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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.
Hardware shading is really useful for pre-visualizing your lighting without having to do a full rendering. But as you see here, hardware shading does not give us the raytraced reflections that we would expect to see on our logo. So hardware shading has some limitations. And if we want to pre-visualize our rendering in the Viewport, we can go a step up from there, using something called ActiveShade. So ActiveShade is basically the full production renderer inside a Viewport, and it's also interactive, meaning that if you change your lighting or change your materials, ActiveShade will re-render automatically.
So it will save you time while you are testing your lighting and materials, so you don't have to keep clicking the Render button and waiting every time. So ActiveShade can be enabled at any Viewport by going to the Viewport name, clicking on that, and down at the bottom of this pop-up menu you will see ActiveShade. So I will enable that. And you see that it's kind of thinking about it for a second. And if you notice, there was a little red line drawn across here, and it was just pre-calculating, and now we are seeing ActiveShade in this Viewport, and we are getting raytraced reflections, and we are seeing accurate lighting and all that good stuff.
You will notice, however, that ActiveShade does not respect the safe frames. So in my Camera View now, since I have enabled ActiveShade, I have lost my safe frames, so I don't have the ability to do both of those at the same time. Now, if I make any changes to my lighting or materials, the ActiveShade window will re-render automatically. So, for example, let's say I go over here and select my light, and then move it around to the other side here, ActiveShade calculates that and updates it immediately.
So that's pretty cool. And if I make changes to my Materials, that will also update in ActiveShade in real time. If you want to exit out of ActiveShade, what you will do is you will right-click in the Viewport, and you will get your Quad menu, and you can choose Close to go back to the standard shading, in this case, Smooth+Highlights with hardware. I will right-click and go back to ActiveShade here, so that I can also illustrate to you in this Right-Click menu, you have also got Initialize and Update.
And Initialize is sometimes necessary if you make changes to your scene. In other words, if you move something in this scene or change a model, ActiveShade doesn't update that, and you will need to reinitialize. So by way of illustration, let's say, I go up here. I will choose All from my selection mask, and move the logo a little bit. You would notice that ActiveShade did not respond to that. So I need to reinitialize.
Click Initialize, and it thinks about it, and then it updates the scene.
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