary image file like a jpeg or a png, has got something called embedded gamma. Gamma is the contrast curve of the image. And when Gamma is embedded in a file, what it does is, it basically stores less information in the shadows and more in the highlights where we're likely to notice it. So ordinary files have embedded gamma. However, an EXR file is linear.
It doesn't have embedded gamma. And so if we're working with linear files, then we want to use a linear working space, and that way when we do operations like add and blend they're going to operate more accurately. It's going to work better. It's going to look better. We're not going to have issues with our contrast being weird. In fact, you can see here, we've got a warning here. Working space'll be linearized, modified to have 1.0 Gamma. Ordinarily Gamma's 2.2. So this is going to have a Gamma of one, and that's going to Affect all blending operations.
And it's going to more accurately reflect how colors blend. All right, so we've got all of our project settings correct. And we'll click OK. And we will want to save the file. Even though we don't have anything in it yet. want to go to File > Save. And in the exercise files, there's a folder called After Effects. want to go in there, and store a file in there. Now we're going to call this one 05, 04, adjusting the image, cause that's the document we're going to open up the next movie.
Okay we got our color settings set properly for linear work flow.
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