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Topics - jms.lwly

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Gallery / Portraits of Chy Caron
« on: 2021-09-21, 18:10:56 »
Hi folks,

Quick share of some selected images made in collaboration with architect Matt Williams.

Created using 3DS Max / Corona / ForestPack / RailClone / Megascans - and a little in Photoshop (people, birds, colour adjustments - but mostly straight out of the VFB).

I might have been too enthusiastic while creating alternative shots, so there are many more images on Behance + Artstation

Cheers - J

Maybe impossible - or maybe achievable in another way... but it would be helpful to disable individual lights or light materials from Volumetric effects or the Global Volume material - in the same way you can disable a light from reflection / refraction / masks / alpha.

An example where this would be useful is for any project using LightMix with multiple environments or lighting setups. The CESSENTIAL_Volumetrics element becomes useless for applying in Post as it combines the environmental effects from every light source.

I have a current project with a day shot (just sun/sky) and a night version (with interior and exterior lighting) - all lights are visible in the volumetric pass. The volumetric pass is now useless for tweaking/layering in post as it has sunlight pouring in through the windows (not relevant for the night shot) and has volumetric cones where the exterior lights appear (lovely in the night shot, but not relevant for the day shot).

Alternatively if there was a control within the CESSENTIAL_Volumetrics pass to choose which light sources it is using - much like the Light Select passes themselves?

[Max] Feature Requests / Daylight System / Camera link
« on: 2021-05-25, 11:04:38 »
No idea if this is achievable, but it would be great to link the time in the Daylight system to individual cameras...

I'm working on a photomontage project, and the Daylight system is ideal for matching the sun direction / shadows to the original photos - but with 5 different viewpoints, it means changing the time in the daylight system for every shot.

This might be achievable with something clever in maxscript, but I'm not at all knowledgeable enough - if anyone has any solutions, I'd be happy to hear them!

[Max] I need help! / Backburner / Noise Limit Tweak
« on: 2020-10-13, 10:45:06 »
Hiya - I'm rendering a project via Backburner, I'd expected the images to take longer to render so had set quite a high Noise Limit. Since completing a few frames, I'm now wishing I'd set a lower Noise Limit...

Is there any way to change just the Noise Limit without having to cancel and re-submit the jobs to Backburner (there are several scenes / lighting setups queued in Backburner) - I've looked in the obvious 'Edit Settings' function of Backburner but there are no Corona settings within there. Am wondering if there is an instruction about Noise Limits somewhere within the Backburner Jobs folder / files?


EDIT: After further reading, I'm 99% sure there isn't a quick way to do this - I'm trying a slightly more manual route (accessing the Backburner Jobs folder -> opening the Max file for the job -> changing the Noise limit, resaving -> restart the job in Backburner) - not sure this will work but it's worth a go.

This morning I've sent a couple of images to render on another machine, and the frame buffer isn't showing any preview of the render (I understand that it won't display it in the Corona VFB, but even the Max frame buffer is blank). Shows a black image, with a small square of grey in the top left corner (see attached).

The eventual render output (a CXR and some Tiffs for posterity) were all totally fine and looked exactly as expected...

Just opened a different scene, sent that to Backburner and had the same thing happen - any thoughts?
I've been using Corona with backburner for several years and never had this issue previously.

Gallery / The Dune House | Lightmix
« on: 2020-04-29, 18:33:06 »

Hope everyone is staying home (where possible) and healthy...

Wanted to share a couple of images from a recent project which used Lightmix to create different times of day/moods for the marketing brochure/website.
Nothing revolutionary, but Lightmix came in super handy for producing many (many) more images than initially planned.

Some other images are on Behance here.


[Max] I need help! / Copy + Paste in VFB - what bit depth?
« on: 2020-03-08, 17:50:04 »
This may be answered elsewhere, but couldn't find it...

When copy and pasting directly from the VFB, what bit depth is captured? I assume it's only 8-bit, but was wondering the difference if I copy and paste into a 16-bit Photoshop file...?

I could be entirely misunderstanding something completely - if so, feel free to re-educate me.

Gallery / Thatchers Cider Headquarters
« on: 2020-01-23, 12:43:50 »

Pleased to share one of my favourite projects of 2019, a set of images for the new headquarters for one of the UKs leading cider manufacturers - Thatchers. Working closed with the interior design agency, the goal was to show the mixture of open plan office and functional spaces - along with emphasising the combination of heritage, passion and fun in the business.

