AREA Blogs Feedhttp://area.autodesk.com/AREA is an Autodesk online community for 2D and 3D artists -- with free tutorials and downloads, movie and image galleries, professional industry artist interviews and job posting boards. AREA members also have access to Product-specific discussion forums, and blogs by Autodesk Media & Entertainment Software Product Developers.Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:46:11 UTCWorking with colorSetsAdrian Graham<p>This quick video shows how to use colorSets to drive the initial velocity of liquid emission.</p> <p>You can grab the source file here:&nbsp;<a href="/userdata/blogs/valhalla/painting_velocity.zip">painting_velocity.zip</a></p> <p>https://youtu.be/QusO1ZxeV8s</p>Fri, 24 Jul 2015 22:59:11 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/valhalla/working-with-colorsetsThe Rigging Tools of Uncharted 4Cory Mogk<p>I asked <a href="http://www.tdhendrix.com/">Greg Hendrix</a>, a Tech Artist in San Francisco, what was something cool he had seen recently and he said the rigging tools from Uncharted 4. I have to agree!</p> <p>Hans Godard from Naughty Dog talks about his work in the following video from Gnomon (his part starts around 34 minutes in). You can see some short demos of <a href="https://vimeo.com/user14195390">Hans' on his Vimeo channel</a>. <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R6uAOmH0QsE" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe></p>Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:05:04 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/the-rigging-tools-of-uncharted-4UP YOUR AWESOMENESS - Shotgun Seminar Series ANZ | Sydney 22 July 2015Con_Nicholas<p><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/SGHeader.png" /></p> <p><strong>Shotgun Software Seminar</strong></p> <p>Want to learn how getting the entire team connected can maximize creative time and make life easier for everyone?</p> <p>Come see what hundreds of studios have discovered &ndash; that an efficient creative pipeline can empower the team to be even more awesome.</p> <p><strong>Sydney:</strong> Hotel CBD</p> <p><strong>Date:</strong> 22 July 2015</p> <p><strong>Time:</strong> 5:00PM - 7:00PM</p> <p><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/up-your-awesomeness-shotgun-seminar-sydney-registration-17346747589"><strong>REGISTER NOW</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Your presenters:</strong></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Ian_Cope_RSP.jpg" width="155" height="175" /></p> <p><strong>Ian Cope,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Producer Visual Effects &amp; Marketing &ndash; Rising Sun Pictures</span></strong></p> <p>Ian Cope has been with Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) since 2001. He has contributed to the design &amp; execution of visual effects on feature films such as the Academy-Award&reg; winning Gravity, Seventh Son, Prometheus, Red Tails, the Harry Potter series, Green Lantern, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He is currently producing RSP's work on Pan and Tarzan: The Untamed. Ian's journey in visual effects began with a trip to Hollywood in the 80's, where he was inspired by a behind-the-scenes tour of Universal Studios. He spent the next 10 years learning all he could about computer graphics, culminating in a Design (Visual Communication) degree at the University of Technology, Sydney.</p> <p>His professional career has included roles as an Animation &amp; Video producer, Hardware &amp; Application Specialist, IT professional, and a lecturer of tertiary students in Animation &amp; Visual Effects. Ian's many roles within RSP have included Compositor, Production Supervisor, Editor, Communications Manager and Bidding Producer. He also worked on the initial development of the remote collaboration tool cineSync, which won a Scientific &amp; Technical Academy Award in 2010 for its contribution to the film industry. Additionally he worked with the original Shotgun team for the rollout of the software at RSP's studios, the first in the world to do so.</p> <p>Ian draws on his extensive experience to deliver world-class visual effects to clients around the world. He is also an active member of the Visual Effects Society and a board member for the Australian section.</p> <p></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Astrid1.png" width="196" height="192" /></p> <p><strong>Astrid Scholte,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Shotgun Product Specialist</span></strong></p> <p>Astrid Scholte began her career in the entertainment industry as a 3D modeller and rigger on the children's television series Erky Perky. She later moved into production management roles, working at Flying Bark Productions, Weta Digital and Dr. D Studios. It was during her time at Dr. D Studios, while working on Happy Feet Two, that she got her first taste of Shotgun and was hooked! Astrid has been working as a Product Support Specialist as part of Shotgun's Street Team for nearly 3 years. She is based out of Melbourne and supports both local and remote clients.</p> <p><strong>ATTEND THIS EVENT TO:</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">See how Shotgun&reg; software integrates with your favorite design and creative tools</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Learn how your studio can build a dream pipeline where the entire team is constantly connected</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Experience a real world example of how Shotgun helped a studio work faster</span></li> </ul> <p>Who should attend?</p> <p>Film &amp; TV Studio Directors, Producers, Supervisors, Artists, Production Managers; Games, Animation &amp; VFX Studios.</p> <p>We look forward to seeing you there!</p> <p><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/up-your-awesomeness-shotgun-seminar-sydney-registration-17346747589"><strong>REGISTER NOW</strong></a></p> <div> <div><strong>Can&rsquo;t attend?</strong></div> <div>No worries. Just contact support here so we can connect to arrange a time to show you how it works.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>Need more Info:</strong></div> <div></div> <div>Visit <a href="http://www.ShotgunSoftware.com">ShotgunSoftware.com</a>, read our blog <a href="http://blog.shotgunsoftware.com">http://blog.shotgunsoftware.com</a></div> <div>or just trial Shotgun for 30 days right now <a href="https://www.shotgunsoftware.com/signup">https://www.shotgunsoftware.com/signup</a></div> </div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>Connect with the M&amp;E team in ANZ on Facebook, and let's talk Games, Animation, Film, TV and VFX.</div> <div></div> <div><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ADSKMEANZ"><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/FB_logo.png" width="50" height="50" /></a></div>Thu, 16 Jul 2015 02:56:39 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/con/shotgun-seminar-series-anz--sydney-22-july-2015Maya 2016 - Webinar What&#039;s NewRodrigo Assaf<p>Hi Folks,&nbsp;</p> <p>This blog post is about a Webinar Steven Roselle did in Brazil last week talking about the new features in Maya 2016. It is in English but I did the introductions in portuguese. :-)</p> <p>Enjoy it!</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/132614273" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/132614273">Webinar: What's New in Maya 2016</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/rodassaf">Rodrigo Assaf</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 01:20:01 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/rodrigo/maya2016Large and slow loading files because of mixersMaxStation<p class="MsoNormal">If you save files compressed it may not be immediately obvious that the filesize is getting out of hand, file save times would still be worse than expected, depending how fast your machine is (disk and cpu) that may not be that noticeable.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To check the number of mixers run the following MAXScript:</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">count=theMixer.numMaxMixers()</p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If that shows a large number (in the thousands or tens of thousands) and you're not intentionally adding mixers or you've not animated in the scene file run the following code to remove them:</span></p> <p class="code"></p> <p class="code"><strong style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Lucida, Verdana, sans-serif; line-height: 21px;">To be safe: always keep a copy of the scene file in case the script removes something that you actually wanted to keep!</strong></p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="line-height: 1em;">count=theMixer.numMaxMixers()</span></p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="line-height: 1em;">for i in 1 to count do</span></p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">theMixer.removeMaxMixer 1 false 1</p>Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:41:09 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/maxstation/n280-large-and-slow-loading-files-because-of-mixersRound Tripping from Smoke 2016 to Avid Media ComposerUltimate_Smoker*<p>Hi Everyone,</p> <p></p> <p>I hope that you are all well.