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Recommended Material Types
The flexibility of mental ray and the evolution of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design created some confusion around which material should be used with mental ray. Here is my advice: for 99% of the AEC rendering workflows, you will want to use the A&D material or the ProMaterials (ProMaterials are simplified interfaces driving the A&D material under the hood). The other materials will work, but the A&D material contains mental ray specific optimizations that will guarantee speed and quality over, for example, the traditional Standard material or the legacy Architectural material.
The A&D Material functionality is described in details here: http://www.mentalimages.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/arch_and_design.pdf
Subtle reflections on Wall Paint automatically created by the ProMaterials
The highlights materials are the recommended materials to use for your AEC renderings.. Right: ProMaterial WallPaint, Wood, Concrete and Ceramic at works. (Models: Maximilian Tarpini)
mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings
Lights and Shadows
Units and Scale
Physically based lighting computation implies that light attenuates using the inverse square falloff law, which simply means the intensity of light declines exponentially with the distance it travels. Therefore, it is crucial that the scale of your scene corresponds to real‐world data—otherwise the results will get corrupted. A common mistake for example, is to import an airport at the size of a shoebox or a room at the size of a stadium. In one case, the lighting computation will be too bright, and in the other case, it will be too dark. To verify your scale settings, check the “System Unit Scale” settings in the “Customize | Units Setup | System Unit Setup dialog box”:
System Units Setup of 3ds Max Design
Recommended Light Types
The recommended light type are the Photometric lights and the mrSun and mrSky . They simulate real‐world values and play nice with indirect illumination computations and camera exposure.
mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings
Recommended Shadow Settings
The recommended shadow type for typical architectural rendering in 3ds Max Design is the Ray Traced Shadow type. While this might not have been true in the past, ray traced shadows are faster to compute than shadow maps, less memory intensive and handle transparency better. This is used by default in 3ds Max Design 2010 but not in 3ds Max 2010.
Recommended Exposure Control Settings:
The recommended Exposure Control plugin to use is the “mr Photographic Exposure Control”. It is designed to mimic real world camera settings and assumes that the scene environment is physically based as well (Sun, Sky, Photometric lights, proper scale etc.).
The mr Photographic Exposure Control is recommended.
Conclusions / Recap on the Basics:
1. 2. 3. Use an A&D Material or ProMaterials on all objects. Use mrSun and mrSky , Photometric Lights and Raytraced Shadows. Use the mr Photographic Exposure Control.
basics.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 4 Simplified mental ray render panel Scene: 00_global. Reflections and Refractions: Launch the Exposure Control Panel Glossy Reflection Edge Anti‐aliasing Glossy Refraction Soft Shadow Enable/Disable Indirect Illumination Cache Indirect Illumination to Disk .max The simplified mental ray render panel is meant to reduce the learning curve for Revit users and accelerate test renders by providing you fine tuning knobs for Shadows.knobs.
com) Sky dome contribution comes from the mrSky light object + Final Gather . which is affected by the Time and Position on Earth. Turn ON final gather: this will create the indirect illumination effect and become the Skylight.electricgobo. 2.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 5 Exterior Daytime Rendering Scene: 01_exterior_rendering. Direct illumination from the mr Sun light object (All Models in this document based on an original file from: (c) 2007 Electric Gobo / Karcher.max Daylight System The Daylight System of 3ds Max Design regroups 2 light sources in the same user interface: the Sun and the Sky. Render: you should get something like this already: Background sky comes from the mr Physical Sky environment shader. 3. Enable the mrPhotographic Exposure Control and use the Exterior Daytime preset. The blue background is handled by a special shader that must be assigned in the Environment map: 1. www. make sure it uses the mrSun and mrSky plugins and set the Time and Date. Their intensity and colors are ruled by their orientation in the 3D space. Assign a mrPhysicalSky shader in the environment Map slot: this will add the nice blue background: 4. Create a Daylight System. 5.
mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 6 Adding clouds in the sky The mrPhysicalSky shader has the ability to change color and affect the appearance of the Sun Disk with the haze parameter. Render: the clouds now appear on top of the cloud. A cloud image (a simple photo) modulates the value of the Haze parameter of the procedural mr Physical Sky A Haze map must provide values from a range to 0 to ~8 to be effective. Don’t forget to use the proper projection (Screen or Spherical for example) Increase the Output Value to ~8 to see the effect: this will drive the haze value of the Sky based on the image. . 2. This parameter is map‐able so it makes an excellent home for cloud maps: 1. Add a sky image in the Haze map of the mr Physical Sky. hence the “boost” done with the Output Amount. They also change color based on the time of the day. 3.
3. They can be assigned in the Render Setup dialog. Add a Glare shader in the Camera Effects | Output slot of the Renderer Tab (Render Setup dialog) and instance it in the Material Editor: 2. Glare shader effect. 1. Render: you should see something like this: Increase the contrast in the Exposure control to let the Glare shader finding the hotspots. The Spread parameter is the one that affects the most the image. The Glare Shader adds the small “spark” to the image. . The streak comes from the Streak image. Output shaders are processed on top of the final image. as a post processing step.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 7 Glare Shader (Bloom) The Glare Shader is what we know as an “Output Shader”. 4.
2. 4. Use the Exposure Preview to quickly preview the image’s brightness. 5. boost its contrast with the Burn parameter of the Exposure control. . The illumination on the surfaces is provided by the Sun and Final Gather and not the Environment Map! You do not need many Final Gather Bounces to have a meaningful effect: Final Gather bounces are usually useful for interiors. To get the Glare shader working. your building will probably turn greenish as well. If the image is too faint. you need a high contrast image: the Glare shader analyzes the rendered image and adds the “sparkles” to it.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 8 Exterior DayTime Rendering Tips and Tricks 1. The ground has an effect on indirect illumination: if you use a very bright green grass. 3.
5.pdf mr SkyPortal Light object positioned in front of a window. Move your camera inside. 2.max Sky Portals + Final Gather & Multiple Diffuse Bounces The strategy do adopt with interior renderings is to identify windows and openings with a special light object that is called a “Sky Portal”. . Make sure their arrow point inside the space as illustrated: this indicates the direction of the light flux. The mrSkyPortal functionality is described in details here: http://www.mentalimages. Change the Exposure control to an Interior Rendering preset: this will adjust the aperture of the camera to interior lighting conditions. which are darker than exterior spaces. Once you are satisfied with an Exterior rendering. Increase the Final Gather diffuse bounces to ~3‐4: this will bounce the light around inside the space. 3. add a Sky portal in front of the windows of the building.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/arch_and_design. Its job is to focus rays from the environment through the windows and holes and avoid wasting a lot of rendering time with traditional Final Gather computation. pointing inside the room 1. 4.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 9 Interior Daytime Rendering Scene: 02_interior_rendering.
mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 6. Soft and subtle direct shadows from the sky dome come from the mr SkyPortal light Lighting is only from indirect illumination bounces. A value from 3 to 5 is typically recommended for interior spaces. Render: you should see something like this: 10 Exterior is washed out because our exposure control is adjusted for interiors. FG bounces determines the number of time light will bounce inside your space. .
4. you can re‐render without recalculating indirect lighting (which can be time consuming) during material tweaks. The Shadow Samples affects the quality (graininess) of the shadows from the Sky Portals. This will allow you to see the lighting effects on a neutral color as opposed to be distracted by reflections. Use the Material Override from the Render Setup | Processing tab to understand the lighting distribution of your space. Global tuning knobs allows for faster control on all the scene materials and lights for faster tuning. which will prevent the light from outside coming inside: An interior rendering with the materials overridden by a neutral diffuse white material 2.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 11 Interior DayTime Rendering Tips and Tricks 1. 3. that you need to temporarily hide the glass panes in your windows. It is also controlled by the Global “Soft Shadows Precisions” slider in the Rendering panel: . refractions and textures Note. as this material override will turn them opaque as well. however. Use very low quality settings to tune your materials: the rendered image will be completed faster. Cache the Final Gather computation to disk: once it is baked to disk.
