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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.
In After Effects, once you've got your images imported, and stacked in a composition. You can start to get their blending mode set, and really see the different layers of the image come to life. What I've done is to rename my compositions here. Renaming the day comp to house day. And house dusk is for the dusk shot. What I've also done is to right click on the menu bar in the timeline. And choose columns and modes. And this gives me my blending modes as drop downs here on the timeline. I'll set my ambient occlusion then to a multiply blending mode.
In multiply, we multiply the over color by the under color and divide by the color space. In multiply then, it's always a darker result, except when we're multiplying by white. Multiplying by white is like multiplying by one, there's no net change. So my white ambient occlusion image. Or mostly white, will mostly disappear. Leaving just that grounding darkness in all the details. I'll switch to multiply, and you can see in here, all the window frames and other detail really pops out. Now go over to my day composition, and do the same.
Changing the ambient occlusion over to multiply. It really makes things sit down or have some gravity to them. What I'll also do is back off that opacity just a little bit. I'll press T, which brings up my opacity or transparency section, and back off the percentage, pulling it down to 75%, so there's a little less strength in the occlusion. I'll do the same in my dusk house, again, pressing T. And backing off the opacity. This allows us to fine tune things and instead of having it giant and full strength, to back it off and get a reasonable ambient occlusion that doesn't overdarken any corners.
If you've got other images you want to bring in, such as maybe a specular pass or other components, you can bring them in set their blending modes, and blend them back in the same way. This gives us an immediate feedback. And we can really see the difference here in the occlusion. I'll show it in the day image where we've got the house with the occlusion, and here it is with no occlusion. With no occlusion, things like the beams where they connect to the roof sort of float a little bit visually, and the windows go mostly solid white. I'll click on the occlusion again, and we'll really get all the details showing.
The window frames really read nicely with all their details showing and all the little steps in the profile showing. The ambient occlusion also helps ground where the facie and the soften meet, there's a little bit of a lip. There's our flashing here along the roof. And again, although it's a little bit dotted or pixellated, it's got a little bit of darkness in there, that's another shadow line we want to emphasize the building. The ambient occlusion really helps these steel beams. Grounding them not only from the flange against the web, but against the roof here.
And really even adds some darkness just surrounding the light fixtures. So they have their own little bit of gravity, and appear to be stuck to that ceiling. Finally, the occlusion really helps out in the block wall. Now realize I'm zoomed in 200%. Even at 100%, there's a little bit of darkness on the side or the webs in the block. Really, again adding some gravity, some drama to it. This is one of the biggest reasons to render out separate pieces. Just for the flexibility of saying let's layer it over. And see how we'd like to blend it to really make that look have some punch to it
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