</p> <p></p> <p>I have posted another tutorial video of round-tripping supported in Smoke 2016.</p> <p></p> <p>In this video, I&rsquo;ll show you how to take a sequence with all its effects and send it back to Avid Media Composer via AAF. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>This keeps the full editorial structure of the sequence as well as different options on dealing with media and effects.</p> <p></p> <p>You can check it out here or on the Smoke Learning Channel.</p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">Round Tripping to Avid Media Composer<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkp3hAfedww<br />Smoke 2016 and Avid Media Composer</span></h3> <p></p> <p>All the videos are also available for download via iTunes for later viewing. --- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/smoke-learning-channel/id552051408?mt=2</p> <p></p> <p>I have other videos in the works including requests and feedback.</p> <p></p> <p>More to come soon but please keep the comments, feedback and suggestions coming!</p> <p></p> <p>Have a great week!</p> <p></p> <p>Regards</p> <p>Grant</p>Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:46:04 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/round-tripping-from-smoke-2016-to-avid-media-composerMaya 2016 Modeling ImprovementsSTLR<p>Howdy Maya people!</p> <p>It has been a busy spring...&nbsp; starting with the release of Maya 2016 back in mid-April.&nbsp; Since then I've been out talking to game developers about all of the cool new stuff.&nbsp; I've been to some pretty high profile studios along the way including: Bungie, Valve, Sucker Punch, 343, Monolith, WarGaming, NetherRealm and Turbine.&nbsp; It is pretty cool to get an inside look at some the amazing work that is being done with Maya these days.&nbsp; It's also cool to hear the feedback from people who are hammering with (and on) Maya on a day to day basis.&nbsp; The response to Maya 2016 has been awesome...&nbsp; with many thumbs up so far.</p> <p>I always love this time of year because there is typically a lot of cool new stuff to show and talk about, and this in particular is a banner year.&nbsp; Maya 2016 is jam packed with new stuff so it's especially fun.&nbsp; Going back a few years I used to think of most complex software like Maya as a sort of Frankenstien...&nbsp; UI and features developed over many years, by different people and more or less mushed together over time.&nbsp; Something like this...</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/userdata/blogs/stevenr/Misc/funny-software-development-cat-comic.jpg" width="711" height="454" /></p> <p>But silly cartoons aside :) over the last several years I have really seen a lot of changes in terms of how Maya is developed.&nbsp; For one I feel like we have really starting to listen to and reacting to customer feedback, which I think at times in the past we were not as good at doing.&nbsp; But we have also put a lot of effort into de-Frankensteining Maya.&nbsp; You can really see that in this release with things like the UI facelift, the re-design of the HyperShade, the re-architecture of the hotkey system, the multi-threading of animation evaluation, the continued integration and Maya-fication of XGen and Bifrost, and so on.&nbsp; But it also shows up in other fundamental areas like poly modeling, where we've really tried to address the legacy issues that had built up over many years, and at the same time move forward with new tools and workflow.&nbsp; On the modeling front this all started about 3-4 years ago and has kind of culminated in 2016.&nbsp; I most recently did a pretty comprehensive post about the many modeling updates.&nbsp; If you missed it you can check it out here...</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" href="/blogs/stevenr/maya-2016-modeling-and-uv-editing-improvements">http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/stevenr/maya-2016-modeling-and-uv-editing-improvements</a></p> <p>With that said, I realized that Maya 2016 has been out for several weeks now and I am long overdue for a video update.&nbsp; So to expand upon the previous modeling centric post, I recently put together a demo that shows many of the new modeling features in action (as well as some new modeling related tools from BonusTools 2016.)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Maya 2016 Modeling Improvements</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJchCWqR_vY</p>Fri, 19 Jun 2015 19:38:23 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/stevenr/maya-2016-modeling-improvementsRound Tripping from Smoke 2016 to Final Cut Pro XUltimate_Smoker*<p>Hi Everyone,</p> <p></p> <p>I hope that you are all well.</p> <p></p> <p>I have posted the first tutorial of round-tripping videos supported in Smoke 2016.</p> <p></p> <p>In this video, I&rsquo;ll show you how to take a sequence with all its effects and send it back to Final Cut Pro X via XML. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>This keeps the full editorial structure of the sequence as well as different options on dealing with media and effects.</p> <p></p> <p>You can check it out here or on the Smoke Learning Channel.</p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">Round Tripping to Final Cut Pro X<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">https://youtu.be/WRslnCkwO0I?list=PLJMSXsdbrZ7bORwWE1pEQcVZF3zrbeTxG<br />Smoke 2016 and Final Cut Pro X&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">All the videos are also available for download via iTunes for later viewing. --- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/smoke-learning-channel/id552051408?mt=2</span></p> <p></p> <p>I have other videos in the works including requests and feedback.</p> <p></p> <p>More to come soon but please keep the comments, feedback and suggestions coming!</p> <p></p> <p>Have a great week!</p> <p></p> <p>Regards</p> <p>Grant</p>Thu, 18 Jun 2015 13:35:45 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/round-tripping-from-smoke-2016-to-final-cut-pro-xMaking Cubes Appear into a VolumeCory Mogk<p>Last week one of the scientists on the Autodesk Research team asked me to make him a quick image of cubes in space for a presentation and I did this:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/cory/pavelCubes2.png" width="512" height="512" /></p> <p>As I was sitting on the train thinking about his image I began to wonder what this would look like if the cubes appeared one by one into the space and built out the volume. Some scribbling ensued:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/cory/cubes_planning.PNG" width="512" height="384" /></p> <p>This led to some scripting and rendering:</p> <p><iframe width="640" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vr4RRS-vNJo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Before I share the script I have two questions:</p> <ol> <li>What are your favourite tols for visual thinking and planning before creating things? Paper and pencil? Whiteboard? Tablet? Other?</li> <li>How would you solve this?</li> </ol> <p>Here's my script:</p> <pre class="prettyprint">//512 for( $i=1; $i&lt;513; $i++ ) { int $cube = rand(1,65); string $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); int $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//1 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//2 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//3 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//4 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//5 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//6 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//7 $cube = $cube + 64; $targetCube = ("pCube" + $cube); $visible = `getAttr ($targetCube + ".v")`; if ($visible == 1){//8 $i--; print ("\nreached the end - cube is " + $i); } else {//8 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//7 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//6 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//5 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//4 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//3 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } }else {//2 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } } else {//1 setKeyframe -v 1 ($targetCube + ".v") ; playButtonStepForward; } } </pre> <pre class="code"></pre> <p>When writing this script I toyed with a couple approaches, initially thinking I should write something rock-solid that could be used with an arbitrary number of cubes. As time passed, I reminded myself that this was just a one-off, fun little thing and not to go crazy so I stuck with the initial, simple approach. I like to keep it simple - it lets me do more things :)</p>Thu, 18 Jun 2015 03:10:20 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/making-cubes-appear-into-a-volumeMaxscript adjust pivot: affect pivot only/affect object onlyMaxStation<p>There isn't a special mode in Maxscript to adjust the pivot in the different modes like in the Hierachy panel.