Setting Up Your Camera


In this course, Ramy Hanna will show you the entire process of taking an exterior building model through all the important steps required to create a convincing photo-real rendering.

First, you will learn how to model the surrounding site and hardscape. Then, you will learn how to add textures and lighting to the building. Finally, you will learn how to embellish the site with landscape and entourage.

When you are done with this course, you'll know how to model a site in 3ds Max as well as set-dress an exterior scene with landscape and trees. There are 2 parts to this course:

Part 1- Exterior Renderings in 3ds Max: You will learn how to take an exterior building model through all the important steps required to create a convincing photo-real rendering.

Part 2- Photoshop for Architectural Renderings: You will learn how to significantly enhance the color and quality of any photograph, including architectural renderings.

Okay so let us get out of our isolation mode. There's our site plan. And we have our hardscape mostly where it needs to go. The biggest thing here is you'll notice that the steps and the increments are a little lower, which means as you get closer, you will see that we have some faceted corners. If you want to control the faceting on some of these, the nice thing about splines is they're perimetric and so I can come back down here, underline, and let's show our end result.

And you can see that under interpolation by default Max sets it to six. If you want to smooth these out even more, you can increase these. And as you increase the steps, it will smooth out your curves, which is nice. So now we have them set to a higher amount. We have 18 which is good for this purpose right here. The next thing we need to do, we're gonna add our road. And the road is very easy.

All it is is a plane. So we're gonna create a plane. And I wanna make sure that we are still on the correct layer site. So you can see we have our side walk and create a plane here, and we're gonna create our road. And I'm just gonna click and drag this plane. And that's our road. And it sits at the bottom. So it's at zero and we're going to rename, make sure you name everything. So we're gonna call it road. And it will make you much easier to select once you have so many objects in your scene.

We have a road. So we have our sidewalk. We have our road. The other thing we are going to do now is to add some details where we have some of our grass. And the grass can be a tricky part because it cuts into the sidewalk, and it can get a little tricky. So before we get into that, I want to spend some time to look at our cameras. And the reason I want to jump into cameras right now before we finish modeling is again it's very important to know what you're going to be looking at in your finished rendering.

So you can see here we have a camera. If we know our camera is from this angle, we don't have to worry about a lot of the details that go on in the other portions of the model. And so the earlier you can lock down your camera, the better, and a lot of times we will model up to an extent, and then we will send several camera views to our clients to get approval and we really try to lock down on those cameras before we get further in the model because I've learned from previous experiences where I've modeled the entire site, and then the client says no I want to see this side of the building, and you think oh why did I waste my time modeling so much of the building that I didn't need to see.

So let's take a look at where we can add our camera here and so I'm gonna turn our building back on. So go to your layers, turn our building back on and let's look at our view right here. This is where my 3D mask comes in handy 'cos I can kind of navigate and turn around and very quickly look at views, where I think would look interesting.

You can also do that on the keyboard, and if you hold Alt down and the middle mouse button, you can toggle around. If your field of view feels little flat right now, you can adjust that before you create the camera. You click on this field of view and if you click and drag, it will change your field of view. So closer N is probably more like a 100 millimeter. If you're further out like this, this is probably more like a 16 millimeter.

We want something in between, that's gonna show most of the building. So we really want to show off the architecture but we also don't want to be too far away from the building that we lose the details. So choosing a field of view is very important. And then an angle that's going to work I think for our building is important as well. So I want to show this face off but I also wanna show off the courtyard and so there are lot of things that go into play. And I think an angle like this is good. When we create our renderings, typically we do it in HD format. If you want to see what your rendering aspect is gonna look like, under perspective, there's a show safe frames.

If you click on it, it will show you your frames. And to get the correct aspect ratio, we're going to adjust the aspect ratio to an HD format. If you click your render setup, it pulls up these tools and by default 640 x 480 is the custom size. We're going to choose an HD format. So click custom, choose HD, and this is the format that we're going to use. So it automatically sets it to 1920, which is fine.

So now that we have our aspect ratio, we can get a better idea of our framing composition of what our building is going to be. So I'm going to increase the field of view and typically we want to be eye level, which is about five feet. So something like that. That's pretty close. And if you look at my original rendering, I have this curve that's coming kind of to the end.

And my building is right around here. But it's up to you where you want it. Whatever feels good. That feels good. Once you have a position where you think you're happy, you can create a camera. To create a camera there are several ways you can do it. You can do it from the viewport which is my favorite. You hit Ctrl + C, it automatically created a camera from my viewport. You can see a change to the name here from a perspective to physical camera.

And now we have this physical camera. And you can leave it that name or we can call it hero. We can call it building_hero and by default, it has a target. I prefer to work without targets because it just adds extra note. If you go to your scene in your layer explorer, you will see it created the camera in my site, which is because I had that as the default layer. If you want to move an object to a different layer, we can obviously do that.

The easiest way to do it is with the object selected, we can create a new layer. And we will call it cameras. And I'm gonna do it all caps. Cameras and with this selected, it automatically moved it to that layer. You'll see that the target is still on the other layer because I did not have the target selected so that's another reason that I don't like to use targets is, it's just more note to keep track of. If you want to get rid of the target, you can uncheck this, and it will delete the target.

Some people say well they like the targets, because they can use the target to control the angle and the direction. I found that I can do that without the target. If I click down here under camera track and hold, there is this little person right here and it's a kind of a walkthrough and it gives me this little cursor circle. I can click and it does the same thing as the target, which is nice, without to having use a target. So this is generally the angle that we're going to create.

The other thing, I just want to make sure the height is correct. So I'm gonna select my camera, and to do that, you can click here, say select the camera to make sure our camera is selected. We're gonna click move and it will show you the height of the camera. So right now we are at 10 feet. Typically that's pretty tall for a person. I'm gonna come back down to six foot and that's more where we wanted. Right now, looks like we are showing lots of grass. If you want to increase the height without moving the camera height, you can rotate the camera up, so if you click rotate, if you rotate in the x direction, it moves the camera up and down, so that's rotating in the x direction.

And you'll notice that as we rotate up, the building gets a little skewed. And so to fix that, there is a vertical correction on the camera, that we can add. If you come down to the perspective control section, there it is perspective control, if you open that there is an auto vertical tilt correction. If you check that, it automatically controls the verticals on your building.

So it looks nice and architectural and straight. The way that our eyes see buildings, which is really nice. So once we have the camera in place where we like it, we continue working on the rest of the hardscape. To me it feels a little low, even though it's six feet. I'm going to actually move my camera up. Another reason why I don't like the target is if I move my camera up, with the target, if I'm moving my camera up the angle of the camera will change. This is always looking at the target. Without the target, if I move my camera up and down, it stays perfectly straight, which is nice.

So I'm going to come up just a little bit so I can see a little bit more of my site. And somewhere in there looks nice. I'm actually back at nine feet, but it feels correct to me, it feels good. So now that we have our camera in place, we can continue modeling the rest of our site. We know that we are not gonna waste our time with portions of the building that we are not gonna focus on.

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From the course:
Exterior Renderings in 3ds Max

Level 1

Duration: 4h 3m

Author: Ramy Hanna