The project is almost built now - once I've got some photos to share, you'll see how similar it looks completed!

Corona Proxy was used extensively in the project, along with ForestPack and Railclone to keep the scenes lightweight and adaptable.
More information about the project here -

To add an extra level of detail to the images I replicated their full range of cider (along with other marketing materials like mugs, beermats and notebooks), and also recreated their cider orchard outside of the offices to build other marketing images.

NB - these extra images are a bit noisy, and could do with a little extra time on the farm *pun* - but thought they'd be nice to share too.

I have really inconsistent issues with Distributed Rendering - when I open a new file in Max, it will always find DR slaves with no issues - but often if I'm working on a project and decide to enable DR it doesn't find any slaves.

I can literally find no slaves one minute, start a new file in Max and it will find slaves immediately. In the existing file I've tried resetting Render settings to default but get the same issue; switching to a different renderer and back to Corona and still nothing. I've also checked in Backburner and all machines see one another fine.

Any suggestions how to resolve this without having to import everything into the new file (this happens reasonably often - with no reason why).

General CG Discussion / Autodesk launches 3ds Max Indie
« on: 2019-07-31, 15:03:54 »
"If you are a recent graduate, freelancer, or you just love to make awesome stuff in 3D, you could be eligible to subscribe to 3ds Max Indie. Create like a pro at a price you can afford. 
Who is eligible?
Your annual gross revenue from design work must be less than USD$100,000/year
Only one license can be used per user or organization
Offer is only eligible to those based in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK or the US"


Seems like an interesting idea - especially seeing lots of people moving towards C4D in recent years. Not so great if you're outside of the five pilot countries - or if you're already tied into a three year plan...

An architectural short film, based on '湿地旁的禅修馆' - 'Meditation Hall next to the Wetland' by HIL Architects, China.

This is an on-going personal project, started because I hadn't animated anything for a few years and wanted to check I remembered how (this is also why most of the scenes are quite low-res... one day I'll get around to re-rendering at better quality/size) - an eternal Work in Progress... I keep finding new angles, so might add more if time allows!

Created using 3DS Max, Corona Renderer, Blackmagic Fusion and Final Cut Pro.

Soundtrack is 'Western Shores' by Philipp Weigl, licenced under CC BY 4.0 from FMA. -

Gallery / Pendower Beach
« on: 2019-07-04, 12:45:53 »
Morning all,

Wanted to share a recently completed project, which has a mixture of full CGI and camera matched photomontages - plus some hybrid images something between the two. Photography was completed on a site visit, with drone support from my good friend at Fly and Webb (

The basic architecture was initially modelled in Revit by the architect (linked files via Dropbox working a treat), which I then camera matched to the existing landscape in 3DS Max. RailClone and ForestPack were use extensively for landscaping and detail around the site. All rendering was in Corona, with compositing in Photoshop with additional post production using Nik Collection tools.

More at - including a quick process example of one of the photomontage images.

Thought I'd start a thread to share some test projects which may or may not ever get finished...

First up has a nordic flavour, mainly to try different landscape techniques etc and also play with Film LUTs in the VFB.
The water/sea/lake is entirely procedural, still needs some work but it's getting there.

There's also a few quirky uses of Corona Distance Texmap, for the graduated ground material (which transitions from wet sand, to dry sand, to harder ground linked to the distance from the water) - and also creating the displacement of the small waves at the edge of the land.

Probably more to follow, when I have time to revisit.

Gallery / Holly Farm
« on: 2019-04-01, 12:04:11 »

Quick share of a recent commissioned project, near Bath in the UK.
Some of the images were created for marketing the site, while others were for the architects portfolio.

As always, any suggestions or feedback is welcome!


*Edited to add more images

[Max] Feature Requests / Grad Filter
« on: 2019-03-28, 17:08:21 »
Probably a long shot, but thought it worth suggesting. When taking photos in real life, I use a grad filter to create dynamic skies (or occasionally foregrounds) - particularly for architectural exteriors or landscapes.

I often recreate this in Corona with a simple plane with gradient map in front of the camera - but this can become frustrating with multiple cameras, and moving things around in a scene. I've linked the grad filter plane to the camera which helps, but still not ideal. With the Corona Camera ideally mimicking real life, could this be something that is integrated into the camera - similar to the Bokeh control (e.g. Value of effect, controllable by a map, etc)?

It can obviously be done in post, but it's simply not the same and doesn't give the same realism.

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