</p> <p>Nodes have an additional set of properties that can be used to achieve the same result:</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">objectoffsetpos,&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">objectoffsetrot&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">and objectoffsetscale</span></li> </ul> <div>In the below examples I only mention position, but the same goes for rotation and scale.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>When you move an object the object position changes and the object pivot remains the same. Looking at the transform and objectoffset:</div> <div> <ul> <li>the value for position changes</li> <li>and the value for the objectoffsetpos remaisn the same.</li> </ul> </div> <div>When 'affect pivot only' is active and you move the object only the pivot is affect, the object remains in place. If you look at the values:</div> <div> <ul> <li>the position changes</li> <li>and the objectoffsetpos changes in the opposite direction</li> </ul> <p>When 'affect object only' is active and you move only the object is affected, the pivot remains in place. In this case the values for:</p> <ul> <li>position doesn't change</li> <li>and the objectoffsetpos changes.</li> </ul> </div>Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:03:19 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/maxstation/n279-maxscript-adjust-pivot-affect-pivot-onlyaffect-object-onlySmoke 2016 Released! New Smoke 2016 Training Videos!!!Ultimate_Smoker*<p>Hi Everyone,</p> <p></p> <p>I hope that you are all well.</p> <p></p> <p>I have posted a new set of videos to complement the release of Smoke 2016.</p> <p></p> <p>These videos cover a lot of the new features, workflows and updates to Smoke that should greatly improve your workflow, interactivity and experience with Smoke.</p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">PROJECT &amp; USER SETTINGS<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSbdUMaVpBs<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">WORKING WITH THE MEDIA PANEL<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXymd623U2Q<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">CONFORMING<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2OwKrjf2FI<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">WORKING WITH PROXIES<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqRF72YQGnI<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">EXPORTING<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD2cx_ppjRc<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">MATCHING IN THE SEQUENCE<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJtCvflBl7M<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">FORWARD AND BACKWARD SELECTION<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7QMKmzNI0Q<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">UPDATES TO CONNECTFX<br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPkshQL3tdc<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recorded in Smoke 2016&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p></p> <p>You can check it out on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/smokehowtos" target="_blank">the Smoke Learning Channel</a></p> <p></p> <p>All the videos are also available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/smoke-learning-channel/id552051408?mt=2" target="_blank">download via iTunes for later viewing.</a></p> <p></p> <p>More to come soon but please keep the comments, feedback and suggestions coming!</p> <p></p> <p>Have a great week!</p> <p></p> <p>Regards<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Grant</span></p>Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:45:22 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/smoke-2016-released---new-smoke-2016-training-videosUsing the Autodesk A360 Cloud Rendering Service in 3ds Max 2016Rendering Alliance<h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">NEW! A360 CLOUD RENDERING SERVICE FOR 3DS MAX</span></h2> <p>This powerful new rendering service brings the massive Autodesk cloud compute-capability to bear for our artists, and greatly speeds photorealistic rendering workflows.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/warehouse_py_Camera003.jpg" width="1000" height="560" /></p> <h6>Image by Dave Tyner, Autodesk Plant 3D - P&amp;ID</h6> <p></p> <p>The new A360 Cloud Renderer is a physically-based render that quickly produces highly realistic images. It can render&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">multiple camera views simultaneously on high-end cloud servers, and will greatly expand your rendering capacity without capital investment or technical know-how.</span></p> <p>A360 Cloud Rendering is ideal for:</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Architectural and Industrial Design scenes.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Design Development requiring fast iterations</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Preview and Final Quality Still-Image and Panorama renderings</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Lighting analysis (illuminance rendering)</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Any time you can&rsquo;t tie-up local machines for rendering, or need serious rendering horsepower.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">It is a &ldquo;send-it-and-forget-it&rdquo; rendering queue with high speed and high reliability.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Creating realistic images has never been easier, or faster, with 3ds Max and A360 Cloud Rendering.</span></p> <p></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/CamClose2a.jpg" alt="(C) Russell Energy Corp and Ryan O'Connor" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <h6><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: <a href="http://www.russellenergy.com/" target="_blank">Russell Energy Corporation</a></span></h6> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></h3> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">20 MILLION RENDERS AND COUNTING</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Just recently the A360 renderer produced its <a href="http://autodesk360rendering.typepad.com/blog/2015/04/20-million-renders.html" title="30 Million Renders and Counting" target="_blank">20 millionth render</a>, with 10 million renders happening in just the <a href="http://autodesk360rendering.typepad.com/blog/2015/04/20-million-renders.html" title="20 Million Renders and Counting" target="_blank">previous eight months</a>. With 3ds Max 2016 you can now take advantage of that amazing technology for your projects. It has high availability, high reliability, and zero maintenance for you.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">You can check out examples of some of the work produced in the A360 Cloud Renderer at the <strong><a href="https://rendering-gallery.360.autodesk.com/projects/editor_pick?sort=Date&amp;by=DESC" title="A360 Public Gallery" target="_blank">Public Gallery</a></strong> - we would love to see your 3ds Max models in the gallery soon, and if you have something you want to show off, let us know! Find me on Twitter @3dsMax_Designer and share a link.</span></p> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">SO, WHAT IS A360 CLOUD RENDERING?</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The first thing to know about the A360 renderer is that A360 not is mental ray, Iray, Scanline or Quicksilver. It is an entirely new renderer for 3ds Max, and I&rsquo;ll dig into some of the details later in this post. Since A360 is something entirely new, this means that you may have different results than mr or Iray, and may need to work a little differently. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If you have been using cloud rendering in Revit, then many of the steps in 3ds Max should be familiar to you. If you are working with Revit imports into 3ds Max, you should have good results right away if the model, lights, and materials were correct in Revit.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 service currently only renders sill images, although animated turntable and solar studies are possible, along with mono and stereo panoramas. I've found that clients often preferred panoramas over animations as they gave them the opportunity to look areound at-will, and were quick and cheap to produce.</span></p> <p>For a general Frequently-Asked-Question on rendering in A360, check out their support forum <a href="http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/a360-rendering-general/frequently-asked-questions/td-p/5533974" title="A360 FAQ" target="_blank">FAQ Post</a>.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/DVO_Abako-A360.max_2015-Mar-23_02-26-31PM-000_PhysCamera-CloseUpDesk.jpg" width="1000" height="1000" /></p> <h6>Image Credit: Marion Landry, Autodesk Media &amp; Entertainment. Model by&nbsp;Dionissios Tsangaropoulos, <a href="http://www.deltatracing.com/" target="_blank">Delta Tracing</a>.