Unique to 3ds Max Design, Exposure Lighting Analysis tools can be used for simulating and analyzing physically based Sun, Sky, and artificial lighting in a 3D scene. Ideal for Architectural projects, these tools can help evaluate light intensity in your designs. The Lighting Analysis tools can help facilitate the evaluation of indoor lighting quality for LEED Certification. Besides using the Exposure Lighting Analysis tool itself, designers can use the Light Meter helper object to verify lighting designs and to quickly view alternative lighting schemes.

This chapter will discuss the requirements of the 3ds Max Design Exposure Lighting Analysis tools. For accurate lighting simulations in 3ds Max Design, it is essential that the model geometry be clean, airtight, and have a ground plane or site topography. The mental ray rendering engine with Final Gather must be used; specific settings will be discussed later in this chapter. Exposure control settings will be discussed in detail. When using a Daylight System for lighting analysis, specific settings are required to achieve physically accurate light levels, and a proper Sky Model and Weather Data file must be used to drive the system. Lighting Analysis requires the use of physically accurate materials such as 3ds Max ProMaterials or Arch & Design materials. Additionally, all artificial lighting must be photometric. Once physically accurate materials, photometric lighting, and mental ray settings are in place, a Light Meter Helper object can be placed at any location in your model where the light levels are required to be measured. To display the light intensity values calculated by the Lighting Analysis tool in the final rendered image of a scene, an Image Overlay Render Effect is required.

The Lighting Analysis Assistant is a tool in 3ds Max Design that gives a simple, step-by-step approach to setting up all the requirements for lighting analysis. This chapter will discuss each step of the process and give suggestions for settings and procedures that will simplify the use of the Assistant. A model and all necessary files are included on the book’s website, allowing you to work through the entire process.

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