IN THIS CHAPTER
Exploring the raytrace material
Using raytrace maps
Learning the global raytracing settings
Enabling the mental ray renderer
Working with mental ray lights
Creating caustic and global illumination lighting
When computer-generated 3D images started to appear, it was the raytraced images that really got the wow factor. These images were amazing in their clarity and perfect in reflecting and refracting light through the scene. Raytracing isn't new in Max, but making sense of all the raytracing features can be confusing.
Raytracing in Max can be used with the Default Scanline Renderer using the traditional Raytracing materials and controls, or it can be enabled at the renderer level using the mental ray settings.
To help you generate raytraced scenes, you can also use the mental ray rendering engine. This engine takes the rendering in Max to a new level, enabling you to render your scenes with amazing accuracy, but mental ray doesn't only enable raytracing. It also includes a host of advanced rendering features including caustics and global illumination that are physically realistic.
Raytracing is a rendering method that calculates image colors by following imaginary light rays as they move through a scene. These rays can travel through transparent objects and reflect realistically off shiny materials. The results are stunning realistic images, but the drawback is the amount of time it takes to render using raytrace ...