Jump to content

» «

[TUT|MAX] All of my tutorials.

8 replies to this topic
  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:41 AM

Seeing as the tutorial listing topic has died, and all of my tutorials sent to the depths of the forum (including one that miraculously disappeared) I'm reposting them all together. I'll add some more later, most likely. I'm going to write one on Sub-Surface Scattering.

3D studio max tutorials:

user posted image

______/ Introduction \

Welcome to Moto's 3ds max introduction tutorial! This tutorial will give you a running start into the world of 3ds max. This is specifically designed for 3ds max 6, but can be used for 5 or 7.

______/ User Interface \

There is nothing more important in any program than a good user interface. Unfortuantely, the UI in 3ds max 6 and 7 is less than stellar, when compared to the interface of 3ds max 5, due to the fact that it left out the tab panel. It's because of this that I've made a UI scheme that brings the tab panel back, with some added bonuses. 3ds max 5 users needn't download this. This tutorial will describe that file, though, so it won't be exactly the same, but it's still very similar.

[x] Download

To install, extract every file there into your 3dsmax#/UI folder, then load up max. Go to customize > Load custom UI scheme, and load motoscheme.ui.

user posted image

Ah, that's much better! Along the left is the Reactor toolbar, which will be described briefly later. Across the top is the tab panel, and right below it the main toolbar. At the right is the options panel. In the center are the viewports, and across the very top is the menu. Let's get to describing each part, shall we?

Tab Panel

user posted image

This will probably be the toolbar you use the most. Mouse over each button to see a short description. Now, to analyze each tab.

Objects - This is the default tab. It contains all of the 3D primitives that many of your objects will be made of. The three most important are first, cube, sphere, and cylinder. Click a button, then bring your cursor to a viewport (center), then click and drag. The farther you drag, the larger that aspect of your object is. Most objects have more than one option, like a cube. The first drag creates a flat plane. Let go, and that aspect is set, and it moves on to the depth. Move your mouse again to set the depth, then click when you think it's at what you want. Don't worry if it's not exactly what you want, there are many ways of getting it like that. All will be described below.

Layers - This is the tab for layering your scenes. Most beginners never use it, even I rarely ever use it. It's for creating sets of objects, then hiding/unhiding them when you want to. Very similar to layers in photoshop, just in 3D.

Utilities - This tab includes many of the tools that assist you in modeling and animating. This includes the axis restrictions (only move on certain axes), the layer manager (again), and the curve editor. To read up on the curve editor, scroll down and find my other tutorial specifically on that.

Shapes - This includes all of the 2D shapes that can later be turned into 3D objects, the most useful being the line tool, which allows you to draw a shape, which can later be extruded, lathed, or lofted to your pleasure. More on this below.

Compounds - This has all of the ways of compounding objects, the most useful being the boolean, which allows you to "subtract" one object from another, merge multiple objects together seamlessly, and many other things. More on this later.

Lights and Cameras - It is a well known fact that no scene is complete without good lighting. Most of what's here is self-explanatory, or you can figure it out. More on this later.

Particles - Particles are small objects that are emitted and animated to your settings. You can emit one every second is a straight line, or a thousand every second, spreading all over, doing what you want. Once again, more on this later.

Helpers - This includes objects that can help you with placement, modeling, and more. Read below for more info.

Space Warps - A very useful panel indeed. Has modifiers for warping your objects, creating bend, twist, stretching, tapering, and more, or any combination thereof. Also includes animation warps, specifically for particles. More below.

Modifiers - This has object-specific modifiers. This is basically a quick shortcut for people who don't want to use the modifier drop-down menu. An object must be selected to use these. More below.

Modeling - This is just a quick panel I made to have most of the important things for modeling. All of the pieces here have already been mentioned in another tab.

Rendering - Contains many of the buttons previously mentioned, but also has the options for rendering. If you didn't know, rendering means to take the 3D information you have in your viewport and turn it into a 2D picture. Many important things can only be shown in a rendered image, like shadows, anti-aliasing, material mapping, and an infinite amount of other things. MUCH more later.

Main Toolbar

This is the most important part of the UI. Contains all of the tools needed for just about everything. You can find select, move, rotate, scale, binding, space warp binding, snaps, and many other things.

Options Panel

This appears on the right of the screen. The first button, labeled with a mouse pointer, is the create panel. This includes all of the things featured above plus some more. You can go through this by yourself. The second button is the one you'll use the most, it's the modify panel. There is a plethora of things you can do with this, I'll describe it later.

