3ds Max: Advanced Lighting

with Aaron F. Ross
3ds Max: Advanced Lighting

Realistic lighting is easier, faster, and better than ever in 3ds Max. Photometric lighting and a choice of rendering options gives you the power to create a convincing illusion. This course focuses on architectural visualization, but the techniques apply to other applications such as motion picture production. Author Aaron F. Ross provides a conceptual overview of advanced lighting and rendering, then demonstrates how to construct various lighting scenarios in 3ds Max. He shows how to render scenes with exterior and interior daylight, practical artificial lighting, and manufacturer photometric data. The course includes a chapter on special effects such as light exclusion and lens effects. By the end of the course, you'll have seen how to control the powerful lighting tools in 3ds Max to achieve photorealistic results.
Topics include:
  • Photometric lighting and gamma correction
  • High dynamic range and exposure control
  • Global illumination
  • Exterior daylight
  • Image-based lighting
  • Atmospheric effects
  • Geometric backdrops and self-illumination
  • Hiding the background for compositing
  • Interior daylight
  • Studio soft lighting
  • Importing photometric data
  • Light and shadow exclusion
  • Mapping light with Projector Map
  • Rendering
  • Lens Effects


  • Introduction
    • Welcome
    • Using the exercise files
      4m 7s
  • 1. Concepts
    • Photometric lighting
      3m 43s
    • Gamma correction and linear workflows
      2m 25s
    • High dynamic range imaging
      1m 59s
    • Exposure and tone mapping
      2m 59s
    • Global illumination
      2m 42s
    • Color temperature
      3m 29s
  • 2. Exterior Daylight
    • Understanding 3ds Max gamma correction
      7m 14s
    • Laying out the scene
      7m 24s
    • Tuning final gathering or GI
      3m 30s
    • Creating mental ray sun and sky
      5m 12s
    • Setting viewport display options
      1m 47s
    • Exposure control and tone mapping
      4m 53s
    • Adjusting mental ray sun and sky
      5m 5s
    • Image-based lighting with a skylight
      7m 18s
    • Rendering global illumination and IBL
      5m 55s
    • White-balancing a map
      4m 16s
    • Applying environment fog
      7m 52s
    • Rendering against black for compositing
      6m 15s
    • Constructing a geometric backdrop
      5m 59s
    • Self-illuminating a backdrop
      6m 33s
  • 3. Photometric Interiors
    • Interior daylight with ART physical sun and sky
      6m 24s
    • Physical material emission for environments
      5m 34s
    • Approximating direct sunlight
      4m 21s
    • Filling shadows with area soft lights
      5m 58s
    • Interior artificial light in ART
      7m 20s
    • Importing photometric data
      3m 48s
  • 4. Studio Lighting and Effects
    • Light and shadow exclusion
      4m 41s
    • Controlling attenuation decay
      3m 32s
    • Projecting images with Projector Map
      3m 23s
    • Rendering volume lights
      8m 34s
    • Adding lens effects: Glow
      8m 25s
    • Layering and mapping lens effects
      8m 16s
  • Conclusion
    • Next steps
      1m 8s