</h6> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></h4> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">CLOUD CREDITS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 Renderer uses &ldquo;Cloud Credits&rdquo; to render, but allows you to send smaller images for free. As you begin to use A360 Renderer I encourage you to send small renders before committing to larger images, as there may be changes you need to make in lights and materials in 3ds Max for best results. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Cloud credits are usually provided to organizations that have product suites. Educational users also have access to cloud rendering as part of their license. <a href="http://knowledge.autodesk.com/customer-service/account-management/subscription-management/subscription-types/cloud-service-subscription/autodesk-360-cloud-credits-faq" title="Cloud Credit FAQ" target="_blank">You can find out more information on that here</a>.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Users of Educational cloud credits will see the size of jobs limited per-submission (explained below), and will also be at a lower priority in the queue. </span></p> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">USING THE A360 CLOUD RENDERER</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">New on the 3ds Max tool bar are two icons; one to bring up the settings for A360 Cloud Renderer, and another to open your A360 Rendering Gallery:</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/RenderButtons.png" alt="Cloud Rendering Icons" width="70" height="36" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Clicking on the teapot will open the Render Setup dialog box and switch your render &ldquo;Target&rdquo; to &ldquo;A360 Cloud Rendering Mode&rdquo;:</span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/RenderSetup-01.png" width="407" height="102" /></p> <p>You can also switch to A360 by selecting it from the Target drop-down in the Render Setup dialog box. 3ds Max automatically saves your A360 and Production render settings in your project&rsquo;s &ldquo;presets&rdquo; folder as separate presets as you switch back and forth.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Below the Preset drop-down is the A360 widget which allows you to log in, and once logged-in, will display job and credit details based on the quality, size, and number of cameras you have defined below the widget:</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/CloudCredits.png" width="388" height="133" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If you are a corporate user you may need to contact your account admin to get an account with cloud credits for you to use. Small images are always free, and we encourage you to play.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">As you change settings for your A360 renderings you&rsquo;ll see the &ldquo;Required&rdquo; value (on left of image, above) change. As you would expect, more credits are required when you have more cameras, larger images, and higher quality settings. The screen shot above is from my university account, and that limits the &ldquo;Max per request&rdquo; to 16 credits. Educational accounts limit a single job size and are a lower priority in the queue; students and faculty may see longer delays in getting images completed than corporate accounts, particularly with very large images.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Below the Cloud Credits widget you&rsquo;ll notice that the &ldquo;Common&rdquo; tab in the render settings has disappeared, and you will only have the settings for the A360 Cloud Renderer. The A360 renderer defines your image&rsquo;s file names based on the scene name, date and time, and the camera name &ndash; you have no control. When you download images you end up with long file names with all that information, and that helps you manage where and when an image was sourced. A360 also does not support animations, so there are no useful settings in the Common tab.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/Camera_Lanes-001a.jpg" alt="Blue Marble 3D" width="1000" height="560" /></span></p> <h6><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: <a href="http://www.bluemarble3d.com" target="_blank">Blue Marble 3D</a>. This interior with high-poly equipment and 700 photometric area lights rendered in 6 minutes.</span></h6> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></h4> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">A360 CLOUD RENDER SETTINGS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">All A360 renders must have a camera selected before 3ds Max will let you send the job. A big difference with this new renderer is that you can send ALL of your camera views at the same time, and with a single upload:</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/CamerasSelect.png" width="407" height="278" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The only camera quantity limitation is with educational (EDU) accounts - the more cameras selected, the more credits you use, and you&rsquo;ll need to watch the widget&rsquo;s &ldquo;Max Per Request&rdquo; limits. With EDU accounts you may have to send several jobs with different groups of cameras to get all your cameras rendered.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The next settings apply to all the cameras you are sending: Output Type, Render Quality, Image Size, Exposure, and File Format. Other than the camera selection, many settings can be changed in the online A360 Gallery. This allows you to send quick draft-quality renders, and if it looks good, trigger a larger best-quality image right from the cloud gallery.</span></p> <h5><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Output Type</span></h5> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 renderer supports several output types:</span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/OutputTypes.png" width="391" height="198" /></p> <p>The Interactive Panorama uses your camera as the center point for a panorama, and is best for scenes like architectural interiors where you need to look in all directions. You can re-render any view as a panorama &ndash; including creating the new Stereo Panorama type &ndash; once your still images is rendered on A360. Simply go to the image in the online gallery and choose a new format:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/RenderAsStereo.png" width="351" height="286" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The Solar Study options, as the name implies, are for evaluating daylight in a scene. I&rsquo;ve found that it is better to select a rendering in the cloud gallery and choose the &ldquo;Render as&rdquo; and then <em>Solar Study</em> option (shown above) in order to get the proper settings to produce an animation. This also gets you access to new features not yet supported in 3ds Max, like <em>Stereo Panorama</em>.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Illuminance allows you to do lighting analysis on your model. Other than choosing the <em>Illuminance</em> setting, there is no set-up needed in your scene besides what you need for a realistic rendering: a scene of the proper scale, photometric lights set to realistic values, and physically-based materials like the Autodesk materials (Generic, Ceramic, Hardwood, etc.) or the Arch &amp; Design material:</span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/Illuminance01.png" width="800" height="427" /></p> <h6>Image Credit: Restaurant interior illuminance rendering by<a href="http://www.bluemarble3d.com" target="_blank"> Blue Marble 3D</a>.</h6> <p></p> <p>Illuminance is how much incident light illuminates a surface. Each Illuminance image comes with a scaled gradient along the right side (in lux) to help you exaluate your lighting. This, like all A360 Cloud Rendering, is amazingly fast and gives design visualization specialists another powerful tool beyond realistic rendering.</p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">SO, WHAT IS THE A360 CLOUD RENDERER?</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">First, it is not mental ray, or Iray, or any renderer that you can buy for 3ds Max, and it is built entirely by Autodesk. It is a Lightcuts-type renderer &ndash; an entirely new technology for our artists &ndash; and&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">for best results&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">will require some adjustments in how you work.</span></p> <p>The A360 renderer is built for speed and realism. With a rendering engine, these two qualities are usually mutually exclusive - you can&rsquo;t have both. The A360 Cloud Renderer, however, achieves both by re-lighting your model (transparently to you) with point lights that simulate what the direct and indirect illumination would be if fully-computed. A photometric area light may be simulated by several point lights, and an HDR Image-Based-Lighting (IBL) setup may contain hundreds of thousands of point lights just to simulate the HDR. The result is typically highly realistic.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">There are some tradeoffs being made in the cloud for this high-performance, so when you compare your A360 renderings to what you may be getting from mental ray or Iray, you&rsquo;ll see subtle differences. Shadows are not as soft, for instance.