______/ Usage \

I know you've been waiting for this part! We'll use your newfound knowledge to make some great things.The first thing to go over is primitives. In the objects tab, select a cube. Do what I described above, and drag to create one. We're now going to edit it to be a perfect cube. Select the selection tool (main toolbar, mouse pointer icon), and click on the cube. Look at your options panel, and click the "modify" panel (second button in, at the very top). You'll see the same parameters here that showed up when you first made it, but now you can edit this specific box. In the length, width and height parameters, put in 100. It's now a perfect cube.You can also play around with the segments options. This changes the amount of divisions at each side, this is good for later use. Let's change all of them to four.Right now is a good time to get acquainted with maneuvering in the viewport. Look at the top, front, and left viewports, they all are showing a wireframe display. This shows all of the edges of your current object. To change to a shaded view (like the one in the "perspective" viewport), right click on the text that shows the name of the viewport. You'll see an options menu comes up, click "smooth + highlights". Now, that view shows your cube in all its shaded glory. Sometimes this isn't enough, and you want to see both the shaded view and the wireframe view. Click the name again, and this time check "edged faces". You now see the edges overlaying the shaded cube. Go ahead and experiment in all of the other viewports, see what all the settings do. For manuevering around in a viewport, a three-button mouse (with wheel) is required. Hold the middle mouse button and move the mouse to pan the view. Scroll the wheel in/out to zoom in/out. Hold alt+middle mouse button to rotate around.

Now it's time to show you how to edit these objects in a non-uniform way. Right click the cube, and click "convert to editable poly". This now gives you a whole new set of options on the options panel, and you no longer have the options of the cube. This is where you edit the mesh to fit your desire. The first rollout that shows up in the left it selection, click the first button, this is the vertices editor. You'll notice now that blue dots appear everywhere where there the lines intersect. Select the move tool, and click a vertex.

You'll now see the move gizmo.

user posted image

This is the tool for moving just about anything. Take your mouse and put it over the z axis line (up). Click it and drag ti move it in that direction. You can do this with and of them, or any combination of them. Inbetween each line is a square, put your mouse in there to move it on both of those axes at the same time.Before we go check out the other gizmos, we're going to talk about the rest of the options available in the editable poly dialogue. While still in vertex mode, select a vertex and scroll down the option panel until you find the edit vertices rollout. Click extrude and click and drag a vertex to see the effect it has. Now, hit ctrl+z to undo. Click the small box next to the extrude option. You now see a dialogue box with the options to enter numbers for what you just did with the extrude tool. Almost every option has this, it's a much more precise method than the clig+drag method.Now, click the edge button at the top, in the selection (note: There are two other ways to change a selection. At the very top in what's called the stack, you'll see a box with a plus in it next to the text "editable poly". Click the box, and now you can change your selection up here. You can also right click in an empty space on the viewport to bring up a box, this will also have the selection options). Select an edge, and look at the new option in the "edit edges" rollout. You can chamfer, which allows you to divide the edge in two, essentially rounding off a corner (if you do it enough times). You can extrude in a similar fashion to the vertex selection, and do a number other things. Mess around with what you see here.

We're going to skip border (it only applies to objects with a notable border, mainly extruded objects). Select a polygon, and now you can select actual faces. You now have many more options, go and check them all out. The edit polygons area has things you can do, as well as edit geometry. Just for the fun of it, I'm going to show you smoothing right now. Click the "editable poly" text in the stack (above the rollouts) to deselect that modifier. Now, click the box next to "modifier list", and now a rolldown menu shows up. Find "meshsmooth". When the new modifier shows, enter "2" in the field for iterations to give it 2x smoothing. Your cube now has rounded edges. The meshsmooth modifier is very useful, you can make a mostly jagged object and give it some nice curves.

Check out alot of the other modifiers, specifically bend, twist, and taper. These allow you to edit the geometry with mathematical precision, so you don't have to manually edit the geometry.

Now is the time to talk about lighting and rendering. After this is a short bit about animation, then some resources, and we're done. Go into the lighting and click omni. An omni light is like a lightbulb. Click any viewport to put one in the scene. Grab the move tool and move it around until it's a good distance from your object. Now, hit F9 to perform a quick render. You'll see this looks much better than it does in your viewport, but the black background makes it kind of hard to see. Close out of the Virtual Frame Buffer and press 8 to bring up the environment and effects dialogue. You'll see a box for background color, select it and change the color to white. Hit F9 again to render, now you can see alot more of the shape of the cube.

Now, duplicate the cube by holding shift and moving it with the move tool. In the dialogue box, click copy, then okay. Move it so the other cube is between it and the light, then hit render again. Oh dear, there are no shadows! Shadows make a scene a scene, it just isn't good without it. Click the omni lightbulb and go into the modify panel. There is a shadows box right as you open, check the "on" box, then change it from "shadow map" to "raytraced shadows". Shadow map is a fast method, but gives blurry and ugly results. Raytraced shadows is much more accurate. Hit F9 again to see the new shadows.

You'll probably be wanting to change the color of these, though. Chances are the color it was produced as is not to your liking. Press M to bring up the material editor. You'll see sample sheres for each material. Select the two object by either dragging a box around both of them, or clicking one, then ctrl+clicking the other. Ctrl+clicking adds, alt+clicking subtracts objects from a selection. Select the first material, and click "assign material to selection". The button looks like this:

user posted image

This will make both of these objects the default materials. Now, you can edit how they look in the material editor and have it immediately affect the objects. You can even deselect them, and it still will. Look down for a box of color, and next to it the word "diffuse". The diffuse color is the base color of the whole thing. Click the box and change the color to whatever you want. Look at the spinwheels for specular level and glossiness. Change them, and see how they affect the look of your object. Rember that you need to render to see the full effect of what you're doing.Now, there's one more rendering dialogue to view. Press F10 to bring up the entire rendering box. You can change the size of the render, whether the file is saved or not, and what frame to render (animation explained in a bit).

