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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.
When working with a camera and preparing for a rendering, we need to pay special attention to the Aspect Ratio of the image. Aspect Ratio is the Width divided by the Height of any image. So you have probably seen this when you set up your TV. Do you want it to be a wide screen, or do you want it to be a 4:3 Aspect Ratio? These are things that we need to think about in advance before we actually do any rendering or shooting. The default Aspect Ratio with 3ds Max is actually 4:3, and this is determined through the Render Settings.
So if I go into the Render Setup window, it's a teapot with a little dialog box next to it on the Main Toolbar. Go into the Render Setup, and you will see Output Size, Width and Height in pixels, and then finally Image Aspect down here. This is a square pixel Aspect Ratio, meaning that the pixel is square. But the Image is 1.333:1 or 4/3, and that's achieved by dividing 640/480.
So 640/480 is 1.333. If I do a quick rendering of this Camera View, we will see what this looks like. So this is an aspect of 4:3. I can change this. Let's say I do Aspect of 640/360, and now that's 1.778, which is the same as a high-definition television aspect. I will Render that, and you will see, now I am getting a wider screen aspect.
So in 3ds Max, as in many 3D programs, the Aspect Ratio is not a property of the camera. It's actually a property of the renderer. And we set up Aspect Ratio in the Render Settings and not in the camera. I will change this back 640/ 480, and that's the default. Now we are back to the standard definition television aspect.
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