Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Stereoscopic 3D rendering, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- Stereoscopic 3D is an important technology that is used in many areas of the graphics industry. And so in this video, we want to walk through the basics of setting up and even previewing stereoscopic 3D rendering, using the V-Ray engine. Now whilst the stereoscopic 3D pipeline as a whole, that is, from shot composition through to final post effects is, by its very nature, a technically challenging process, getting a basic stereo effect working in V-Ray is by comparison, pretty simple. In a scene where the left and right cameras have already been defined by a separate process, for example when their animation has been predefined using motion capture data, we could go ahead and make use of the V-Ray Stereo rig.
This can be accessed through the System section of the Command panel's Create tab. In simpler scenarios though, such as the one that we have here, we can instead, from the Helper section of the Command panel, access the VRay option in the drop down, and then click to choose the VRayStereoscopic Helper. All we need do then is single left mouse click in the viewport, and then right click to exit creation mode. With that, we have set up basic stereoscopic 3D rendering in our scene. Of course, there are a number of parameters that we will probably want or need to make some changes to, so with the Helper still selected, let's jump into the Modify tab.
One of the most important options for a successful stereo render is going to be this eye distance parameter. This controls how far apart the separate left and right eye images will be drawn. To show just what we mean, let's hit the Render button. And what we get by default is a split render in the V-Ray frame buffer, showing what the left and right eye images will look like. What V-Ray is doing here is taking the current render resolution's width value and splitting it in half.
Allocating 50% of the whole to each of the separate eye images. Now typically speaking, this is probably not the result that we will be after. We will, more than likely, want each of the eye images to be rendered at the full 900 x 507 resolution of the original scene. To do that, we just need to enable this adjust resolution check box, which when we do, and take another render, gives us a double width V-ray frame buffer, so 1800 x 507, in which each of the eye images are being rendered at the original size of 900 x 507.
A tool that we may now want to make use of, found down at the bottom of the V-Ray frame buffer window, would be the stereo red/cyan viewing mode that can be enabled from there. Once on, we get to see the left and right eye images as red and cyan overlays. And yes, if we are wearing the appropriate anaglyph format glasses, we can preview the stereoscopic 3D effect, right here inside the V-Ray frame buffer window. Do be aware though that this is a preview only mode. We can't actually save our renders to disk in this anaglyph format.
We would instead need to save our full or double resolution renders to disk and then create the stereoscopic effect in a post-production application. In order to get a stereo effect that I will be happy with, given the current setup of the camera in our scene, I'm going to need to set the eye, or in camera speak interaxial, distance here to something around about the 6.0cm mark. This will create a nice convergence effect for us. Keeping in mind, of course, that the distance value we see here always gives us a read out in current scene units.
Another important aspect of setting up the stereoscopic effect is that of how focus is set up to work in our scene. By default, both the standard 3ds Max camera that we are using here, and the V-Ray physical camera will use their target as the point of focus. If though, due to compositional requirements, we need to have something different set up in our scene, we can enable this specify focus option, and enter a focus distance in the focus distance field. When trying to control placement of the left and right images, another choice that will effect how things work is this interocular method.
The default is Shift both, which means that each of the left and right eye images will be moved either outwards or inwards around a central point whenever we change the eye distance parameter. Of course we could shift everything left, or shift everything right if those methods produced a more desirable result. Shift both though, is perhaps the more predictable option with which to work.
- 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.