Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!

 

Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more

 

Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

 
submit tutorial
1
Raytraced Shadows and Projection

By Nik Rolls
| Your Rating:
rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none
(0 Votes)
| 10315 Views
| 0 Comments
| Comments 0
Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max
1163_tid_001.jpg
Have you ever been modeling something out of half transparent tinted plastic or glass and wondered how, without a shadow map, you would make the color of the material project onto the surrounding objects? Well, with Raytraced Shadows, you can do just that.

Along with projecting "Filter Colors" as they are called, Raytraced Shadows can be used instead of the Standard. Although a slightly longer rendering time results, Raytraced Shadows are more accurate, more versatile, and can make the difference between looking like CGI and looking Photorealistic.

For this tutorial I assume you know the basics of the 3D Studio Max Interface. Until - and possibly after - the material section, your colors will vary from those shown in this tutorial.

PHASE ONE: Modelling

This scene uses only two meshes; a tube and a box. Here's how to create them like I did.

Fig. 01

Make a tube to about this size (or whatever size you want for your ring) in the Top view, but watching the Perspective.

1163_tid_003.jpg
1163_tid_002.jpg

Fig. 02

Add a Meshsmooth to the tube. Change the standard Iterations to 1 and Render Iterations to 2
 

Fig. 03

This is what your ring should look like with the meshsmooth applied. Note that when rendered it will be even smoother - an iteration of 2. We don't need this in the viewport though, so we will keep the standard one at 1.

1163_tid_004.jpg

Figs. 04/05

1163_tid_005.jpg
1163_tid_006.jpg
Zoom out in the Top and Front views to about the size shown, and create a box with the mouse to the size of the white outlines.

Fig. 06

To the box, add a Normal modifier, and check Flip normals. This will make the normals point inwards, so we can use the box like a small room around the ring, and it will have something to reflect. Let's get on to the Lights!

PHASE TWO: Cameras and Lighting

This lighting setup differs slightly from the standard 3-point scheme.
I first made this scene before I had learnt placement for the lights, so though there are three, they are slightly differently placed.
 

Figs. 07/08

Add three omni lights in the Top view, with the positions shown. Raise them up a bit in one of the side views, so they are near the roof, to give them more overall coverage.

1163_tid_007.jpg

1163_tid_008.jpg

Fig. 09

In the Light Lister (Tools Menu => Light Lister) change the back left light (the one farthest away in the Perspective view) to Raytrace Shadows, and turn shadows on for that light only. Change the Multiplier on each of them to 0.75, otherwise the scene is too bright.

Figs. 10/11

Add a free camera in the bottom right of the Top viewport. Move it up above the box (Left view) and rotate and scale it so it's view distance looks like this one. Right click on the word Perspective in the Perspective view, then click on Camera01 (or whatever you have called it). Oh no! There goes lovely the perspective view you made. Not to fear.
 

Fig. 12

Make sure the Camera view is selected, then use the buttons in the bottom right hand side of the 3D Studio Max window to rotate, pan and zoom the view until it gives a shot like this. Once you have that, it's time for the Materials!
 
1163_tid_011.jpg
1163_tid_009.jpg
1163_tid_010.jpg

PHASE THREE: Materials

I know you are probably dying to get to the final render, so I will get through this section quickly. Only because it is the smallest section though. The material(s) I used for the ring are from the 3D Studio Max 4.2 Raytrace MatLib (Material Library). I don't know if earlier versions have the same materials (though I'm sure the later ones do), so if you have an earlier version, just download the MatLibs at the end of the tutorial. Let's get on with it!


Fig. 13

We'll start with the material for the box - the simplest one, though for the ring you won't have to do anything. In the Material editor (you can push the M key to get into it), make the Diffuse Color of one of the materials pure white: R255.G255.B255. The Specular color and level can stay as they are.
 
1163_tid_012.jpg

Fig. 14

Scroll down and open the Maps rollout. Click on the Bump map button, and in the box that pops up, double click the Noise map.

1163_tid_013.jpg

Fig. 15

In the noise map options, scroll down and change the size value to 0.25. That's all you need to do for that.

1163_tid_014.jpg

Fig. 16

Click on another material now, so you don't lose the one you just made. Then click on the button down the left hand side to load a material from a MatLib.

1163_tid_015.jpg

Fig. 17

In the box that popped up (haven't we seen this before?) click on Mtl Library in the Browse From area, then click the Open button. Now here's where you find out whether you have got the right materials or not. Go to the 3ds max folder (usually in Program Files).
Now - if you can answer No to any of the below questions, you need to download the MatLib from this site (the link is below).

1163_tid_016.jpg
  • Is there is "matlib" folder in the 3ds max folder?
  • In that matlib folder, is there a file called "RayTraced_01.mat"?
  • If, by double-clicking on that file, does a list come up with "GlassYellow" in it?

If you answered yes to all those, double click the name GlassYellow and continue. Otherwise, download the file below.

Fig. 18

If you haven't already, drag'n'drop the white material to Box01 (or whatever you called it) and the yellow material to Tube01 (or is it Ring?). What a drab picture in the Camera viewport. Not to worry. Now you can do a final render (it may take a while) and see your ring project yellow light towards you.

1163_tid_017.jpg
Here is the MatLib mentioned before. It has all the 3D Studio 4.2 MatLibs in a zip file. Uncompress it to a folder ("C:\Program Files\3ds max\matlibs" would be a good one), and then load it in to the Material editor as described above.

Some other suggested ideas for the ring are: GemstoneRuby (RayTraced_02.mat), MetalGold (RayTraced_02.mat), Ice (RayTraced_02.mat) with a Melt modifier added :). Have fun with all of them. Some require pictures as textures which I have been unable to find, so those will not work, nameably the wooden ones. But the RayTraced_0X ones all work, and those, in my opinion, are the best in the Zip.

To download the finished .max file, click here.

I hope that this tutorial has given you what you were looking for. Thank you for your audience.


 
1
Related Tutorials

Tutorial

Gallery Image.



Keywords: baking, shadows, gi, teapot,

Go to tutorial
rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none (0)
Comments 0 Views 16396

Tutorial

Gallery Image.



Keywords: projection, photos, video,

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star none
Comments 0 Views 4979

Tutorial

Gallery Image.



Keywords: 3ds Max, Flex modifier, Animation, Object

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star nonerating star none
Comments 0 Views 5031

Tutorial

Gallery Image.



Keywords: 3ds Max, Interface, Tutorial, Workflow, MassFx, Simulation

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full
Comments 4 Views 13448
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
avatar
(ID: 131190, pid: 0) Manoro3D on Sat, 07 July 2012 5:22pm
thanks for this tutorial
avatar
(ID: 131189, pid: 0) Manoro3D on Sat, 07 July 2012 5:21pm
thank for this tutorial
Add Your Comment