Learn how to control CPU use and enable legacy maps.
- [Instructor] To streamline our rendering workflow and optomized 3DS Max for performance and compatibility with the Arnold renderer, let's change a few key preferences and settings. First go into the customize menu, to the preferences dialog. And in the general tab, I recommend increasing the scene undo levels to 100. Type in 100, and you have to press enter, or it won't take. Go over to the files tab, now.
And enable this switch label convert local file paths to relative. And this just shortens the paths that are displayed in 3DS Max so that they will fit into the interface. It displays the file path relative to the current project, and doesn't display the volume or drive letter. Click okay to close the preference settings. Next, go back into the customize menu, and open up custom UI and defaults switcher.
We want to change this from Max to Max.art. The reason we do this is to avoid error messages in the 3DS Max material editor. The default Max settings populate the material editor with standard scan line materials. And those are not 100% compatible with Arnold. When we choose Max.art, we populate the material editor with physical materials.
Under these conditions, with Arnold as the rednerer, and Max.art as the initial settings, we won't see error messages when we display the material editor sample slots. Go ahead and click set to close the dialog. Thee screen will flash, and you'll get another dialog saying custom UI default switcher. The default settings will take effect the next time you restart 3DS Max. So click okay, and the immediately exit and restart.
After restarting 3DS Max, I want to enhance visibility by changing the background and grid colors. Go into customize, customize user interface. In that dialog, go to the colors tab. And with elements set to view ports, we'll choose the view port background. Scroll down a little bit. View port background, click on the color swatch, and I recommend setting it to a value of 100.
Click okay. We can click apply colors now. We see we've got a lighter background now, but we also need to change the grid settings. Under elements, choose grids, set by intensity. Change the intensity to 90. Click apply colors now, and now we got good contrast on our grid. Close the customize user interface dialog.
I'm gonna hide some of the screen elements I'm not using, starting with the ribbon. I can do that from the main toolbar here. Toggle ribbon, just turn that off. And I've got the view port layout tabs over here. Right-click on the textured bar at the top. And turn the view port layout tabs off. Same with the scene explorer. Right click and disable the scene explorer. I also don't need the timeline. So I'll right-click on the texture bar on the left there, and hide the time slider.
Once we got the interface the way we want it, we can lock it. Go to customize lock UI layout. Now let's go into the render settings. And that's a teapot with a little gear. Render setup. Change the production renderer over from scan line to Arnold, and in the common tab, while I'm here I'm gonna change the aspect ratio of the rendering. I've got a preset here for 640 by 480.
Just right-click on that and change the height to 360. And now I've got a 1.777 aspect ratio. Click okay. And click that button. Now let's go over to the system tab. And we have some very important settings for Arnold. And these settings are stored in the scene file, not in your preferences. We'll leave anything here in the render setup dialog, as stored in your scene. We can first and foremost enable legacy 3DS Max map support.
Turn that on, and you get a warning here. This option only works inside Max 2A and is not supported in exported.ass files. What does this mean? Well a .ass file is an Arnold scene source. And that's a scene file format that's specific to Arnold. We can save out a .ass, and then use the Arnold command line renderer, which is called kick. But if we're not using kick, then there's no need to worry about the compatibility issue here.
And if this switch is off, then you will not have access to all the maps you need in the material editor. This really needs to be on, if you want to use 3DS Max procedural maps, like noise. Then we come to the threads. Arnold will automatically detect how many cores you have on your system, and use all of them. I recommend throttling it just a little bit. Leave some overhead for other processes. Turn auto detect off.
We can set the number of threads or corse explicitly here. If I have eight cores, I can set this value to seven, and leave one core open for other jobs. But even better, I can set this a negative value. Bring the number of threads down to negative one. And now Arnold will still now auto detect how many cores I have, which is eight. And it will use eight minus one cores. Excellent, so we set up our performance and compatibility settings. We can close the render setup dialog.
And those settings, once again, are only for the current scene. So to make sure that Arnold is always set as my current renderer, with those performance and compatibility settings, I'll save out a template scene, which is Maxstart.max. Go to the file menu and choose save. And in the current project's scenes folder, simply save a file named Maxstart. Click save, and then just for good measure, exit and restart once again.
That's how to setup 3DS Max for compatibility with the Arnold renderer.
- Arnold rendering concepts
- Arnold lights such as quad, spot, and distant
- Modifying Arnold object properties
- Filtering light with the gobo filter modifier
- Image-based lighting with Skydome
- Daylight simulation with Physical Sky
- Arnold Standard Surface material parameters
- Diffuse, opacity, and bump mapping
- Rendering refractions with Transmission
- Building an Arnold shading network
- Test rendering with utility map
- Mesh subdivision and displacement at render time
- Atmospheric perspective with scene environment fog
- Rendering a spherical environment with VR Camera