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Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Layering specularity and reflections


Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Layering specularity and reflections

With all of our render elements, or passes, rendered And we want to go into our exercise files > Now those have all been imported, and we The first thing we want to do is combine the reflections and the specular.
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 49s
  2. 32m 32s
    1. Setting the Customize UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 43s
    2. Choosing units and grid options
      1m 13s
    3. Importing a CAD file
      5m 12s
    4. Managing the scene hierarchy
      7m 46s
    5. Managing display layers
      3m 52s
    6. Working with Body objects
      2m 53s
    7. Modeling an environment sphere
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a camera
      2m 44s
    9. Framing the shot
      2m 52s
  3. 16m 46s
    1. Creating mental ray area spot lights
      4m 31s
    2. Creating photometric spot lights
      5m 9s
    3. Setting exposure for studio lighting
      3m 9s
    4. Controlling Final Gather
      3m 57s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Creating Arch & Design materials
      7m 26s
    2. Creating an environment material
      6m 14s
    3. Enabling self-illumination
      5m 33s
    4. Applying procedural textures
      7m 20s
    5. Working with reflectivity
      7m 10s
    6. Creating a metal material
      4m 33s
    7. Adjusting highlights
      5m 4s
    8. Varying highlights with a bump map
      6m 43s
    9. Working with transparency
      4m 44s
    10. Adding ambient-occlusion nodes
      6m 40s
  5. 37m 47s
    1. Understanding image-based lighting
      2m 42s
    2. Creating a skylight
      2m 10s
    3. Adding a spherical environment map
      2m 51s
    4. Controlling bitmap coordinates
      4m 5s
    5. Setting exposure for image-based lighting
      7m 36s
    6. Adjusting materials
      5m 38s
    7. Modeling environment geometry
      5m 42s
    8. Self-illuminated image-based lighting
      7m 3s
  6. 50m 6s
    1. Controlling mental ray Sampling Quality
      5m 18s
    2. Rendering to the high-dynamic-range EXR format
      5m 52s
    3. Defining After Effects color settings
      4m 0s
    4. Adjusting the image
      10m 4s
    5. Setting up render elements
      7m 51s
    6. Creating ambient-occlusion materials
      6m 9s
    7. Layering specularity and reflections
      3m 47s
    8. Adding all render-element layers
      7m 5s
  7. 49s
    1. Goodbye

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Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
3h 25m Intermediate May 15, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Importing solid models as 3ds Max body objects
  • Working with the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
  • Building Arch & Design materials
  • Creating area and photometric lights
  • Setting exposure control
  • Optimizing indirect illumination with Final Gather
  • Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
  • Lighting with self-illuminated geometry
  • Rendering to high dynamic range
  • Saving render passes with Render Elements
  • Adding ambient occlusion
  • Layering and color correction in After Effects
3D + Animation Modeling Rendering Product Design CAD
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Layering specularity and reflections

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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