The goal of this webinar is to give V-Ray and Maya (ideal software to create 3D configurators) users a small overview of the visualization process. We will mainly deal with topics like importing DWG files, modeling, lighting, assigning materials and rendering.

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If you are new to the field of visualization, you should definitely take a look at this webinar. You`ll also learn some useful production tips and tricks throughout the process.

After watching the webinar training, you`ll be ready to get started with your first visualization. Let`s get started.

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Import DWG files.

As you work on commercial visualizations projects, you`ll encounter height drawings in DWG format. This is one of the most common formats for encoding line drawing in the industry. To view these drawings, you can use Autodesk`s free DWG Viewer. For editing you need packages like AutoCAD or ARCHICAD.

The files usually have the front, left and top views in the same view with additional details. To prepare these files for import into 3ds Max, we need to clean them up a bit. Open AutoCAD and remove everything except the floor plan of the building. This includes furniture, decorations, lamps, trees, etc.

It is important to keep the DWG files simple, as too many shapes can overload the Max Viewport. After the cleanup, we can simply drag and drop the file over the viewport.

We also need to set up the Max interface for a better workflow:

  1. Set the system units to millimeters in Menu > Customize > Set up units for optimal performance. Set the display units so that you can conveniently work with them to enter measurements.
  2. Go back to the generall settings under Customize and enable the option “Use texture coordinates from the real world”. With this option you can describe the texture size in real measured values.


Before we start modeling, we need to manage the imported shapes. It`s always a good idea to put them in their own layer now. Select all shapes and give them the correct wire color on the Modify tab. Solve any additional parts and create groups for the different views.

Use the Front, Left and Top Views to rotate and align the corresponding line drawings. Make sure the elevation plans are centered on the origin in the viewport, If you start modeling and render too far away from the origin, you may notice light bugs and errors.

Now is the time to review the scale of the elevation plans to bring them into line with the units of the real world. You can do this by using the TapeMeasure tool in the Helpers section. Check the ceiling height and scale the entire plan to match the actual room height.

The basic process for modeling structures is as follows:

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  • Switch to Top View to model the walls.
  • Use the Line tool with 2.5D Vertex Snap enabled to create the shapes for the walls.
  • It`s simple tracking task where you have to start the line from a vertex and close it on the same vertex.
  • Use the Extrude modifier to add volume to these walls.
  • It is advisable not to use the shapes from the DWG plans directly for extrusion, as they can cause lighting anomalies during rendering.
  • As for the floor and ceiling, create a box geometry that covers the entire room. Place the floor so that the origin point on the top is exposed. Duplicate it as an instance for the ceiling.
  • Use the same line shape method to fill the space below and above the windows and doors.
  • In this training, a prefabricated window geometry was used for the final polish.

The lighting.

The next big step is to set up the lighting. Consider the lighting of a modeling tool where you model the scene with lights. Lighting the scene is a creative step that can change and interrupt your visualization. However, this does not mean that it is difficult to quickly install good lighting.

We will also take the time to place our VRay Physical camera in the room. For interiors the values f/4, 1/100 shutter speed and 100 ISO are well suited. The white balance should be set to neutral. A focal lenght of 28 mm is the widest you should choose for indoor use.

Place VRay Plane Lights outside the windows and doors that cover the entire area. Set them to Skylight Portal mode and make them visible. This will cause them to transport light from the outside and project it into the room.

For the main light we create VRay Sun and Sky setup that is directed through the windows. It is a simple drag & drop operation for the sun and the sky is automatically applied. Decrease the sun intensity ans increase the size of the sun disk to 4 for more shadows.

The materials.

At the moment the objects in the scene have no materials or UV mapping applied to them. Add a simple box type UVW modifier for the entire geometry. For the material creation process we will cover this later in an advanced course. In this training I used a ready-made material library and simply dragged the materials for wall, floor and ceiling onto the objects in the viewport.

If any material has not been applied to an object, it will be rendered over the object with its wire color.

The rendering.

To render the scene, switch the view to the camera and open the render dialog. Use VRay as the main renderer. For quick drafts, use the following settings:

  • Disable AA and Map image filtering.
  • Set the sampling engine to adaptive subdivision with -1/2 for min/max steps.
  • Use exponential mapping with Gamma 2.2 in the Color Mapping settings.

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  • For the GI calculation, set the Irradiance Map (Very Low) as primary and the Light Cache (500) as secondary.
  • Set the amount of memory available for VRay to as much as possible.

If you want to learn advanced techniques and take your visualizations to the next level, contact us. We will be happy to help.

Thank you for reading.