3DS Max Render – Stills and Animations

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When you first delve into the world of 3DS Max it is all fun and games trying to find your materials, get your lights setup and actually see your model after you have hit that render button. (your first try always seemed to be just a black picture)

One thing to take note of before rendering is which renderer to use.  This impacts on which materials you need to use as not all renderers are compatible with the materials that are present.  If you select the renderer before you start applying material 3DS Max is intelligent enough to only present the materials that are compatible with that renderer.

So before you start open the render setup dialog box and select the renderer that you will get your still or animation from.

Rendering a still vs an animation is pretty simple.  All the renderers have a common tab and this is where you can set what is output.

In the common parameters you have the following options.

  • Single – you will render what you see on your screen or what is present in your camera view
  • Active Time Segment – This will render the entire animation
  • Range – this will render a portion of the animation that you specify
  • Frames – this will render stills linked to which frame you specify

That is how easy it is to specify between a still and an animation.

On a side note, when creating animations you should create it as individual images and not a video file.  This is a precautionary measure where if you PC decides to  leave work early and does not finish the render, you will lose everything and have to restart from scratch.

If you output as individual images and your PC decides to take a break, then you can start the animation output from where the last image was saved.