When you use 3Ds Max and you create your model, your finger is always itching to press F9 and render your scene and to see how it looks. Those who are new to 3Ds Max are usually disappointed with the result they see. The lighting doesn't look good, there is nothing you could call "Shadow" and it's just a boring image.
Why do my renders look so bad?
Creating a good render in any 3D application such as Autodesk 3Ds Max can be a complex task. there are just too many different elements that need to work together to create a good render.
1. You need to have good looking models.
2. Models need to have good textures (which may require Unwrapping).
3. Multiple textures may be required (such as Diffuse, Ambient Occlusion, Specular, Normap Map, etc.)
4. The properties of the materials matter (i.e. Is it reflective? Is it Matt? Does light bounce from it? etc.)
5. You need good lighting. (Do yo need direct lighting or indirect lighting or both?)
6. You need good shadows (do you need soft or hard shadows?)
7. The Environment (e.g. if you have reflective materials, what do they reflect? Does the environment contribute to lighting, i.e. does the environment have reflective objects?)
8. Rendering settings (e.g. number of times a light could bounce, Global Illumination, etc.)
The list goes on and on.
You may not know everything, but don't worry, we have a solution.
Don't get me wrong. A truly professional render would need to take the above list, and so much more, into practice in order to get a good render. However if your renders look similar to the image below, we can give you a solution that will make your models look at least slightly better!
Create a Skylight
In the Create Tab, go to Lights, then change the drop down menu to Standard, choose Skylight and click anywhere in your scene but only once!
Make sure your render engine is set to Scanline.
Press F10 to open the render setup window. Scroll all the way down until you see the Assign Renderer tab. For Production, check if Scanline Renderer is selected. If it is, great, if not, click the 3 dots in front, and choose Scanline. (Depending on what version of Autodesk 3Ds Max you're using, you may find this option at the very top.)
Before you close this window, on the top, click on the Advanced Lighting tab, then from the drop down menu choose Light Tracer.
Now you can click on Render or press F9.
Your render will go from this:
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial!