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Studio Lighting Tutorial

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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In this tutorial, I will show you how to setup a studio lighting rig that I use mainly for vehicle rendering.

Basic to intermediate knowledge of 3DS Max is needed for this tutorial. I will be using 3DS MAX 9 for this tutorial, if you have a different version, your button configuration may be a slightly different. This process will take about 10-30 minutes, depending on your particular skill level.
First, you open MAX and go to the Left view port. I like to maximize the view port that I am working in so I would hit ALT+W.
Ok, now you need to go to the Create tab, select Shapes, and then select Line. Draw a line like I have done in the picture below.

Click to Enlarge

Next, go under the Modify tab and open the Modifier List and scroll down until you see Lathe.

Click to Enlarge

When you first apply the Lathe modifier, your line will look really weird. Simply go under the Parameters Menu, and then under the Align sub-menu select Max. To get the shape that we want, while still under the Parameters Menu, change the Degrees to 180.0. Make sure the check box next to Weld Core is selected.

After you do that, you should have something like I do below.

Click to Enlarge

Ok, once that is done we can move on to more fun stuff. Create five (5) boxes and position them in the image below.

Click to Enlarge

Next, we move on to the lighting. Under the Create Tab, select Lights. Then from the Object Type Menu, select mr Area Spot.

Click to Enlarge

Once you have done that, place the lights like the picture above. The settings for the lights are as follows:

Under the General Parameters Menu
Select Ray Traced Shadows.

Under the Intensity/Color/Attenuation Menu
Leave the multiplier at 1.0
Change the Decay Type to Inverse Square

Under the Spotlight Parameters
Change the Hotspot/Beam to a very small number, I changed mine to .5
Then change the Falloff/Field to around 150. Anywhere between 150-200 is ok. I have mine at 170.

Leave everything else at the default value. Now you should have something like the picture below.

Click to Enlarge

continued on next page >
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