</span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/SmallMedicalBuilding2016-A360.max_2015-Mar-06_01-58-02PM-000_Cam_Close_Up_Still.jpg" width="1000" height="563" /><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"></span></p> <h6>Image Credit: Marion Landry, <span style="color: #5d9013; font-family: ff-meta-web-pro, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Autodesk Media &amp; Entertainment</span></h6> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Because of these differences, the A360 renderer may not be ideal for all situations. There is a fair level of compatibility with basic Autodesk and mental ray lights and materials. Users importing models into 3ds Max from Revit will find a good level of support for lights and materials provided.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">For those looking for more detailed info on the type of renderer, just Google &ldquo;The Lightcuts Approach&rdquo;, and check out <a href="http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~bjw/lightcuts.pdf%20" title="The Lightcuts Approach" target="_blank">research papers</a> you might find. </span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">WORKFLOWS FOR A360 RENDERING IN 3DS MAX 2016</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">As powerful as A360 rendering is, it was originally built for a fairly closed ecosystem of Revit and Fusion 360, and as such, does not always play well with the things our users may use or need in 3ds Max. 3ds Max allows you to do arbitrarily complex things with materials, in particular, and you&rsquo;ll need to adjust some things for best results with A360. Some plugins that rely on specific renderer features will not be supported well, or at all, with A360.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">As far as intended workflows, Revit-to-Max and Inventor-to-Max should be well supported, as well as workflows from other CAD and solid modeling applications such as SolidWorks. Revit imports were the ultimate test for this first release, and raw RVT imports render without issues. That is, as long as the Revit modeler didn&rsquo;t bury lights inside of opaque fixtures, it should render in a similar way in Revit on A360 and from 3ds Max on A360. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/DVO_Abako-A360.max_2015-Mar-23_02-28-43PM-000_PhysCamera-LookingAtPasserelle.jpg" width="1000" height="1000" /></span></p> <h6><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: Marion Landry, Autodesk</span><span style="line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">&nbsp;Media &amp; Entertainment</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">. Model by&nbsp;Dionissios Tsangaropoulos, </span><a href="http://www.deltatracing.com/" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Delta Tracing</a><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">.</span></h6> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></h4> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">TEST SCENE COMPATIBILITY</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">To help you with transitioning your scenes to A360 we&rsquo;ve provided a &ldquo;Test Scene Compatibility&rdquo; button in the render settings. This will open the Render Message Window and perform a translation from 3ds Max geometry to A360, without actually triggering a render. This allows you to see if there are materials or objects that may have issues with the A360 renderer. You can fix issues before upload and spending credits, and have more confidence in the models that you upload.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/TestScene.jpg" width="394" height="150" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Anything that is an error you will need to fix, but warnings won&rsquo;t block you from rendering. Some warnings, like for hidden objects, are usually harmless. Most other warnings we see in scenes have to do with unsupported maps and materials, and those you will likely want to fix if the image is important. A360 is a physically-based renderer, and the lights and materials you use need to be physically-based, too. Most of the warning we see on legacy scenes are elements that don&rsquo;t make sense in that physically-real context. The features available in Revit are typically safe for A360 Cloud Rendering.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">We always recommend you send small test images, which are typically free. If the image looks good you can always change the render settings in your A360 gallery and trigger a new rendering without re-uploading your model. You can even tweak exposure and re-render in the cloud (see screen capture earlier).</span></p> <h3>GENERAL COMPATIBILITY INFORMATION AND FAQ</h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 renderer is a system that is rapidly evolving, and you&rsquo;ll see improvements in A360 and our support for its features over time. In the next section are some common things that you should be aware of as you use the A360 Cloud Renderer.</span></p> <h4>VIEW-DEPENDENT TESSELLATION</h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Body objects are a terrific way to bring in industrial models from Inventor and other solid modeling products. It allows for adjustable tessellation per-object, and also render-time resolution that is view-dependent.</span></p> <p>This view-dependent tessellation can cause issues when you send scenes to A360 and select multiple cameras for rendering. The first camera selected in the list will be used for deciding how to tessellate the objects. Because tessellation is view-dependent, some objects may receive lower than expected tessellation when viewed from another angle.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">So, if a body object is small in Camera001 and large in Camera002, then it likely will have low tessellation in Camera002. You can get around this by sending each camera to A360 individually instead of all at once. You can also convert body objects to poly, or place an Edit Poly (or another) modifier on the stack of the affected objects.</span></p> <p>You may have a similar issue with modifiers and object types that change based on the view.</p> <h4>LIGHTS AND SHADOWS</h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">As mentioned earlier, to be very fast, the A360 renderer re-lights your scenes with a LOT of point lights. Lighting is where you may notice some obvious issues in your images. Scenes I&rsquo;ve tested on A360 with strings of closely-spaced LED lights (something Iray handles accurately) will see the LEDs clustered together. The A360 renderer isn&rsquo;t built for that use-case, is more for grand architectural models.</span></p> <p>Lighting in A360 always works in a physically-real manner, despite the relighting. Lights always have realistic falloff, and always cast shadows. Since your scene is re-lit with point lights, you&rsquo;ll notice that you don&rsquo;t get soft shadows.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Objects in your scene also always cast shadows, just like the real world. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">In short, for lighting:</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Photometric lights are supported.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">mr Sun and mr Sky are supported in Daylight Systems.</span></li> </ul> <p>If you chose the &ldquo;Max&rdquo; defaults instead of the &ldquo;Design&rdquo; defaults when you first ran 3ds Max 2016, then your Sun and Sky may be the Standard or IES style by default, and may need to be changed. The mental ray mr Sun and Sky objects aren&rsquo;t used in A360, but their parameters are mapped to A360 objects. The Sunlight System is not supported.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Using the Design defaults in 3ds Max 2016 generally works best with A360 and mr/Iray. Your defaults can be changed from the &ldquo;Customize&rdquo;-&gt; &ldquo;Custom UI And Defaults Switcher&rdquo;, and choosing the &ldquo;DesignVIZ.mentalray&rdquo; option.</span></p> <p>The mr Sky Portal, although classified as a Photometric Light, is unsupported. <span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The mr Sky Portal is a cheat for mental ray to pump more light through small-ish portals. It is a photometric-class object, but not physically correct and not needed in a physically-correct renderer like A360. For Iray it is just a clue to the renderer where the opening is, it doesn&rsquo;t provide illumination, and is only (maybe) needed for very small openings. It is a mental-ray specific feature, and A360 is an entirely different technology; it doesn&rsquo;t have an equivalent &ldquo;portal&rdquo; object in their system.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If you use a mr Sky Portal as a &ldquo;light card&rdquo;, you&rsquo;ll need to replace it with a rectangular photometric light for a similar effect.