Creating Light Cycle Effects in 3ds Max - Part 9 - Batch Rendering

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7 min

Creating Light Cycle Effects in 3ds Max - Part 9 - Batch Rendering

In this final tutorial, learn how to set up a batch render process to render the scene from three different camera angles.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2012
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2012 or higher.


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In this Part 9 and last movie of this series, you set a batch render process
to render three different camera shots to disk.

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If the viewport is maximized, which if you followed along it surely is,
press Alt+W to go back to a 4-viewport configuration.

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Also, in the Display panel, bring back the cameras into view in the viewports.

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There are three cameras in the scene as stated at the very beginning of this tutorial.

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Cameras and their targets have been animated through simple keyframing to move
from one area to another.

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Leave the top view as is, and assign a camera view to each of the remaining viewports.

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Set all camera views to use Safe Frames and make sure they are shaded (F3).

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Scrub the animation to see the effect. The first camera is meant to follow the action early on.

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The second camera zooms in to get the action somewhere in the middle,

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and the third camera captures the punch line, as the light cycle disintegrates
towards the end of the animation.

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To render all three camera shots, you could activate a camera view and set up
a render process in the Render dialog.

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You'd need to render that sequence, come back when it's done, enable a new camera view,
and start over again.

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Instead of this back and forth approach, it's easier to use the Batch Render tool
in the Rendering menu.

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Here you can add a view,

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and rename it to make it easier what the view is about.

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For example, CAM01 would be an indication you are rendering the Camera001 viewport.

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It's important to press Enter when you change a view name to confirm that change.

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Next you can override the presets found in the render dialog.

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For example, you can set this entry to render frames 0 to 155, as seen from camera001.

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This will take us nicely all the way into the second turn.

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You can also override the output size but we'll leave this one alone for now.

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Ultimately, you want to define an output path, a file name and a file type.

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Click the Output Path button; create or choose a folder where you want to store
the output images.

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Give your file a name and an extension, for example CAM01-.tga

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CAM01 is to reflect the name of the view you have created.
All output images will have that prefix.

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The "-" is just a separator between the CAM001 prefix and the sequential numbers
based on the rendered frames.

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The .tga extension is the file type used for the render. You can use other file types
such as .jpg, .bmp, .png or others.

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You either type them in or select them from a list.

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A dialog usually pops up with addition properties for the output file type.

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In this case, use a 24BPP, compressed, pre-multiplied Alpha type.
This will work fine for the purposes of this tutorial.

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A good practice is to render to individual image files and put them together in post,
rather than directly rendering to a movie file like .avi

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Of course it's important to choose the view associated with this batch render entry,
in this case, Camera001.

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Using the same technique, add a CAM02 entry.

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Set it to render frames between 100 and 210. Notice the overlap between rendered frames.

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Normally you don't want an overlap so pronounced but this proves that it can be done if needed.

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The fact that the prefix (CAM02) is different prevents any conflicts when rendering
the same frame.

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Set an output for the rendering (named CAM02-.tga) and assign Camera002 as a viewport source.

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Finally, add a third view named CAM03, and assign it to render frames 195 to 600.

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Set the output file accordingly

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and Camera003 as a viewport source.

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You are now ready to render the scene to disk.

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But since this takes some time, a few hours at the very least, depending on your system's speed, you might want to do that after hours.

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At any rate, when you are ready to render to disk, simply click the Render button
on the Batch Render window and let it unfold.

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Ultimately, you are left with 3 TGA sequences,

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that you can view in the RAM player,

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or that you can compile together into a movie file using a 3rd-party application.

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If you already use an application such as Adobe After Effects,
you can certainly compile your sequences there.

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There's also a freeware application called VirtualDub that does a good job
of compiling TGA sequences into AVI files.

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Keep in mind that when you compile a TGA sequence into a movie file,

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you may lose some quality depending on the compression codec you used for the process.

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Some of the better compression codecs on the market include Divx, Xvid and H.264
but there are others.

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And so finally we come to the end of this tutorial in which you have learned
many different aspects of 3D making.

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You learned to create glow effects based on self-illuminated materials,

00:06:28 --> 00:06:32
you learned to animate light cycles to follow pre-determined paths,

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you learned to create and animate light trails, and map them with appropriate materials,

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you learned how to use a particle system to blow up a light cycle as it drives
through the light trail of another,

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and finally how to set up a batch render process to render the scene
from different camera angles.

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As always, we hope you have enjoyed this project and we'll see you next time.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Dynamics
  • 2012
  • Batch
  • Lighting
  • Lighting and Rendering
  • Workflow
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