Chapter 22. Learning to Render a Scene


  • Working with the ActiveShade window

  • Setting render parameters and preferences

  • Using the Rendered Frame Window and the RAM Player

  • Understanding render types

  • Creating an environment

After hours of long, hard work, the next step—rendering—is where the "rubber hits the road" and you get to see what you've worked on so hard. After modeling, applying materials, positioning lights and cameras, and animating your scene, you're finally ready to render the final output. Rendering deals with outputting the objects that make up a scene at various levels of detail.

Max includes a Scanline Renderer that is optimized to speed up this process, and several settings exist that you can use to make this process even faster. Understanding the Render Scene dialog box and its functions can save you many headaches and computer cycles. However, other rendering options are available.

The need for all these different rendering engines comes about because of a trade-off between speed and quality. For example, the renderer used to display objects in the viewports is optimized for speed, but the renderer used to output final images leans toward quality. Each renderer includes many settings that you can use to speed the rendering process or improve the quality of the results.

Previewing with ActiveShade

The ActiveShade window gives a quick semi-rendered look at the current scene. You can open ActiveShade within a viewport by right-clicking the viewport title in the ...

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