Tips/Tricks-3dsmax: Scene States and Batch Rendering

manage-scene-states.jpgOne thing that I have found very useful for past projects is something in 3dsmax (r8 or newer) is called “Scene States.” Though one might consider Scene States as being similar to layers, they really aren’t because they do so much more than layers. Layers contain an object’s visibility, renderability, and only a few other object properties. It does allow excellent scene object management. Scene States, on the other hand, additionally capture all the other scene information like lights, environment settings, camera set ups, and model visibility plus a lot more.

So why is this useful and when do I use it? Its useful because it allows me to set up a single scene (or camera shot) with the multiple uses in mind. A perfect and simple example is a shot I intend to composite. Looking at a past project as an example you can see the scenes states I have saved below.

Its not uncommon that you would have all the 3d elements in one scene, but when its time to render, you either have to separate them out to render them (as elements), or hide/unhide each rendered layer and render them separately. And what if you had a different lighting set up for each element (or layer)? Now you would definitely need multiple .MAX files right? Not with Scene States. That’s precisely the strength of it. You have have multiple setups (even multiple renderers) that are then “called back” at render time.batch-render.jpg

Of course Scene States is really works well with “Batch Render” (from the render drop down menu, shown right). Here you can see how I organized all my states. I am thinking “layers” in my compositing program. The image at the right is Batch Rendering window where I can render all the states as if it were one scene. This is HUGE time-saver when using backburner for network rendering because the rendering manager just goes by what the scene state is for each job, I don’t have resubmit a ton of jobs to fix things or keep things separate.


~ by learn3dsmax on February 5, 2007.

52 Responses to “Tips/Tricks-3dsmax: Scene States and Batch Rendering”

  1. Nice article.

  2. thx man i realy dont know this option in max
    m very happy now
    this option realy saved huge amount of rendering time for my project

  3. Brilliant !
    Finally I can go to sleep and let the computer do all the work !

    Very, very helpful information !
    I thank you very much !

  4. i want this render setup tutorail plz send my id

  5. great however I can’t seem to get the renderers to switch as you suggested it could

  6. Hi, thanks for this comment 🙂

  7. I have been using this for years, it does save loads of time. I only wish that that you can set up a button group that has a drop down list of the scene states where after you have all you states set up, you can just drop down the list pick a state and it would restore it, instead of hitting a button – selecting the state – hitting the restore button – then hitting return. Anyone know if someone has done this ?
    I do loads of interior views and have typically 4 or 5 views of the same elements from different angles EACH with its own lighting setup. I am constantly changing cameras and lighting per each object I draw basically (using the scene state manager of course).

    • The script to do it is not hard at all, I did it a while ago. Using the scene state manager I have managed to do 30 to 40 interior camera shots with ONE camera and TWO lights in the entire scene. I used to have 40 cameras and several lights, constantly switching lights on and off and moving them, it was a nightmare. I have also included in the script to move to a frame # based on the the 1st 2 digits of the scene state name (01-entrance shot, 02-left wall,etc.,etc.). What this does which would be of interest to you is move 2d people into every scene, all aligned to the camera and perfectly positioned where you want them. I have a group of about 20 2d people objects on my setup page before every project, all prekeyed from frame 1 to 100, so as i go through geting my camera views, I turn on the auto animate button, move a few people into the scene, rotate them and what not and thats it, Every frame that is NOT the current scene state frame, the people move back to their starting position out of the view, its pretty cool.

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