</span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">CAMERA SUPPORT</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The classic Target and Free cameras are supported, as is the new Physical camera. The A360 renderer does not support effects, so you won&rsquo;t get Depth-of-Field, Motion Blur, or Bokeh effects in your renders.</span></p> <p><strong>Important</strong>: Cameras with the Camera Correction modifier are not supported, and won&rsquo;t show up in your list of cameras in the A360 setup dialog box. The Perspective Control adjustments of the Physical Camera are also not supported by A360.</p> <p>The exposure settings in the new Physical Camera are supported, as long as you use the new Physical Exposure control and the &ldquo;Native&rdquo; setting in the A360 render settings:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/Native.jpg" width="384" height="98" /></p> <h4>EXPOSURE CONTROLS</h4> <h4></h4> <p style="color: #707070; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Lucida, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 21px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The new Physical Camera Exposure Control, along with the classic mr Photographic Exposure Control, are both supported. You must choose the &ldquo;Native&rdquo; option in the A360 settings (shown above) for exposure when sending your job, otherwise you get automatic exposure control in A360. For turntable animations (selectable from the cloud gallery), using Native from 3ds Max is often required to prevent exposure change per-image.</span></p> <h4></h4> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">MATERIAL AND MAP SUPPORT</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Materials and Maps are the area where you are likely to run into issues with A360. A360 is built around the straightforward needs of Revit and Fusion 360, where there is a very short list of what you can change or do. In 3ds Max you can do arbitrarily complex things with materials, and that is its power and charm. With Revit, you can have a map or a color in a diffuse slot, and that is it. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The Autodesk group of materials (Generic, Ceramic, Hardwood, etc.) are well-supported in A360, and is recommended if you are going to move your workflows to this service. 3ds Max includes a library of over 1200 pre-made materials to quickly populate your model.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">There are a few things you&rsquo;ll need to look out for, and as you use A360 more you&rsquo;ll pick up these little changes and your scenes will work in any renderer. Use the &ldquo;Test Scene Compatibility&rdquo; feature in 3ds Max to see what is currently supported.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The Arch &amp; Design (A&amp;D) material is mapped onto an Autodesk Generic material. Many of the settings in A&amp;D are mental ray-specific, or are not needed in a physically-real renderer. You will likely get good results, but may see differences in your A360 renderer.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Standard materials are mapped to an Autodesk Generic material, and will render. Other non-physical materials are not supported.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">For Bitmaps, the Crop settings are not supported. In that case you&rsquo;ll need to bring your bitmap into Gimp http://www.gimp.org or Photoshop to trim your images before upload.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Material transforms in the Bitmap are not supported &ndash; use a UVW Map modifier where needed to adjust your map transforms. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Unsupported map types include procedural maps like Noise and Marble &ndash; A360 does not have an equivalent &ndash; and some fairly common map types like Mix and Tiles will require you to find or make an equivalent bitmap. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><strong>Tip:</strong> Set your Material Editor renderer to mental ray (unlock the connection to the Production renderer before switching to A360). This way you can still edit materials while A360 is selected.</span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/AssignRender.png" width="332" height="208" /></p> <h4></h4> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">ENVIRONMENT AND BACKGROUND</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">For Environment maps, your images should work as expected. The A360 renderer has its own equivalent version of the mr Physical Sky environment map, and with that you cannot adjust the horizon. For night renders you&rsquo;ll get a starry sky in A360.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Like Iray, A360 does not have an &ldquo;Environment/Background Switcher&rdquo; that lets you have two separate things. Like reality, if your environment for image-based-lighting is a warehouse, that will show in the reflections and background of your objects unless you build another environment to light or reflect. </span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">IMAGE-BASED LIGHTING</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Speaking of IBL, A360 approximates IBL by making tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of point lights, all based on the image you provide. In most cases this works great, and is incredibly fast for IBL. </span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">MATTE/SHADOW WORKFLOWS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 renderer wants to work just as the real world works, and does not have support for Matte/Shadow workflows. In that case you&rsquo;ll need to build actual geometry, or do some Photoshop magic. Saving to PNG format provides an alpha channel for a transparent background which helps for compositing.</span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">FEATURES SPECIFIC TO CERTAIN RENDERERS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">I&rsquo;m most often asked why this doesn&rsquo;t work like mental ray. As you know by now, it isn&rsquo;t mr. So things like mr Proxy objects are not going to work, and the same goes for V-Ray proxies, and many other renderer-specific objects and shaders.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Some plugins take special advantage of features in the renderers &ndash; like render-time instancing &ndash; which A360 doesn't support. In that case you will need individual copies of the objects, not the programmatic instancing. ForestPack Pro is an example. It is the same issue with Iray &ndash; you can place the individual trees and plants from their library into a scene and they render, but relying on the plugin to generate render-time instancing will not work. A360 handles the individual high-poly plants well.</span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">LARGE SCENES AND PARTICLE SYSTEMS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">In general, large scenes work well with A360 rendering, and in my tests I&rsquo;ve sent models of 300mb+ to the cloud in a matter of a few minutes, from the moment I clicked "Render" to the data was on the cloud and in the queue. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The time it takes you to send a model to the cloud may depend on scene complexity, your proximity to the render servers, and how fast your Internet connection is. 3ds Max must translate your model into a mesh that A360 can use, and that translation can take a long time when it comes to things like Particle Systems. If it looks like 2ds Max isn't responding, check your CPU useage in the Task Manager in Windows and see if it is busy. </span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">ATMOSPHERICS AND EFFECTS</span></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The A360 renderer does not support atmospherics and effects. For scenes like the new "Underwater Template" that comes with 3ds Max 2016, the fog-like underwater effect is lost. </span></p> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">CONCLUSION</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">I hope this has answered your questions on this new technology for 3ds Max. If you have more questions please post them in the "<a href="http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/shading-lighting-and-rendering/bd-p/area-b30" title="The Area" target="_blank">Shading, Lighting and Rendering</a>" forum here on The Area.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Would you like your A360 rendering features on our blog? Post in the forums!</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">-</span><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Jenni O&rsquo;Connor and the 3ds Max Rendering Team</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Below are some of additional examples of Revit-to-Max and Inventor-to-Max workflows (in particular) rendered in the A360 Cloud Renderer.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/CameraQue2Tower01.jpg" alt="Blecy &amp; Bleck" width="640" height="360" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: <a href="http://bleckarchitects.com/" target="_blank">Bleck &amp; Bleck Architects, LLC</a>. The A360 renderer can take a lot of polygons, including the high-poly foliage throught this site.