I won't go too far into this or the material editor, because I went into it into my mental ray tutorial, which can be viewed by clicking a link at the bottom of this page.

Now, for a small bit on animation. Select an object, and click the button on the bottom of the screen labeled "auto key". This will create animation keys for you when you change something. You needn't change the animation at frame 0, so move the time slider (it's a rectangle, currently saying 0/100) to frame 10. Now, with auto key still depressed, move your object in any direction. Turn off auto key. Now, slide the slider between frames 0 and 10. You'll see it gradually going from the base position to the new position at frame 10, then stopping. There are probably ideas on how you'd use this in your head already, so I needn't go much farther. I may make another one outlying animation, but for now check out my Curve Editor tutorial to get a little more information on animation.

______/ Resources \

I've included a handy keyboard reference card. You should have gotten this in the box, but I know that most of you

have probably misplaced it.

user posted image

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:42 AM

  • What is the Curve Editor?

    The curve editor is a tool for controlling acceleration, deceleration, and general speed in 3D Studio MAX, without needing to manually create multiple keyframes. Without it's use, you would need to place keyframes at the appropriate places in the timeline, with the exact amount of movement you want at that time. That can become a hassle, and is very time consuming.

  • How does the curve editor work?

    The curve editor works by showing you a graph representing the current value of the transformation* of the object you're working on at each frame. You can manually edit the curve to create acceleration and deceleration, or maybe just deceleration and a harsh stop, or many other combinations.

    * A transformation is X, Y, or Z movement, X, Y, or Z rotation, and X, Y, or Z scaling.

  • How do I access the curve editor?

    Right click a viewport, and select "Curve Editor".

  • How do I use the curve editor?

    First off, it is suggested that you maximize the curve editor window, so you can see every little detail. For the following picture, I selected an object and rotated it -360 degrees on the Z axis.

    user posted image

    Most of the buttons are self-explanatory, but a few need a little explanation. "Tangents" are the links that define what a curve looks like. Setting them to auto will leave them at the default. I would suggest setting them to manual, and fiddling around with them. The rest of the buttons can either be figured out by the name or by the picture, but if you really need me to address one, ask me. I'll add it to the tutorial.

    On the left, you'll see the selection for the movement. The only aspect that I have keyed is the Z rotation, so it is the only one with a curve representing it.

    The most important part of this image is the curve. Along the Y axis of the graph is the value for the selected transformation, along the X is the timeline. You'll notice it trails off at both ends, leaving a relatively straight line in the center. This is the 3D Studio MAX default curve, with an acceleration at the beginning, and deceleration at the end. If I wanted to rid myself of all of that, I would select the keys (it uses just a point-and-click or drag-over interface for key selection) and press "Set tangents to linear". This would make it a completely straight line, and thus would instantly begin rotation, and instantly end it at the designated keyframes. If I wanted to, I could create two keys in the center of it, and stop it from moving for 5 frames.

  • That's all well and good, but what can I apply this to?

    Well, say you wanted to make an animated gif of a fan spinning. The following images are the curves, with the resulting images.

    user posted image


    user posted image
    This is the 3D Studio MAX default curve. This is the result of not changing anything, with a keyframe from 0 to 30.


    user posted image
    You'll notice the acceleration and deceleration. For it to be seamless and endless, this must be eleminated.

    user posted image

    user posted image
    This was a curve modified by setting two tangents to linear, and adding two keyframes. This was just to show you what could be done with the curve editor.


    user posted image
    This is, of course, not what we want.

    user posted image


    user posted image
    This was done by selecting both keyframes and hitting "set tangents to linear",


    user posted image
    This is exactly what we want.

  • How can I reach you if I have more questions?

    You can PM me here, catch me on MSN ([email protected]) or AIM (thedarkside1123), or E-mail me ([email protected], [email protected])
Welp, that's it. Just spent about 30 minutes writing it. What do you think? smile.gif

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:42 AM

  • What is Mental Ray?
    Mental Ray is an alternative renderer that comes with 3D Studio Max 6.

  • What makes it different from the scanline (default) renderer?
    Mental Ray sports complex GI and Caustic algorithms, using what they call a "photon system". It also has superior raytracing (AA in reflections/refractions, an infinite amount of reflections), support for motion-blurred shadows, color bleeding, and much more

  • How can I access Mental Ray?
    This is simple. Press F10 (or alternatively go to rendering>render, or press the "render scene" in the toolbar). Scroll down to the "Assign Renderer" rollout, and click the "..." next to production. Select "mental ray Renderer' and click OK. You'll notice that "ActiveShade" is the only one that didn't change. This is what you see in the viewports, and Mental Ray does not support it. There are ActiveShade renderers you can purchase, including some that do a full quality rendering right in your viewport, in real time.

  • So, can I get a run down?

    Quality and Resolution settings

    The resolution settings are the same as the scanline renderer. They're in the "output size" section under the "Common Parameters" rollout in the "Common" tab.

