How to set up an exterior scene with VRay



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This tutorial is © COPYRIGHT by José María Andrés Martín (ALZHEM)
The total or partial reproduction of this tutorial by any means is prohibited to third parties without prior written authorization from José María Andrés Martín (ALZHEM)

How to set up an exterior scene with VRay

Everybody has needed to do an exterior scene anytime. It's very easy if we stop and think about how the light affect the buildings.
3D Studio MAX lets us to get this with the great render engine VRay. We only must follow these steps:

1.- For this tutorial, I've created 4 simple buildings and a plane with a multiplier set to 500. Also, I've made the sidewalks.

2.- Create a "Target Direct" light (is the best kind of light to simulate the solar rays because the parallelism of the rays is similar to the sun). We set it up as in the picture.

3.- The best way to set a light up is "looking through it". We can do this (selected the light previously) with the shortcut Shift+4, or pressing the right button on the viewport name and selecting the light into the "Views" menu, as you can see..

4.- We will see something similar to this image.

5.- Playing with the "Light Hotspot", "Light Falloff", "Truck Light" and "Orbit Light" icons, we move the light till we got something similar to this picture..

6.- If we render the scene, we will get something like that.

7.- Set up the light as the next pictures. It's important the shadow was "VRayShadow", the color a little yellowish and to check the "Overshoot" checkbox to get the light illuminate beyond the cilinder (but not cast shadows). In the "VRayShadow" parameters, check the "Area shadow" checkbox and change the size to a good value (trying and changing).



8.- In the render properties we must assign the VRay as render engine. Configuring the values as below  we will get a fast render.



9.- If we render now the scene, we will see something similar to this.


10.- It has a bad quality, but the render time is very low, and we can see how the light works. To improve the picture, we can use as the background color the same light blue used in the VRay to get the Global Illumination. Drag and drop the color from the render window to the Environment one.


11.- The render will be like this.


12.- The picture is credible, but it can be improved. If we get a 360º x 90º  sky we can promote the realism, and correcting the perspective. The actual one seems to be taken from a 15th floor.

Loot at this new render. I've changed the sky and the perspective and, as you can see, the final look is completely different..

A good trick for a infoarchitecture work is to set the camera at 1,80m. from the floor, similar to the height of a pedestrian.


13.- We only need to change the VRay parameters to get a highest render quality. Set them up like the next picture.


14.- In some minutes, we will get a picture similar to this one.


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