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9 guidelines for perfect 3D rendering and lighting

Leon William

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When it comes to rendering and lighting in 3ds Max, the variation in quality is simply visible if adequate tips and tricks are used. Professional service providers are far better in analyzing the depth to which lighting parameters are needed to be applied than amateurs. Few tips and tricks that are regularly practiced by professionals in 3ds Max is presented here.

1. Get it simple - Get it sliced

One of the basic 3d rendering tips is to slice the picture conceptually into 9 parts of equal proportion. It helps to maintain uniqueness and remove any central object attraction. Image Composition Helper scripts can be handy at times to compose the images.

2. Avoid nonlinear rendering

Better lighting and better throw of lights is possible if a linear approach is practiced. Enabling Gamma/LUT Correction unchecked is the right direction to move for practical views.

3. Test with many replicas

Checking the timings and quality is dependent on how much test images were used for the test process. While playing with rendering always remember to lower shadow and Global Illumination quality so that the process is quick.

4. Animate differently, process as a unit

Rendering unlike animating requires minimal loss of performance. Hence huge scenes such as a town or a school are divided into several small scenes which are then mixed uniquely to form the 3ds max file. This trick that is used by most professional service providers also helps to work without any performance loss when geometrical figures are involved.

5. Follow Z depth for indepth rendering

Illustrations when rendered need to provide an accurate map of the real world object. Z depth is the best tool to provide surreal environment that avails unmatched quality while processing. Understanding how to use Photoshop and its color picker tool is what is needed to create life like atmosphere using fog and climatic variations in Z depth. It is an unrivalled companion preferred by companies when it comes to 3d rendering.

6. Manipulating shadows using Gradient map

Don’t underestimate the power of Gradient maps. They are not just tools for making noise alone. Clouded shadows can be made to look spectacular by optimizing Gradient maps. Forest lighting, dull interiors and many other light effects can be made perfect by properly using gradients.

7. Correcting colors

Rendered images are usually satisfactory but whenever post processing is applied, stunning visuals are made. Area specific color corrections have to be made in order to make this possible. It is also advised to add a bit more noise in order to give an incomplete feel for the photo. It is often best to look like unedited because it adds to the value of the image.

8. Better organization

An effort centered approach often leads to results as the more effort you put the better the output is. Projects need to be arranged and categorized in a similar manner like books in a library. You can make use of the inbuilt tool for that. Proper folders for meshes, previews and processed files will give a better viewing angle for amateurs.

9. Asset Tracking

Asset Tracking is a lifesaving feature of 3ds Max. Keeping proper positioning is very important in the case of assets. Professional 3d rendering companies by default set Asset Tracking to avoid any unforeseen issues. As a beginner many of the artists fail to keep asset locations intact and the result is devastating.

Some of the basic 3ds Max rendering tips and tricks were discussed. Feel free to try it out and become familiar with the tools and software discussed to be a perfectionist.


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