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  1. RAY TRACING: SPEEDING UP THINGS (OBJECTS)
  2. RAY TRACING: SPEEDING UP THINGS (GLOBALS)
  3. RAYTRACING: INDEX OF REFRACTION (IOR)
  4. RENDERING: FILTERS FOR STILL IMAGES VERSUS VIDEO
  5. RENDERING VIDEO: RENDER FRAMES, NOT FIELDS
  6. RENDERING VIDEO: MAKE SURE VIDEO COLOR CHECK IS ON
  7. RENDERING VIDEO: CHECK YOUR GAMMA!
  8. RENDERING GREAT BIG, GIANT, HONKING, ENORMOUS IMAGES SUCCESSFULLY
  9. DON'T RENDER MOVIES—RENDER FRAMES!
  10. SPEAKING OF THE RAM PLAYER...
  11. RERENDERING FROM THE ENVIRONMENT BACKGROUND
  12. OKAY, SO YOU REALLY WANT TO RERENDER YOUR ANIMATION...
  13. IFL = IMAGE FILE LIST
  14. YOU CAN'T CREATE .IFL FILES ON READ-ONLY MEDIA!
  15. MANIPULATING IMAGE SEQUENCES USING .IFLS
  16. CREATE NESTED .IFL FILES
  17. A CHICKEN AND EGG PROBLEM: HOW DO YOU SET UP AN ANIMATED BACKGROUND FOR A SCENE IF YOU HAVEN'T RENDERED THE BACKGROUND YET?
  18. COULD YOU MAKE THINGS MORE COMPLICATED, PLEASE? (WHAT ABOUT USING A COMPOSITING PROGRAM?)
  19. COMPOSITING USING VIDEO POST
  20. RENDERING WITH SCANLINE MOTION BLUR: MULTI-PASS AND IMAGE
  21. RENDERING WITH SCANLINE: MIX IMAGE AND MULTI-PASS MOTION BLUR
  22. RENDERING IMAGES FOR PRINT: TEACH THOSE PRINT FOLKS A LESSON (OR TWO...)
  23. RENDERING IMAGES FOR PRINT: OH YEAH, ANOTHER THING...
  24. "THOSE PRINT PEOPLE"—MAKE IT EASIER ON THEM WITH 3DS MAX 6
  25. THE PRINT SIZE WIZARD (ENOUGH WITH THE PRINTING STUFF ALREADY!)
  26. MENTAL RAY IS IN THE BUILDING!
  27. MENTAL RAY IS ON THE COUCH!
  28. USE MENTAL RAY'S IMAGE SAMPLING WISELY
  29. IN MENTAL RAY, CONTRAST CAN SAVE YOUR DAY!
  30. HIDDEN LINE RENDERING: RENDER TO VECTORS IN MENTAL RAY
  31. TRIM YOUR (BSP) TREE IN MENTAL RAY
  32. MENTAL RAY PREFERENCES: PLEASE LEAVE ME A MESSAGE
  33. RENDERING AESTHETICS: OUTER SPACE SCENES
  34. RENDERING AESTHETICS: UNDERWATER SCENES
  35. RENDERING AESTHETICS: DISTANT LANDSCAPES
  36. RENDERING AESTHETICS: STILL LIFE AND MACROPHOTOGRAPHY
  37. "HELLO... YOU'VE GOT RENDER!"
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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

DON'T RENDER MOVIES—RENDER FRAMES!

Unless you're rendering a small-format, quick-and-dirty test animation, get into the habit of always rendering image sequences (.TGA, .TIF, .PNG image formats; avoid using .JPG unless you simply don't have the hard drive space) rather than movie files (.AVI, .MOV, and so on). Image sequences have many advantages over straight movie formats.

Figure 6.9Figure 6.9

First, unless you originally used a lossless codec for your sequence, you'll experience an ugly drop in image quality when playing back your animation. Second, if you render an enormous (that is, memory-hogging) animation, you have to load that entire file into RAM to play it, and if you have a slow graphics card, it will run like a turtle dipped in caramel. Third, it's tougher to do any kind of post-production manipulation, such as compositing, on a movie file—especially an .AVI that uses a lossy codec—than an image sequence. (You can't save an alpha channel for compositing in an .AVI file.) Fourth, if you encounter an error during the rendering, or 3ds max or your computer crashes, you'll lose only the unrendered frames, rather than your entire animation (which might get corrupted during the crash). Fifth, your mom said no, and she doesn't want to have to tell you again!

The bottom line is, don't render movies; render image sequences, and load them (or resize them as necessary, upon loading) into the RAM Player. (Choose Rendering > RAM Player from the main 3ds max toolbar.)

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