    The quality settings are under the "Renderer" tab. In the "Sampling Quality" rollout lie boxes that can control this. The most important is "Samples per Pixel". The higher the minimum and maximum values, the higher quality your image is, but also the longer it takes to render. Here are some images showing the quality differences:

    Format: Minimum Samples per Pixel - Maximum Samples per Pixel

    user posted image
    1/64 - 1/16
    Render Time: 1 second

    user posted image
    1/16 - 1/4
    Render Time: < 1 second

    user posted image
    1/4 - 1
    Render Time: 2 seconds

    user posted image
    1 - 4
    Render Time: 3 seconds

    user posted image
    4 - 16
    Render Time: 5 seconds

    user posted image
    16 - 64
    Render Time: 15 seconds

    user posted image
    64 - 256
    Render Time: 1 minute, 30 seconds

    You'll notice much difference in the first 4, little difference between 4 and 5, and almost none between 5 and 6. Going high quality is good, but going insane quality is just wasted time.

    Depth of Field

    Depth of Field is under "Camera Effects" is the "Renderer" tab. Check the enable box to be given a list of options. Note: Your active viewport must be a perspective viewport to use DOF. If you have a camera in the position you want, go to it and press "p", it will now be made into a perspective viewport in the exact same position.

    The most commonly used (and easiest to use and understand) method of DOF is the f-stop. You'll see a field with a number in it, this is the f-stop value. The lower the value, the more blurring occurs.

    user posted image
    F-Stop value: 2

    user posted image
    F-Stop value: .5

    The other option, Focus Plane, is merely what is in focus. The number is how many units the focal plane is away from the view. Play with it to make far away things in focus and close things blurred, and vice versa.

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:43 AM

Reflection and Refractions

For the reflections aspect, I made a small scene, and gave each object a raytracing material.

user posted image

In the "Renderer" tab, there is a rollout called "Rendering Algorithms". There is a section here ("Max Trace Depth") where you can control the number of reflections, refractions, and the total sum. The sum is the number of reflections and refractions. For instance, if you had 10 reflections, 6 refractions, and a sum of 10, no refractions would show. Reflections come before the refractions. We'll focus on the reflections part now, and the refractions later.

The reflection number is how many times an object is reflected. For instance, with a "1" value for reflection, an object with a reflection will reflect other objects, but won't reflect the other object's reflection. A value of "2" will allow an object reflection to be reflection in an object, but it won't let a reflection's reflection's reflection be shown, and so on. It gets very confusing.

user posted image
Reflections: 1

user posted image
Reflections: 2

user posted image
Reflections: 6

user posted image
Reflections: 10

You'll notice many differences between 1, 2, and 6, but none between 6 and 10. The reflections after 6 are generally so subtle that they aren't needed. If you layer 10 over 6 in photoshop and toggle the layer visibility, you'll see the slightest difference in them.

Refractions are similar. The number of refractions is the number of times and object is refracted. 1 means that all objects are refracted, but the refractions don't show other object's refractions. 2 means that the objects are refracted and other objects are refracted in the first objects refraction, but a refracted object in the second refracted object in the first refracted object won't show, etc. Seeing as you barely ever refract refracted objects, I won't show pictures.

Global Illumination

Ah, here is where the fun begins!

Mental Ray's global illumination uses a photon system. Every light emits objects called photons. These objects bounce of walls, lighting up where they hit. They also take some of the color of the wall, and bounce and hit somewhere else, lighting up where that object hit and giving it some of the color of the previous place. They dissipate while in the space, so after a certian amount of movement (changeable by the user), they fade until they don't exist. I've made a graphic representation of this, which can be viewed here.

Each white sphere represents a photon. The "photons" disspated too quickly to leave a second mark, which could be set by the user, if so desired. The calculation for photons occurs before rendering. It will simply display a progress bar, then when it reaches 100% it will show the resulting render with the photons.

Now, on to some real use of GI!

I created a scene with 3 planes representing walls, and 2 balls, colored blue and green. There is a photometric area light with ray traced shadows as well. To enable GI, go into the "Indirect Illumation" tab, go to the "Global Illumination" rollout, and click enable. For teaching's sake, I enabled radius and set it to 1, to show each individual photon. Scroll down to the bottom, and you'll see "global light properties". Energy is how long photons last before they're gone, decay is how much each photon decays after hitting objects, caustic photons are the amount of photons for caustics (explained later), and GI photons is the amount of photons for Global Illumination. I set this to 100 to show the effect.

user posted image

You can faintly see the spheres. There are dots across the area, these places are where photons have hit. 100 photons is obviously not enough, so I brought the number up to 10,000 (the default level).

user posted image

That's actually a pretty cool effect, though not what we want in this instance. Remember how we set the radius to 1? I'll disable the radius setting to the Mental Ray calculate the desired radius.

user posted image

This is much closer to what we want. Though, the color bleeding and GI shadows aren't as pronounced as I'd like them to be, so I set the photons up toa whopping 200,000 (with a small render time impact).

user posted image

Beautiful! Remember, this scene is lit by one light. Just to show you how many 200,000 really is, I brought the radius back down to 1 to show you.

user posted image

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:43 AM


Caustics occur when light enters a transparent object, is magnified, then leaves again. The caustic system in Mental Ray uses the same photons as that of the GI system described above. There are also reflective caustics, which occur when an object reflects light to the ground, and at another location light is reflected to the same area, making a much brighter area.

