Welcome to the third and final chapter of this series. In this chapter we will deal with lighting, materials, render and a bit of post-production. In this tutorial we will use V-Ray as the render engine instead of mental ray, which was used in the Toon Animal series. You will notice that V-Ray uses a completely different relation between values and glossiness compared to mental ray, so when we create the glossiness textures we will be using different color values.
In the Animal Toon series I referred to the benefits of working with lights that behave in a physically correct manner. In order to achieve this we have to introduce a gamma correction and work with lights that decay correctly (at the inverse square of the distance).
When the light decays at the inverse square of the distance, the light is very intense near the origin, but it will lose intensity quite fast, even though it will keep traveling a long way with a very low intensity. This means that a little difference in the distance from the light to the object can greatly affect the results. In the tutorial I will provide images to help with the light positioning, but you will need to fine-tune that distance by rendering and deciding on what looks good.
Let's correct the gamma for V-Ray (Fig.01).
- In 3ds Max, inside the Customize menu choose Preferences.
- In the Preference Settings window choose the Gamma and LUT tab.
- Turn on the Enable Gamma/LUT Correction.
- Make sure the Gamma value is 2.2.
- Turn on Affect Color Selectors and Affect Material Editor.
- Set the Input Gamma value to 2.2 and the Output Gamma to 1.0.
- Press OK.
- In 3ds Max press F10 to enter Render Setup.
- Under the Common tab, disable Rendered Frame Window as we will be using V-Ray's Frame Buffer instead.
- In the Assign Renderer section click on the "...” button in front of the Production renderer.
- Choose V-Ray Adv 1.50.SP5 (my version of V-Ray is1.50 SP5, you might have a different one).
- Choose the V-Ray tab at the top.
- Under V-Ray Frame buffer, enable Enable built-in Frame Buffer.
- Under V-Ray: Image sampler (Antialiasing), change the image sampler to Adaptive DMC and the Antialiasing filter to Mitchell-Netravalli. These are just a matter of personal preference in order to increase visual sharpness.
- In the V-Ray Color mapping section set the Type to Gamma correction and set the Gamma value to 2.2 (Fig.02).