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Thread: 3DS MAX & Mental Ray -- Soft Shadows?

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  1. EdgeCrusher is offline
    Location: Toronto
    Posts: 38

    3DS MAX & Mental Ray -- Soft Shadows?

    Hey Everyone,

    Im typically a Mental Ray user with Maya, but Im trying my hand at it in 3DS Max.

    I've created a scene and I would like to be able to control the softness of my cast shadows. Im using an mr Area Spot.

    Anyone know what I have to adjust to achieve soft cast shadows? Thanks!

    -Mark
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  2. Wynn is offline
    Location: Boise
    Posts: 472
    couple things you need to do..

    make sure your shadow type is set to: mental ray shadow map

    and change the mental ray shadow map parameters. you'll need a map size around 1024 or 2048 to get decent results. also samples of at least 16 to get anything that doesn't look grainy. the higher the better though. 32 is usually a good number. the sample range controls the spread of the soft shadow.

    here are a couple pics that shows whats going on.

    you usually dont need to change the sample range much... its pretty sensitive.
    Attached Images    
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  3. EdgeCrusher is offline
    Location: Toronto
    Posts: 38
    Wow!, thanks regreto. Thats exactly what I was looking for. Mental Ray really is a different beast in Max than it is for Maya.

    Is a similar effect possible with ray traced shadows?
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  4. EdgeCrusher is offline
    Location: Toronto
    Posts: 38
    After some research, It appears that you can't soften the edge of ray traced shadows in Max. You can definately adjust the edges of ray traced shadows in Maya. Hrmm...Im sure i'll get used to it. Thanks for your help!
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  5. Wynn is offline
    Location: Boise
    Posts: 472
    youre welcome!

    yeah im not exactly sure why ray traced shadows don't have soft shadows either but i tend to render everything with the mental ray shadow map nowadays.. so no problem there.

    If you ever render anything 3ds max with scanline instead of using mental ray you would choose "Shadow Map" as the shadow type if you want soft shadows. Same controls and everything as the mental ray version.
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