Rants from a game developer, a guy, a prophet, and well a general person, i may be boring but i find fun stuff from time to time

This is a tutorial based off my learning experiences with Autodesk's 3ds max program. With that being said this tutorial is intended for people who use 3ds max and possess basic knowledge of how to use the program (at least making primitives). With that being covered this tutorial I will cover Layers, Creating cameras in a scene, scene states, and setting up batch rendering. I will be using my own scene and do not believe in downloading stuff for this small tutorial. 

Here is the Scene



In this scene I have a platform and three grenades I would like you to start by creating your cameras. To do this simply push "P" to get yourself into a perspective viewport, and when you are content with the positioning of the cameras press "ctrl + C" This will create a camera from the perspective view you are currently in. There are hundreds of ways to create cameras; this is the easiest way for me and probably most beginners also. After you have all of your cameras set in place (however many cameras you want) we can begin this tutorial. 


We will start by placing everything into layers in 3ds max. think of layers just like they are in Photoshop, you can hide/unhide layers and freeze/unfreeze layers, you can also control objects by the layer they are on changing the color/scale/rotation whatever variable you can create or think of it can be manipulated by layers in max the way you can manipulate an object on the scene graph. If your scene does not have any layers currently you can make one by hitting the Tools Menu -> Layer Manager. 


You select all the objects you would like on your new layer, and simply hit the "new layer" button. This puts all of the selected objects into a new 3ds max layer. The layer you have selected is important and is indicated by a check mark to the right of the name of the layer. 


For an example here is my layers dialogue from this scene:



As you can see I like to place all my cameras on one layer, environment on another, and the actual model or center of attention on the default layer. NOTE: If you right click and go to unhide all it will ask if you would like to unhide all layers, if you lose something in your scene this is another way to find it as opposed to the schematic view or other methods (they all work fine I think). This isn't the best way to do it just using it for this example and it's what I’m used to. 


Now that we have our layers organized properly we're almost ready. Next step is to set scene states!


You can set up your scene states by pressing the Tools Menu -> Manage Scene States. Next you are presented with a dialogue box that looks something like this:



Next I will select the layers I'd like to hide, my first one I’d like to show everything but the already hidden reference modeling pictures that I have in the scene. When the scene is ready select save button in the Manage Scene States dialogue. This created a scene state that shows everything you had shown (new items added will be excluded from this and will be shown until you re-save the scene state). Next I will do the same only having one grenade show on each one. Eventually you will have all your scene states as I do below:



Ok we are almost ready to start our batch render! How exciting!


Go to Rendering Menu -> Batch Render this will present you with a new dialogue box. Batch render works directly with the scene states, scene states works directly with layers, it all intertwines somehow and there is some programming genius out there laughing at us all but oh well here we go!



Basically all you have to do here is Click or hit the "ADD" button; this adds a line to the batch render. This line has some options



View: Name the view, doesn't matter, you can name these for your own organization.

Camera: Select the camera you would like the render to use

Output Path: completely up to you probably start with C:\...

Range: this will render 1-x frames of your animation.

Resolution: self explanatory

Scene State: set this to your predestinated scene state you would like to render

Preset: this is your own render preset choose wisely!



In the end you can either hit the render button OR you can export a *.bat batch file. To double click later and have that batch file just start rolling with all the delicious information you put into it.  It will work flawlessly if you set it up right (and really it's not that complicated until you get into scenes with hundreds of objects dozens of scene states and multiple cameras). 




Thanks man, appreciate the scene states!

This is the first time I comment on anything I find on the web.
I'm working on a large project and had trouble understanding how the scene states work, but reading this article cleared everything in a snap!
Thank you very much!

About this blog

I'm the only Me in the world

My photo
Lakeville, MN
Bachelors of Science in Game Design and Development
Gephoria @ Deviantart

If you like! Then you may vote!

Add to Technorati Favorites Video Games Blogs
Top Blogs Video Games
TopOfBlogs Blog Directory by Blog Flux

 Subscribe in a reader
View Brent Jorgenson's profile on LinkedIn

Search This Blog