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/DVO_Abako-A360.max_2015-Apr-01_01-10-18PM-000_Panorama.jpg" width="500" height="500" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: Marion Landry, Autodesk Media &amp; Entertainment. Model by&nbsp;Dionissios Tsangaropoulos, <a href="http://www.deltatracing.com/" target="_blank">Delta Tracing</a>.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/CamExplode.jpg" width="500" height="364" alt="(C) Russel Energy Corporation" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: <a href="http://www.russellenergy.com/" target="_blank">Russell Energy Corp</a></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/Cam15-moveFROMtop.jpg" alt="(C) Russell Energy Corp and Ryan O'Connor" width="500" height="364" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Image Credit: <a href="http://www.russellenergy.com/" target="_blank">Russell Energy Corp</a></span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/A360/SmallMedicalBuilding2016-A360.max_2015-Apr-01_03-55-53PM-000_Camera.Interior_BalconyDown.jpg" width="640" height="360" /></p> <p>Image Credit: Marion Landry, Autodesk Media &amp; Entertainment</p>Fri, 29 May 2015 20:55:31 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/therenderingalliance/using-the-autodesk-a360-cloud-rendering-in-3ds-max-2016Meshing from the command line and rendering with AbcImport nodesAdrian Graham<p>Meshing your Bifrost sim from the command line (or any large Bifrost process, for that matter) is much more efficient and easy to wrangle than running interactively. This allows you to leverage the massive power of a render farm (or a compute/simulation farm, in your case). In the case of meshing, you can even split the work up into multiple jobs meaning you can have results faster, depending on how many machines you have available.</p> <p>In order to do this, you'll have to break the work up into 'chunks' of frames. In this example, I show how to take a simple cached simulation, write out the meshing results in chunks of 10 frames each, and bring the Alembic data back into your scene for rendering via the AbcImport workflow.</p> <p>I'm attaching two scripts, <a href="/userdata/blogs/valhalla/batchAbcExport_scripts.zip" mce_href="/userdata/blogs/valhalla/batchAbcExport_scripts.zip">contained in this .zip archive.</a></p> <p>To use these scripts, unzip the archive and put them somewhere in your MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH (most likely your $HOME/maya/scripts dir). With your scene loaded, and Bifrost meshing enabled on your container, select the generated mesh (called&nbsp;<em>bifrostLiquidMesh&nbsp;</em>by default) and, in your Script Editor in a Python tab, run:</p> <pre>import batchAbcExport batchAbcExport.run( &lt;start&gt;, &lt;end&gt;, out_path='/path/to/output/dir' )</pre> <p>Note you'll have to swap everything in &lt;&gt;'s for your desired values. For example:</p> <pre style="line-height: 21px;">batchAbcExport.run( 1001, 1050, out_path='/usr/tmp/bifrost/big_splash_v05' )</pre> <p style="line-height: 21px;">Note that there's an optional 'chunk_size' argument, which defaults to 10 unless otherwise specified. If you wanted to write in chunks of 5, you would run:</p> <pre style="line-height: 21px;">batchAbcExport.run( 1001, 1050, chunk_size=5, out_path='/usr/tmp/bifrost/big_splash_v05' )</pre> <p style="line-height: 21px;">Check out the video, which shows you how to be super-slick and run all this from the command line!</p> <p style="line-height: 21px;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9rbc5vIW34</p>Sat, 23 May 2015 00:13:11 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/valhalla/meshing-from-the-command-line-and-rendering-with-abcimport-nodesReplacing Maya&#039;s Render LayersCory Mogk<p>I noticed an intriguing post on <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/autodesk-maya-replacing-render-layers-nikola-milosevic?trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A164471432139314543%2CVSRPtargetId%3A6006428802794733568%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary&amp;trk=vsrp_influencer_content_res_name">Linkedin looking for feedback on Maya's Render Layers</a> - remember that I'm not working directly on Maya now so sometimes I hear about things just like everybody else - this is from Nikola who handles the design of things in the rendering realm:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/cory/renderLayersFeedback.PNG" width="709" height="488" /></p> <p>It looks like Nikola is looking for people with opinions and feedback in this area so check the link and sign-up for beta if you are interested.</p>Wed, 20 May 2015 12:36:58 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/replacing-maya-render-layersWelcome to Valhalla!Adrian Graham<p>Welcome to Valhalla, your source for Bifrost-related tutorials, techniques, tricks, hacks and ideas!</p> <p>I'll be posting Bifrost-related information at a variety of levels, from simple how-to's for the generalist, to in-depth, technical explanations for the advanced TD.</p> <p>Bifrost FX is still relatively new, but there is a growing source of information available. If you're new to Bifrost, here are some good places to start:</p> <h5>Maya 2016 Documentation</h5> <p>Of course, the Maya 2016 documentation is the place to be if you're just starting out. <a href="http://help.autodesk.com/view/MAYAUL/2016/ENU/?guid=GUID-5CF6B50D-9A10-4DCA-B2C4-B2203570A11C" target="_blank">This page</a>&nbsp;in particular will help you get started if you've never used Bifrost before.</p> <h5>The Area Forum</h5> <p><a href="http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/dynamics/bd-p/area-b51" target="_blank">The Dynamics forum</a> on The Area is attended by quite a few Autodesk designers, developers and QA people, as well as people who have been using Bifrost since Maya 2015.</p> <h5>Igor Žanić's Work</h5> <p>Igor has been working on some production-level Bifrost tests and simulations, and he's on his way to building a library of Bifrost effects. His R&amp;D is invaluable to understanding how things work at the generalist level. Two pages that are helpful are&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.igorfx.com/bifrost2016/" target="_blank" style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Lucida, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Igor's Bifrost 2016 page</a>&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/igorzanic" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Igor's channel on Vimeo</a>.</span></em></p> <h5><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Youtube Demos</span></h5> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Daryl Obert has covered Bifrost usage from a high-level demo perspective on his Youtube channel. In particular,&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5em;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeZNAsq5m0c" target="_blank">Guided Simulations in Bifrost</a>&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">and </span><em style="line-height: 1.5em;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt1x08Tl5QY" target="_blank">Adaptive Aero Solver in Bifrost</a>&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">will give you a basic idea of what to expect in setting up a scene.</span></p> <h5><span>Bonus!</span></h5> <p><span>I did up a little aero demo for the inaugural video. It shows how to do emission for a simple aero explosion.</span></p> <p><span>http://youtu.be/7hB-pFUtCIQ</span></p> <p>Support files are the <a href="https://autodesk.box.com/s/kxe4nhuijitpsgu93zkampqx23ttavrj" target="_blank">final Maya scene</a> and the <a href="https://autodesk.box.com/s/aef1tolse410ud03bid352qw4dkypmbw" target="_blank">Alembic cache</a> of the emitter.</p>Wed, 20 May 2015 01:48:46 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/valhalla/welcome-to-valhallaUsing nVidia MDL in 3ds Max 2016MaxStation<p>There are a couple of interesting posts on the mentalray blog on this topic:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://blog.mentalray.com/2015/05/08/nvidia-material-definition-language-mdl-with-mental-ray/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">NVIDIA Material Definition Language (MDL) with mental ray</a></li> <li><a href="http://blog.mentalray.com/2015/05/08/using-mdl-with-mental-ray-in-3ds-max-2016/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Using MDL with mental ray in 3ds Max 2016</a></li> <li><a href="http://blog.mentalray.com/2015/05/08/using-mdl-with-mental-ray-for-maya-2016/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Using MDL with mental ray for Maya 2016</a></li> </ul> <p>For more information about MDL please see:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nvidia.com/object/material-definition-language.html"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The NVIDIA Material Definition Language</span></a></p>Thu, 14 May 2015 12:40:04 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/maxstation/n278-using-nvidia-mdl-in-3ds-max-2016UPDATED: How to change between Classic and DesignMaxStation<p>We didn't make it easy to get this dialog back...