So how does one work these caustics? It's simple, especially after you've read what's above. Right click an object (one that you want to cast caustics) and go into the "mental ray" tab. Now, check "generate caustics", and you're well on your way to having beautfiul caustics. Go into the render scene box, and go into the "indirect illumination" tab. In the "Caustics" area, hit enable.

For the object to generate caustics, there needs to be a light source. The fastest and most efficient source of light for caustics is an omni light, so I put an omni light and a sphere with a raytracing material at 90% transparency, and rendered.

user posted image

You'll see the dot, these are caustic effects in work. The caustics depend on the location of the light, so I moved it closer and rendered again.

user posted image

You can see how much larger the caustic effect is. You can also faintly see some reflective caustics (because the material also had a 10% reflective property) around the sphere, right now they just look like noise.

Now, to some reflective caustics. I made a cylinder, cut out the tops and half of the sides, and applied a 2-sided material. I gave it a 50% reflective property.

user posted image

You can barely see the caustics. To rectify this, I set the global energy amount (at the bottom of the indirect illumination tab) to 600,000.

user posted image

You can also combine reflective and refractive caustics to create some pretty cool stuff.

user posted image

Remember those options we skipped over earlier? Let's go on back and take a look. I'm using the same semi-circle as earlier, but zoomed in.

user posted image

The above is the standard set, 100 samples with the box filter.

user posted image

This is with the cone filter. You can see how it is more blurred, and the photons blend better than with the box filter.

user posted image

This is with the cone filter and 300 samples. The render time was incresed, but the photons blend better than ever.

Final Gather

Final Gather is accessable through the same indirect illumination tab as caustics and GI. To put simply, it massively increases render time, but at the same time making photons blend almost seamlessly. The more samples here, the higher the quality, but just like the Samples per Pixel of normal rendering, the change the samples has decreses as the values go higher.

Photon and Shadow Maps

All of these are enabled in their respective areas (the only one not mentioned was shadows, it is in the "shadows & displacement" rollout under the renderer tab). These save a file of where the photons were emitted or where the shadows were, so they don't need to be calculated in every render. This is useful for objects that won't be moving, specifically for animations that use these features. The map must be remade any time the object is moved, though.

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:44 AM

Motion Blur

Motion blur is simple enough. Go into the "renderer" rollout in the render scene box, go down to the "camera effects" rollout, and check motion blur. To get an object in the space to be blurred, right click and hit properties, then under the "general" tab, click enabled in the motion blur section, and set it to object. The options in the motion blur area in the render scene box are shutter and motion segments. The shutter is how long the virtual shutter is held, so the higher the shutter (as in, the longer it would be open in real life), the more blurred it is. The motion segments is how many previous frames it looks at to determine the motion of the blur. For instance:

user posted image

This has one motion segment. The motion looks almost straight, when it is actually rotating in a circle.

user posted image

This has 3, the curve is more evident here.

One feature that the scanline renderer lacked was the blurring of shadows, this works perfectly well with Mental Ray.

user posted image

Shaders and Materials

The first shader I'll talk about is the contour shader. It makes super-fast countour outlines of 3D objects. To get this, first open the render scene box. Go to renderer, and scroll down to the Camera Effects rollout, and click Enable under contour.

Now, press m for the material editor. Click the button that says "Standard" and find and click "Mental Ray". This will create a mental ray material. Click the "None" next to surface, and select an Edge (lume) map. Set the color to white (or any other color you want, really) and leave everything at their default. Now, go down to the "None" next to countour, and now click curvature (countour). I generally keep the miminum and maximum to a small number so as not to have outlines that are too thick. Render to get a nice outline of your object.

user posted image

The rest of the shaders are similar to the standard Scanline shaders. There is the ability to make object cast light with surface and shadow materials, and here you can apply the photon maps made with GI and caustics.

Architectural Materials

Architectural materials are pre-made settings that go along with the architectural textures that come with Max 6. Simply select architectural as a material type, select a template, and find the maps (should be in 3dsmax6\maps\archmat) that will fit it.


There is a pre-made glass material that is selectable as a material type. As the object gets thicker, it gets more color (a green-blue is the default). If the object is thin, it is almost completely clear, very similar to real glass. It also sports dark edges where the glass is thick (as in, you'd be viewing a window from the side of the glass, you'd see it being dark and not nearly as transparent as the rest). To show this off, I made a large render of my MP5 in all it's glassy glory.

user posted image
  • Did you do this tutorial?
    Of course! Every word and every picture is by me.

  • Damn, that rocked! How can I contact you if I have more questions?
    You can PM me here, catch me on MSN ([email protected]) or AIM (ehmohteeoh), or E-mail me ([email protected]).
This tutorial and all pictures ©2004 Ben Paine.

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:45 AM


Courtesy of Skyline

NOTE: These are written for photoshop 6.0!

