Many times, people need to simulate the effect of sunlight in a visualization. This video, George shows how to set up 3ds Max’s Sun Positioner to create a physical sun and sky for use with the ART Renderer.
- [Instructor] Another way to create environmental lighting, is to use physical sun and sky. And we can get to this using the Sun Positioner. So we can find this under the Create tab under Lights. And you'll see we have a Sun Positioner button. When I create that, it allows me to do a couple things. First, I can drag out a Compass, and then I can rotate that Compass.
So I'm going to make sure that north is facing up, in my top view. And then, when I click again, you can see, I can position the sun far away or close to the object. So, I'm going to put the sun somewhere around 2,000 units away. So now that I have this, I have a model of the sun that I can use. So, if I go over to my Modify tab, you'll see I have my Sun Positioner still selected, and I can modify a lot of things.
So first one is the Compass. I can turn that on or off. And if I want, I can change the size of that. I can also change where north is. So I can align this to my scene. And I'm going to keep this at zero. And then, again, just like we did before, we can change the distance of the sun. So, if I want to bring it closer, or bring it further away, we can. And then we can change the sun's position. So, if I zoom out here, you can see that as I change the time of day, the motion of the sun across the sky changes.
And so, I'm going to leave this right around noon. And then, if we want, we can change the actual day of the year. We can change the location on earth, by latitude or longitude, or by picking on a map. Or from a list where we actually are. By default, it's San Francisco. And I'll leave it there. And then if we want, we can also hard code the coordinates of the sun. Now when we have this, it actually adds in something into our environment as well.
So, if we go into Rendering, under Environment, you'll see that it adds in a sun and sky environment. So, if I go into, say, something like a Material Editor, I can take a look at this by left clicking, and dragging over a slot, and selecting instance. And that gives me my sun and sky environment. And I'll get back to this in just a bit. So, let's do a quick render of this, and see what it looks like.
Now, when I do a render, what happens is, it basically just over exposes it. So, I'm going to go ahead and stop this, and cancel it. Now what we have to do is, when we're using sun and sky, is we have to control exposure. So, we can do that under Rendering, Exposure Control. And you can see here, under Environment Effects, we have our sun and sky, but we also have exposure control here.
And if we want, we can render a small preview of this. And, this looks very similar to what we had before. But now, we could step through exposure controls. So, if I go to "no exposure control", well, nothing happens. But "automatic" gives us something that looks like that. And if we turn on Background and Environment Maps, you can see that this is what we're getting. If we want to do "Linear", that's what that looks like. We could use "Long Arithmetic", that's a little too much.
"Physical and Pseudo Color". Well, I'm just going to go ahead and go to "Automatic". And make sure we process Background and Environment Maps. And then if we want, we can go down here to further control this. So, if we want to do Color Correction, Brightness, Contrast, and so on, we can also do that. But I'm just going to leave his at "Automatic". And let's go ahead and now do a render. So, as you can see, we're getting a good amount of light from our sun.
We're getting proper shadows. We're also getting background images. So, we're getting kind of a background gradient for the sky, as well as a dark colored horizon. Now, if we want to change these, we can go into Material Editor. Now, remember I clicked and dragged that physical sun and sky into this slot, and now we can change it, however we want. So, if I want to change, say, the haze of this. You can see, if I dial this up or down, I can add some haze to my atmosphere.
So if I put this somewhere around .4, and do another render, you'll see that the whole scene gets a little bit hazier. And you can see how that changes the color of the sky. I'm going to go ahead and cancel this. And let's go ahead and put this back down to zero. We can also change the Intensity of the sun, how much the sun glows. And you can see a lot of this right here. So if I want to, I can turn up the glow on the sun. And you can see how the sun is getting physically bigger here.
We can make the Intensity lower, or bigger. So, if I want to, I can make the sun brighter than it should be. I can also change the size of the disc. So if I wanted to make a bigger sun, I can do that. And then, I can also change the Intensity of the sky, as well. And, I can also do blurring of the horizon. So, I've gone ahead and made this a little bit bigger, in terms of the size of the sun. So, let's go ahead and one more render.
And, as you can see, we've got a good render. So, the Sun Positioner is a great way to get basic outdoor environmental lighting into the art render. Now, you can combine this with additional lighting, as well as image-based lighting, if you want.
- Biased vs. unbiased rendering
- ART renderer setup
- Optimizing for speed and quality
- Using the Scene Converter
- Creating materials for ART
- Understanding physical materials
- Working with lights
- Creating depth of field in ART
- Configuring motion blur in ART