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: 180995
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 1323 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 1308 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 1306 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks brother

(5 years and 1303 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Cheers!

(5 years and 1302 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you! you're a legend.

(5 years and 1299 days ago)
no avatar

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(5 years and 1293 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks for the tip!

(5 years and 1278 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 1231 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 1223 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

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

(5 years and 1219 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

awesome

(5 years and 1216 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you, This helped me a lot

(5 years and 1193 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

pls let me how to take measurement ex.. inches

(5 years and 1156 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 1153 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thank you so much it couldnt be more helpful

(5 years and 1145 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

(5 years and 1145 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Latiaf

(5 years and 1130 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

yap yap very useful & a big help, tnx

(5 years and 1124 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thanks, very helpful!

(5 years and 1106 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

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

(5 years and 1087 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

thanks i use my practical

(5 years and 1075 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

really helpful thanks

(5 years and 994 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thx very much

(5 years and 979 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 974 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you!

(5 years and 943 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Helped me. Thanks

(5 years and 881 days ago)
no avatar
akshay says:

thanx a lot

(5 years and 860 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 813 days ago)
no avatar
caroline says:

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

(5 years and 726 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thanks......

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

would have been usefull 3 years ago

(5 years and 697 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 590 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you

(5 years and 584 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

very useful!!!!

(5 years and 487 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

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

(5 years and 443 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank so much!!

(5 years and 337 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

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

(5 years and 287 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

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

(5 years and 274 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

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

(5 years and 274 days ago)


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