How to add an object to your HDRI scene using the ARNOLD Renderer in 3DS MAX

February 5, 2019| pa902

(Before you start this tutorial make sure you have the ARNOLD renderer chosen as your renderer or some of the options might not look the same)

I did a tutorial on placing an object in your HDRI scene using the ART Renderer in 3DS Max so if you read that you’ll be most of the way there for this tutorial. Create a plane and a sphere. Place the sphere in the middle of the plane. You want a big enough plane for the shadow. Load your HDRI map… RENDERING–>ENVIRONMENT–>USE MAP Checked. (Make sure you load a map with strong shadows for this so you can see the results….there are some on my site and they’re totally free) If you want to see your map in the viewport go to the top left in the viewport and where it probably says “Default Shading” click Viewport Background and then choose Environment Background. Open the Material Editor (Just Press M) Now, Using the Compact Editor (Not the Slate Editor) Click the button that you loaded your HDRI Map with and draaag it to one of the empty slots in the Material Editor. A little window will pop up and make sure you choose “instance”. The shaded sphere will now be a little image of your map. Now if you want you can maneuver the background (See my Tutorial on Maneuvering the Background) Do a test render and you should have the ball and the plane and the background should all render. You might as well give the ball a material now…I chose a chrome finish so you can see the reflections of the map but you don’t have to. Ok now this is the way I learned to do this and I’m sure there are other ways but this works perfectly. Change from the Compact Editor to the Slate Editor (Top left of the window where it says “Modes”) Now Look on the left under “Surface” and click “Shadow Matte” and draaag it into the main window. (You probably won’t see the “Bitmap” node like in the pic yet)

Now go back on the left and under “Utility” you’ll see “Map to Material” (You can’t miss it, it’s hot pink) Drag it to the right and connect it to “Shadow Matte” like in the pic below…

Now click on the Map to Material Node and drag the spaghetti thing into the scene and onto the plane that your sphere is sitting on. Do a render and it should look like the first picture up top with the plane now gone and only the shadow showing. But it won’t…One more step! Double click the Shadow Matte node so there is a dotted line around it. The options will appear on the window on the RIGHT. Scroll to the very bottom and find “Maps” just like the pic below. Click “Background” and in the NEXT pic under “Scene Material” you’ll see your background HDRI map, choose that and NOW the “Bitmap” node will pop up like in the pics.

So NOW your done. It’s really pretty simple, it goes “Bitmap” node to “Shadow Matte” node to “Map to Material” node to drag and drop to the plane object. If it looks like the pictures it will work. Put your object in the scene where you want it (I used a sphere…pretty lame…) and if you used an HDRI that will give you good shadows you will have something like this…

Good Luck!


Categories: Tutorials, Uncategorized

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