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In this course, author Adam Crespi takes you through the full production pipeline for lighting, rendering, and compositing the exterior of a house in 3ds Max. First he'll show you how to create mental ray materials like wood, metal, and glass; customize the Daylight system for realistic daytime lighting; and adjust the lighting for dusk and nighttime shots with photometric lights. Then he'll render the scenes, optimizing and styling the bounced light with Global Illumination and Final Gather. Finally, Adam takes the image into post, adding the final polish required at the end of the pipeline with Nuke and After Effects.
Glow is one of those magic filters we can put on in post, that really adds a softness and a warmth to our image. And it also lets us know when a light is just a little too bright on a surface. I'm going to put a little bit of glow on both of my flows here in the node graph, just to make those highlights pop out a little bit more. Glow actually shows where an image is over-exposed and dazzling the lens just a bit. We don't want to put glow on everything. We want to use it strategically on just a few key elements to show that they're nice and bright.
Putting on glow is fairly easy. The trick with glow is to make sure that your value, your luminance, is in the right place first, because glow is luma-based. I'll put Glow on my desk image first by clicking on the ZDFocus2, right-clicking and choosing Filter and Glow. Note that Nuke knows that I was in the Filter section last, and so it jumps to that on right-click. With the glow on and making sure it's selected and i'll press one to show it in the view everything glows and my image has a soft gauzy look to it.
What i'll do with the glow is bring up the tolerance saying the glow only applies on certain luminance after above 20% for example. Now I've got a glow right here on the windows, although it's a little bit hot and a little bit fuzzy looking. What I'll do then is to back off the size and the glow, pulling it down just under four, and I'll also back off the brightness. We don't want a giant glow fuzzing out things that we've spent some time to make clear. We just want a little bit of glow to show that it's nice and bright to really make those windows in our desk shop pop out.
We could mask if we need, making sure, for example, that plants stay nice and dark if they have bright spots. And the glow only shows on the windows. For now though, because I've got a fairly low value in the image, I'm okay with just using the tolerance and the glow to make it pop out. Now I'll put a glow in my daytime shot. Really shooting for a stylized piece here in black and white. I'll pick ZD focus one, right-click and here's filter and glow already highlighted. I'll put that glow on, press one to show it in the viewer, pull down the timeline, and my image is on fire.
Now, joking aside, and way overexposed images aside, this is easily rectified. What I'll do, is bring up the tolerance and the glow. I'll pull this way up. We can see in here that glow at zero means. Everybody glows. We pull up the glow, almost well into the mid-point here and just those white roofs and plants are glowing. What I'll do next, is to really back off the size in my glow, pulling it down, and also the mix.
Every different node, every filter, has a mix amount, an opacity. So we can say, here it is applied at 50% strength, for example. I'll back off the mix into just under 70%, we'll call it, 0.67. And there's a glow, nice and hot on the pavement, really bright trees, bright roofs, and the clouds, which I'm going to replace, are glowing. The block wall is also glowing, and it's got that period feel, that Julius Schulman. Almost scorching kind of stylization, with a big big range between the black dirt, and the white on the roofs.
If you'd like, you could even use a mask on the globe to really push around the luminance, say, on the plants. I'll show what that looks like, as well. What I'll do is mask this glow by inverting first. I'll take glow two. Drag it its mask onto my object ID and in here, making sure, I double click on the glow to show it. I'll mask by RGBA red. What this does, is mask down the glow to just the plants. I'll check invert and it will glow on everything else except the plants.
Now that I've got well, the scene glowing properly as I had done it, but my plants are not. I'll put another glow on, masked the same way, and undo invert. I'll add one more glow, mask it the same way, double click on that glow, and make sure I'm masking by RGBA red, and now. I have got just the plans getting nice and bright. I will bring up their tolerance a little bit. Back of the size just a little. And now the plants have their own specific glow.
Again I am making use of that mask channel to custom tune, the glow on the image. So I've got those nearly white plants next to this dark architecture and the bright white roofs. Remember with glow, a little bit goes a long way. We don't want to just fuzz out our entire image with glow after we spent so much time on anti-aliasing. And depth of field getting it where we want. We want just a littlest bit to really stylize. Showing the hottest parts are just dazzling the lens a little bit.
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