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

Presenting a Brand Using 3ds Max: Part 2

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This post is part of a series called Presenting a Brand.
Presenting a Brand Using 3ds Max: Part 1

When designing an identity and brand materials for a client, good presentation is crucial! In the second and final part of his 3Ds Max tutorial, Hussain Almossawi takes us through how to light, apply materials to and render the models we previously created in Day 1, before completing post-production within Photoshop. So let's get started!

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  • Download the Project Files for this tutorial

    • Step 1

      Welcome back to the second part of the tutorial. In this part we'll cover adding materials, setting up the lighting and the rendering, and finally take a look at some post-production work. So open up your file and load the scene from Part 1.

      Step 2

      Create a Vray Plane and place it anywhere in the scene. (Geometry Menu > VRay > VRayPlane)

      Step 3

      Create a Vray light with the following parameters, Half-length: 13.5", Half-width: 20.8"

      Step 4

      Rotate the light from your top view-port 15 degrees to the left on the z axis.

      Step 5

      Rotate it 20 degrees to the right on the y axis. Now your light should be slanted sideways and aiming slightly upwards.

      Step 6

      Set the light color to the following shade of yellow: (240, 242, 215, 45, 28, 242).

      Step 7

      Apply the following settings to your light:

      Step 8

      Place the light to the left of your scene, leave some distance so the light can look natural.

      Step 9

      Select your light and choose the "Mirror" tool. Use the following settings:

      Step 10

      Place the light to the right of your scene, make sure the spacing is proportional with the light on the left.

      Step 11

      Change the Intensity of the light on the right to 8.

      Step 12

      Select the first light on the left, and under Parameters choose "Exclude". Move the "Calendar" and "Folder" models to the Exclude box.

      Step 13

      Now our scene has the right amount of lighting, Let's move on to applying material. Start by opening a new file in Adobe Illustrator

      Step 14

      To avoid going into much detail into the Illustrator part, basically, we will be creating designs for each of the stationary materials we created, with the same size, in order to fit them into our scene later on. The reason I'm using Illustrator, is that in the professional world, collateral's and such designs are made in Illustrator which makes it easier for printing purposes. Although, feel free to use any program you like or are used to. We will start by creating our letter head, make a new box, with the following size, width: 8.5", height: 11".

      Step 15

      Apply your design to the letterhead.

      Step 16

      Copy your letterhead design and open up Photoshop, Create a new Document.

      Step 17

      Change the resolution to 300.

      Step 18

      Paste your design into the new document as "Pixels".

      Step 19

      Make sure your design fills the document, and press enter.

      Step 20

      Go to Layer > Flatten Image.

      Step 21

      Save your file as .TIF format (File > Save As).

      Step 22

      Now go back to Illustrator, and repeat the steps for the other stationary materials. This is an example of what I have.

      Step 23

      Let's go back to 3D Max, and start applying the materials. Let's start with the Letter Head, Select the Letter Head.

      Step 24

      Open the Material Editor, and click "Standard". Set your material as VRayMt.

      Step 25

      Click the small box next to Diffuse, and double click Bitmap.

      Step 26

      Choose the file we just saved in Photoshop, Letter Head.tif

      Step 27

      "Assign Material to Selection", and "Show Standard Map in Viewport".

      Step 28

      Our Material is applied now, but it's facing the wrong way, set the angle "W" to -90.

      Step 29

      Repeat steps 14 to 28 to the rest of the stationary materials, making sure everything is facing the right way, you should end up with something like this:

      Step 30

      Open the Material Editor, Create a new material and call it "Scene", set the Diffuse Color to 226 (light gray).

      Step 31

      Apply the material to the VRayPlane.


      Step 32

      Moving on to the Render Settings, open up the Render Setup, starting with the global switches, use the following settings.

      Step 33

      VRay Image Sampler, set the Image Sampler type to "Adaptive Subdivision", and the Antialiasing filter to "Catmull-Rom" to allow a sharp result.

      Step 34

      Set the following for the Adaptive Subdivision image sampler settings, Min Rate: -1, Max rate: 3, Clr thresh: 0.1, and check Randomize Samples.

      Step 35

      Set the GI Environment to 4.

      Step 36

      We will now create a map for our environment, which will allow a smoother outcome when rendering. Open up the Material Editor, and select a new material. Click on the small box next to Diffuse.

      Step 37

      Select Gradient Ramp.

      Step 38

      Set the Angle for the W to -90, this will make the gradient vertical.

      Step 39

      Go to the Gradient Ramp Parameters, double click the middle marker and set the color to 5.

      Step 40

      Create a new marker right next to it by clicking, and set the color of the new marker to the following (164, 146, 164, 213, 28, 164).

      Step 41

      Select the marker to the right, the one in the white area, and set the color to (206, 212, 239 162, 35, 239).

      Step 42

      Select the Gradient Ramp title at the top, and drag into the Map box for Environment in Render Setup. Make it copy as Instance.

      Step 43

      Moving on to the Color Mapping, choose Exponential as Type, and apply the following settings, Dark Multiplier: 1.2, Bright Multiplier: 2.7, Gamma: 1.0

      Step 44

      Move on to the Indirect Illumination, and apply the settings as follows:

      Step 45

      Set your camera/view to however you like best, keep in mind that you might need to have it from somewhat of a upper to lower angle, to avoid showing the horizon line.

      Step 46

      Render your scene and you should end up with something like this. Save it as "Stationary.jpg"

      Step 47

      Open the rendered image in Photoshop. Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves.

      Step 48

      Click in the middle of the curve, and raise it somewhat to the top, use your judgment to make sure the lighting on the scene looks natural.

      Step 49

      Notice the background isn't very smooth, duplicate your layer (ctrl+J / cmd+J).

      Step 50

      Apply Gaussian Blur with a radius of 4 (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).

      Step 51

      Using the eraser tool, erase the parts that have the stationary materials.

      Step 52

      Now you're all set! Save your image at high quality and impress some clients with your work!

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