SUNLIGHT THROUGH a window makes a pretty presentation for a room. A glow around the windows simulates the real-life effect of light spilling in through the window and washing the outdoor view to white.
This topic shows how to set up this type of lighting for the default renderer.
1 Use a strong Direct light to make sunlight come through the window. Turn on Shadows and set the shadow type to ray Traced Shadows. Turn off the Casts Shadows property for the window panes to allow the light to come through the windows and shine onto the floor.
2 Two or three Omni lights placed in the central part of the room simulate sunlight bouncing off the walls and floor to illuminate areas that aren’t in the direct path of the sunlight. Turn on Shadows and set the shadow type to Shadow Map. A small Size and a large Sample Range create soft shadows on the walls and floor.
3 A glow around the windows adds to the impression of strong sunlight. Change the window pane material’s Material ID Channel to a number other than 0, then set up a Glow with Render > Effects > Lens Effects. In the Glow Element rollout, go to the Options tab and set the Material ID value to the same number as the Material ID channel. Adjust the Intensity and Size parameters on the Parameters tab to make a soft glow around the windows in the rendering.
HOT TIP Shadow Map shadows from an Omni light get softer when you move the light farther away from the object receiving the shadow (wall or floor).
Excerpt from How to Cheat in 3ds Max by Michael McCarthy.
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Why take months to learn every button in 3ds Max when you can create great visuals with just a few key tools? Utilize the tool of choice, 3ds Max 2014, for generating realistic environments, seamless CG effects, and jaw dropping games in a matter of hours. You can use the memory-hogging methods that choke your display and take forever to render, or you can get it done quickly and efficiently.