Skyscraper Windows with Fakey Depth Using Materials


Windows on things like skyscrapers and spaceships used to be the bane of my existence, but I’ve since discovered some techniques for making them look pretty good. Yay,

That said, there is something I’ve been seeing in a video game, and I wonder whether MAX can do something similar. The game is Cyberpunk 2077, and I’ve been looking very seriously at how they do windows on buildings.
On casual viewing, it looks for all the world like each windows has a room behind it, depth which gives the world some verisimilitude.

However, having really examined them, I think what they’ve actually done is created something similar to MAX’s Spherical Environment Map, using a panoramic image of a room, but which a controlled size and centered around the window rather than the entire world. (I’m pretty sure it’s a map because the perspective seems a bit screwy when you really pay attention.)

This saves a ton on geometry, it’s a very simple way to make things look more real, and I’m wondering whether MAX has a similar function.

Thanks. :slight_smile:


Okay, messing around a bit, I think it might be possible in MAX, but I’m having trouble figuring out exactly how to do it.

A spherical bitmap placed on a plane using a spherical UVW map placed in just the right spot can provide the local hub necessary to simulate an interior environment. The map’s gizmo has to remain on the geometry, un-collapsed, which makes this method kind of brute force, unfortunately.

Linking the Z position coordinates of the UVW map gizmo to the Z position coordinates of the camera in the Schematic View provides a certain amount of up/down perspective. The problem is one of rotation.
I need something like a LookAt controller, but which only functions on one axis and which can be applied to a UVM map gizmo. Either that, or a way to lock certain axes in place, despite the LookAt controller. As it is now, the map rotates on too many axes, and I need a way to lock 'em so it only rotates on one.

It’d also be nice to find a way to do this without having a thousand-plus UVW maps everywhere, but I’m not sure MAX has the capability…or not the really old version I have. (I should be able to upgrade to the newest version after July. Woo hoo! Finally!)


what you might be looking for might be this :
it’s an osl shader that works with the viewing angle.

mind you, those interiors are just flat planes with a material / shader on them


That looks like it might go above and beyond what I need, actually.