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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.
With all of our render elements, or passes, rendered we're now ready to sandwich them together in After Effects. We've got a new untitled project. The first thing we'll need to do is set up our color settings. Go to File > Project Settings and the color settings, we want the bit depth to be 32 bits, working space to be ProPhoto RGB, and linearized working space enabled. Go ahead and click OK, and then we can import all of our footage. Go to the project window and right click and choose Import > File.
And we want to go into our exercise files > renderoutput > studio_lighting_passes that we've rendered out of 3DS Max. We can Shift-select all of these and import them all at once. Now those have all been imported, and we can go ahead and start sandwiching these layers. The first thing we want to do is combine the reflections and the specular. And you can see we've got separate reflections and specular documents here. We can select one, let's select specular and create a new composition from that. Right click, New Comp from Selection.
And we'll want to rename that. Click to select it in the project window and then press Enter. And we'll call this one Specular Gloss Reflections. We've already got our specular channel in there. We'll bring the reflections in as well. Here it is, just drag that in. Drop that over the top of it. And now I've got both of those. And you can see it doesn't look like much over here. What we need to do is add exposure effects to each of these. We've got our effects and presets window open over here, and open up color correction.
And we've got exposure here. So we can select one of these layers and then double-click exposure and that'll add the effect to that layer. Our effect controls opened up automatically, and so that we can see that and our project window at the same time, let's drag this over and just park it on the side here. So now we can see everything all at once. Alright, so we've got the specular amount and the exposure here. I'm going to set that to a value of negative 11. And then additionally, I'm going to select the reflections channel and also add an exposure.
Double click on exposure, and also set that to negative 11. Now, right now the reflections are completely obscuring the specular. We can turn the reflections layer off so we can see. That's the specular. And then turn it back on again, and now we're seeing the reflections. We want to blend these, and currently, my blending modes are not visible. We can right-click up here on this area of the timeline, and choose Columns > Modes. And now I've got our blending modes available.
The bottom one can just be left at normal. The top one, the reflections, we can set to several different options depending upon the look we want. We can do an add, and that's actually what 3ds Max does internally, so this looks very similar to what we would get if we just rendered in 3ds Max with no diffuse component. So, adding is sort of the default. But we can also experiment with these others. Another one that you might want to try is Lighten and there's also Screen, or my personal favorite is the Lighter Color.
In Add Mode the layers are summed together. And in Lighter Color, what we get is whichever is the brighter pixel of the two layers, is the one that's going to be displayed. Cool, so we've gotten started with setting up our After Effects project.
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