Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
Illustration by Richard Downs

Working with transparency


Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Working with transparency

The last object that needs a material on this model is the watch glass. And now it's actually selected in the View, and go to the Material editor. And create a new Arch and Design material. Scroll back up to Mantaray Arch and Design and drag that over.
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 49s
  2. 32m 32s
    1. Setting the Customize UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 43s
    2. Choosing units and grid options
      1m 13s
    3. Importing a CAD file
      5m 12s
    4. Managing the scene hierarchy
      7m 46s
    5. Managing display layers
      3m 52s
    6. Working with Body objects
      2m 53s
    7. Modeling an environment sphere
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a camera
      2m 44s
    9. Framing the shot
      2m 52s
  3. 16m 46s
    1. Creating mental ray area spot lights
      4m 31s
    2. Creating photometric spot lights
      5m 9s
    3. Setting exposure for studio lighting
      3m 9s
    4. Controlling Final Gather
      3m 57s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Creating Arch & Design materials
      7m 26s
    2. Creating an environment material
      6m 14s
    3. Enabling self-illumination
      5m 33s
    4. Applying procedural textures
      7m 20s
    5. Working with reflectivity
      7m 10s
    6. Creating a metal material
      4m 33s
    7. Adjusting highlights
      5m 4s
    8. Varying highlights with a bump map
      6m 43s
    9. Working with transparency
      4m 44s
    10. Adding ambient-occlusion nodes
      6m 40s
  5. 37m 46s
    1. Understanding image-based lighting
      2m 42s
    2. Creating a skylight
      2m 10s
    3. Adding a spherical environment map
      2m 51s
    4. Controlling bitmap coordinates
      4m 5s
    5. Setting exposure for image-based lighting
      7m 36s
    6. Adjusting materials
      5m 38s
    7. Modeling environment geometry
      5m 42s
    8. Self-illuminated image-based lighting
      7m 2s
  6. 50m 6s
    1. Controlling mental ray Sampling Quality
      5m 18s
    2. Rendering to the high-dynamic-range EXR format
      5m 52s
    3. Defining After Effects color settings
      4m 0s
    4. Adjusting the image
      10m 4s
    5. Setting up render elements
      7m 51s
    6. Creating ambient-occlusion materials
      6m 9s
    7. Layering specularity and reflections
      3m 47s
    8. Adding all render-element layers
      7m 5s
  7. 49s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max
3h 25m Intermediate May 15, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Importing solid models as 3ds Max body objects
  • Working with the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
  • Building Arch & Design materials
  • Creating area and photometric lights
  • Setting exposure control
  • Optimizing indirect illumination with Final Gather
  • Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
  • Lighting with self-illuminated geometry
  • Rendering to high dynamic range
  • Saving render passes with Render Elements
  • Adding ambient occlusion
  • Layering and color correction in After Effects
3D + Animation CAD
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Working with transparency

The last object that needs a material on this model is the watch glass. We've had it hidden this whole time so that we could see the watch face, and the hands. Let's unhide that watch glass. Go back to the Manage Layers dialogue, and unhide the glass. We also want to select it while we're at it. So, we'll select that. And now it's actually selected in the View, and go to the Material editor. And create a new Arch and Design material. Scroll back up to Mantaray Arch and Design and drag that over.

And then double-click it, and then give it a name, we'll call it Glass. And luckily for us, there's a preset. We can just go in to Select a Template, and we've got Glass, and there's several varieties. There's Thin Geometry, Solid Geometry, and Physical. Thin Geometry is for glazing on windows. Solid Geometry is for solid objects like this one is. It actually has thickness. And Physical is another version of Solid that uses physically accurate algorithm.

However, that accuracy comes at a cost and it's much slower to render. I don't recommend using the Physical template because we can get good enough results from the Solid Geometry template. So activate that. And that's ready to go, we can go ahead and assign it. So it's selected and the glass is selected in the Viewport, and we can click Assign Material to Selection. And now that's done. If we need to adjust anything we can come back in here, but let's do a test render and see what we get now. Here's the result we get with just the default glass, and if you look really, really closely here, let me zoom in.

You'll see that you're getting a little bit of an edge rim here, that's a bit of refraction. And what we're seeing is these markers refracted through that glass, or light bending through the glass. That's a subtle effect. You can see we're getting a rim light here on that glass as well. And we're getting a bit of a white sort of glow here. And that might be a reflection or it might be a highlight. There's no way for us to know right now. But we can go back into our Material editor and if we need to we can make an adjustment.

So there's a couple things we can do here. One is we can enable Highlights and Final-gather only, and that's going to disable Reflections. And we can just test to see if that is going to change. And instead of rendering the entire view, we can just do a region render. So click on the little Edit Region hand icon there. And then move this around until you're just in the area you want to test, and then click Render. Okay, so apparently having changed it to Highlights and Final Gather Only it did in fact improve it a little bit if you look really closely.

I want to zoom in a bit again but the only way I can do that is to go back up here to View Render and then zoom in a bit. You can see the difference here now after having turned Highlights and Final Gather Only on, we're not getting any reflections we're only getting the highlights. And we're not getting so much glow. And if we want to increase this highlight or decrease the highlight, we can scroll down into Advanced Rendering Options. And we can adjust the intensity of the highlights here. So, if we want more intense highlights, we can increase that.

And if we want it to be less intense, we can decrease it. Let's try increasing it and see what it looks like. Go back out, go back to Edit Region. Render that region again, maybe a little bit larger area this time. Alright so we've increased the intensity of the highlights, let's look at this in View mode here. And basically we're getting a hotter highlight here and no reflections here. If I zoom in again we can see that a bit more clearly. This is after having made the adjustments and this is before. And it just depends upon the look that you're trying to achieve. I think, in fact, I want to have just the default intensity, bring it back down to one.

And I think that's going to work just fine. So, my final decision here is to have the Intensity set to one, and to have Highlights and Final Gather Only enabled. We'll go ahead and render the entire view once again. All right, that's the result of our test render and it's looking pretty good at this point. And now, we can add Ambient Occlusion, which is going to give us even more realism.

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