I'm looking for some advice with using Mental Ray to create Clay Renders in 3DS Max 2010. I've found several tutorials about this topic but some were for previous versions of Max and others weren't really appropriate for what I wanted. So I decided to put everything I learned together and try to develop my own process. Here are my steps so far:
1) Set the units to standard or metric and work in a realistic scale.
2) Create an "environment-object" to display the model on/in. (I got this from the Florence Design Academy tutorial.) I started with a Chamferbox or ChamferCyl,
converted it to a Edit Poly, flipped the normals and deleted the unnecessary faces. (See Step02.jpg)
3) Place the model and setup a camera. (See Step03.jpg)
In Render Setup > Common...
4) Assign Mental Ray as the renderer.
5) Set output size.
In Render Setup > Renderer...
6) Set Samples Per Pixel Minimum to 4 and Maximum to 16.
7) Set Filter Type to Mitchell.
In Render Setup > Indirect Illumination...
7) Set FG Precision Presets to Draft
In Material Editor...
Create a ProMaterial: Wall Paint, set the Color(Reflectance) to pure white and assign it to the environment-object.
9) Create a ProMaterial: Ceramic, set the Color(Reflectance) to pure white, set the Surface Finish to Matte and assign it to the model.
10) Create a Skylight with default settings.
11) Create a Photometric target light and click Yes on the exposure control pop-up. Turn Shadows On and set them to Ray Traced Shadows. Set Intensity to 400 cd. Set
Emit light from (Shape) to Rectangle.
12) Scale and position the target light. (See Step12.jpg)
13) Render the scene.
There are a few things I've played around with, like Ambient Occlusion and the FG settings, but so far haven't been able to successfully incorporate. That is to say the renders don't get much better than what I get with the above steps.
Any critiques will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
BTW: Here are some of the tutorials I used as reference:
Lighting with Mental Ray by the Florence Design Academy
Clay Render Mental Ray (3DS MAX) by
Creating Clay Render with 3ds max 2010 and Mental Rayby i3dTutorials