GPU Hardware Rendering with 3ds Max Quicksilver

Posted by visualz, 19 December 2011 7:00 pm


This video is my lecture created for Autodesk University 2011.  

GPU-accelerated rendering within Autodesk 3ds Max software is no longer limited to the iRay rendering engine. In this 90-minute session, I explore numerous options now available with the 3ds Max Quicksilver hardware renderer.  Quicksilver accelerates rendering by using both the CPU and the GPU and is somewhat like having a game-engine renderer within 3ds Max. The main role of the CPU is to translate scene data for rendering; this includes compiling shaders for the specific graphic card in use - then the GPU does the heavy lifting of rendering tasks.

  1. Intro & verifying hardware compatibility (0:0:00)
  2. Similarities & differences to iRay (starts at 0:5:52)
  3. GPU monitors (0:31:00)
  4. Wicked-easy setups (0:35:32)
  5. The main QS Interface (0:44:45)
  6. NPR & Stylized rendering (0:53:01)
  7. Render Elements (1:00:48)
  8. Autodesk Composite (1:07:22)
  9. Custom AO, contour and direct lighting/shadow passes (1:14:07)
  10. Additional Tips & Tricks in Autodesk Composite (1:20:32)
  11. Nitrous texture limiting (1:25:54) 


3ds Max users of all types can take advantage of the Quicksilver hardware rendering engine.  There can be different uses at various points in a production cycle to create stills/animations with a faster turnaround, or more iterations of a piece in the same amount of time as a software renderer.  This is true even if projects are destined to use a different rendering engine for the final deliverable.  GPU rendering within 3ds Max has more options that ever so its time to hit the hardware, people!

A few important things to reitarate:

  • Verify you have Shader model 3.0 via DirectX to work with Quicksilver
  • The Arch+Design shader works with Quicksilver, mental ray and iRay so its easy to flip-flop renderes with it
  • Use Iterations for final output of animations
  • When using the Quicksilver hardware renderer, change the Material Editor renerer to mental ray to speed it up

Web and download links:

EVGA  Precision (Free GPU monitor app)
Tech PowerUp's GPU-Z (Free GPU monitor app)

MaxScripts - tiny ZIP file including:

  • Randomize Object (Wireframe) Color - for Object ID Render Element option in QS
  • Texture Map Limit - option for Nitrous viewports
  • Bobo's NPR Explorer - for Nitrous viewports

I hope you all enjoy!




Posted 17 August 2012 6:45 pm

Thanks for the great video. I plan to use Quicksilver a lot more for my preliminary renderings and animations.
But I can seem to get Bobo's NPR Explorer to work. I tried copying it into my scripts folder but nothing. I tried Run Script but still nothing. I am using Max Design 2013. Is this script compatible?

Charles Prettyman

Posted 26 October 2012 1:53 pm

It's a "macro script" which mean that it creates a new menu item. Run the script, then click customize>customize user interface...
in the CUI editor, you can add it to a menu - I usually add it to the rendering menu, but put it wherever makes the most sense to you.
TIK quick passes, which Gary also mentions in several of his presentations, works the same way.


Posted 8 December 2015 7:35 am

This is a great video - even in 2015. Any chance of re-uploading the "". Would love to check out out the NPR tweaker from Bobo, etc. The link doesn't seem to work anymore.

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