These combinations make a BIG difference when it comes to speed. Really, USE THEM ALL! f*ck the mouse! smile.gif
First, the basic ones (a must for everyone!!) :

CTRL+O = Open file
CTRL+N = New file
CTRL+W = Close file (watch out for not mixing with CTRL+Q!!)
CTRL+S = Save file
CTRL+SHIFT+S = Save file As
CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+S = Save for web (v6.0)
CTRL+Q = Quit photoshop
CTRL+A = Select all
CTRL+D = Deselect
CTRL+E = Merge Down (more about layers later on..)
CTRL+R = Rulers visible (the things you drag guidelines out from..)
CTRL+T = Transform selection (Scale and rotate..)
CTRL+U = Change image Hue, Saturation and Lightness (f*cking usefull!)
CTRL+I = Inverse
CTRL+F = Repeat last used filter
CTRL+K = Preferences
CTRL+L = Levels
CTRL+Z = Undo (something you just can´t live without. Fact.)
CTRL+X = Cut
CTRL+C = Copy
CTRL+V = Paste
CTRL+B = Color balance
CTRL+M = Curves
CTRL+SPACE = Zoom tool HOLD IN TO ZOOM!!! (ALT to zoom out)

Here, learn these after the basic ones (Just as useful, if not more!) :

CTRL+SHIFT+E = Flatten image
CTRL+SHIFT+T = Transform again
CTRL+SHIFT+U = Desaturate (make image black & white)
CTRL+SHIFT+I = Inverse selection (usefulnes=100000)
CTRL+SHIFT+P = Page setup
CTRL+SHIFT+D = Reselect (Useful as f*ck!!)
CTRL+SHIFT+F = Fade last filter..or thing you just did.. smile.gif (works on alot of things)
CTRL+SHIFT+L = Auto levels (adjusts the levels without asking sh*t)
CTRL+SHIFT+N = New layer (sh*t, i´ve been doing it the hard way!!)

Ok...taking it a level higher..Don´t give up. This is pure GOLD!! biggrin.gif

CTRL+ALT+0 = Actual pixels ("zooms" to 100%..f*cking great.)
CTRL+ALT+O = Open As
CTRL+ALT+S = Save a Copy
CTRL+ALT+D = Feather selection
CTRL+ALT+F = Last filter, only you get to choose the stuff!!
CTRL+ALT+L = Auto levels, and...yep, you get to choose.
CTRL+ALT+Z = History back (you´ve got to know this one!!!!)
CTRL+ALT+B = Auto-color-balance
CTRL+ALT+M = Auto-Curves

Yep, another level higher...bare with me. It´s worth it. smile.gif

CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+Q = Quit photoshop..without asking anything!
CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E = Flatten image to active layer (useful, if you´re not a beginner)

These shortcuts are menu-FILE-based..
Never have to use the mouse over menus again!!
(some of these are available also as the ones above...it´s a matter of taste)

ALT+F+V = Revert to last saved version of image
ALT+F+M = Import
ALT+F+R = Export (useful for GIFs)
ALT+F+U+B = Batch
ALT+F+I = File info
ALT+F+F+G = General Preferences
ALT+F+"number" = Open recent files (really useful, once you get used to it..)

Ok, let´s move on to the EDIT-menu;

ALT+E+L = Fill selection
ALT+E+S = Stroke "around" selection (read more in the "outline"-section )
ALT+E+A = Transform..these are the most useful;
+H = Flip horizontally
+V = Flip vertically
+D = Distort

And, the IMAGE-menu...(don´t quit now!!)

ALT+I+M = Mode..+R = RGB +I = Indexed..and so on
ALT+I+D = Duplicate image
ALT+I+I = Image size (REALLY USEFUL!!)
ALT+I+S = Canvas size

Layer-menu (f*cking important!!!)

ALT+L+N+L = New layer
ALT+L+D = Duplicate layer
ALT+L+L = Delete layer (!)
ALT+L+O = Layer Options (same as double-click on layer)
ALT+L+C = Layer Effects (all effects have their own shortcut!!!)
ALT+L+K = Layer Mask

Ok...on to SELECT.. smile.gif oohh yeah, VERY useful indeed!!

ALT+S+C = Color range (use it! You´ll get it!!)
ALT+S+M = Modify selection (lot´s of cool stuff here!)
ALT+S+T = Transform selection
ALT+S+L = Load selection

Phew, you still with me? Great! On to FILTERS!!

ALT+T+B = Blur-menu
ALT+T+N = Noise-menu
ALT+T+P = Pixelate-menu
ALT+T+R = Render-menu
ALT+T+S = Sharpen-menu
ALT+T+T = Texture-menu
ALT+T+E = Eyecandy (plug-in..go get it!)

Allright...aaaand, VIEW menu.. wink.gif

ALT+V+P = Print size
ALT+V+G = Show grid

The last one...WINDOW.

ALT+W+O = Show/Hide Tools
ALT+W+B = Show/Hide Brushes
ALT+W+L = Show/Hide Layers
ALT+W+Y = Show/Hide History
ALT+W+S = Show/Hide Statusbar

Ok..and some other sh*t, veeery useful!

TAB = Show/Hide all tools & windows
SPACE = Hand-tool (the one you can drag yourself around the pic with)
F = Change view, from window to hide all..
CTRL+1-3 = View different channels (R,G & B) CAPS LOCK = Change cursor from exact to tool-pic
SHIFT (hold in) = Extra functions in several tools
ALT (hold in) = Extra functions in several tools
CTRL+ALT+drag-a-layer = Copy layer

Just some shortcuts from Photoshops tutorial, and various sources.

