Lighting & MR Advice Exchange

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Old 04 April 2004   #1
Lighting & MR Advice Exchange

Hello All

As folical9 has done such a good job initiating a thread on mental ray shaders I thought i would follow in his footsteps and try and get everyone to input all there knowledge and problems in mental ray within one thread ( here ) This would save people ages searching through the forum for specific theads relating to lighting problems etc..

I hope this thread becomes a success because we could all learn a great deal from each other and hopefully form a huge network of people exchanging thoughts related to lighting and problems with lightng while using the MR renderer.
Old 04 April 2004   #2
I have been searching through the forum and found some interesting advice on lighting interior scenes.

Assoma started a thread like this a while back but it seems to have gone silent , I think its because its in the main part of the max forum .

The main keypoints that kept popping up are below

Always use to scale models

Always start lighting a scene using one material for all. This way you can determine if its the lighting thats the problem or the materials .. This advice helped me out so much . infact after doing a bit of research MR has a material overide facility so that you can assign one material to your scene i.e standard diffuse grey but still have your old materials there as well..

Render scene > Processing > Material overide

Always enable final gather while using the sunlight and daylight systems or the results will turn out black when rendering

The decay settings can be helpfull if your scene is overlit

It is possible to generate quick renders while testing lighting by turning on Preview (noprecalculations) while using Final Gather
The Max trace depth seems to make the scene brighter the more you increase the settings . Standard being 5 for all

folical9 created an experiment some where in the forum which displays this..

You can also increase the light intensity in the scene using an exposure control... This allows you to play about with contrast etc.. it also allows you to test this on your model in real time

Rendering > Environment >Exposure Control

If you want to increase color bleeding then you need to increase the amount of energy in your scene that your lights emit.

If you find that you get strange blobs while rendering you can either up the Final Gathering or the number of GI photons

Hope these tips that i have found usefull help you guys

Please add to these tips as and when you learn something new and interesting.

Kind regards

Old 04 April 2004   #3
I have a problem.. does anyone know of any rules / guide lines to creating an exterior / night time scene...

Any help would be appreciated

Old 04 April 2004   #4
I have a problem too.. does anyone know of any rules / guide lines to use"use file"setting in finalgather
Any help would be appreciated

another problem:the exp control seems not support mentalray,how do you do that
Old 04 April 2004   #5
Im not to sure about the file problem but as for the exposure control.. You should always use a logarathmic exposure control .. That should work ..

Hope that helps


Just bought a Lighting book by darren brooker..will post some stuff up after i have finished the job i am working on

c ay
Old 04 April 2004   #6
Something good that may help people, would be posting some simple setups with lighting different scene and situations. This may help bring some problems into view and also answer some questions that many people have.
If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 04 April 2004   #7
Yeah thats a great idea.. Im gonna be reading this new lighting book that i have just bought and hope to put some stuff up on this thread after next week... What i read today is that the inverse square toggle on your lights is a valuable tool.. I will discuss this futher when i have finished work... Will put an example scene that i will have worked on which will implement all the new tricks etc that i have gained from research elsewhere

kind regards

Old 04 April 2004   #8
ok I have a very annoying problem and this seems a good place to post it

I want area shadows with a target light, doesnt sound too much to ask does it?

but mr wont let me, area shadows are turned on and all, but just dont work unless the light is an omni or spot

which is no good for things like sunlight

any ideas?
3D VFX Artist

Old 04 April 2004   #9
go to the middle of the page

If you go down to where you see the three statues, Folical 9 shows how he set up a good sun light set up.
If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 04 April 2004   #10
I've seen that I didnt think to use it, but I dont want to use the IES thing,

if possible I want to use a direct light as I have done before

using an IES seems to have the same effect of a spot light anyway, light coming from a single point instead of the same direction [proper direct light style]
3D VFX Artist

Last edited by SimonReeves : 04 April 2004 at 06:08 PM.
Old 04 April 2004   #11
Is your light a "mr Light"?
If not, go to the utilities tab and click on MAXScript while your light is selected. Click the "Convert to mr Area Light". It should work, although that may not be your problem.
Old 04 April 2004   #12
nah that doesnt work, just converts it to a spotlight

I was just using a mr area spot and changing it too direct before
3D VFX Artist

Old 04 April 2004   #13
Maybe since it is a direct light you wont get any spread on the shadows?
Old 04 April 2004   #14
nope there should be - just look at shadows from the sun

its just the same as a spot light, really really really really really really really really really far away
3D VFX Artist

Old 04 April 2004   #15
Surely if you make the area light's diameter large enough (ie as big as your scene) you'll get exactly the same effect as a direct light?

Dunno if I'd fancy rendering it though
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