Advertisement
  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. 3D Studio Max
Cgi

Multi Pass Rendering and Compositing in 3ds Max and After Effects- Part 1

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

1. Creating a Basic Scene

Step 1

Open 3ds Max. Draw a plane in the perspective viewport.

Open 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max

Step 2

Make a teapot and put it on the plane.

Make a teapot
Make a teapot 

Step 3

I've applied several lights in the scene. I've chosen Ray Traced Shadows as the shadow.

Ray Traced Shadows
Ray Traced Shadows

Step 4

Press M to open the Material Editor. Select an empty slot. Click on Reflection channel. 

It opens the Material/ Map Browser. Select Raytrace and click on OK.

Material Editor
Material Editor

Step 5

Apply this material to the plane.

Apply this material to the plane
Apply this material to the plane

Step 6

Increase the Specular level and Glossiness of the teapot.

Increase the Specular level and Glossiness
Increase the Specular level and Glossiness

Step 7

Render the scene. You get one rendered frame. In this rendered frame, you get Diffuse Color, Shadow, Specularity and Reflection

Right now, you can’t control individual channel. It will affect the entire frame. You'll need to render each and every pass separately. 

Render the scene
Render the scene

2. Multi Pass Rendering in 3ds Max

Step 1

Press F10 to open Render Settings window. Click on Render Elements tab.

Render Settings
Render Settings

Step 2

Click on Add button. It opens Render Elements window. Select Diffuse and click on OK.

Render Elements
Render Elements

Step 3

Following the same way, click on Add button and add Reflection, Shadow and Specular.

Add button
Add button 

Step 4

You have successfully added these 4 passes in the Render Element list.

Render Element
Render Element 

Step 5

With Diffuse pass selected, click on Browse tab. 

Browse
Browse 

Step 6

Save the file as Diffuse.TGA.

TGA
TGA

Step 7

It opens Targa Image Control window. Choose 32 Bits-Per-Channel option. Click on OK.

32 Bits-Per-Channel
32 Bits-Per-Channel 

Step 8

Following the same way, save the Reflection, Shadow and Specular files in TGA format.

Save the Reflection Shadow and Specular files
Save the Reflection, Shadow and Specular files

Step 9

Click on Render button.

Render
Render 

Step 10

You will get 4 different rendered frames for each individual pass.

Passes
Passes

Step 11

This is Diffuse pass.

This is Diffuse pass
This is Diffuse pass.

This is Reflection pass.

This is Reflection pass
This is Reflection pass.

This is Shadow pass.

This is Shadow pass
This is Shadow pass.

This is Specular pass.

This is Specular pass
This is Specular pass.

3. Compositing in After Effects

Step 1

Open After Effects.

Open After Effects
Open After Effects.

Step 2

Import all passes inside After Effects and put them on the timeline in order.

Import all passes inside After Effects
Import all passes inside After Effects

Step 3

To get all passes at the right place, you need to put them in order. Keep the order of the passes as shown in the following image. With the Reflection pass selected, change its blending mode to Screen.

Blending mode and proper order
Blending mode and proper order

Step 4

Now you get the final composited scene. 

Now you get the final composited scene
Now you get the final composited scene

Step 5

The beauty of this process is that, you can control each individual pass separately. If you want your shadow a bit light, you can decrease the Opacity value of the Shadow layer, and it will affect the shadow only. All other layers/ passes will be unaffected.

Opacity
Opacity

Step 6

If you want to make the reflection blurred, just apply Gaussian Blur effect to the Reflection layer. Play with the blur value, and it will affect the reflection only.

Apply Gaussian Blur
Apply Gaussian Blur

Conclusion

Multi pass rendering and compositing is a great time saver technique. It not only saves the time, but also enables the compositor to work more efficiently and independently on the compositions. 

In the next part of the tutorial series, I'll show you some more important passes in 3ds MaxRLA, RPF and Open EXR format which make the compositing process even much better. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.