3ds max Lighting problem with Arch & Design material


Hi guys, long time no speak, hope I’m finding you all well!

I am currently having a problem and I’ve been at it for days/weeks (if I were to include my earlier attempts over the past year) but I’ve made a very simple scene where I have a box (then made into an Editable Poly) and I placed an inside the box, thus there should be NO light appearing since it’s obscured Arch&Design material as I want top utilize it with Mental Ray and make use of it’s Translucency and I place a Photometric ‘Free Light’ with Raytraced Shadows enabled (I’m all after for that photorealism).

One of the problems I’m always getting is that whatever light setting I have it on, the box/object always seems to bleed or leak or even just show light from the source! This completely confuses me, I am trying almost every trick in the book and nothing makes sense, it’s almost like it’s defying the laws of physics!
The other problem which I cannot get my head round is the fact, despite having my previous problem, whenever I make a render I strangely get a weird dark or black area in the middle of the object. This one has left me scratching my head til the roots die out, I don’t know how this could simply happen if there is a physically-based light made to simulate real life and yet it’s producing such results.

Please find attached a quick render of my two problems. Baring in mind, the Arch & Design transparency and translucency is set to ‘0’, thus there should be NO light visible at all but yet this is what I’m getting.

Has anyone else experienced this? Or anyone know what might be the cause of this perhaps?? :frowning: I certainly look forward hearing back from you lovely lot!


Is the 3DSMax subforum really that difficult to find?


It wasn’t hard no, but I do apologise, I just thought that since this involves lighting and materials that it can reach to those users outside 3ds max :frowning:

Maybe might you know the reason to this problem I’m having perhaps?


This is why it`s called ‘Physically Based’ and not ‘Physically Accurate’ renderers.
However, give the box some thickness inside. Put a shell modifier on top.


I sometimes sound a bit harsh when responding to these threads because we get a LOT of Max/Maya specific questions in General Discussion. Nothing personal, and I hope you find a solution to your problem :slight_smile:


I see, I kinda thought they were the same thing, but I suppose it aims to be as accurate as possible.

I have definitely added the Shell modifier, and I still get very similar results. This is what I get even with or without the transparency set in the Arch & Design material:

You almost got me there however it has been awhile for me here, because of it I even made the same post on the subforum but it seems I’m getting the responses here (Wooops!).

Basing on what I’ve presented, might you know what is going on perhaps? :frowning:


Unfortunately, this seems to be pretty 3DSMax-specific, so I have no clue, as I don’t use 3DSMax. I use a few other programs with Physically-based renderers, and I’ve never run into such a problem.


I see, well if it helps (and to anyone here) I have made a wireframe screenshot of the scene.

As you can see it’s very simple, there’ a Free Light inside the box, which itself has a Shell modifier. It is surrounded by a Cylinder to contain and bounce light if it ever to happen.

The box has a Arch and Design material added, a Matte Plastic preset.

No Final Gather, everything is GI and Caustic enabled with high figures set.


You are getting those strange black areas because the shape of your area light is falling within the thickness of the shell created by the modifier. You can check this by making the radius of your light smaller than the empty space at the center of your cube.


If only that was the case because I can assure you that the radius of the shape of the emitted light is at its smallest and is still giving me this problem:

I went ahead and actually tried increasing the radius were the shape intersects with the thickness of the wall/box and it gave me these results surprisingly:

This is very interesting to me, what might be going on here??


I see it probably has you scratching your heads too? :frowning:

I thought I would try something else and changed the A&D material using the Concrete template with no Transparency or Translucency enabled and with a Shell modifier still attached, and yet still this box is glowing with the same dark/black patch in the middle (more evident at the top).

What are your thoughts on this?? It’s driving me insane! :frowning:


The only other thing I can think of, without having a file to look at, is that you’ve scaled your light by some insane amount so even if the radius is .001 it ends up being larger than the void in the box. Max won’t display the scaled size in the modifier panel so you’ll have to check the scale in the transform floater or at the bottom of the screen.


You should post a scene file so others with Max can look at it.

That’s the only way really to know what is going on.


Not a problem, here you go guys!



Did anyone have any problems downloading it?

Anyone manage to give it a go by any chance?? :slight_smile:


Interesting, it seems this has been a problem for you lot as well I suppose? I’ve continued my testing and it only got a bit weirder.

I’ve removed one of the side-faces of the box but with the Shell modifier still attached (you can see the thickness of the box) and the light fall-off is what I expect but the box itself still glows bright as ever, even with no transparency enabled.

Here is the result I got:

Does anyone know what might be going on here perhaps?? :frowning:


Hii guys!

Sorry to bump this again, but was wondering has anyone had the chance to play or open up the project file by any chance?

I’m still; desperately trying to figure out what’s going on with this super simple scene! :frowning:


Omar, you need to post this in the Max forum:


That is the only place where people will bother to look at your Max file and help you with a Max specific rendering question.

I don’t have Max. I don’t know what renderer you are using (Mental Ray?).

Also,why don’t you try another renderer like the FREE AMD ProRender for MAX?


Its supposed to be good for archviz, unlike Mental Ray, which is not really an archviz renderer.


If I had to guess, I’d say that it is rendering from another camera, despite what the settings say. Sometimes my settings will says one thing but render from another. Maybe make a new camera and render from that one, then delete the others.

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I will probably have to do that but the response I got here I thoguht was good enough and got hte attention as well. Additionally, users here even requested the project file.

I’ve never heard of this ProRender, I will look into it.

I don’t think rendering from another camera would make any difference, it’s the light ad object that I’m having issues with, why is something that’s meant to obscure lighting glowing bright as if it was Christmas?? :frowning: