This past Thursday night was my last class at Pratt for a while and, ironically, the same exact last question as last year was asked: how can I use the mr Physical Sky as well as a custom background image at the same time. At the end of the last semester, I did some research and found a solution that seemed to work pretty well (http://bimuzer.com/2010/01/08/3ds-max-2010-viewing-a-background-image-when-using-a-daylight-system-and-a-mental-ray-physical-sky/). So, I tried it again and, oddly, it didn’t work. So, I became somewhat obsessed and worked at this students file for two and a half hours. During this time I found a good, three part tutorial on using the mr Physical Sky here: http://www.mymentalray.com/video.html (the last three videos called Mental Ray Sky Part 1, 2 and 3). The second video specifically mentioned that my method (he didn’t mention me by name), where you drag the mr Physical Sky into an empty slot in the Material Editor, click Use Custom Background Map and insert the image you want to use, is actually incorrect. It’s really just, “placing one image over another,” and is, “blocking the sun,” “and your entire mental ray sky map.” He says the reason for this is that the mr Physical Sky is what’s known as haze driven. Unfortunately, his tutorial had a slightly different outcome than I was looking for in that, and hopefully I’m interpretting this right, he was using a high-contrast image of clouds to create clouds in the background and have it give off light. So, I did some more research and came across another website (I love the Internet): http://jamiecardoso-mentalray.blogspot.com/2010/01/mental-rayvaluable-tips-2.html (the guy who runs this site is one of the authors of Realistic Architectural Visualization Using 3ds Max and mental ray – I have the first edition, but the second edition is now out and available here). In his article, he mentions a map that I’d never used (or really even heard of) before: Environment Background Switcher. So, I modified my own method, some things I learned in the video, and his method to come up with a new method that appears to work. Please note that the following is in 3ds Max Design 2011:
I have the following scene which has no lights, no Daylight System, no mr physical sky in the Environment Map, no Exposure Control Set, all mental ray settings are low and FG Bounces is set to 0:
If I were to render this right now, this is result:
Now if I render, this is the result:
Now if I render, this is the result:
The light still isn’t flowing far enough into the room. We’ll use an mr Sky Portal which gathers sunlight towards it and aims it in whatever direction you choose.
If I were to render now, I’d get this:
Once I increase the following settings from below the Rendered Frame Window (the Global Quality Control Knobs), set the time of day to 5pm, the time of year to 4/30/2010, as well as increase the resolution to 2231 x 1275, I get the final rendered image below.
This process definitely took some time to research and a lot of trial and error (and rendering) so I’d like to thank the various resources that I found on the Internet. Let me know if you have any questions.
I definitely plan on posting about 3ds Max 2011, but I get questions a lot to look at peoples MAX files and the first thing I usually tell them is to archive the file and send it to me. Archiving files in 3ds Max creates a zip file containing not only the MAX file, but also any other files that are associated with it (like other linked MAX files, image files, etc.). Here’s how to archive a file in 3ds max (I’ll be using version 2011, but I don’t believe the process has changed at all):
In the following file I have a simple box with a wood material assigned. The material has an image of Red Birch assigned to it:
The ZIP file created has the MAX file, the image file and a text file with notes about the archive:
Hey All. Well, BIMuzer is finally up and running and I’m very happy it is because you might have noticed some new software releases (the Autodesk 2011 product line) and I’m just itching to comment on it. In the mean time, I wanted to mention that a colleague of mine, James Vandezande (http://allthingsbim.blogspot.com/) with Eddie Krygiel and Phil Read, worked on the upcoming release Mastering Revit 2011. Here’s the link so you could pre-order it: http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Revit-Architecture-2011-Krygiel/dp/0470626968. Also, don’t forget the book that I worked on, 3ds Max 2010 Architectural Visualization Advanced to Expert which you can order by clicking the cover off to the side. Stay tuned for a new post soon!!
It’s New Years Eve day and I’m sitting in front of my laptop about to scan through the 214 new articles in the 321 blogs that I subscribe to. As you can see off to the right, if you scroll down a bit, I have my blogs categorized by topics. When I go through the new articles each day I find that I scroll through the CAD-based blogs to mark them all off as “read,” almost without even reading their headlines. I simply no longer have any interest in reading about the latest developments, issues, plug-ins, etc. within the world of AutoCAD (and this is coming from the guy who runs CADuzer.com). Now that I’m back on a Revit-based project (and it is a full-fledged, no exceptions Revit-based project), I can’t imagine going back to AutoCAD. To be clear, I have no problem continuing to use AutoCAD for tasks here and there, but I’m just simply not interested in reading about the solutions people have come up with for it, the latest service packs or updates or new beta programs and versions of it. I think the software should be put out to pasture. I think any further development for it should be finished and then discontinued. Again, to be clear, AutoCAD has been a wonderful program for many years and has suited the architecture industry very well. This reminds me of what many people these days say when they talk about how the Internet is killing newspapers. You know what? It is! That’s called progress! With all of the advances that have come in recent versions of AutoCAD, such as parametric objects, it is inching closer and closer to Revit. Well, we’ve got Revit…it’s called Revit. Anyway, that’s a long way of saying, I’m thinking about removing my “CAD” blogs category.
Hey All. CADuzer is now on Twitter and I wanted to see if my posts show up there. For the most part, this post is a test of that, but you can follow CADuzer over there at https://twitter.com/caduzerblog.
UPDATE: OK, so it worked…now what? I haven’t completely figured out whether or not Twitter is necessary for my site, but all the kids are doing it. Anyway, I won’t tweet (please tell me I didn’t really just type that word) about being hungry or the fact that I just yawned. Pretty much, my blog post headlines will be sent over to Twitter and should I have any INDUSTRY-RELATED thoughts, I’ll put those in there too. Anyway..enjoy.