Night time renders - Star Field and Night Sky Background Generator in 3ds Max 2017

  • Updated

By Dennis Collin

Many years ago, back in the day 3ds Max was still in its initial release, there was (and still is) a very handy facility known as Video Post (VP) which enabled very basic compositing of scene, effects and output to a range of video formats. At that time using the old legacy Scanline renderer.

 Legacy Starfield Generator Filter

One of these VP filters was a star field generator which was handy for any space game backdrop and of course for night time scenes for design visualisation purposes. Of course, these elements are ancient technology now, and with the advent of high resolution images the need perhaps for such a filter has diminished. However, for those that need some kind of random output, a bitmap generator script Stargen, is available on Autodesk Exchange which creates a viable bitmap which can then be saved and input into the Max rendering environment or otherwise composited in using any of the Autodesk collection tools. It is simple to use and free, which is handy for anyone on a budget! 

Although fairly simple it does remind me of the old Starfield Filter environment. Star counts and sizes can be set along with colour variations, along with cloud controls. The image quality is controlled by the size, set in pixels.


Stargen is still in its first release but it works well and can be tweaked to make quite credibly detailed 2D night sky background for stills purposes. If a more interactive background like a VR setting is required, the resultant image can be cloned or mirrored in a suitable graphics editor, as currently the output is limited to a square aspect. But maybe in future a bespoke aspect ratio function will be added.  This plug in will work with 2014 up to 2017 Max at the time of writing and in summary a handy little extra to have in one’s visualisation toolbox.

The Download link can be found here: (a valid Autodesk login is required )

Was this article helpful?

0 out of 0 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request



Please sign in to leave a comment.