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    By Dennis Collin 

    Adding subtle Renderering features in visualisation models

    Flickering TV Screens, a Roaring Fire,a bubbling fish tank just cannot be convincingly done in Revit or AutoCAD renders. Their materials are limited to still textures only. And although one can do walkthru' cameras the world tends to be pretty static overall.

    However in 3ds Max we can use video files for all kinds of effects, anthing from TV screens to advertising boards and dare I say a fish tank in a reception area.

    This nicely complements the Camera Walkthrough tools, and other animation tools like Populate and Civil View.

     

    You will need a video file sized reasonably the order of kilobytes rather than megabytes. Files can be downsized in Adobe products or Windows Movie maker or similar. Although it will work with any material type I tend to favour the Arch and Design Material for Mental Ray (or use the appropriate VRay material if the renderer is Vray)

    Files like animated GIF's do not work, also issues like obscure codecs should be considered. If your windows media player refuses to play the video file, the rendered material will not work.

    Within the Max interface setup your scene for a internal scene night time render.. With a low EV value of around 2, ensuring that the units have been set cottectly and any artificial lights have the correct settings applied. It is worth remembering the default brightnesses come in about x10 times too bright. So use the standard photometric templates if possible. As a guide a 100w bulb is around 140 candelas (400 lumens appx)

    The Material itself is created like any conventional static material

    Press M to bring up the Slate Material Editor

    Press O to supress library material objects & N to supress the Navigation Pane

    Press P to bring up the parameters dialogue

    Right click to create a material (Mental Ray/Arch and Design)

    Bring up a standard map (Standard/Bitmap) - although remember video and other still image file formats are also applicable.

    Drag texture outputs to difuse and self illumination map channels as indicated in screen capture.

    For ease of configuration and future flexibility I will switch of Real World Map Scale in this example.

    According to good practice I have renamed the material, and adjusted the lighting values to real world settings 50cd/m2 and make it both illuminate the scene and visible in the reflective floor.