Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating depth of field, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- One of the effects that we may find ourselves wanting to reproduce when rendering with the new 3ds Max physical camera is depth of field, and the fact that can impact both the aesthetic and technical aspects of our renders. Sometimes we will want to use a really deep depth of field in order to keep most everything in our renders sharp and in focus. A typical example being a landscape rendering where the desired outcome is to capture detail, not only in the foreground, but perhaps most of the way to the horizon as well.
Of course at other times, we will want to use a shallow or narrow depth of field, one that enables us to blur both background and foreground elements in order to direct the viewer's eye to the focal point of our images. Achieving both of these effects is a very simple and straightforward thing to do while using the physical camera's control set. To gain access to the depth of field controls, we will of course need to have our camera selected. In the scene explorer, then, let's go ahead and do that, and then come across to the command panel, and in the Modify tab, access all of our camera controls and paramaters.
To enable depth of field, all we need to do is come to the physical camera rollout, and in the focus section, put a check in the relevant box. Now we have already mentioned in this chapter that the controlling paramater for a depth of field effect is it's f-stop or aperture setting. If we use the alt and W keys to switch to a foreview here, and then frame up on the selected camera in the orthographic views using the zoom extend selected command, we can see, as I alter the aperture value, how it affects the depth of field representation on the physical camera object in the view.
This can be a very handy tool indeed, to help us visually gauge where depth of field will have an effect in our renders. The default point of focus in the scene is determined by the location of the camera's target, which, as you can see here, is at the center of the depth of field area. If we need to place our point of focus at a very specific location in our scene, then the camera's target will probably be the quickest and easiest way of doing so. One really cool aspect of the new physical camera when used in conjunction with the nitrous viewport in Max, is that we actually get to preview the depth of field effect in the camera view.
With an aperture value of f 16 then, the camera gizmo shows that we're getting a really deep or wide depth of field, whilst the camera viewport shows us a correspondingly subtle blurring effect. If we go the other way, and drop down to an aperture setting of f 5.6, we now see a very shallow depth of field, indicated by the viewpoint gizmo, and a much stronger blurring effect in the camera view. Indeed, depth of field control is one area in which the new 3ds Max physical camera works much better than did the older vray version, in that whilst working in the default exposure mode of target, and making changes as we are to the aperture setting in order to get the depth of field effect that we want, we're not in any way altering the exposure in our scene.
If I arrange the rollouts here so that we can see both the aperture and EV target controls, you can see, as I make changes to the aperture setting, that the ISO value is automatically updating so as to keep us at the exact exposure value that we have already specified. Besides using the camera's target to determine the point of focus in the scene, we can also use the custom option found in the focus controls, and so manually specify the distance from the camera which we want the depth of field effect to occur.
The cool thing here being that we are still able to use the current aperture value in order to control the depth of field effect. Before enabling that option, though, let's set our aperture to a very shallow f 2.8, and then take a test render. What we get is a very strong and shallow depth of field effect in the image. Let's save that to history, turn on the custom focus option, and set the distance to 171 centimeters.
This should put the point of focus more or less right on our cue ball at the other end of the table. Now unfortunately, the custom option doesn't preview in the viewport, but if I go ahead and take a render, you can see that this is exactly what has happened. And if I just compare this with our previous image, you can see that the exposure levels we are getting are identical, because the custom option does work in conjunction with the target or auto ISO mode.
Depth of field with the new 3ds Max physical camera, then, is both easy to create and work with, behaving as it does in a very intuitive manner. It even has controllable bokah effects built in. Next up, we're going to take a look at creating a motion blur effect with the physical camera.
- Using the new UI elements, Quick Settings, and revamped Frame Buffer
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding V-Ray light types
- Working with the V-Ray Sun and Sky systems and dome light
- Using irradiance mapping and light cache
- Working with diffuse color maps
- Making reflective materials
- Creating a translucency effect
- Using the new SSS and skin shaders
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Working with the adaptive subdivision engine
- Controlling the physical camera
- Working with FX tools such as VRayFur and VRayMetaball
- Stereoscopic 3D rendering
- Using Render Mask
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 02/02/2016. What changed?
A: We added tutorials on the new 3ds Max camera tool, which replaces the defunct V-Ray Physical Camera. The author also includes a method for creating a V-Ray camera via scripting.
Q: This course was updated on 04/19/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover V-Ray 3.1 to 3.3 updates.