Rendering with 3dsMAX on amazon EC2 cloud

I’m looking to boost my rendering power Amazon EC2 may be the way forward.

Hunting around the web I found Jud Pratt had made a bunch of videos on the subject of build your own render cloud. Alas Jud’s homepage seems to be down but here are the links to his Vimeo channel. Note that It has been some time since he made these videos, and some aspects of Amazon’s EC2 set-ups may have changed since then…

As well as creating your own virtual machines by hand you can also use an off the self solution from Thinkbox Software to manage it for you.
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Max tip:Update background while playing

Update background while playing

Update background while playing allows you to use animated background images in the viewport. When on, an IFL file, AVI file, or MOV file updates on each frame when you click the Play button. It can be a bit slow, so you may want to turn of turn off the real-time switch on the Time Configuration dialog.

The dialog is a bit buried in 3dsmax. Look in:

Customise > Preferences > Viewports tab


Roundup of Plant Plugins and tools for 3dsMax

Much as I love 3dsMax making plants from scratch is time consuming. If they need to animate as well then it make sense to buy something off the self. Here’s a list of all 3dsMax friendly software I could find. (I’d love a review copy of some of this stuff … )
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Make more space by using smaller buttons in 3dsMax

UI Preferences
Screen real estate is important. By resizing the Max toolbar buttons you can squeeze 50% more on screen without adding another row.

  • Simply go into Customize > Preferences
  • Chose the General tab
  • Uncheck Use Large Toolbar buttons 


Large ToolBar Buttons


Small ToolBar Buttons

iRay mBlur and pFlow Test

iRay motion blur dialog
I’ve been doing some tests to create a monster made of particles for a short film. I’ve been very impressed be the speed of rendering Motion Blur in iRay. It’s smooth and high quality with very little performance overhead.

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