Achieving this sort of render in 3ds Max with Mental Ray

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  12 December 2013
Achieving this sort of render in 3ds Max with Mental Ray

I've been playing around with Global Illumination and Final Gather, and recently I came across this awesome render:

I've tried many different combinations of FG/GI settings along with several lighting methods, but the results were either too dark or too bright and washed out. It seems to me like they're using the Sky Portal, but I'm not sure about that...
  12 December 2013
This looks to me just like Ambient Occlusion pass.

1)Turn off GI, FG.. delete every light.
2) Use standard material with self illumination 100, and put in the diffuse slot a "ambient refractive occlusion" map (first in the list). Set the distance either to zero, either some high value that will look like the sample above.
3) Make environment color pure white.

And there you go.
Now it's the time to be extreme!
  12 December 2013
I'd say this is 'proper' lighting, ao wouldn't produce this kind of shadows (if you look closely you can see shadow cascading from each window).
  12 December 2013
I think it`s 'just' skylight+sky portal+AO pass.
And dont forget about mr photographic-exposure.
  12 December 2013
I used 2 MR Sky Portals coming in from each side along with Final Gather and AO, but this is the result I get:

There isn't much contrast at all, as you can see. It's also too dark, and adjusting the MR photographic exposure level doesn't do much for just makes the image more washed out.

You can also tell that the tray tops and edges of the windows are much more illuminated in the other picture. No matter where I put the Sky Portal, I can't get that result...

Last edited by ozzman1997 : 12 December 2013 at 06:39 PM.
  12 December 2013
I'm about to just give up. It seems like the lighting is more physical than just AO or Final Gather (or even the two combined), but by putting in physical lights, it's too physical-looking. What other types of lighting are there??
  12 December 2013
Keep in mind that that isn't a clay render, all the shaders are doing quite a lot. I'd say the look is possible to get with just portal lights, perhaps use a kelvin map as source (6500K, multiplier set to 2) instead of daylight system. Use medium or high preset on the fg with 2-4 bounces. No AO, or at least not a dominant one. Then finally tweak it with the exposure control, or even do the final tweaking in post.
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by ozzman1997: I'm about to just give up.

No need to give up, looks like it can be done, like MGernot said, just with sun&sky. If needed you can always add some fill lights. Here is my quick and dirty attempt. With further tweaking of material and lighting you can get what you want.

  12 December 2013
VR/ MR/ FR...or whatever, this is not hard to achive, really.
Forget about AO and all those tweakings, just skylight from specific location, do not know what render do you use....
Also, 2-3 shaders, minimum, some reflective and some difuse.
It is a simple, believe me.
  12 December 2013
This is the best result I managed to get which still remains washed-out, even with an exposure value of 0. It actually looks better than it would with sky portals (I have no idea why) but as you can see, the cabin is much more dark and dull than the cockpit is. If I kick up the exposure level, the cockpit becomes darker and more visible, but the cabin gets darker and duller...

Also in THIS render, you can clearly see evidence of physical shadows, especially toward the cabin ceiling:

I know it's not an MR daylight, as that would make much more crisp shadows and the MR sky makes everything have that bluish tinge. I think I have the material seems like an Arch & Design material with ~50% reflectivity and Ambient/Reflective Occlusion in the diffuse slot with a Max Distance of ~0.4. I just can't get the darn lighting to actually SHOW all of the detailed modeling I've done.

I apologize for being impatient/belligerent, but this is driving me crazy! (It happens every time I try to replicate someone else's render.)
  12 December 2013
You do know you can tweak renders in post? Higher contrast, blueish highlights or mid-tones is a thing of 10 seconds.

You should post your render, material and light settings.
  12 December 2013

I know you can edit the image in Photoshop after it's rendered, but I'm just trying to get accurate lighting first. I have one skylight with a multiplier of 4 and MR Photographic exposure control set to 0.0, which still yields terrible results.
  12 December 2013
Have you checked your gamma settings?
The GPU revolution will not be rasterized! -
  12 December 2013
Yes, my gamma is set to 1.8...but I thought that was just for I mistaken?
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by ozzman1997: Yes, my gamma is set to 1.8...but I thought that was just for I mistaken?

Yeah, there is quite a lot more to it that that, and it's not an easy subject so google for 'linear workflow 3dsmax' and find some tutorials/info.

Here are a few to get you started:

Basic Linear Workflow concept:

How to set in 3dsMax:
The GPU revolution will not be rasterized! -
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