3ds Max 2015 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

3ds Max 2015 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Tuning Final Gather

Final gather is the automatic calculation of bounce. And, minimize that. The first parameter here is the initial final gather point density.
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  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 14m 44s
    1. Using project folders
      5m 42s
    2. Customize user interface and defaults
      4m 4s
    3. Setting preferences
      4m 58s
  3. 49m 17s
    1. Getting familiar with the interface
      3m 39s
    2. Using the Create and Modify panels
      3m 36s
    3. Choosing units of measurement
      4m 12s
    4. Controlling the grid display
      5m 16s
    5. Navigating in viewports
      6m 2s
    6. Using hotkeys
      5m 55s
    7. Transforming objects
      7m 26s
    8. Choosing shading modes
      6m 30s
    9. Configuring viewports
      6m 41s
  4. 37m 49s
    1. Creating an image plane
      6m 1s
    2. Controlling Display properties
      2m 28s
    3. Creating primitives
      7m 4s
    4. Working with Scene Explorer
      3m 39s
    5. Understanding level of detail
      2m 46s
    6. Working with the modifier stack
      3m 38s
    7. Understanding dependencies
      5m 23s
    8. Collapsing the modifier stack
      6m 50s
  5. 1h 5m
    1. Using the Graphite ribbon with Editable Poly
      4m 47s
    2. Working with subobjects
      6m 0s
    3. Welding vertices
      6m 47s
    4. Choosing a transform center
      4m 22s
    5. Detailing with Cut and Remove
      4m 30s
    6. Detailing with QuickSlice
      4m 56s
    7. Using soft selection
      4m 9s
    8. Faceting corners with Chamfer
      3m 2s
    9. Using Window/Crossing Selection
      2m 50s
    10. Using Paint Selection
      5m 21s
    11. Combining objects with Attach
      1m 44s
    12. Joining elements with Bridge
      4m 39s
    13. Branching polygons with Extrude
      3m 44s
    14. Smoothing and hardening edges
      8m 46s
  6. 43m 50s
    1. Understanding subdivision surfaces
      7m 35s
    2. Creating an editable poly object
      4m 29s
    3. Adding the Symmetry modifier
      3m 30s
    4. Choosing NURMS or TurboSmooth
      7m 16s
    5. Roughing out the shape
      8m 9s
    6. Inserting edge loops with SwiftLoop
      3m 8s
    7. Constraining subobject transforms
      1m 37s
    8. Welding the seam
      1m 59s
    9. Adding asymmetry
      2m 14s
    10. Baking subdivisions
      3m 53s
  7. 35m 52s
    1. Sculpting with Paint Deform
      6m 33s
    2. Using Noise and Relax Brushes
      4m 30s
    3. Setting Paint options
      3m 46s
    4. Controlling Brush options
      5m 11s
    5. Conforming one object to another
      3m 53s
    6. Sculpting with Conform Transform brushes
      5m 52s
    7. Duplication with Object Paint
      4m 20s
    8. Positioning objects with Select and Place
      1m 47s
  8. 33m 32s
    1. Creating a line
      2m 21s
    2. Moving a pivot point
      1m 37s
    3. Revolving a surface with a Lathe modifier
      2m 27s
    4. Using different vertex types
      3m 4s
    5. Using axis constraints
      6m 14s
    6. Extending a spline
      4m 8s
    7. Snapping an Arc primitive
      2m 23s
    8. Combining splines with Attach and Merge
      1m 31s
    9. Rounding corners with Fillet
      1m 28s
    10. Offsetting a spline with Outline
      4m 13s
    11. Adjusting level of detail with Interpolation
      4m 6s
  9. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding NURBS
      2m 48s
    2. Creating NURBS curves
      4m 24s
    3. Converting objects to NURBS
      3m 32s
    4. Cloning subobjects
      3m 13s
    5. Creating a U loft surface
      3m 29s
    6. Rebuilding curves
      3m 18s
    7. Setting Surface Approximation
      6m 36s
    8. Grouping objects
      4m 14s
  10. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding hierarchies
      3m 1s
    2. Moving and rotating pivot points
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding coordinate systems
      6m 53s
    4. Setting Axis Order for rotation
      6m 0s
    5. Linking objects
      3m 41s
    6. Using the Schematic view
      3m 8s
    7. Locking transforms
      2m 57s
    8. Avoiding problems with scale