door frames and other areas with fine geometric details. light leakage arises due to low density of FG calculation .max Ambient occlusion has the benefit of enhancing the small details and creates what we commonly call “contact shadows”. Without Ambient Occlusion With Ambient Occlusion. With Ambient Occlusion . Usually.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 12 Ambient Occlusion Scene: 03_ambient. Typically. Ambient occlusion is enabled directly in the A&D and ProMaterials. the more pronounced the effect will be. Typically you will want to enable it for floors. you want to use a distance of ~10 cm. edges are visually enhanced. Ambient Occlusion will help solving this issue. The larger the distance is.Objects appear to be floating.occlusion.
Start with an Exposure Control preset set as follow. Turn OFF Final Gather and Render: you should get something like this where only the direct illumination is calculated: Direct lighting only .rendering. which makes them ideal sources for indirect illumination calculations. 1. The main reason for this is that the energy used in the indirect illumination process will always be in balance with the energy used for the direct illumination. Create Photometric Lights in the space. You will re‐adjust later but it’s a good starting point: 2.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 13 Interior Nighttime Rendering Scene: 04_interior. As a reference here are typical intensities corresponding to real‐ world lighting values: Class Narrow Narrow Medium Wide Wide Wattage 20 W 20 W 50 W 20 W 50 W Type Spotlight Spotlight Spotlight Spotlight Spotlight Intensity 3300cd 9150cd 3000cd 460cd 1500cd Beam Angle 6 12 25 38 38 Field Angle 12 25 50 75 75 3.max Photometric lights We recommend using Photometric lights for interior renderings because their energy computation is physically based.photometric.lights.
See the “Fine Tuning Indirect lighting” section for more tips on how to solve this. Enable Final Gather. with 3‐4 Diffuse bounces: 14 Indirect lighting was bounced from the contribution of the direct lights. The “splotches” are caused by low quality final gather settings. See the “Fine Tuning Indirect lighting” section for more tips on how to achieve this.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 4. With a better FG solution splotches disappear. .
The light transport is done via Final Gather so the quality of its shadows directly depends on the Final Gather accuracy. Turn Off all the lights to see its effect isolated. Enable Self Illumination in a given A&D Material.max The A&D material exposes a Self Illumination feature that allows turning materials into a light source. If you use a texture Map.lights_self.luminous. No lights used in the scene. 1. Final gather “sees” the luminous surfaces. Keep in mind that with Exposure Control enabled. .photometric. the texture will modulate the color of the emissivity: A map can be used to simulate video walls of LED walls The intensity rules how bright it is. 3. you may find yourself having to go to relatively high values.rendering. 2. You can decide if this contributes to Reflections and/or Illumination at the Material level.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 15 Glow and self illumination Scene: 05_interior. Self illuminated material with contribution to Final Gather rays. Render: You should get something like this: This is where you decide to contribute to the scene lighting or to reflections.
mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 16 Photometric lights turned back on with a color filter. .
.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 17 Fine Tuning Indirect lighting Basic strategy To fine tune a Final Gather solution we recommend adopting the following strategy: 1. except for the light coming from outside your building (i/e/ the Sun). you don’t have to bother about transparent objects anymore. Use a Material Override with a Diffuse White Material: lighting is easier to visualize on a flat white surface. Since you locked the Final Gather solution. 4. Fine tune the interpolation settings: they can be changed even if your Final Gather solution has been locked. Bake the Final Gather solution to disk using your normal lighting conditions so you can re‐use it later and lock it in a Read Only mode. 2. Render with the Final Gather Diagnostics Mode (Render Setup Dialog | Processing Tab) to visualize the location of the Final Gather points contained in the FGM file: 3.
