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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.
With our lights placed, we need to adjust the exposure to bring the brightness values of the rendering into a usable range. Let's take a look at it once again, I'll click render production. And here it is with just the default exposure values. To adjust this, we'll want to go into the Rendering menu and choose Exposure Control, which opens up the Environment and Effects dialog. And you'll see in the Exposure Control section that mr Photographic Exposure Control is currently enabled. Scroll down a little bit. And the most significant parameter here is Exposure Value, and that's essentially how much light is allowed into the camera.
If we increase this value, that corresponds to stopping down the camera, or letting in less light. I'll set the exposure value to 9. Okay, and we'll do another test render, see what it looks like now. As you can see, with a higher exposure value, the rendering is much darker. The rim lighting, or back lighting from the photometric lights here looks good. But our key lights from the area spots are not quite bright enough now. Now that we've adjusted the exposure value. We'll fix that as well. While we're here in the Environment and Effects dialog, we also want to set these image control parameters to more neutral values.
These defaults are actually not really terribly useful. I want to set the Highlights to 0. What that does, the Highlights parameter actually blasts out the highlights. And I want to set the mid tones to 0.5, which is just a neutral value. And the shadows is crushing the blacks, or making the blacks much darker, and we want to set that to zero as well. And this is once again a neutral value for these image control parameters. And render that.
See if we can see the difference there. This has basically made it a bit darker, because the highlights are not being blasted out anymore. Okay, now we've got our exposure control set. And the last thing we need to do with our lights is to increase the intensity of the mr area spotlights. Let's go over and select those. Here's one of our key lights here. Go to the Modify panel. And we want to go up near the top to the intensity section. Here it is, Intensity/Color/Attenuation. And the multiplier is set to a value of 1.
We want to increase this up a lot. Because we're using exposure control, the standard lights need to be cranked up to really quite extreme values. Let's give this a value of 5,000. And likewise for the other key light, that other area light. We're going to select it and set its multiplier up to 5,000 as well. And then do another test rendering. Okay, now we've got a pretty good default lighting setup for a product shot. We've set the exposure control, and we've increased the intensity of the mr area spot lights to bring them into the same range as the photometric lights.
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