3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Setting render options


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

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Video: Setting render options

Once you've set up your animation and your lighting and materials and your scene is ready to render, you want to go into the Render Setup dialog to set the Rendering options. There's a handy button on the main toolbar to get to the Render Setup dialog. Within this dialog, you will see that there are numerous tabs. And the tabs you see will vary depending upon which renderer you have chosen. Remember, that 3ds Max has multiple renderers. It's got the default Scanline Renderer and the mental ray Renderer and so on. So these tabs will change depending upon which renderer you have chosen.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
    2. Prerequisites
      1m 18s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 7m 33s
    1. Using the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 35s
    2. Setting local file paths to relative
      1m 27s
    3. Using project folders
      4m 31s
  3. 36m 35s
    1. Getting familiar with the interface
      4m 5s
    2. Touring the command panels
      1m 44s
    3. Creating primitives
      3m 5s
    4. Navigating the viewports
      3m 57s
    5. Using hotkeys
      3m 18s
    6. Choosing shading modes
      3m 6s
    7. Configuring the viewports
      3m 29s
    8. Transforming objects
      4m 32s
    9. Using the toolbars
      3m 33s
    10. Using the Modify panel
      5m 46s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. Surveying different modeling methods
      5m 18s
    2. Setting units
      5m 8s
    3. Setting home grid dimensions
      3m 37s
    4. Understanding the Level of Detail utility
      3m 34s
    5. Working with the Modifier Stack
      3m 51s
    6. Understanding dependencies
      5m 9s
    7. Collapsing the Modifier Stack
      4m 53s
    8. Working with sub-objects
      4m 41s
  5. 18m 32s
    1. Creating shapes
      5m 17s
    2. Creating lines
      2m 56s
    3. Converting a shape to an editable spline
      2m 20s
    4. Transforming editable spline sub-objects
      4m 20s
    5. Using different types of vertices
      3m 39s
  6. 35m 30s
    1. Lofting a vase
      3m 59s
    2. Setting loft parameters
      3m 49s
    3. Editing the path and shapes
      5m 18s
    4. Manipulating loft sub-objects
      3m 55s
    5. Adding a scale deformation
      5m 47s
    6. Adding a shell modifier
      3m 50s
    7. Smoothing polygon edges
      8m 52s
  7. 26m 20s
    1. Setting up the project and scene layout
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a backdrop profile line
      1m 19s
    3. Using Editable Spline Fillet
      1m 24s
    4. Extruding shapes
      2m 36s
    5. Creating text
      1m 21s
    6. Applying a bevel modifier
      3m 57s
    7. Choosing bevel parameters
      2m 33s
    8. Using Display All Triangle Edges
      1m 56s
    9. Adjusting spline interpolation
      2m 22s
    10. Deforming beveled objects
      1m 17s
    11. Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
      2m 39s
    12. Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
      2m 22s
  8. 55m 55s
    1. Setting up the scene
      2m 8s
    2. Creating chamfer boxes
      4m 44s
    3. Smoothing edges
      1m 16s
    4. Using the Array tool
      5m 31s
    5. Grouping objects
      10m 18s
    6. Modeling lines
      11m 17s
    7. Using the Sweep Modifier
      3m 0s
    8. Soft-selecting sub-objects with Volume Select
      5m 40s
    9. Removing polygons with Delete Mesh
      2m 37s
    10. Clearing a sub-object selection with Mesh Select
      3m 37s
    11. Adding randomness with the Noise Modifier
      5m 47s
  9. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding subdivision surfaces
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a box and converting to editable poly format
      3m 54s
    3. Using the Symmetry Modifier
      1m 44s
    4. Working with TurboSmooth
      3m 3s
    5. Extruding polygons
      1m 54s
    6. Editing edge loops
      8m 15s
    7. Shaping the model
      4m 57s
    8. Baking subdivisions
      3m 45s
    9. Optimizing polygon Level of Detail
      2m 44s
  10. 38m 45s
    1. Understanding the graphite tools within Editable Poly
      2m 40s
    2. Using the Graphite Ribbon interface
      3m 26s
    3. Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite
      11m 30s
    4. Adjusting detail with Remove and Cut
      4m 44s
    5. Using SwitfLoop
      2m 46s
