Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 7 - Opening the Link File in Adobe After Effects

By
-
Login to Follow
-
Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Interoperability
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Advanced
Duration
7 min

Using State Sets in 3ds Max - Part 7 - Opening the Link File in Adobe After Effects

In this tutorial, you will make the necessary changes and fine-tuning in an environment designed for production. Where you used the Compositor View in 3ds Max as a preview tool, you use After Effects to finalize your setup.

Notes

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

Transcript

00:00:03 --> 00:00:07
Once you have the plugins in place, you can start Adobe After Effects.

00:00:07 --> 00:00:12
In the File menu, notice the entry labeled "Open Compositor Link (Autodesk)".

00:00:12 --> 00:00:18
This option would not have appeared had you not copied the three plugin files to their needed locations.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:26
Use this tool to open the Compositor Link Settings dialog. It displays very much the same way it did in 3ds Max.

00:00:27 --> 00:00:33
Click the Create Link button to browse and select the .sof file you saved to disk earlier.

00:00:33 --> 00:00:38
Close the Link floater when done. You can always open it later if you need to.

00:00:39 --> 00:00:44
Various files appear in the bin including an Autodesk Link Composition.

00:00:44 --> 00:00:49
Double-click the composition entry in the bin to see the layers it's made of.

00:00:50 --> 00:00:53
You can also see the visual result in the workspace.

00:00:54 --> 00:01:02
Scrub the animation to see that the sequence was rendered as you set it up in 3ds Max, from the camera viewpoint. More on that later…

00:01:03 --> 00:01:11
Apart from the last two entries (a camera and a solid), the rest of the layers are ordered the same way you had set them up in 3ds Max.

00:01:12 --> 00:01:20
The blending modes have also been preserved. Notice for example how the AO layers are set to Multiply mode.

00:01:21 --> 00:01:23
You will get to work more on this in a moment.

00:01:24 --> 00:01:29
For the time being, hide all layers except the Vault layer.

00:01:31 --> 00:01:36
Notice that it's much darker than it showed when you were test-rendering the scene in 3ds Max.

00:01:37 --> 00:01:41
This Gamma discrepancy happens sometimes and can have various reasons.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:49
Sometimes, it's the gamma setup in 3ds Max, the chosen renderer, the output file type etc…

00:01:50 --> 00:01:56
This type of problem is more likely to happen with LDR file types than with HDR file types.

00:01:57 --> 00:02:00
However, it is easy to fix, especially in post.

00:02:00 --> 00:02:06
All you need to do is apply a Color Corrector in the shape of an Exposure filter.

00:02:07 --> 00:02:12
Change the Gamma Correction value from 1 to 2.2 and notice the difference.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:18
You will need to repeat this process on other layers as well, especially the beauty pass layers.

00:02:21 --> 00:02:28
Black & White layers such as Matte passes and AO passes are less likely to be a problem.

00:02:33 --> 00:02:37
Again make sure all layers are hidden except for the Vault layer.

00:02:37 --> 00:02:41
Now unhide the Vault AO layer.

00:02:41 --> 00:02:49
Notice the difference an AO pass has on the scene. It gives it more depth and make it look far more interesting.

00:02:49 --> 00:02:58
If the AO effect is very dark, you can adjust the gamma correction as you did earlier, or you can simply reduce the opacity of the layer.

00:02:59 --> 00:03:03
Make sure you are at the beginning of the animation and expand the Vault AO layer.

00:03:04 --> 00:03:06
Expand the Transform track.

00:03:06 --> 00:03:12
Notice the Opacity track: it is set to Animatable mode as seen by the little clock icon.

00:03:13 --> 00:03:19
If you are not planning to animate a track as is the case here, you can turn this mode off.

00:03:19 --> 00:03:28
Adjust the opacity value until you get an effect you like. A value of 75% should be fine but feel free to experiment.

00:03:28 --> 00:03:31
Collapse the layer when you're done.

00:03:31 --> 00:03:40
Next, you take a look at the self-illumination pass. If you recall, that was for the benefit of glowing the computer screens and the ceiling lights.

00:03:41 --> 00:03:46
However, the Vault Self-Illumination layer currently has no effect on the scene.

00:03:46 --> 00:03:57
This is because of a couple of factors: first, it needs a different blending mode and second and more importantly, it needs to sit on top of the beauty pass.

00:03:58 --> 00:04:06
You could have rewired that information when you were working in 3ds Max, but it is infinitely easier to use a simple click & drag in After Effects.

00:04:07 --> 00:04:10
Place this layer between the beauty pass and the AO pass.

00:04:10 --> 00:04:15
Make sure the layer is enabled and notice that it hides the beauty pass completely.

00:04:16 --> 00:04:23
When the blending mode is set to Normal, the color information is taken into account and one layer hides another underneath it.

00:04:23 --> 00:04:30
Change the self-illumination blending mode from Normal to Color Dodge. This is typically used for glow effects.

00:04:31 --> 00:04:39
Toggle it on and off to see the effect. You can actually duplicate this layer for a cumulative effect, or you can apply a Glow filter to it.

00:04:40 --> 00:04:46
Make sure the layer is selected and choose Effect > Stylize > Glow.

00:04:46 --> 00:04:55
Bring the Threshold value down from 60% to about 10%. Again toggle the visibility of the layer to see the end results.

00:04:57 --> 00:05:00
Next, you work on the security door.

00:05:01 --> 00:05:03
Unhide that layer.

00:05:04 --> 00:05:09
The glazing is almost fully transparent but you just now realized that it's not to your liking.

00:05:10 --> 00:05:13
Let's say you decide to have the glazing more opaque.

00:05:13 --> 00:05:18
Instead of adjusting the material's opacity in 3ds Max and re-rendering the sequence,

00:05:19 --> 00:05:23
you will instead use the Matte pass you foresaw might be handy.

00:05:24 --> 00:05:28
Place the Matte pass layer on top of the door layer and unhide it.

00:05:28 --> 00:05:35
It is already somewhat transparent because you already reduced its Opacity value in the Compositor View in 3ds Max.

00:05:35 --> 00:05:42
In Normal blending mode and with an Opacity value of 100%, it hides the rest of the scene.

00:05:42 --> 00:05:49
Set it to Screen mode instead. This way, only the white areas of the layer affect the scene.

00:05:49 --> 00:05:55
As the white areas represent the glass, you will be able to adjust the glazing transparency that way.

00:05:56 --> 00:06:01
Adjust the opacity to your liking. A value of about 20% should work well.

00:06:01 --> 00:06:06
Remember to disable Animate mode, unless you're planning to animate that effect.

00:06:10 --> 00:06:16
Enable the Arm beauty pass. This layer contains color and shadow information.

00:06:16 --> 00:06:23
If you recall, you set up shadows to be cast on invisible objects courtesy of the Matte/Shadow material in 3ds Max.

00:06:24 --> 00:06:31
In a perfect situation, you would probably separate that layer as well but it should work fine for our needs here.

00:06:31 --> 00:06:38
Finally, enable the Arm_Door AO pass to add more depth to the foreground.

00:06:39 --> 00:06:44
As you did with the vault, you may want to reduce the opacity for that layer.

00:06:48 --> 00:06:56
The scene is coming together but one last component remains to be studied: the solid used as a placeholder for a security screen.

00:06:57 --> 00:06:59
This is what you will do in the next movie.
Posted By
Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Interoperability
0 Comments
To post a comment please login or register