. the result is the “cloudiness” effect. The noticeable cloudiness is visible mainly where the Final Gather points are separated each other by a large distance (where the density is low). Since the Interpolation is also low. Low Interpolation “Cloudy” indirect lighting Density relatively low Observations: We can see that the density of the Final Gather points is relatively low.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 18 Examples Test A: Low Density.
. 19 Density still relatively low: no additional computation time. a little bit like a “Blur” in an image. We end up blending more Final Gather points together. we “blend” more points together. The Final Gather point’s density is still relatively low which did not increase the computation time. you can change the interpolation between each rendering without having to re‐calculate the Final Gather solution.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Test B: Increased Interpolation By increasing the interpolation. Observations: Here. we simply increased the Interpolation. softening the solution. Tip: When a Final Gather solution is locked and read from disk.
an Interpolation value of 150 is not enough here. . we need to blend more points together to reach a smooth effect.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Test C: Increased Density With a very large density of FG points. Note that the Interpolation parameter is essentially a “blur” which can remove or reduce the effect of subtle shadows. To fix it. we need to increase it up to 450! Note: The reason for the noise is usually caused by the stochastic nature (randomness) of Final Gather. Observations: If we where to increase the density of Final Gather points to capture more subtle light effects and details. the larger the interpolation needs to be. the Interpolation required is now larger: as we have more points. A larger Interpolation value is required to smooth out the results. Notice the “cloudiness” effect appearing again when we used an Interpolation value of 150. To solve it you either have to cast more rays per FG points or increase the Interpolation. 20 An Interpolation value of ~450 is better: the more FG points you have.
direction etc. For typical cartoon looks. . disable Exposure Control. You can use a Falloff Map to drive the color of the Ink based on distance.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 21 NonPhoto Real Renderings (NPR) Ink & Paint Material Scene: 06_NPR_InkPaint. Final Gather and use “Standard Lights”. 3. 2. 4.max The Ink & Paint material gives a toon look to objects. Physically Based features generally don’t play nicely with this type of material The quality of the Ink will improve with higher anti‐aliasing. It can respond to lighting and shadows or give a completely flat appearance: Ink & Paint material Tips: 1. The “Paint Levels” parameter of the Ink & Paint Material determines the numbers of gradients you will get on the material with lighting and shadows.
~10 centimetres) and increase as needed. The distance amount determines how much Ambient Occlusion will occur at the edges.max Often. An Ambient Occlusion shader does not always have to return black or white. Combine Falloff Maps and Ambient Occlusion to develop interesting looks: 2. To accomplish this one technique consists into using Ambient Occlusion as a way to illuminate a scene to get a feel for the overall depth of the space: Single A&D Material with an Ambient Occlusion Shader in the Diffuse Color Single Ink & Paint Material with an Ambient Occlusion Shader in the Paint Color Tips: 1. One of the Ambient Occlusion’s color is modulated by a Falloff Map . Try to keep a value relatively low (i.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 22 Ambient Occlusion & NPR Scene: 07_NPR_AmbientOcclusion. The look above was achieved by returning a dark blue and pale blue color. it is useful to quickly render a series of draft views of interior shots with no materials simply to explore camera views.e. 3.
mental. In 3ds Max Design 2010.explanation. To handle moving objects. it will not help at all. 2. Final Gather points are shot from several locations along the Camera path.flickering. • FG Projection Mode Tips: 1.ray. This is what we refer as the “FG Projection Mode”.animation.animation. introducing rendering glitches.mov video Scene: 08. This is what we refer as the “Frame interpolation for Final Gather Maps”.reduction. one Final Gather file per frame is processed in a first pass. animation flickering was caused by two main factors: • • When the Final Gather points are not “locked” on the geometry: they “slide” along the surfaces as the Camera move. When the beauty pass is rendered.2010. Final Gather points are interpolated across multiple frames to “smooth out” the solution.max Prior to 3ds Max Design 2010. Moving objects create Final Gather points that are “floating” or “ghosting” in the 3D space. a dolly in).mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 23 Eliminating Indirect Illumination Flickering Reference: 3dsmax. Final Gather become “locked” on the geometry. . thus removing the “sliding” effect of those points across frames. Works for typical “hero shots” where the Camera has a relatively slow movement (a pan. To be used if your Camera is animated. indirect illumination animation flickering is eliminated by two main techniques: • To handle Camera movements. If your camera is static.flickering. It will be less effective with long Camera Flythrough or fast camera movements.