</p> <p>Updated: but we did make it easier than I originally thought! Thanks Electrotoast!</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/choice.png" /></p> <p></p> <p><b>Step 1. Run 3ds Max with the one of the following command line options: -df, -dfc or -dfd &nbsp;</b></p> <p>You can do that by editing your shortcut or by running 3dsmax.exe from a command line.</p> <p>The three options are:</p> <ul> <li>-df: gives you the dialog again so you can chose which mode you want to use</li> <li>-dfc: no dialog, runs 3ds Max in Classic mode</li> <li>-dfd: no dialog, runs 3ds Max in Design mode</li> </ul> <p><b style="line-height: 1.5em;">Step 2. Remove the user settings</b></p> <p>And rename or remove your user settings &nbsp;C:\\Users\\YOURNAMEHERE\\AppData\\Local\\Autodesk\\3dsMax\\2016 - 64bit\\ (where you replace YOURNAMEHERE with you Windows login name).</p> <p><b><br /></b></p> <p>The next time you start 3ds Max 2016 you'll can choose your initial 3ds Max experience again if you've used -df. Or you're straight in Classic mode (with -dfc) or Design mode (with -dfd)</p> <p></p> <p>---</p> <p></p> <p>The original post was:</p> <p></p> <p>First the obligatory warning because step 1 requires registry editing:</p> <p><strong><span color="#ff0000" style="color: #ff0000;">Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com/support. Use the Microsoft&reg; Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry.</span></strong></p> <p></p> <p><strong>Step 1. Remove the registry key that indicates which mode to use&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Delete the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Autodesk\\3dsMax\\18.0\\DefaultMaxStartUI</p> <p>It is either set to Classic or to Design.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p><strong>Step 2. Remove the user settings</strong></p> <p>And rename or remove your user settings &nbsp;C:\\Users\\YOURNAMEHERE\\AppData\\Local\\Autodesk\\3dsMax\\2016 - 64bit\\ (where you replace YOURNAMEHERE with you Windows login name).</p> <p></p> <p>The next time you start 3ds Max 2016 you'll can choose your initial 3ds Max experience again.</p>Wed, 13 May 2015 11:58:37 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/maxstation/n277-how-to-change-between-classic-and-designThe first ever 3D Web FestCory Mogk<p class="s2" style="color: #000000; font-family: Times; font-size: 18px;"><span class="s2" style="line-height: 1.5em;">The first&nbsp;</span><span class="s2" style="line-height: 1.5em;">ever&nbsp;</span><span class="s7" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #0000ff;"><a href="http://www.3dwebfest.com/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">3D Web Fest</a></span><span class="s2" style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;is happening May 13</span><span class="s3" style="line-height: 8px; font-size: 7px; vertical-align: super;">th</span><span class="s2" style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;in San Francisco. Proceeds from your</span><span class="s2" style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span><span class="s7" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #0000ff;"><a href="https://3dwebfest.eventbrite.com/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">tickets</a></span><span class="s5" style="font-family: Cambria; color: #343434;">&nbsp;will benefit the community based non-profit&nbsp;</span><span class="s6" style="font-family: Cambria; text-decoration: underline; color: #521e87;"><a href="http://www.roxie.com/">Roxie Theatre</a>,</span><span class="s5" style="font-family: Cambria; color: #343434;">&nbsp;the oldest continuously operating theatre in San Francisco.</span></p> <p class="s2" style="color: #000000; font-family: Times; font-size: 18px;"><span class="s2">This event experience will showcase websites that are the best mixture of music, art and technology, and exhibit what's possible with the advent of 3D Web in a film festival format and club atmosphere.</span><span class="s2">&nbsp;By immersion in the world of 3D Web you'll experience what's possible in commercial, non-commercial, experimental and game-based projects. &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="s2" style="color: #000000; font-family: Times; font-size: 18px;"><span class="s2">The selection committee - which includes Noah Cowan, the Executive Director of the San Francisco International Film Festival - poured over projects submitted from all over the world and selected works they feel will be truly&nbsp;</span><span class="s2">eye-opening</span><span class="s2">. &nbsp; The lineup of artists and producers will feature work from leading creative coders in the field including Isaac Cohen, Mate&nbsp;</span><span class="s2">Steinforth</span><span class="s2">,&nbsp;</span><span class="s2">Weidong</span><span class="s2">&nbsp;Yang, Goo Technologies and many others, showing their work through live screening presentations.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span class="s2"><br /></span></div>Sun, 10 May 2015 03:43:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/the-first-ever-3d-web-fest3D Web FestDuncan Brinsmead<p class="MsoNormal">The first ever 3D Web Fest is happening May 13<sup>th</sup>. It looks like it should be a lot of fun!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: #003366; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;"><span style="color: purple;"><a href="https://youtu.be/yHB05PBldqA" target="_blank">https://youtu.be/yHB05PBldqA</a></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: #003366; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;"><span style="color: purple;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/duncan/3DWebFest2.jpg" width="1080" height="764" /></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The 3D Web Fest is like a Film Festival - with a focus on the best of the 3D Web.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This event experience will showcase websites that are the best mixture of music, art and technology, and exhibit what's possible with the advent of 3D Web in a film festival format and club atmosphere.&nbsp; The Web has transitioned from mostly text to an increasingly rich 2D image environment, and now the shift to 3D has arrived enabled by new Web standards and open source technologies. The 3D Web Fest brings together the best of the 3D Web-presented live-amazing, delightful, surprising. By immersion in the world of 3D Web you'll experience what's possible for innovative commercial, non-commercial, experimental or game-based projects.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The selection committee - which includes Noah Cowan, the Executive Director of the San Francisco International Film Festival - poured over projects submitted from all over the world and selected works they feel will be truly eye-opening.&nbsp;&nbsp; The lineup of artists and producers will feature work from leading creative coders in the field including Isaac Cohen, Mate Steinforth, Weidong Yang, Goo Technologies and many others, showing their work through live screening presentations. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">THE PROGRAM:&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Pre-event mixer - drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">8:00 p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Program begins<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">9:30 p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Panel discussion with audience Q&amp;A<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">10:00 p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After show party - drinks will be served<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Special Note:&nbsp; </b><span style="mso-ascii-font-family: Cambria; mso-hansi-font-family: Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; color: #343434;">The Web fest is also a fund-raiser for the community based non-profit </span><a href="http://www.roxie.com/"><span style="mso-ascii-font-family: Cambria; mso-hansi-font-family: Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; color: #521e87;">Roxie Theatre</span></a><span style="mso-ascii-font-family: Cambria; mso-hansi-font-family: Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; color: #343434;"> &ndash; the oldest continuously operating theatre in San Francisco.&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Get more information about the <a href="http://www.3dwebfest.com/">3D Web Fest</a> or get your tickets directly <a href="https://3dwebfest.eventbrite.com/">here</a>.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>Fri, 08 May 2015 22:22:55 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/duncan/3d-web-festMaya Monday - Finding Tools in Maya 2016 and Modeling HUDdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gXlPkdGsF5M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Thu, 07 May 2015 21:11:10 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/daryl/maya-monday---finding-tools-in-maya-2016-and-modeling-hud