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

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3.4 Sky Portal

We mentioned in the introduction to this chapter that mental ray is like a creature that needs to be fed a steady supply of energy in the form of photons emitted from light sources you place in a scene. Earlier, you placed a Daylight system in the scene to simulate the sun, and you had to make adjustments to compensate for the extreme energy produced by the sun. This energy from the sun, again in the form of photons, is emitted in all directions from the light source.

A common scenario in 3ds Max is an interior scene with sunlight streaming through a window providing the only source of light for mental ray to render. If you look back at the analogy of feeding a creature, this would be similar to trying to feed the creature by throwing ...

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