Streamline your rendering process with this step-by-step guide

Record states
Recording mode.If a state is in recording mode, all of the changes you make will be recorded to that state. It also cuts out a lot of the manual legwork that was previously required to bring a composite together. This gives you the opportunity to get your caffeine hit or have a nap, depending on how long your render times are. (For all the assets you need go here.)
01. Start by clicking Record, then hide everything and unhide any objects that you want to appear in After Effects. You can also set up masks for each output layer, which gives you great control over what’s visible. State controls  
Drilling down into individual states.Now you can drill down into individual states. Deactivating a state will stop it from being rendered and being viewed, which is useful if you want a particular state purely for reference. 10. 11. 05. State sets interface
Have a click around!You can open the State Sets window by selecting RenderingState Sets. Here we can export cameras, lights, solids, nulls and footage – all very helpful for compositing videos. Together they will streamline your render pass management and your ability to composite in After Effects. Do this by clicking on the connection between Bitmap and Composite and selecting Insert Color Correct Node. It is such a powerful tool, which helps you interact with Photoshop and After Effects. Unfortunately your colour corrections don’t come in as separate effects: instead they are baked in. Have a click around and see what they do! Double-click it to open it – you will have a set of layers, including your rendered footage and any other items you exported. Words: Paul Hatton
Paul is the 3D visualisation team leader at design studio CADS 3D, which is based on the east coast of England in Great Yarmouth. You can open it by selecting CompositorCompositor View within the State Sets window. I would recommend experimenting with it and seeing how it can fit into your workflow. This will bring up a node that lets you adjust factors such as hue, saturation, contrast and brightness. Being able to do this all from within the Compositor View saves us a lot of time down the road. We could do this one at a time by right-clicking on each state and selecting Render Selected States, and sometimes it’s useful to do it like this. By exporting the camera (which can be animated) and strategically placed nulls, you are able to create new elements in After Effects and place them at the exact locations of your nulls. For example, you could render different cameras using different GI solutions, resolution and output options. Leave everything ticked for now. Suffice to say, we have some powerful tools here. Inside the window is a State Sets tab, which contains a node-based system for controlling your different states. Within the States window, select States Render Outputs. 07. Adjust composites
Adjust the settings for each state.Within the final Composite node, you can adjust the settings for each state’s blending mode and Opacity. Being able to export cameras and nulls means you can insert 3D elements into your scene in the correct positions. 12. At the moment, it enables you to link cameras, lights, solids, nulls and rendered footage. Then stop recording – simple as that. Output to After Effects
How to output objects to After Effects.To output these objects to After Effects, we need to create a link file that will hold all this information – click Create Link and specify your file name and location. 02. We will create two states: one for the beauty render and one for the ambient occlusion pass. By creating this, we are setting up a link that can be used by After Effects. 13. It’s very flexible. I was so relieved when Autodesk decided to introduce these features into 3ds Max: they have made my life, and those of my studio colleagues, a whole lot easier. Output file pattern
Your two states.Next we will render our two states. Paul Hatton’s completed piece using his streamline rendering process.The use of State Sets and Compositor Link in 3ds Max creates the basis of a powerful render pass management system – and means you can wave goodbye to the Batch Rendering system and its hideous limitations. 06. Use the objects state
Transfer to After Effects.Now let’s look at what we can transfer over to After Effects. We can therefore change the blending mode of our ambient occlusion pass to Multiply and its Opacity to something like 50. The third and fourth icons are for recording and viewing. It’s called the Compositor View. You can specify which objects are going to transfer over by using the Objects state. Render states
Time to render.We are now ready to render our states. This includes the visibility of objects and the render settings, as well as many other parameters. The best use I’ve found for this is to add 2D or 3D elements on top of rendered footage. Using Batch Rendering enables you to specify cameras, render sizes and output paths, but with State Sets you can adjust any render setting you want and save it within your state. Each layer type has a different colour and is labelled Autodesk Link, so it’s not confused with natively created After Effects layers. Set the path and click Render. We can output our rendered composite to a .psd file with all our separate layers intact (select CompositorCreate PSD). For example, there is a [+] button at the top, which allows you to add states. To select a state and make it active in the viewport, just select the arrow icon until it turns green. The support is much greater than Photoshop.

Updated: 20.11.2014 — 12:29