      7m 55s
  11. 32m 35s
    1. Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
      2m 40s
    2. Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
      1m 20s
    3. Creating a Text primitive
      4m 25s
    4. Applying a Bevel modifier
      3m 48s
    5. Instancing a modifier
      2m 13s
    6. Editing text splines
      6m 12s
    7. Viewport clipping
      1m 16s
    8. Controlling level of detail
      3m 44s
    9. Editing polygons
      6m 57s
  12. 29m 7s
    1. Merging scenes
      1m 43s
    2. Managing Display layers
      5m 0s
    3. Creating a target camera
      5m 51s
    4. Enabling Safe Frames
      3m 23s
    5. Choosing an aspect ratio in Render Setup
      2m 34s
    6. Adjusting Field of View
      3m 48s
    7. Using a free camera
      6m 48s
  13. 40m 17s
    1. Setting up Time Configuration
      2m 5s
    2. Choosing Set Key Filters
      2m 11s
    3. Creating keyframes in Set Key mode
      3m 37s
    4. Editing keyframes in the timeline
      1m 24s
    5. Editing position keys with trajectories
      3m 5s
    6. Editing function curves in the Curve Editor
      8m 33s
    7. Creating keyframes in Auto Key mode
      5m 55s
    8. Building up animation in passes
      5m 34s
    9. Editing keyframes in the Dope Sheet
      7m 53s
  14. 21m 23s
    1. Understanding controllers
      2m 53s
    2. Assigning a Link constraint
      2m 27s
    3. Adding link targets in the Motion panel
      1m 56s
    4. Animating constrained objects
      4m 47s
    5. Constraining animation to a path
      9m 20s
  15. 54m 32s
    1. Understanding CG lighting
      5m 56s
    2. Creating a target spotlight
      2m 6s
    3. Adjusting intensity and color
      2m 33s
    4. Setting spotlight Hotspot and Falloff
      3m 0s
    5. Correcting gamma
      5m 31s
    6. Previewing renders with ActiveShade
      3m 13s
    7. Controlling contrast and highlights
      2m 59s
    8. Choosing a shadow type
      2m 56s
    9. Optimizing shadow maps
      7m 4s
    10. Optimizing area shadows
      6m 9s
    11. Creating Omni fill lights
      6m 16s
    12. Using the Light Lister
      2m 49s
    13. Excluding objects from lights
      4m 0s
  16. 27m 21s
    1. Using the Slate Material Editor
      3m 28s
    2. Choosing material and shading types
      4m 0s
    3. Working with scene materials
      4m 49s
    4. Adjusting specular parameters
      5m 53s
    5. Assigning Multi/Sub-Object materials
      9m 11s
  17. 46m 48s
    1. Applying 3D procedural maps
      8m 34s
    2. Working with bitmap image files
      4m 32s
    3. Tracking scene assets
      7m 32s
    4. Projecting UVW mapping
      3m 3s
    5. Using Real-World Map Size
      3m 50s
    6. Mapping a bump channel
      2m 25s
    7. Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
      6m 47s
    8. Painting objects with Viewport Canvas
      10m 5s
  18. 19m 27s
    1. Choosing a renderer
      6m 7s
    2. Choosing Quicksilver options
      2m 33s
    3. Enabling motion blur in the software renderer
      3m 38s
    4. Rendering image sequences
      3m 58s
    5. Playing image sequences in the RAM Player
      3m 11s
  19. 15m 37s
    1. Controlling mental ray sample quality
      4m 28s
    2. Tuning Final Gather
      5m 15s
    3. Enabling motion blur in mental ray
      3m 18s
    4. Distance blurring with depth of field
      2m 36s
  20. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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Watch the Online Video Course 3ds Max 2015 Essential Training
10h 43m Beginner May 13, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Aaron F. Ross covers all the features you'll need to start creating advanced 3D models and animation with 3ds Max 2015. Learn the most suitable techniques for modeling different types of objects, from splines and NURBS to polygonal and subdivision surface modeling. Then learn how to design 3D motion graphics, set up cameras, animate with keyframes, and assign constraints. Aaron also provides an overview of lighting scenes within a simple studio setup, and construction of materials with the Slate Material Editor. Finally, learn about your hardware and software rendering options, and make your projects more realistic with motion blur, indirect illumination, and depth of field.

