Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the exercise files, part of 3ds Max: Advanced Lighting (2017).
- [Narrator] If you have access to the Exercise Files provided with the course, go ahead and download those and unzip them to a convenient location. I've placed them here on my desktop Exercise Files. If you don't have access to the Exercise Files, you can still complete the course using your own assets. If you're on a mobile device or simply don't have 3ds Max in front of you, of course you can still learn by observation. If you are going to be following the demo in 3ds Max, whether you're using the Exercise Files or not you'll need to set up 3ds Max to the proper project folder.
Let's look at how to create a new project folder, if you don't have access to the Exercise Files. On the Windows desktop I'll right click, and choose New, Folder. And I'll select it and rename it Lighting Project. And now that empty folder's been created. I'll go into 3ds Max and on the Caption Bar, at the top we have a row of icons. And on the far right is a folder and that tells us what our current project folder is.
And I've got the default one, which is the Current User Documents 3ds Max. To assign a project folder, click on that button, or go into the Application Menu, under Manage Set Project Folder. In the Browse for Folder dialogue, we just want to select that empty folder we just created. It's here on the desktop. And I'll just select Lighting Project and click Okay. 3ds Max creates the product folder structure, and is now referencing that folder as the project root.
So if we go into Windows Explorer again, just minimize 3ds Max. Go into Lighting Project folder, double click on that and you can see that we've now got all of the project subfolders. Let's now look at how to assign 3ds Max to the Exercise Files, which is an existing project folder. Back in 3ds Max, we just execute that same command. Click on the Project Folder button and simply select Exercise Files. Don't click on any of the subfolders, make sure you're selecting Exercise Files which is the root of the project, and click Okay.
And now if we go into the File Open Menu, we're taken directly to Desktop, Exercise Files, Scenes. And here are the Scene Files for the course. I'll cancel out of there and let's look at the Exercise Files in Windows. Go back to Windows Explorer and, of course, the most important folder is Scenes, open that up. Most movies in the course have a Scene File associated with them. And oftentimes the end state of the previous movie will become the begin state for the following movie.
Sometimes, however, there is a finished example. And that's the end of that particular workflow. Additionally, there is an Xrefs Folder. If we go in there, these are Scene Files that are referenced into the other Scene Files. So these are being used multiple times. So that we don't eat up a lot of disk space, I'm using Xrefs here. Let's go into Scene Assets as well, and in the images folder are all of the texture files required to render the shots. And additionally there a couple other important things in Scene Assets.
There is under Photometric there's an IES File, which is a lighting definition. And then also in Substance, we've got a couple of substances that I've just backed up here, In case there's any conflict with a later version of 3ds Max. And finally, in Render Output there are some examples which are final renderings. And each one of these is actually an end state for the referenced movie listed in the final name. And that's how to set up a 3ds Max Project Folder.
Either for your own Scene Files or for the Exercise Files provided with the course. Let's now begin learning some concepts in advanced lighting.
- Photometric lighting and gamma correction
- High dynamic range and exposure control
- Global illumination
- Exterior daylight
- Image-based lighting
- Atmospheric effects
- Geometric backdrops and self-illumination
- Hiding the background for compositing
- Interior daylight
- Studio soft lighting
- Importing photometric data
- Light and shadow exclusion
- Mapping light with Projector Map
- Lens Effects