3ds Max

Courtesy of Moto


F1 - Help
F2 - Shade selected faces
F3 - Wire/smooth
F4 - Edged Faces
F5 - Restrict to X
F6 - Restrict to Y
F7 - Restrict to Z
F8 - Restrict Plane
F9 - Render Last
F10 - Render
F11 - MAX Script
F12 - Transparency Type
` - Redraw
1 - Sub 1
2 - Sub 2
3 - Sub 3
4 - Sub 4
5 - Sub 5
7 - Poly count
8 - Environment
9 - Advanced light panel
0 - Render to Texture
- - Decrease gizmo size
+ - Increase gizmo size
Q - Change selection type
W - Move gizmo
E - Rotate gizmo
R - Scale gizmo
T - Top view
Y - Tab
U - User view
I - Pan
O - Adaptive Degredation
P - Perspective view
[ - Zoom in
] - Zoom out
\ - Sound toggle
A - Angle snap toggle
S - Snap toggle
D - Disable view
F - Front view
G - Grid toggle
H - Selection by Name
J - Bounding box toggle
K - Create keyframe
L - Left view
" - Set key mode
Shift - 90 degree snap / (with gizmo) Clone
Z - Zoom extents all
X - Toggle Gizmos
C - Camera view
V - Viewports selection dialogue
B - Bottom view
N - Auto-key mode
M - Material editor
< - Go back one frame
> - Advance one frame
? - Play/Pause
Space - Lock selection

Shift+4 - Light scene
Shift+Q - Quick render
Shift+W - Toggle space warp visibility
Shift+Y - Redo (View)
Shift+I - Spacing tool
Shift+P - Toggle particle visibility
Shift+S - Toggle shape visibility
Shift+F - Toggle safe frame
Shift+G - Toggle geometry visibility
Shift+H - Toggle helper visibility
Shift+L - Toggle light visibility
Shift+Z - Undo (View)
Shift+C - Hide cameras

Ctrl+W - Zoom regular
Ctrl+R - Rotate view
Ctrl+Y - Redo (Scene)
Ctrl+I - Select inverse
Ctrl+O - Open
Ctrl+P - Pan
Ctrl+A - Select all
Ctrl+S - Save
Ctrl+D - Select none
Ctrl+F - Cycle select
Ctrl+H - Hightlight
Ctrl+L - Define light
Ctrl+Z - Undo (Scene)
Ctrl+X - Expert mode
Ctrl+C - Create camera from view
Ctrl+V - Clone
Ctrl+B - Toggle sub-object level
Ctrl+N - New
Ctrl+M - Meshsmooth poly

Alt+6 - Toggle main toolbar visibility
Alt+0 - Lock user interface
Alt+Q - Isolate selection
Alt+W - Max view
Alt+E - Extrude polygon
Alt+A - Align tool
Alt+Z - Zoom
Alt+X - See through (needs selection)
Alt+C - Cut poly
Alt+V - Viewport background
Alt+B - Normal align
Alt+Ctrl+B - Background lock
Alt+Ctrl+C - Collapse poly

End - End frame
Home - Start frame
Insert - Mode cycle


Mousewheel up - Zoom in
Mousewheel down - Zoom out
Mouse3 - Pan
Alt+Mouse3 - Rotate


Courtesy of Magaerathia

alt+a=unhide(unhides all)
h=hide(hides current object)
x=pan(zooms in and out with mouse)
z=zoom(zoom in/out)
ctrl+a=attributes(lets you view properties of object)
ctrl+z=undo last thing
e=material editor
f=full screen
1=vertice mode
2=edge mode
3=face mode
4=object mode
ctrl+f1=search in help
u=define name
r=reload all textures
ctr+t=use textures
b=multiple textures(chrome)
a=always blend(high crome)
q=flat shading
p=perspective mode
shift+r=reset position
alt+r=reset settings
g=mini grid
alt+g=normal grid
alt+l=show image
l=load image
u=unite select

Flash 5

Courtesy of Magaerathia

|-new ctrl+n
|-open ctrl+o
|-open as library ctrl+shift+o
|-close ctrl+w
|-save ctrl+s
|-save as ctrl+shift+s
|-import ctrl+r
|-export movie ctrl+alt+shift+s
|-publish settings ctrl+shift+f12
- Publish preview
| |-default f12
|-Publish shift+f12
|-Print ctrl+p
|-exit ctrl+q
|-undo ctrl+z
|-redo ctrl+y
|-cut ctrl+x
|-copy ctrl+c
|-paste ctrl+v
|-paste in place ctrl+shift+v
|-clear backspace, delete
|-duplicate ctrl+d
|-select all ctrl+a
|-deselect all ctrl+shift+a
|-cut frames ctrl+x+alt
|-copy frames ctrl+alt+c
|-paste frames ctrl+alt+v
|-edit symbols ctrl+e
-Goto >
| |-first home
| |-previous Page Up
| |-next Page Down
| |_last End
|-zoom in ctrl+=
|-zoom out ctrl+-
-magnification >
| |-100% ctrl+1
| |-show frame ctrl+2
| |_show all ctrl+3
|-outlines ctrl+alt+shift+O
|-fast ctrl+alt+shift+f
|-antialias ctrl+alt+shift+a
|-antialias text ctrl+alt+shift+t
|-timeline ctrl+alt+t
|-work area ctrl+shift+w
|-rulers ctrl+alt+shift+r
-grid >
| |-show grid ctrl+'
| |-snap to grid ctrl+shift+'
| |_edit grid ctrl+alt+g
|Guides >
| |-Show Guides ctrl+;
| |-Lock Guides ctrl+alt+;
| |-snap to guides ctrl+shift+;
| |_Edit Guides ctrl+shift+alt+g
|-snap to objects ctrl+shift+/
|-show snape hints ctrl+alt+h
|-hide edges ctrl+h
|-hide panels tab