The mental ray message window will display warnings about missing FG maps if any. which are then read as “read only” mode in a second pass. Pass 1: enable this to set FG to be in “write” mode. Pass 2: turn this off to get the beauty pass rendered. keep in mind that you also load a lot more FG points to interpolate across. As you load several FG maps in memory (one per frame to interpolate across). Works only if you bake a unique Final Gather map to disk per frame as a first pass. You can define a “bake FG Map” job on a network farm by using the following combination of “Passes” or “Jobs”: Pass 1: enable this to prevent the “beauty” pass from being rendered. 24 3. Pass 2: Use this option to turn FG in a “Read Only” mode. Therefore plan to pad your shots with a few extra frames in the beginning and in the end.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Frame interpolation for Final Gather maps Tips: 1. 2. 4. You can then submit this as a Backburner job and get your network nodes baking to disk one FG file per frame. . The first few frames and last few frames of your animation will not be able to interpolate to FG files that are missing (ex: frame 0 will expect frames ‐2 and ‐1 to be present). You will need to increase the Interpolation value by a factor of maybe 3 or 5 to reduce the “cloudiness” that may appear. 5.
it will still mean 2‐3 objects. 6. 3. you will still need a different proxy per object inside the Group. 2. Proxies are “baked” to disk prior to be used by mental ray. 4. grass.. Create an mrProxy primitive object. For grass. Use them on high poly count objects. If you grouped objects. .mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 25 mr Proxies Proxies are special objects that are designed to minimize the load on the viewport to maintain interactivity and accelerate the scene translation to mental ray. Use a Multi‐Map map to introduce slight random variation on repetitive objects. You need a geometric object already in the scene. Assign a material to the Proxy object (the material from the baked object will not carry through). Proxy Tips: 1. Scene capture: the trees and the grass are pre‐baked as proxies (image courtesy of Delta Tracing) Final image (image courtesy of Delta Tracing) Proxy Workflow: 1. typically entourage elements that you don’t need to touch such as trees. 3. cars. From the renderer point of view. 2. They are also optimized to reduce the overall memory footprint required to render large scenes containing many repetitive objects with millions of polygons. create 2‐3 variations of grass clusters. Assign it the object you want to bake to disk and bake it. Many proxies instanced in the scene can have their own material for more variations Animated objects (deforming meshes) can be baked as a proxy too! 4. you will perceive a large grass field. bake them to proxies and scatter them randomly as instances: from the visual point of view. 5.. Proxies are working on a single object basis at a time.
.workflow.0) LDR Image saved to disk (Gamma 2.jpg) (Gamma: 2.2) Renderer (Operates in Linear Space) An image is rendered in Linear Space.mov video While Gamma is not the topic of this paper.2) Frame Buffer (Still in Linear Space) HDR Image saved to disk directly without corrections (Gamma 1. Gamma corrected (linearized) prior to be passed to the Material Gamma Pipeline for Rendering Output: Knowing that the Renderer operates in linear space (Gamma 1.2010.linear.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 26 Linear Color Workflow (Gamma) Reference: 3dsmax. the Gamma pipeline for texture input works as follow: Image File (*.2) Image is Gamma corrected (De‐Gamma 2. Depending on the target output.2) Image is Gamma corrected (Gamma 2. the rendered image needs to be Gamma corrected (again) at the end prior to be saved on disk or displayed on screen: Display Device (Gamma 2.0). knowing that a material expects “linear colors” as input means that you need to handle Gamma properties which are usually embedded in image files. It is important that you “linearize” or “de‐ gamma” textures as input.2) Material (Material see pixels in Linear Sapce) Bitmap Map A Low Dynamic Range Image is loaded from disk. Gamma Pipeline for Texture Input: Typically. it is then Gamma corrected (Low Dynamic Range Images) or not (High Dynamic Range Images).