    6. Constraining sub-object transforms
      2m 23s
    7. Attaching polygon meshes to a single object
      5m 33s
    8. Bridging parts of a mesh
      5m 43s
  11. 25m 24s
    1. Understanding NURBS
      2m 35s
    2. Creating NURBS curves
      7m 27s
    3. Creating a U-loft surface
      5m 52s
    4. Editing curves and surfaces
      3m 9s
    5. Setting surface approximation
      6m 21s
  12. 1h 0m
    1. Using the Material Editor
      7m 8s
    2. Choosing a material type
      3m 3s
    3. Choosing a shader type
      2m 12s
    4. Adjusting specular parameters
      3m 6s
    5. Setting opacity
      3m 5s
    6. Understanding procedural Maps and bitmaps
      4m 11s
    7. Using bitmaps
      5m 21s
    8. Navigating shader trees
      2m 27s
    9. Tracking scene assets
      4m 40s
    10. Creating simple UVW mapping
      7m 52s
    11. Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
      4m 32s
    12. Creating an environment
      5m 27s
    13. Mapping a bump channel
      7m 13s
  13. 27m 4s
    1. Creating cameras
      4m 1s
    2. Understanding target and free cameras
      4m 39s
    3. Using Camera Pan, Truck, and Dolly
      4m 8s
    4. Adjusting the field of view
      4m 59s
    5. Understanding aspect ratio
      2m 6s
    6. Showing safe frames
      3m 12s
    7. Choosing render output size
      3m 59s
  14. 43m 36s
    1. Understanding CG lighting
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding standard and photometric lights
      1m 48s
    3. Creating a target spotlight
      2m 3s
    4. Enabling viewport hardware shading
      2m 10s
    5. Previewing renderings with ActiveShade
      3m 6s
    6. Adjusting intensity and color
      2m 27s
    7. Controlling contrast and highlights
      2m 52s
    8. Setting spotlight hotspot and falloff radius
      4m 59s
    9. Choosing a shadow type
      3m 56s
    10. Optimizing shadow maps
      5m 46s
    11. Using area shadows
      3m 57s
    12. Creating omni lights
      4m 36s
  15. 43m 33s
    1. Understanding keyframes
      1m 41s
    2. Setting time configuration
      3m 48s
    3. Choosing set key filters
      1m 27s
    4. Using Set Key mode
      2m 39s
    5. Editing keyframes in the Timeline
      2m 43s
    6. Using Auto Key mode
      5m 44s
    7. Creating animation in passes
      2m 40s
    8. Animating modifier parameters
      3m 53s
    9. Working in the dope sheet
      7m 47s
    10. Editing function curves
      5m 28s
    11. Looping animation
      5m 43s
  16. 43m 54s
    1. Understanding hierarchies
      3m 16s
    2. Understanding reference coordinate systems
      5m 51s
    3. Editing pivot points
      4m 40s
    4. Linking objects
      3m 20s
    5. Using the Schematic view
      1m 59s
    6. Preventing problems with scale
      7m 50s
    7. Animating a hierarchy
      10m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning the animation
      6m 47s
  17. 20m 53s
    1. Understanding controllers
      3m 55s
    2. Applying path constraints
      4m 55s
    3. Assigning a link constraint
      2m 27s
    4. Using the Motion panel
      2m 48s
    5. Animating constrained objects
      6m 48s
  18. 28m 29s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 24s
    2. Emitting particles from an object with PArray
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting particle parameters
      5m 33s
    4. Binding particles to a gravitational force
      2m 51s
    5. Colliding particles with a POmniFlector
      6m 4s
    6. Creating a particle material
      3m 23s
    7. Mapping opacity with a gradient
      2m 1s
    8. Assigning a material ID G-Buffer channel
    9. Creating a lens effect glow
      3m 9s
  19. 18m 50s
    1. Understanding image sequences
      5m 40s
    2. Setting render options
      7m 53s
    3. Compressing an image sequence to a movie
      5m 17s
  20. 27s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
10h 4m Beginner May 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the 3ds Max interface
  • Creating shapes and splines
  • Modeling Loft objects
  • Creating motion graphics
  • Modeling with polygons and subdivisions
  • Modeling with NURBS
  • Shading objects with materials and maps
  • Setting up camera and scene layout
  • Lighting basic scenes
  • Animating objects with keyframes
  • Editing keyframes in the Curve Editor
  • Constructing and animating hierarchies
  • Using animation Constraints
  • Animating particle systems
  • Rendering animations to disk
3D + Animation
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Setting render options