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:38 AM

New addition: Advanced Rendering Concepts pt. 1

This is meant to be a supplement to my mental ray tutorial, as in you should read it and understand the mental ray renderer before reading this, though some of this information can be applied to other rendering engines.

First, we start with refraction. To know how to create the perfect refraction, you should know exactly what it means. Refraction is the turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density. So if, say, an object was travelling in air, then hit a glass pane, it would bend when entering the glass, and bend again when exiting the glass. Seeing as light travels as a wave (of course there are the 'light particle' theorists, but let's assume that the light as wave theory is correct), and everything you see is light being reflected off of a surface, the entire image is distorted when entering a surface. Now, there are many details you must consider when recreating refraction, first off: how smooth is the surface? If the surface is very rough, the image will be very distorted, because when it hits the "hills" on the object, they will influence the angle the light wave is refracter (and reflected). If the surface is very smooth, it will make a clean, straight angle change. But the single most important thing to remember when creating refraction is that different materials have different optical densities, these are called their indices of refraction. When creating a 3D material and editing refractive properties, there is a field for the materials index of refraction. But how do you know what a materials index of refraction is? Well, scientists have calculated them for different materials. To do this, they shot a light beam at an object (as smooth as they could get it), and measure the angle at which it exits the object. I have a handy table for you that shows you the indices of refraction of many materials, common and uncommon.

Vacuum - 1.00000 (exactly)
Air (STP) - 1.00029
Acetone - 1.36
Alcohol - 1.329
Amorphous Selenium - 2.92
Calspar1 - 1.66
Calspar2 - 1.486
Carbon Disulfide - 1.63
Chromium Oxide - 2.705
Copper Oxide - 2.705
Crown Glass -. 1.52
Crystal - 2.00
Diamond - 2.417
Emerald - 1.57
Ethyl Alcohol - 1.36
Flourite - 1.434
Fused Quartz - 1.46
Heaviest Flint Glass - 1.89
Heavy Flint Glass - 1.65
Glass - 1.5
Ice - 1.309
Iodine Crystal - 3.34
Lapis Lazuli - 1.61
Light Flint Glass - 1.575
Liquid Carbon Dioxide - 1.20
Polystyrene - 1.55
Quartz 1 - 1.644
Quartz 2 - 1.553
Ruby - 1.77
Sapphire - 1.77
Sodium Chloride (Salt) 1 - 1.544
Sodium Chloride (Salt) 2 - 1.644
Sugar Solution (30%) - 1.38
Sugar Solution (80%) - 1.49
Topaz - 1.61
Water (20 C) - 1.333
Zinc Crown Glass - 1.517

STP means standard temperature and pressure. For the sake of 3D, we will assume that the environment is always at STP.

Now, this all works perfectly fine for objects of a solid material. But what about when a refractive object is in contact with another refractive object (in example, water in a glass)? You need to consider this, or it will look entirely wrong. To solve this problem, the smart folks at mental imaging created the dialectric material. To use this, open up the material editor and change the material from standard to mental ray (if it doesn't appear, you need to change your rendering engine to mental ray).

You'll be presented with this:

user posted image

This allows for the ability to create the index of refraction, and the index of the object it is touching (shown as the one with (out) next to it). Here's a good example.

user posted image

This scene is lit with one area light, with GI and caustics enabled. The cup consists of four parts, The glass, the area where the water touches the glass (which is actually some faces of the glass mesh detached and given a new material), the top of the glass (including meniscus, this is very important when doing liquid in containers), and the cylinder inside. There are three materials, one is "glass-air", which is the glass touching the air. This has the persistance distance changed to 10 (all three of these do, it makes it so it allows light from farther away in the scene), and the index of refraction set at 1.5 The second is water-air, which is the same as glass-air except it has the IOR set at 1.333. The final one is water-glass, it is the most important. Seeing as the whole object is the water, the initial IOR is at 1.333, but seeing as it is touching the glass, the IOR (out) is set to 1.5. In addition, the outside light persistance color swatch is changed from black to white, so it allows much light to go through it. If it were black, it would allow no light to go through it, and it would be a black color.

So that's it for now. A part 2 (on HDRI) will come when I feel up to it.

  • Moto


  • Members
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2004


Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:17 AM

Update: All of my tutorials are now available at my website.


...wish I had a domain tounge.gif

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users