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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.
So I have got a key light in my scene here, and I'm looking at it in a shaded view here in my Camera Viewport, but it's not really a good representation of what I'll see when I finally render this. So just to illustrate that, if I click the Render Production button, you'll see, for example, that we're actually seeing the extent of the spotlight cone. So in other words anything that's inside this cone is going to be illuminated, and everything outside that angle is not illuminated.
So we're seeing that in the final rendering, but we're not seeing it in the Viewport. So when we are setting our lights up, it's a good idea to turn on the Hardware Shading in the Viewport so that we'll get a better approximation of what our lighting is going to look like. Hardware Shading is found in the Viewport menu, the third item over here on the right, which lists the Shading mode. I will click on that, and I'll go down under a section called Lighting and Shadows.
You will see Illuminate with Scene Lights is on, and that's what we want. And additionally, I will turn on the switch that says Enable Hardware Shading. And now you will see we are getting a much better approximation of what we get in the Renderer. We don't have any Ray Tracing on our material here or anything. So we don't get a real sense of what that material is going to look like. But at least the lighting is looking more realistic, and I can even make that more dramatic by selecting the light and its target. I will just double-click on both of those and move this around so you can see that spotlight is behaving like a theatrical spot.
So Hardware Shading is really helpful and really useful. I just want to mention, however, that it is hardware-dependent, and that means if you have a certain type of video card or video hardware in your computer, it may or may not properly support these advanced features. So your mileage may vary. And if your screen looks different than this, and if it's not doing what you expect it to do, you may need to turn the Hardware Shading back off again.
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