Lighting and Rendering / 3ds Max

This page contains the information about 3ds Max' lighting and rendering settings which can be used with Verge3D.


Verge3D supports three renderers provided by 3ds Max: Scanline, ART (recommended), and Arnold. The Scanline renderer is intended for use with Standard lights and materials, while the ART/Arnold is typically used with Photometric lights and Physical materials.

Choosing the right renderer is the first thing you should consider before starting to work with graphics. If you are not sure which renderer to choose, we recommend using ART. In order to set the renderer in 3ds Max, use the "Render Setup..." window.

Environment Lighting

Environment lighting is a very important component of Verge3D graphics pipeline based on ART/Physical materials. You may illuminate your scene with an environment map alone, without using any light objects (as in the Scooter demo).

The default cube template provides an HDR texture for image-based lighting. You can replace this texture with your own file, or setup environment lighting from scratch as shown in this video.


If you'd like to have dynamic shadows in your scene, or if you need to move the source of light (as with car lights), you may utilize light objects.

Verge3D supports two types of lights provided by 3ds Max: standard and photometric.

Photometric Lights

Photometric lights are typically used with Physical materials. Verge3D reproduces them by using 3ds Max' ART renderer as reference. In addition, you may use Physical Camera Expose Control settings to tweak the brightness and color range of your renderings.

Standard Lights

Standard lights are typically used with Standard materials. Verge3D reproduces them by using 3ds Max' Scanline renderer as reference.

Light Probes

Verge3D add-on adds a custom light probe object called V3DReflectionCubemap, which can be used to apply indirect lighting to objects via a local reflection cubemap.

The object can be found in the Create panel -> Helpers category -> Verge3D subcategory:

A reflection cubemap object defines a volume of influence represented by a box or a sphere. All objects contained inside that volume will use a local reflection cubemap generated in runtime instead of the scene's global environment texture/color.

The advantage of using a local reflection map is that it has surrounding objects baked in it, while the scene's global map only contains the background texture/color specified in Max's environment settings. Local reflection maps also have a parallax effect depending on the geometry of the influence or parallax volume.

Left - reflection cubemap object in Max viewport, right - effect it adds to a reflective material in Verge3D.

Reflection Cubemap objects have the following parameters:

general probe settings:
Influence Type
type of the influence volume: Sphere or Box. Only objects located inside this volume are affected by the probe's lighting.
Influence Distance
the size of the influence volume. You can also change object scaling and make the shape of the influence volume non-uniform.
the intensity of the indirect lighting. Any value different from 1.0 is not physically correct.
Clipping Start
near clip distance. Objects located closer than this value won't be rendered into the reflection cubemap.
Clipping End
far clip distance. Objects located further than this value won't be rendered into the reflection cubemap.
Visibility Selection Set
object visibility settings:
Selection Set
limit objects that should appear on the reflection cubemap to those belonging to this selection set. Choose the empty string option ("") in order to not specify any set of objects - that way all scene objects will be used for generating the reflection cubemap.
Invert Visibility
invert the selection of objects visible to this probe if Selection Set is specified.
Custom Parallax
parallax settings:
Enable Custom Parallax
enable custom settings for the parallax correction. This group of settings defines a parallax volume, which is used to project the lighting captured by the probe. If Custom Parallax is not enabled the parallax effect is calculated based on Influence Type and Influence Distance.
Parallax Type
type of the parallax volume: Sphere or Box.
Parallax Distance
the size of the parallax volume.
Custom Influence
custom influence settings:
Enable Custom Influence
enable custom influence settings. This group of settings allows defining a selection set of objects that will be affected by this light probe. Influence Selection Set (if specified) will be used instead of the Influence Type and Influence Distance general probe settings.
Influence Selection Set
limit objects that should be affected by this light probe to this selection set. If specified it is used instead of the Influence Type and Influence Distance general probe settings.
Invert Influence
invert the selection of objects affected by this probe if Influence Selection Set is specified.

Per-Object Rendering Settings

Render Order — modifies the rendering order for a particular object. The smaller the index, the earlier the object will be rendered. In most cases, you need to tweak this value when using Blend transparency to eliminate transparency artifacts.

Frustum Culling — enables/disables frustum culling optimization for the object. Uncheck this option if you have some skinned object which can move beyond the screen space to prevent it from being culled.

Global Rendering Settings

Global rendering settings accessible from the Verge3D Export Settings dialog window (Verge3D->Export Settings... in 3ds Max menu).

Anti-Aliasing — select what anti-aliasing algorithm to use for the scene:

Use HDR Rendering — enable high-dynamic-range rendering.

Environment Map Size — texture size to use for environment lighting:

IBL Environment Mode

Object Outlining — see below.

Outline Rendering

Outline rendering (aka silhouette edge rendering) is a common non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) technique that can significantly enhance the visual perception of your scene. This effect can be used for various applications such as e-learning, games, architecture visualization, and technical drawing.

To use object outlining (and optional glowing) in your Verge3D application, first enable the effect in the Verge3D Export Settings dialog, then use the outline puzzle to apply it to your object(s).

The outline rendering does not work inside AR/VR sessions. Use other methods to highlight your objects, such as animation or changing material's color.

You can tweak outlining using the following properties:

Enabled — enable/disable the effect.

Edge Strength — outlining strength factor.

Edge Glow — intensity of additional glowing (rendered beyond the main outline edge).

Edge Thickness — outline edge thickness factor.

Pulse Period — pulse period in seconds. Specify to make the effect animated.

Visible Edge Color — visible edge color.

Hidden Edge Color — color of the outline edge being rendered behind any other scene objects.

Render Hidden Edge — enable/disable rendering of the outline edge behind other scene objects.

Though it's possible to render glowing objects, in the most cases the outline rendering is used to improve visual clarity of your scene. If you need glowing from lamps or another bright objects, consider using the bloom post-processing instead.

Exposure Control

Verge3D for 3ds Max supports the following exposure control algorithms:

See the Autodesk's official documentation for more information on how to configure exposure controls for your scene.

Clipping Planes

Clipping planes (aka section planes, cross-section planes, mesh sections) is a technique used to show internal arrangement of complex objects, such as buildings, cars, appliances, gadgets, machines etc.

To add a new clipping plane, use the Create -> Helpers -> Verge3D -> ClippingPlane button in 3ds Max:

The objects on your scene will be clipped in the negative Z direction of the clipping plane object.

Clipping planes have the following parameters:

Affected Objects
Selection set of the objects clipped by the plane. If empty, all scene objects will be clipped.
Swap clipped and unclipped sides.
Clip Shadows
Clip shadows cast from the clipped objects.
Union Planes
Construct a union from all the clipping planes, affecting the object, not their intersection.
Fill cross-section between the clipping plane and the affected objects.
Cross-Section Color
Cross-section diffuse color and opacity.
Cross-Sect. Size
Cross-section plane size. Increase this value if you use larger scene size.

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