Topics include:
  • Navigating the interface and viewports
  • Understanding the Modifier Stack
  • Modeling with polygons and subdivision surfaces
  • Freeform sculpting
  • Modeling with splines and NURBS
  • Linking objects in hierarchies
  • Modeling for motion graphics
  • Framing shots with cameras
  • Creating and editing keyframes
  • Controlling lights and shadows
  • Building materials
  • Texturing with bitmaps and procedurals
  • Painting objects with Viewport Canvas
  • Rendering a sequence
  • Adding special effects with mental ray
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Tuning Final Gather

Final gather is the automatic calculation of bounce. Light bouncing off of diffused surfaces, not mirror reflections, but, scattered reflections or ambient light. This is rendering with file and gather disabled. Let me clone that off so we can compare it. And, minimize that. And then let's go into the Global Illumination tab, in the Render Setup dialogue. And enable final gather. There are some presets here, but I do not recommend using these presets.

The presets frankly, actually make no sense. And they have way too high of quality settings for no reason. There's no real reason why you would ever want to do this. For example, up on here on very high, it's got crazy mad high values here. The idea of final gathering is to produce a kind of wash across the scene. And with these extremely high settings it's going to take an incredibly long time to render, and it's going to have super highly detailed bounce.

But for no reason, you will not be able to tell much difference on the screen. So it's important to know how to optimize this. Don't use these presets. Really, they're not helpful. The first parameter here is the initial final gather point density. That's the number of rays that are coming out from the camera. The low value here is about 0.4, really the optimal value I've found is a value of about one. And you can bring it down from that, I actually have used values lower than that. But really have had no occasion to take it up past one, or maybe two at the very most,but really, one is the optimal value.

The next parameter here is the rays per final gather point. What happens is that rays shoot out from the camera, and hit surfaces. And then from there, additional rays bounce off of that surface to test other surfaces nearby. And this is the number of rays that bounce off. And I've got a value of 150 here. That's actually kind of high. We can bring that down a bit, to maybe like 100 or so. Now we have the interpolation. This is the blending. If you have a lowish number of rays and a high blending then you'll get a nice wash that will render quickly.

So instead of cranking up the number of initial rays with the number of bounce rays, and then having a low interpolation. Instead we should have a moderate number of initial rays and bounce rays. And have a interpolation of again like 100 or more. And then finally this is an important attribute here. This parameter, diffuse bounces. This is the number of additional diffuse bounces. So you're always getting one diffuse bounce for free.

If final gather is on, you're always getting one bounce. In other words, a light wave is hitting a surface like the table here. And then bouncing off that and hitting another surface. You're always getting one diffuse bounce. You can increase this value up to as many additional diffuse bounces as you want. I would a recommend a value of exactly one. Anything more than that is not going to really show up on the screen, and there are some tool tips here, if you hover your mouse. Frankly, don't believe these tool tips.

It says here, typically a value of four to seven is required for accurate interior renderings. That is absolutely not true. If you increase this up to a value of four or seven, it's going to take forever to calculate the final gatherer. I mean it's going to take hours per frame to calculate, and it's just unnecessary. Again, this is the optimal value, exactly one diffuse bounce because after one bounce, the energy is, so diminished with each additional bounce that we will not be able to even see it on the screen.

So these are the values that I recommend and these are kind of easy to remember, one, 100, 100, and one and click Render. So the final gather phase takes a little bit longer now because it's more accurate, and it's going to look better. But not that much longer. I mean, if we had used those recommended settings it would take a really really long time. It would take several minutes just to calculate the final gather phase. All right, cool, and so now we've got a really nice result here. We're seeing final gather on the figure as well as on these other objects.

And we'll compare that once again to the version with no final gather. And you can see it's brightened up. And it's significantly more realistic now. So final gather is a very powerful tool. It is enabled by default, and the settings in those presets are not helpful. So I would say, always have final gather turned on, when doing a Mental Ray render, but tweak these settings. And again, you're rule of thumb is you want a relatively low number of initial rays, a low number of bounce rays, but a high interpolation value in order to soften up the effect.

And exactly one diffuse bounce is optimal.

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