Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Finalizing State Sets

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  • Design Visualization
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Interoperability
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Advanced
10 min

Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Finalizing State Sets

In this tutorial, you complete the creation of the needed state sets, set a rendering output, and render different sequences to disk. All in preparation to exporting to Adobe After Effects for post-compositing.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.


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You now have two State Sets to cover the vault but you still need to define more for the animated doors and arm.

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The Security door will be the next step.

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Create a new State Set and name it Door.

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Set it active. As before, this takes you back to the original state defined by the original scene.

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Enable Record mode on the new state set.

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Select the Vault selection set and hide all its components, since these have already been taken care of.

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Do the same with the Arm selection set to hide the arm.

00:00:40 --> 00:00:47
Actually, there is one more object to hide and that's the blue plane used as a security screen.

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Plane objects in 3ds Max can translate into Adobe After Effects solids and this can be incredibly powerful.

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Later, you will use after effects to replace the blue information by a texture that you control and animate in After Effects directly.

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Arguably, you could apply an animated material in 3ds Max.

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However, imagine that the design is not finalized yet or that you may change it at a later time.

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Changing it in post means you won't need to re-render your scene every time you make a change.

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You'll learn more about this later but for now, make sure the plane is hidden from view.

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Test-render the scene. The glass is semi-transparent, although it's a little hard to see.

00:01:32 --> 00:01:38
Also, a separate pass gets rendered for self-illumination as you've set it up earlier.

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As you don't have any self-illumination areas on the door, you can disable that pass. You'll do that in a moment.

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First, consider that you need to add a different pass altogether to take care of the transparency of the glass.

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This way, you will be able to control that transparency in post.

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The glass on the door is not a separate object to control via its own state set, but a better way is to use the glass material properties.

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Go to the Slate Material editor and double-click the material called Glazing.

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It's a simple material with a light gray color and an opacity value of 15%.

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To render out this material as a separate render pass, you need to give it a material ID.

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Right-click the material node and choose Material ID Channel.

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Give it an ID other than 0, for example #3.

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Close the material editor when done.

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Go to the Render dialog and access the Render Elements tab.

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As mentioned previously, you don't need a render pass for Self-Illumination in this case but you need one for transparency.

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So instead of disabling render pass altogether, simply disable render passes at the Self-Illumination level.

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You still need a pass for transparency, so choose Add, select the Matte pass and click OK.

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You can define a matte by object or by material. You will obviously use material in this case.

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Lower in the panel, enable Material ID and set the ID to 3, or whichever number you set up in the Material Editor.

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Test-render the scene. In addition to the beauty pass, you get a Black &White pass that separates the glazing from the rest.

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Again, you will use this information in post.

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Go back to the Common tab and set the output to Active Time Segment.

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Ensure the Camera view is active and exit Record mode.

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Before moving forward, you have to be mindful of a very important point discussed in the first movie.

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Whereas State Sets record actions such as property changes, they do not in fact record a creation process.

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When you create a new object, material or even define a render pass, that action is not recorded.

00:04:14 --> 00:04:22
So when you define a new render pass as you just did for transparency, it is a global effect that spans over all state sets.

00:04:23 --> 00:04:29
However, you can certainly define whether or not a render pass is active within a state set.

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Activate the first state set you created named Vault.

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Enable Record mode on it and take a look at the Render Elements tab.

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Render Elements is active as this is where you set a Self-Illumination pass.

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However, now that you've created a new Matte pass, it is also active at this level.

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Since you don't need the Matte pass for this particular state set, you can disable it, and then exit Record mode.

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At the Vault AO level, it is less of an issue because Elements Active is disabled and render passes are blocked entirely.

00:05:10 --> 00:05:16
The bottom line is that you need to keep in mind revisiting State Sets when you add new components to the scene.

00:05:17 --> 00:05:21
As long as you are just changing properties though, you should be safe.

00:05:22 --> 00:05:27
At this point, you can certainly create an AO state set for the door only.

00:05:28 --> 00:05:36
In this particular example though, you can probably keep it simple and create one later that encompasses both the security door and the arm.

00:05:37 --> 00:05:46
So create a new state set and name it Arm. This will represent the front-end, of the arm against the security door.

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Activate the new state set and enable Record mode on it.

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Before you go any further, disable render passes on this state set.

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Hide the vault as you did before.

00:06:02 --> 00:06:10
Here, you may be tempted to hide the door as well, but you actually need it to collect shadows cast by the hand and arm.

00:06:11 --> 00:06:21
So in order to make the door invisible but still use it to collect shadow information, you need to apply a Shadow Matte material to it.

00:06:21 --> 00:06:26
Select the Security Door selection set and go to the Slate Material Editor.

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Drag a new Matte/Shadow material into the view.

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Double-click it to view its properties.

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Receive Shadows is on by default, so go ahead and apply the material to the selection.

00:06:39 --> 00:06:45
The door and its components turn white in the viewport but they become invisible at render time.

00:06:46 --> 00:06:52
Test-render the scene around frame 160. The hand and arm seem like the only objects in the scene.

00:06:53 --> 00:07:00
However, enable Alpha mode on the virtual frame buffer and notice the shadow information embedded there.

00:07:01 --> 00:07:09
Ultimately, you could extract the shadow information separately like you did with Self-Illumination and Transparency, but this will do for now.

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Set the render output to the full sequence.

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Go back to frame 0, ensure the camera view is active and exit Record mode.

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Finally, create one last state set named Arm_Door AO

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Activate it and enable Record mode on it.

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Hide the Vault's components.

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Select all other objects and apply the white material you created earlier.

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Set the camera view into Realistic mode.

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In the Render dialog, disable render passes.

00:07:59 --> 00:08:04
In the Common tab, set the renderer to Quicksilver as you did before.

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In the Renderer tab, set the rendering duration to 3 seconds.

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Lower, disable Shadows and enable AO.

00:08:18 --> 00:08:23
Set the Intensity to 1.5 and the spread anywhere between 3 and 5.

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These last few steps are almost an exact copy of what you did earlier with the vault's AO state set.

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Test-render a frame around frame 160 to make sure all is working fine.

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In the Common tab, set the rendering to the active sequence.

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Go back to Frame 0, make sure the camera view is still active and exit Record mode on the State Set.

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Activate the state sets one by one to make sure all is working well.

00:08:57 --> 00:09:03
In the next movie, you set the Render Output Paths to render State Sets information to disk.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Interoperability
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