Jun 28, 2012

V-ray Daylight - Basic Setup

Hello and welcome to another 3Ds MAX tutorial.

Today I will show you how to create a basic daylight scene with V-Ray inside 3Ds MAX. We will be using V-Ray Sun and V-Ray Physical Camera to create some realistic results of outside renders and we will talk about some of the options that control the lightning and the colors into your scene. V-Ray is a plugin for 3D Studio MAX which is not free, if you don't have V-Ray I'm afraid that you won't be able to complete this tutorial but you can try the same thing in Mental Ray. I have a tutorial which explains how to do that in Mental Ray, you can access it by clicking here

Here are some renders that I did with V-Ray Sun and Physical Camera:

We will try to make the same thing in this tutorial, a kind of desert looking scene and to render it with V-Ray. Make sure that you check every image under each step to understand better the process of creating the V-Ray daylight scene.
So let's get started...

Step 1: Open 3Ds MAX and create a Plane into the Top View, then by going to the Modify Tab change it's Length to 2000, Width to 2000 and Length & Width Segments to 35.

Step 2: Go to the Modify Tab and add a Noise Modifier from the list (this will make our plane having deformations called bumps) and change the Scale to 250 and the Z Strength to 100 to create noise only on the Z axis (vertical).

Step 3: From the Modify Tab add from the Modifier List a Turbosmooth modifier to smooth the plane a bit more (leave it at default settings).

Step 4: Go to the Create tab > Cameras select V-ray from the list and create a V-ray Physical Camera in the viewport facing towards the plane:

Step 5: Now press C to go to the Camera View and pan around to find an angle that you like:

Step 6: Press F10 to bring up the Render Settings. Scroll down to Assign Renderer rollout and press on the [...] box and choose V-Ray from the list as our renderer:

Step 7: Press M to bring up the Material Editor and click on the Standard button and apply a VrayMtl instead, then press on the Diffuse Box and assign a Bitmap Image:

Step 8: For the Bitmap assign a sand material map that comes with Autodesk 3Ds MAX. You can find it in you 3Ds MAX folder / Maps / Ground / Sand3.JPG and change the tiling to 6 on U and V.

Step 9: Now head back to our main material (Go to Parrent button) and assign the material to our plane and check Show Map in Viewport:

Step 10: Time to create the light. Go to the Create tab > Lights > V-Ray (from the list) and create a V-Ray Sun by clicking the first point and then dragging up. Press Yes when the window pops up to apply a V-Ray Sky as environment map:

Step 11: Move the sun at an angle of about 60-70 degrees to bring more light into our scene. If the sun is perpendicular on our plane it means that our sky color will be blue and more light would be into our scene, if the sun is parallel with the plane it means that our image will end up into a sunset red-orange color and the whole render will be darker.

Step 12: If you select the sun and go to the Modify Tab you can change the following as you like:

Enabled: You can disable or enable the light coming from the Sun (like an On/Off button).
Invisible: When this option is turned on our Sun will be invisible into our camera renders and reflections. This might be useful sometimes to avoid over-burning effects.
Turbidity: This value controls the color of our Sun & Sky. Lower values will bring a blueish color to our renders and higher colors will make our renders having a more orange color.
Ozone: Affects the color of our sun, smaller values make our sun look yellow and larger values make it look more blue.
Intensity Multiplier: controls the light intensity coming from the Sun. Higher values will make our image brighter and lower values will make it darker.
Size multiplier: This parameter controls the size of the Sun into renders when the Sun is not invisible.
Shadow subdivs: This value controls the samples of the shadow, higher subdivisions make shadows look more natural and having a better quality than lower values, but this may affect the render time.
Shadow bias: this parameter control the shadow position, the shadow moving away or closer to an object. I recommend using the default value because using this parameter with extreme values can make our renders look wrong.
Photon emit radius: this value controls the area of the Sun which emmits photons (the green cylinder around the sun into the viewport). It might be very useful when rendering caustics.
Sky model: the type of model used to generate our Sky texture. Preetham et al is the default sky.
CIE Clear is for clear sky CIE Overcast is for cloudy sky.
Indirect horiz. illum: this value controls the light coming from the Sky.
Exclude - this button is useful if you want something in your scene to be excluded from the Sun's light.

Step 13: If you select the V-Ray Physical Camera and go to the Modify Tab you can change:

The most important values (for controling light) are: 
F-number which controls the brightness into our render (lower values bring more brightness and higher values make our render darker).
Shutter Speed: smaller values make our image look brighther and higher values make our image darker. 
Film Speed (ISO): If the film speed (ISO) is high the rendered image will brighter. Lower ISO values will produce a darker render result.

You can change these values to achieve the result you're looking after.

Step 14: Apply HDRI Images into your V-Ray Environment map. I'm using Lake Crater HDRI which you can download by clicking here. Assign the blurred image to the Reflection/Refraction and the other one to the GI Environment:

 Step 15: Press F10 to bring up the Render Setup and change the following:

V-Ray Tab:

 Indirect Illumination Tab:

Settings Tab:

Now you can press Render and you should get results similar to this (I used only default settings):

So that's all that you need to know about the basics of creating a V-Ray Daylight Render. Try to use more objects into the scene to achieve more realistic results with shadow casting and try to use other materials for the ground as well.
If you have any questions about this tutorial please post them into the comment section below. 
See you next time!

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