Arnold for 3ds max – Render objects as volumes (volume shading)

Software:
3ds max 2019 | Arnold 5

In-order for objects in 3ds max to be rendered as volumes with Arnold, the object mesh has to be converted to a volume, and a Standard Volume material assigned to the object:

  1. Add an Arnold Properties modifier to the object.
  2. Under Volume set the Step Size to a value higher than 0.0.
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  3. Assign a Standard Volume material to the object and set it’s parameters to design the volumetric effect:
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Examples:

* Note that both Density and Depth control the transparency or ‘thickness’ of the volume. (lower Depth setting creates a thicker volume)
* When Scattering is set to 0.0 the volume will have only a absorption effect

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In this example an Arnold Noise map is connected to the Standard Volume‘s Density parameter:
* Note that the Scale values must be set correctly in order to actually get a ‘cloudy’ effect.
* Note that the noise color values are now controlling the Density of the volume.

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Related:
Arnold for 3ds max God Rays

 

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Arnold for 3ds max – Volumetric Fog and ‘God Rays’

Software:
3ds max 2019 | Arnold 5

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Adding a ‘Volume Light’ effect in Arnold for 3ds max is fairly simple:

  1. In the Render Setup windows > Arnold Renderer tab, under Environment, Background & Atmosphere:
  2. Click the Scene Atmosphere material slot, add an Arnold Atmosphere Volume material to it,
    And drag it as an instance to the Material Editor to edit it’s parameters.
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  3. Set the Density to a higher than 0.0 value, so the material will have an effect.
  4. You’ll probably need to significantly raise the number of samples in the Atmosphere Volume material, and also the number of Volume samples in the light settings in order to get a clean render.

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Related:
Arnold for 3ds max Volume Shading

V-Ray for 3ds max Wood Floor Material

Software:
3ds max 2019 | V-Ray Next

An example of varnished wood floor material in V-Ray and 3ds max.
The material uses a VRayBlendMtl with 2 connected VRayMtl sub materials to simulate a natural wood base layer coated by a glossy varnish layer.

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Explanation of the material node graph:50770279_2476404922388832_853261524695777280_o.jpg

  1. The wood color (Diffuse texture)
  2. The wood black and white detail texture (used to add reflection detail)
  3. The wood bump texture (actually the same as the reflection texture just color corrected to whiten most details except the lines separating the wood planks)
  4. The reflection texture is color corrected to to intensify it prior to it being connected to the base wood layer material:
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  5. The reflection texture is color corrected to to decrease its intensity prior to it being connected to the varnish coat blend:
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  6. The base layer natural wood material with the Diffuse, Reflect and Bump textures connected to it:
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  7. The varnish coat material with the Bump texture connected to it:
    * Note the Fresnel Reflections is turned off because the Fresnel reflection is calculated by the Falloff map (8)
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  8. The Falloff map that defines the amount with which the varnish coat material covers the base wood material,
    A combination of Fresnel reflection intensity/Angle with the pre-processed reflection detail map (5):
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  9. The final VRayBlendMtl combining the base wood material with the varnish coat material using the Fresnel Falloff blend map:
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Related posts:

  1. Fresnel Reflections

Advanced Procedural Wood for Blender & Cycles

Software:
Blender 2.8 | Cycles

CG-Lion Wood Presets Pack 1.0 is an advanced 3D procedural wood shader I developed for Blender and the Cycles render engine that produces consistent wood pattern on all sides of the model without requiring UV coordinates.
The shader has many tweak-able parameters for easy customization of the wood pattern, and also has built-in varnish coat and paint layers.
CG-Lion Wood Presets Pack 1.0 ships with a ready-to-use material preset library.

CG-Lion Wood Presets Pack 1.0 is available on Blender Market:
https://blendermarket.com/products/cg-lion-wood-presets-pack-1

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Related:
CG-Lion Car Paint Presets Pack 1.0
CG-Lion Spotlight Presets Pack 1.0

3ds max Island / Seashore opacity underwater tip

Software:
3ds max 2016

When creating a surface submerged in sea water,
Theoretically, it’s the Volume Absorption or ‘Fog‘ of the water shader that should do cause the surface to disappear under water.
But in many cases that doesn’t work well because we don’t actually model enough extended surface under the water for it to completely disappear without seeing the surfaces geometric edges that spoil the result.

One of the oldest tricks in the book is to use a Gradient Ramp map in the surface’s Opacity channel to make it gradually disappear before the geometry ends.

This can be done in most  3d software and render engines, I’m demonstrating it here using 3ds max and V-Ray:

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Blender Skeleton (Armature) Mirroring

Software:
Blender 2.8

To mirror a skeleton (Armature) in Blender:

  1. Create bones for one side of the rig and name them with “.L” for Left or “.R” for right.
  2. Select all the bones on that side.
  3. In Armature Edit Mode choose:
    Armature > Symmetrize

Blender will create mirrored copies of all the bones with respect to the Armature origin and flip their names to names ending with the opposite side.

  • When editing properly symmetrized bones,
    The X-Axis Mirror tool option will simultaneously update both sides of the Armature to maintain symmetry.

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PyCharm – Enabling Scroll Zoom

Software:
PyCharm Community 2019.1

Unlike many popular text/programming editors and IDE’s, PyCharm doesn’t by default let you change the font size by pressing Ctrl + Scrolling the mouse wheel.

To enable scroll-zoom in PyCharm:

  1. Go to File > Settings to open the Settings dialog
  2. In the Settings dialog, navigate to Editor > General
  3. Check the Change font size (Zoom) with Ctrl + Mouse Wheel option.

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