High Dynamic Range Images should always be loaded and saved with a Gamma Value of 1.jpg files need to be Gamma corrected on input and output: when loading or saving them with 3ds Max.2 as well: 27 Using the “System Default Gamma” option will take the value from the preferences dialog. Since they are HDR. the closest matching Gamma value is 2. The recommended default value is 2. Low dynamic range images such as *. . the convention is to assume is that they are always in Linear Space (Gamma 1.2: stick to this value.0). 2. make sure that you load them with a Gamma correction of 2.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Gamma workflow tips: 1.2 3.0. If you save your textures out of Photoshop with a sRGB color profile.
I have collected a few interesting links for you to look at.html mental ray blogs http://mentalraytips.mentalimages. Sun and Sky and more… http://www.com/jeffs‐blog.autodesk.blogspot.html .com/products/mental‐ray/documents.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 28 Additional documentation The present document is far from being a complete mental ray reference..com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=10371032 Mental images documentation A&D material. Daylight Simulation and Analysis and more… http://www. Autodesk White Papers and Feature Videos Revit to Max. However.com/ http://mrmaterials.autodesk.com/3dsmaxdesign‐whitepapers Online feature videos: http://usa.
Kids” play set luminance (brightest): 0. Tone mapping helps compensate for the difference in range.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 29 Appendix Exposure Control What is Exposure Control? Physically based rendering requires exposure control. The range of contrast available on display monitors is limited compared to this dynamic range. Moonlit backyard.22 cd / m2. a fraction of the range in the real world. In these files. Here are a few examples of real‐life scenes measured with a luminance meter: Sky luminance at horizon and zenith: 2600 cd / 360 cd / m2.1 cd /m2. ranging from a value of zero for black to 255 for white. also called tone mapping. Luminance on the leaves: 500 cd / m2. and common image formats are even more limited: JPEG images are eight‐bit images. white can only be 255 times brighter than black. . Tone mapping is the procedure of mapping a numeric lighting intensity in High Dynamic Range (HDR) from the scene into an RGB value of the pixels in the rendered frame. luminance on the roof of the garage: 0. Physical light intensities range from zero to numbers approaching infinity in bright sunlight.
(c) 2007 Electric Gobo / Karcher. the direction of the exposure is up to you. If you want to shoot a photo. the resulting images will be beyond the range of what a monitor can display. This process is called tone mapping or exposure. and the bottom image is exposed toward the outer courtyard.electricgobo. the light levels of your scene don’t change. or lux at distance) and real‐world units for materials (reflectance). www. it’s necessary to compress the calculated image (ranging from zero to infinity) into a displayable image (ranging from zero to 255). only the sensitivity of your camera does. Both are correct the light levels in the scene did not changed. The top image is exposed toward the inside of the room. candela. use the “Environment and Effects” dialog box: Exposure Control Rollout in 3ds max Design When you change the brightness and contrast controls. To enable exposure control in 3ds Max Design. The exposure controls control light in the same way. you would be more likely to adjust your camera’s aperture or shutter speed than wait for the sun to set. This is far better than adjusting each light source in a scene one by one.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Assuming that the rendering engine can use real‐world units for light sources (lumens.com . 30 Therefore.
