12 Useful 3DS Max Lighting Tutorials You Should Learn

3D Studio Max, as a widely used 3D Visualization software is not easy to master. It takes a good amount of Training and Knowledge of the tools bundled with it to fully utilize its capabilities.

One of the features that I love as a long time 3DS Max user is its built-in lighting set up capability which is way more powerful and easier to use than its counterparts.

With the latest 3DS Max versions, which allow you to preview lighting adjustments in real-time, making simple and complicated Lighting set-ups have never been easier.

There is also a handful of 3DS Max Lighting Scripts and Plug-ins available to make lighting more of a drag and drop thing thereby speeding the process of completing a project.

After spending a lot of time modeling objects and texturing them, you don’t want to ruin your scene with Bad Lighting. So it pays to be familiar if not master the tricks used by many successful 3D Artists in the industry.

In this post, I have gathered the most useful 3D Studio Max Lighting Tutorials for you to apply in your own projects and may help you save time and effort. These tutorials vary from basic for those beginners who are still trying to learn lighting in 3D Max to the more advanced tutorials  for seasoned users wanting to enhance their skills.

I have used many of them myself, when I was starting to learn the software. Learn and enjoy.

1. Basic Light Settings

This video tutorial explains the basic parameters of 3DS Max lights, what lights can do and how you can manipulate them inside a scene. It also shows how these lights can affect a scene by changing the values of its color, intensity, shadow, and position.


2. Interior Lighting with 3DS Max Standard Lights

In this tutorial, you will learn how to light an interior scene and come up with a realistic render, using only 3DS Max standard lighting tools. You will be surprised at how easy it is to set up soft and hard-edged shadows and light colors for added realism.


3. Mental Ray Interior Lighting Basics

This 3DS Max tutorial will explain the basics of lighting a small room, using “natural” light casting through a single window which is  a very common lighting scenario when doing Architectural Visualizations.


4. Create Volume Lights in 3DS Max

This tutorial will teach you how to create volumetric lights in 3DS Max. This effect is visible when there’s a lot of dust in an enclosed space, in the real world,  The tutorial also takes you  through basic interior lighting techniques.


5. Lighting & Rendering in 3DS Max using Mental Ray – Interior

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Mental Ray to light up an Interior scene that will give a good result while also having a fast render time.


6. Simple HDRI Lighting Tutorial for 3DS Max Using Mental Ray

In this Tutorial, you will learn how to use HDRI images as a light source in 3D Studio Max using the built-in Mental Ray Render system.


7. Creating Customized IES Weblights

This tutorials guides you through the process of creating customized IES lights which emulate real life lighting behavior of commonly used lighting fixtures in Architectural/Interior Visualizations.


8. Setting Up a Daylight Scene with V-Ray

This tutorial explains the basics of setting up daylight lighting in V-Ray using VRay Sun and a 3DS Max daylight system for precise control of time of day and location.


9. Realistically Light and Render Interior Scenes using 3ds Max and Vray

A step by step tutorial on how to properly light and render interior scenes with 3DS Max and V-ray . In this tutorial the entire process of  completing the final visual like modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering are explained well so there’s a lot for you to learn.


 10. Studio Lighting in Vray

Here you will be taught proven techniques in setting up Studio Lighting with V-Ray and 3DS Max. This is useful in rendering products or stand-alone close up visualizations of objects.


11. Exterior Lighting with V-Ray and 3DS Max

A simple tutorial on external lighting with V-Ray using HDRI, V-Ray Sky and the basic use of the V-Ray physical Camera


12. HDRI Exterior Lighting with V-Ray

A tutorial outlining the methods used for rendering an exterior scene using V-Ray and an HDRI image to light the environment plus the V-Ray Sun as the direct light source for a typical sunny day scene.


These tutorials showed us how easy it is to come up with stunning visualizations in 3DS MAx as long as we know how to utilize the built-in lighting capabilities bundled with the software. And with a great plug-in like V-Ray, the possibilities are indeed limitless.

One Response
  1. July 22, 2013

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