Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Physical Camera controls, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- In this video, we're going to take a look over a few of the myriad controls that are provided to us as a part of the V-Ray Physical Cameras tool set. The first choice presented to us being that of camera type. Changing this option alters the way in which our camera simulates shutter types, and so mainly affects any in-render motion blur that we may be producing. The still camera has been designed to simulate a still photo camera, and so makes use of a regular shutter speed value denoting fractions of a second, just as you would find on a digital SLR or point-and-shoot camera.
The movie camera simulates, naturally, a motion-picture camera, and so makes use of a circular shutter. This means we lose the shutter speed control, and instead gain shutter angle and shutter offset options, both of which work using values set in degrees of rotation. With the video camera model, we have something that simulates a shutterless video camera using a CCD matrix, and so the only extra control we have is that of the CCD matrices latency, which again is set using a value of seconds.
Focal length is an important control on any camera, determining as it does both the field and the framing of our shot. With higher values, such as 125 millimeters, we essentially find ourselves working in telephoto territory, with perspective in a shot becoming much flatter, and so distances between objects being that much harder to judge. Going the other way of course, so lower focal length values such as 25 millimeters, give us the opposite, wide-angle effect with our camera's field of view now opening out and being able to capture a much broader view of our environment.
Again, to add a photographic feel to our work, we would want as much as possible to use focal lengths that match those most commonly used by real-world photographers and cinematographers, although we do need to keep in mind that the 36 millimeter film gate setting on the physical camera means that it is set up by default to behave as per a 35 millimeter film or full-frame sensor digital camera. Settings that will impact the behavior of focal length values that we set.
An alternative, of course, to using focal length, would be to switch over and frame our shots using the field of view parameter instead. Focus is another extremely important aspect of any shot or render that we make. If we turn in shots that have the wrong parts of the frame, either in or out of focus, then we could find ourselves having to redo work that we once considered completed. Thankfully, the V-Ray camera gives us a couple of options for specifying focal distance, and we will be taking a look at those in our depth of field video.
A very important set of controls for anyone doing large-scale visualization renders, such as (unintelligible) for instance, are the tilt shift parameters that have been designed to mimic the effect of expensive tilt-shift lenses often times used by professional architectural photographers. The basic idea is identical to the camera correction modifier available in 3ds Max itself, in that sloping perspective verticals, often found in shots looking up at tall buildings, are straightened out and made to look much more pleasing and presentable to the eye.
The brilliant thing here if I just switch to our upward looking camera using the C key, is the ease with which this can be done. All we really need to do in many situations is click the Guess Vertical Tilt button, and we're pretty much done. Although if we then want to go ahead and manually tweak the tilt settings that V-Ray has given us, we can of course do so. The final set of controls we will look at here are those governing wide balance, just as with most digital cameras these days, these controls give us the ability to either neutralize or deliberately alter the color cast or color balance found in our renders.
If I go ahead and take a render, what we see is an early morning or late afternoon looking image that has been created using the physical camera's default D65 white balance option. If we save what we have to history, and switch instead to the D50 option, we can take another render, and note as we compare the two images that we are now getting a somewhat cooler look, one that gives quite a different feel to the render. Besides using the named presets here, we can also switch to the temperature option, and manually set a kelvin color temperature.
Let's try 3,000, and take another render. This now gives us a massively blue cast to our image. Alternatively, we could set the white balance option to Custom, and from the color swatch pick any color we like. Do be warned though, the more saturated the color we use here, the more pronounced the effect will be on our renders, with strongly saturated colors often producing some very weird looking lighting scenarios, which of course is fine if that is the effect that we are going for.
- 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.