We can clearly see a hole above the windows under the ceiling. letting direct sun rays inside the model will falsify lighting analysis results. This can cause lighting from the exterior of your building to penetrate without attenuation (from glazing for example) and introduce errors in the lighting analysis results. This building is not “air‐tight”. Windows panes not touching the curtain wall frame.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings 31 Guidelines for your scene geometry “Air tight” models Sometimes. you can find models where walls and windows or roofs don’t touch each other properly. .
. This is how the cube and the sphere should look according to smoothing groups. 32 The cube’s faces are smoothed with an angle that’s too high. try the Smooth modifier.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Smoothing Angles All 3D geometry—including both edged objects and rounded forms—is made up of polygons. When importing a file from another computer‐aided design (CAD) or 3D application or when working with the Edit Poly modifier. Instead of re‐importing a file or asking your client to resend it. you may find that the information about which normals to smooth by interpolation and which to keep sharp edged with no interpolation can sometimes get lost or corrupted. 3ds Max interpolates between the surface normals to simulate a rounded form and not a faceted one. the sphere’s faces with an angle that’s too low. In most cases. To display them smoothly. the problems disappear.
the modeling package in which the geometry was created may not have provided this information as the entities were created. When importing a model from a CAD package.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Flipped Normal Rendering the face of a geometric shape requires both the vertices that define it and information about its orientation. Use the xView feature to display the face orientation in 3ds Max 2010. this is critical because light energy will be bounced in the direction of the surface normal. which is done by the surface normal as well. If there are only a few faces with the wrong orientation. the modeling program did not taken them into account. Orientation information can be lost or corrupted during import but usually. For rendering and lighting analysis purposes. Usually. This can be seen as information about which is the front and which the back of the face. but some faces are flipped so they appear to be invisible. The geometry is the same as in the preceding example. you may find that direction information for some face normals gets “lost” or “corrupted”. . you can add an “Edit Poly” modifier in 3ds Max Design and use Flip on the affected faces. 33 Light is bounced from the direction of surface normals. This is a critical aspect to understand for accurate lighting computations.
In this example. especially if objects are copied within the scene. the bowl’s appearance is improved because the shape allows for additional faces without destroying the bowl itself. . On the other hand. using too few polygons makes an object appear segmented. 34 Picking a polygon count that is too low for your model gives unsatisfactory results for architectural rendering. This is true for all geometric objects. but using many polygons on a round object can quickly add up to inefficiencies.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Polygon Count It is good practice to think about how many polygons an object should consist of before modeling it. especially curved and round ones. you could simply add a “TurboSmooth” modifier. Each face needs to be rendered.
including large file sizes due to thousands of unnecessary vertices. Unwelded vertices can introduce many problems. 35 Both spheres look the same. since the faces appear unconnected to 3ds Max. but the right one has a row of unwelded vertices. damage to the object when moving faces or altering the model. Under certain light conditions you can even see unwelded vertices by studying a render of the object. such as a CAD file with versioned geometry overlapping precisely on several layers or by creating a ground plane across your entire model at the same level of the floor finish. Problems appear when moving half the faces with an “Edit Poly” modifier. Overlapping Surfaces Watch out for faces that overlap precisely. you may end up bouncing more energy than received (double the energy) and get wrong results. in the case of lighting analysis. check for unwelded vertices. and even problems with proper smoothing and normal interpolation. To weld vertices. This wastes memory (for example. Unlike unwelded vertices. Worse.mental ray in 3ds Max Design for AEC renderings Unwelded Vertices In some cases. overlapping surfaces are easy to spot. a model might look as if it is closed. Welding the vertices corrects the loose edges. Use the xView feature of 3ds Max 2010 to spot them. . simply add the “Weld Vertices” modifier and choose an appropriate radius. instancing an object many times) and makes it difficult to modify geometry. and a black pattern artefact will appear. not connected. If the “Smooth modifier” doesn’t correct smoothing problems. but instead each face is separated and the vertices of neighbouring faces are unwelded—that is. The renderer cannot determine which one to put in front. Overlapping faces can be introduced by careless modeling or by importing a file.