Making 3dsMax Xref Scene objects Invisible to the camera


Its useful to hide objects in the scene from the camera yet still have them contribute to the lighting. This means that other objects in the scene will still receive shadows and reflections from the hidden objects. This especially important for compositing . Here are a few useful tricks to help manage xReferences in 3dsMax

Visible to cameraBy setting the Visible to camera option. We can hide objects in this way. However there are a couple of extra steps needed to get this workflow working with 3dsmax xReferences.

Use the Scene Explorer ( Layer Manager )

Its not possible to simply click on an xref object and set its properties. So we need to use the Scene Explorer ( Layer Manager )  to help us.

Xref_Visiblity_01The key is to customise the interface to enable the render by layer option for each object. This allows us to globally effect the rendering of the xref objects by changing the properties of the objects layer.


Next check the  ‘render by layer’ checkbox ticked for each object you need to effect.

Then right click on the layer name and choose properties from the dialog.


With this set up you can effect the rendering of xref objects and scenes using layer properties.

You can also drag xrefences in to different layers to create mixed setups

Happy Rendering 🙂