Help me render my scene please.



So i started a new project wich is a complete garden furnuture design. I want it as realistic as possible but i already ran into some problems when i wanted to test my wood. I use 3D max 9 and Mental ray. I have a little experience with mental ray. Just some basic, place a sun and a skylight turn on final gatherer and often you quickly get nice results.

So, i got this parasol with some detail beneath it. But when i render (using the above mentioned MR noob method :D) it gets realy dark right under it and my detail is gone. Cranking up the skylight won’t work. And i can’t seem to find some ambient light setting anywhere. So what am i missing? I know the scene itself needs to be improved but am i on the right track for getting a nice looking outdoor render? Any tips/hints on getting nice results?

I have seen some incredible renders from people, mostly using Vray and i barely see MR renders (or they don’t mention it). But atm $700+ is way to expensive for me. Are there any other better render engines wich do not that much or even free ones that do a great job?



You can get a quality render with any render engine. It all depends on hos much work you put into it. I tend to use the Max default scanline renderer a lot. But I put a great deal of time into lighting, adjusting shadow opacity and color, advanced lighting, exposure control, texturing, etc. I also have started doing ambient occlusion passes to composite over the scene in Photoshop.

If Vray is out of your reach, you might take a look at Brazil, or Maxwell Render.


For something like that you’d probably have to play with the diffuse bounces setting so when the FG ray hits, it bounces and continues to illuminate. In addition (and possibly better) global illumination would be helpful here for getting photons up under the umbrella.


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