Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 9 - Finalizing the Composition

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

Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 9 - Finalizing the Composition

In this final tutorial, you animate the psd image file to finalize the security panel look and feel in the composition. This would conclude the process of rendering multiple passes in 3ds Max courtesy of State Sets, and then automating the passage for final compositing in After Effects, with the help of the Autodesk Link utility.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013, After Effects CS6
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.


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Post-production work is almost over, but you still need to animate some aspects of the PSD image file before you output the results.

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To take a look at the PSD file layers, double-click the hand composition layer.

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If you need to, change the zoom factor to Fit.

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For the most part, you simply need to animate the opacity of certain layers that are currently invisible.

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For example, notice that the Opacity value of the Hand Contour layer is currently set to 0.

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Drag that opacity value to see the effect it has on the PSD file.

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The idea is to "activate it" by animating the opacity value when the hand touches the security panel.

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Similarly, a Print Areas layer showing rectangular shapes should activate when the fingers touch the screen, a split second after the hand does.

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A split second after that, the Print Glow layer makes the thumbprint area glow as the "authentication" process begins.

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There are also a couple of text layers that should activate as the authentication progress is in effect…

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and when a match is found.

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The process of animating all these values is relatively easy. The hard part is to ensure proper synchronization with the rest of the scene.

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Go back to the original composition to study the timing.

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The hand touches the screen at about 5 seconds into the animation. That will mark the beginning of the PSD file animation.

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You then have between 2.5~3 seconds before the camera moves away from the panel.

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This is your animation window for the PSD file.

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Go back to the Hand composition panel.

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Make sure you are at the 5-second mark and that you can see the Opacity track of the Hand Contour layer.

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Enable the little clock icon next to Opacity. This creates a keyframe at this moment in time with an Opacity value of 0.

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Move forward a bit, about a quarter second or so, and set the Opacity to 100%.

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Scrub the animation to see the results.

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At the very frame where the contour is fully opaque, create a key for the Print Areas layer with an Opacity value of 0.

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Make them fully opaque at around the 5.5-second mark.

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At that time, create a keyframe to mark the beginning of the Print Glow animation.

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Make the print glows fully opaque at around the 7-second mark.

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Scrub the animation, this doesn't look great.

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Create a few in-between keyframes and vary the opacity value to get an irregular glow effect.

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Repeat this very same procedure on the "Searching Database" layer using this last layer as a reference.

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At that last frame mark, create a keyframe for the "Match Found" layer with an opacity value of 0.

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A split second after that, make the "Match Found" layer visible...

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and the "Searching Database" layer invisible.

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As always, the values and timing used here are provided as an example. Feel free to experiment but keep the timing with the 5~8 seconds timeframe.

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At any time, you can go back to the main composition and view the results.

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If you are having problems with real-time display, you may want to increase the size of your cache allocation.

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This can be done under Edit > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache.

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You can stop this project right here, or you can add a final touch to make the security screen a bit more interesting.

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You can add a layer to randomize binary code animation.

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Go back to the hand composition tab and to the beginning of the animation.

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If you want, you can collapse the various layers.

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Choose the Text tool on the main toolbar and make sure the color is set to white.

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The white color is only temporary but it will make the text easier to read against this background.

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Click and drag a text area that covers the whole image.

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Set the font size to about 40.

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Type in a bunch of zeros interspersed with randomized spaces to fill the text box.

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Move the new layer and place it between the Hand and Hand Contour layers. Expand the track.

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Next to the Text entry, click Animate and then choose Character Offset.

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Next click the Add button and choose Selector > Wiggly.

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Set the Character Offset value to 1. This makes the zeros shift by 1 number, higher or lower.

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This is why you see some "9's" in the mix. The trick is to make sure the character offset works only upwards.

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Expand Wiggly Selector 1 and set the Minimum Amount to 0. This will take care of the unwanted "9's"

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Experiment with the Wiggles/Second value. In this movie, we will set it to 6.

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You can of course experiment with other factors such as font type and size.

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The binary code is making the footer text harder to read.

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Move the "Biometric Authentication…" layer and place it above the binary code for better effect.

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When you're happy with the results, change the text color back to a dark color, such as black or a dark green.

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Go back to the main composition window and view the end-results.

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If you wish, you can even add the composition to the Render Queue and save it to disk. A finalized version is also provided.

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In this tutorial, you have learned to set up State Sets to manage your 3ds Max scene in terms of object visibility, materials, and rendering engines.

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You have also learned to separate and render various passes to disk using that process.

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You also used the Compositor view to preview you're final composition, prior to exporting it via Autodesk Link to Adobe After Effects.

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In After Effects, you finalized your composition by adjusting the existing layers incoming from 3ds Max,

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and you also added a few embellishments of your own.

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We hope these techniques give you a good understanding of the power that lies behind the Interoperability between these two great products.

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Till the next time…
Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Interoperability
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