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When your animation is finished and you're ready to make a movie, you'll render out to a series of numbered, still frames. There's a lot of reasons for this. If you render out to a movie directly, if anything goes wrong, then you may lose the entire movie because you're appending to the same file with each new frame. So, that's not a good thing. If you render all night or even longer and it crashes or whatever, someone kicks out the power plug, then you lose all of that render time.
You have to start over again. Whereas, if you're rendering to a sequence of images, then you can just pick up on the last frame. Likewise, if you render out to an image sequence, it's much easier to manage because your file sizes can become extremely large if you're rendering out to a movie. And finally, movies are usually compressed, so you can apply compression, but you don't want to do that at render time. You want to render out an uncompressed image sequence and then take that into some other program like After Effects, or whatever, and then convert that image sequence into an actual movie and, optionally, apply compression at that stage.
because if you compress the movie at render time, you'll get artifacts that you'll never be able to remove. Let's set up the render settings. Go into the Render Setup dialog. And first, we have the Time Output. It's defaulted to a single frame, but we want to do a sequence. So, let's choose a frame range. My animation actually ends at frame 90. So, in my final movie, I'll probably want to leave that on the screen, still, for a while, but I don't want to keep rendering the same frame over and over again in this period. So, I'm just going to tell 3ds Max to render from frame 0 to frame 90.
I've already got my image size here, at 640 by 360. Scroll down a little bit, and I have to determine the render output. Click on Files, and then navigate to the render output folder. So, that's where we're taken by default. And, I'm going to make a sub-folder within that, so that I can keep everything organized. I may end up with multiple image sequences. So, I'm going to make a folder in there, and I'm going to call it flying_logo_sequence, and click Enter. And, go into that folder, and we're going to save out a sequence of images.
So, I'll call this one flying_logo. And, I need to choose a format, as well. Let's do PNG, that's always a good choice. And, what's going to happen here is that 3ds Max is going to append some numbers at the end, here, flying_logo0001.png, flying_logo0002.png, and so on. Just to separate that, I'm going to add another underscore there. Okay, and when I click Save, I get a dialog asking me what I want to choose as options for the PNG format, and I want to choose RGB 24-bit, which means it's going to be eight bits per channel.
If I want to superimpose this over a different background in compositing, then I'll want to enable alpha channel. In this case, I'm going to leave that off because I just want the black background. And, I go ahead click OK. And, now, you'll see here, in this field, it says render output flying_logo_sequence, flying_logo.png. It's a good idea to save your scene file at this point, before kicking off the render, so that you'll be able to store all these settings in case it crashes. So, I'll go ahead and Save As, and I'll call it 17_04_image_sequences_finished.
And, when I click Render, I get to see it as it goes by, and because this is such a simple scene, it's not going to take very long to render, just really a minute or two. And, I do have Motion Blur enabled, and you can see that happening in this rendering, as well. So, as the other object comes in, you can see that it's slowing down a little bit because there's more to calculate. But, yes, this was such a simple scene that it really only took a few seconds to render.
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