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Rendering with mental ray and 3ds Max, 2nd Edition by Ted Boardman, Joep van der Steen

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6.5 Viewport effects

Throughout this book, we have been concerned about technique that will improve productivity in mental ray—in materials, in lights, in shaders, and in some special effects. One of the drags on efficiency in 3ds Max is the way in which the software displays objects in the viewpoints and manages those objects at render time.

Two major factors in efficiency in the viewpoints are the number of polygons or faces and the number of objects in a scene. Many people still believe that reducing the number of polygons in the scene is the only important aspect of efficiency in viewpoints. However, if you have a scene with 10 objects with a total of 1 million polygons, it will be much more efficient to work with than a scene with 1000 objects ...

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