3DS-Max Tutorial: Soft Shadows With Mental Ray Renderer



In this 3DS-Max tutorial I am going to show you how to get soft shadows with the mental ray Renderer.


End result:
Soft Shadows With Mental Ray Renderer Final Image

Author:
avatar Palaekman

Views: 174875
Score: 7.71 / 10
Author earned: $8
Practice tutorial

Tags:mentalrayrenderer

Step 1

Lets start by changing the renderer to mental ray Renderer.

If you're already using mental ray Renderer, you can skip to step 2.

1. In the menu bar, press the Rendering tab and move down to Render Setup or you can press f10 on your keyboard.

2. Press the Common tab and scroll down to Assign Renderer at the bottom.

3. At Production press the box with three dots and choose mental ray Renderer.

You can now close the window.


Step 2

For this tutorial I created a simple plane and a box. I then gave them the standard material and only changed the colors.

To create a box or a plane, go to the Command Panel and press Create > Geometry and choose your object type.

To bring up the Material Editor you can press the shortcut key "M" or you can go to the menu bar, press the Rendering button and go down to Material Editor. Drag out your material and drop it on a object to apply it.


Step 3

In the Command Panel, press Create > Lights and press the mr Area Omni button.

Place the light like this.


Step 4

If we would render this image with the standard mr Area Omni settings, we would get a image like this with very hard shadows.


Step 5

Select your newly created mr Area Omni if it isn't selected already, then go to the Command Panel and press Modify.

In the General Parameters tab make sure that Light type is On and that it's Omni and that Shadows are On and that it's Ray Traced Shadows.

Move down to the Area Light Parameters tab. The On box should be checked and type should be Sphere.

I will explain more about Radius and Samples in the next step.


Step 6

How soft your shadow is going to be depends on how far away your light is and how big it is. A light with a large radius close to the object will give a softer shadow while a light further away will give a harder shadow.

How the shadow is going to be varies from scene to scene, the easiest way is to render with low settings and see what the result will look like.

The quality of the shadow depends on the samples in the Area Light Parameters. Original is 5 and 5 while 15 and 15 can count as high quality. But the higher the values are, the longer your rendering time will be.

The image below shows how big I made the radius on my light. In the next step I will show you how the render looks like.


Step 7

This is how my final render looks.

If you followed the previous steps yours should look the same.


Step 8

Here is another render with roughly the same settings on the light as the previous render.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you found it usefull.


//Pman



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40 Comments:

no avatar
Guest says:

ya thnx for this ma shadow wus all like a brick now its super duper!!

(5 years and 1050 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Nice tutorial, unfortunately Area Shadows no longer work with Max 2010, I wondered if you could update your tutorial?

(5 years and 1036 days ago)
avatar Palaekman
Palaekman says:

Thank you for your comments.
This tutorial was made in Max 2010.
Make sure that you're using a mr area omni light with Ray Traced Shadows in the general parameters tab.

(5 years and 1033 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks brother

(5 years and 1030 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Cheers!

(5 years and 1030 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you! you're a legend.

(5 years and 1026 days ago)
no avatar

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http://www.all3dmodel.com

(5 years and 1020 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks for the tip!

(5 years and 1005 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Very simple tutorial.. but for some stupid reason my shadows are still hard edged! My renderer is set to mr not scanline.. and I set all the parameters the same as in your tutorial and I still can't get it to work?? I am puzzled at this one?? thanks..

(5 years and 958 days ago)
avatar Palaekman
Palaekman says:

Hm I have no idea what the problem could be. Did you turn off soft shadows in the rendering window? That's the only thing I can think of.

(5 years and 951 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Great tutorials. More 3d video Tutorials http://www.all3dmodel.com

(5 years and 947 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

awesome

(5 years and 944 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you, This helped me a lot

(5 years and 920 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

pls let me how to take measurement ex.. inches

(5 years and 884 days ago)
avatar Palaekman
Palaekman says:

If you want to change from, for example, meters or generic units to inches. Go to "Customize / Units setup" and there you can change to whatever you like.

Im only familiar with the metric system so I can't help you any further.

(5 years and 880 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thank you so much it couldnt be more helpful

(5 years and 872 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

(5 years and 872 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Latiaf

(5 years and 858 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

yap yap very useful & a big help, tnx

(5 years and 852 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thanks, very helpful!

(5 years and 833 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Awesome tutorial, I couldn't find any other one that explained it as you did.

(5 years and 814 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

thanks i use my practical

(5 years and 803 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

really helpful thanks

(5 years and 721 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thx very much

(5 years and 707 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for. Great results! One question, once calculated, is there a way to store the shadow information for a non moving object to decrease render times on future frames? Assuming camera-only animation. Thanks!

(5 years and 701 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you!

(5 years and 671 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Helped me. Thanks

(5 years and 608 days ago)
no avatar
akshay says:

thanx a lot

(5 years and 587 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

his is exactly what I was looking for. Great results! One question, once calculated, is there a way to store the shadow information for a non moving object to decrease render times on future frames? Assuming camera-only animation. Thanks!

(5 years and 541 days ago)
no avatar
caroline says:

Thank you very much !! It is so useful !!! ^^

(5 years and 454 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks......

(5 years and 429 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

would have been usefull 3 years ago

(5 years and 424 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thank you! Tried everything and ur tutorial showed me that I missed one simple thing lol

(5 years and 318 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you

(5 years and 311 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

very useful!!!!

(5 years and 214 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Hey thanks a lot....saved my day...

(5 years and 171 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank so much!!

(5 years and 65 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank so much.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(5 years and 14 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

You Da Man...saaaaweet!!!!!!! Finally someone that can help.. Thx a bunch!

(5 years and 2 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Finally the answer I have been looking for. Thanks so much. 2 thumbs up..!!!

(5 years and 2 days ago)


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