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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max and After Effects: Product Visualization

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn to render professional-quality product shots in 3ds Max and After Effects. This course covers shading, lighting, rendering, and compositing for product visualization.

3D visualization is a crucial aspect of 21st century product design, manufacturing, and marketing. This course illustrates a standard workflow for product viz, from importing a CAD model to rendering photorealistic imagery. It leverages the advanced tools of 3ds Max and the Arnold renderer to bring product designs to life in the production phases of scene layout, materials, lighting, and rendering. It also employs Adobe After Effects to composite and adjust render passes, giving you the ability to art-direct lighting without needing to re-render in 3D. The combination of 3ds Max and After Effects empowers artists and designers to render product visualizations with greater efficiency, flexibility, and creativity than ever before.


  • Welcome to product visualization in 3ds Max
  • What you need to know
  • Using the exercise files
1. Scene Layout
  • Setting preferences and options
  • Importing CAD models
  • Cleaning up the scene
  • Managing display layers
  • Saving and loading an XRef
  • Modeling a background cyclorama
  • Creating a camera
  • Exposure control and environment lighting
  • Setting aspect ratio and framing the shot
2. Materials
  • Optimizing viewport display properties
  • Creating a physical material
  • Image-based lighting with an environment map
  • Adjusting material parameters
  • Base color and reflections
  • Art-directing materials
  • Mapping with procedural textures
  • Displacement mapping a physical material
3. Lighting
  • Floodlighting with Arnold Quad light
  • Directing floodlighting
  • Studio lighting with a spotlight
  • Attenuation over distance with Decay filter
  • Accentuating edges with rim lights
  • Excluding lights and shadows
  • White balancing for AOVs
  • Creating AOVs for render component passes
  • Creating light groups
  • Rendering components of light groups
4. Rendering and Compositing
  • Body Object Viewport Display options
  • Body Object Render Tessellation
  • Optimizing Arnold Render Settings
  • After Effects color management settings
  • Layering render components
  • Adjusting lighting in post-production
5. Special Effects
  • Framing an isometric view
  • Rendering a technical illustration
  • Adding glow effects
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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