Image proportion and Camera
Let's set the image proportions.
- Press F10 to open the Render Setup window.
- In the Common > Output Size, set the Width value to 583 and the Height value to 1000 pixels.
- Close the Render Setup window by pressing F10 again.
- Choose one of the viewports to be the camera viewport and press Shift + F to show the safe frame. This way the viewport will be cropped with the same proportion of your image render.
To create the camera:
- From the Create tab on the right side panel, choose the Camera icon.
- Choose the Target button (to create a target camera).
- On the Top viewport click and drag to place the camera.
- On the viewport that you have chosen to display the camera, press C in order to see the camera view restricted by the safe frame.
- Use the Top, Left and Front viewports to select and move the camera. If you wish to follow my point of view try to place it as in the image. I have tried to position the camera in order to preserve the character's silhouette (notice how the hand is not overlapping the body) and to ensure some eye contact between the character and the viewer.
- I have set the lens value to 76 mm under the camera parameters (Fig.03).
Before starting the lighting, create a simple box as a ground plane (Fig.04).
Let's also create a simple gray material to apply to the whole scene to study the light:
- Press M to open the Material Editor.
- Choose one material slot.
- Click on the Standard button to choose a different type of material.
- From the Materials list, under V-Ray Adv 1.50.SP5, pick the VRayMtl shader.
- Name the material as "base".
- Set the Diffuse color to R:128,G:128 B:128 by clicking the color swatch.
- Change the Reflect color to R:23, G:23 B:23 by clicking the color swatch.
- Change the Refl. glossiness value to 0.6 to add a bit of specular.
- Under the Options menu, disable the Trace Reflections option, so that no reflections will be calculated.
- Apply the material to all the objects in the scene (Ctrl + A to select all and press the Assign Material to Selection button).
If you have a good graphics card, 3ds Max has the option of seeing the shadows in real-time in the viewport. It is a good option to set the light direction fast without the need to render (Fig.05).