Once you've set up your animation and your lighting and materials and your scene is ready to render, you want to go into the Render Setup dialog to set the Rendering options. There's a handy button on the main toolbar to get to the Render Setup dialog. Within this dialog, you will see that there are numerous tabs. And the tabs you see will vary depending upon which renderer you have chosen. Remember, that 3ds Max has multiple renderers. It's got the default Scanline Renderer and the mental ray Renderer and so on. So these tabs will change depending upon which renderer you have chosen.

You'll see here that I'm using the Default Scanline Renderer. And that's listed at the top of the dialog box. The most important parameters that I want to look at right now are in the Common tab. So, for example, in the Common Parameters here, I can choose whether I want to render a single frame or a sequence. So currently, it's set to Single frame. So I'll choose the Active Time Segment. And that means it will render out all of the frames that are currently visible in my Timeline. And so that's from 0 seconds, 0 frames to 8 seconds 0 frames currently.

Now if I wish to, I could render a range other than the Timeline. So, for example, let's say you've rendered out the first 100 frames and then you had to cancel their renderings so that you can use your computer for something else. You could go in here afterwards and plug in a number and pick up rendering on Frame 101. So right now, however, I'm just going to do the Active Time Segment. Then below here you'll see Area to Render. You want to make sure that this is set to View. That means it will render the entire frame. You've got different options. You can render out just a region of the frame, but I do want to render out the entire frame, so I'll choose View.

Then below this, you'll see the Render Output Size. And I'm just going to use the default Render Output which is 640x480. But of course, I could plug- in whatever values I wish. Scrolling down a little bit further, we have the option to turn off certain effects. I'm going to leave them all on. Scrolling down a little bit further, you'll see the Render Output sequence here in the Render Output section. So this is the most important part. If this Save File is turned off, then you'll end up rendering just to the screen and nothing is going to get saved to your disk.

So you do need to make sure that you enable this switch, and then additionally you'll need to click on the Files button in order to define where you're going to save out to and in what format. So I'll click the Files button. And now I've got a dialog that lets me determine where I'm going to save out to. So if the Output File dialog doesn't take you directly to the renderoutput folder in your project, then you can navigate there. So in this case, on my desktop I've got a folder that says Exercise Files.

And we want to save into the renderoutput folder. So that's the designated location to render image sequences. So I'll go in there. And additionally, in this case, I want to create a subfolder, so that I can save this sequence into a folder by itself. And this is important, because if you don't do this then if you have multiple sequences in your project, let's say you're doing a movie that has several different shots, if you don't create subfolders, then all of your sequences are going to get dumped into this renderoutput folder. And it will be difficult for you to manage, because you'll be dealing with hundreds or perhaps thousands of files that are all kind of sitting in the same place.

So it really is important that you observe a best practice and actually create a folder inside here. And I'll call this one robot_sequence. And I do like to use underscores. It's not required that you do this, but I don't like white spaces in file names. So I put an underscore there. So I've created that folder. And then I'll double-click to enter into that folder. And because I had worked on this scene previously, you'll see that a file name is already present here. And likewise, you'll see that there's already something here.

The first time that you go into this dialog, this will be blank. And it will actually say All Formats. So you will need to give it a File name, and I'm actually going to put an underscore at the end of my file name. That just makes it a little bit easier for me to read, because this will end up saying robotArm_001, robot_0002, etcetera. So it just makes it a little bit easier for me to read when I put that underscore in. And then I need to choose a file format.

And so you'll see these are all the file formats that 3ds Max can output to. So what's good here? Well, I'll tell you what's not good, JPEG. If you save out to a JPEG file that's going to be lossy compressed. And so you'll actually be throwing away information at this initial stage of your production. So you don't want to do that. You want to make sure that you're saving out to either an uncompressed image sequence or a losslessly compressed image sequence. So what's a good option? TIF is a good option.

Targa is a good option. And PNG or Portable Network Graphics is also a good one. So I'm actually going to go for PNG, because that's kind of the safest one. And Windows File Viewer will be able to show me thumbnails of PNGs. So I'm going to go into PNG. Now when I click Save, if I haven't already defined my options for the particular file format that I've chosen, then an option box will pop up. And in fact, it did. PNG Configuration.

And you'll see all these options here. Well, in fact, the default option is not what you see here right now. The default actually is RGB 48 bit with an alpha channel. And that's not a good option in this case. A 48 bit file cannot be understood by most programs. For example, Photoshop will be able to read a 48 bit file, but Windows File Viewer will not. So what I want here is an RGB 24 bit. And I don't need an alpha channel, because an alpha channel is a transparency mask, and this file is not going to be composited with any other image sequence.

So I don't need an alpha channel, because the alpha channel will just make the files bigger, and it won't actually give me any benefit. So this is the option that you want to use for a "plain-vanilla" PNG file. 24 bits. That's eight bits per channel, red, green, blue with no alpha, go ahead and click OK. And now you'll see that I've got the path shown here. Now if I do need to go back and change any of those options, I can just go back into the Files dialog.

And once you've entered in something for the setup for the configuration of those files, you can actually go back in here to the setup and change that up if you need to. Very good, so I've got my render options set. And I'm going to save my file now, so that all those options are now saved into my Max scene. And I'll just go ahead and click the big Render button.

The Rendered Frame Window opens up. And I'm looking at the rendering as it goes by. So 3ds Max allows me to see the images as they're being rendered. Now in fact, I could close the Rendered Frame Window if I wanted. And rendering would still continue. We'll see over here in this dialog that we're getting some information about what's going on. What frame am I on? How long did it take to render the last frame? How long does 3ds Max estimate that this entire job will take? What viewport are we rendering and so on? Cool! So as you can see, this would take about an hour to complete.

So we're going to fast- forward until that's finished. Then we'll take all these images and compress them together into a movie file.

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