Speed up rendering by optimizing materials
We will now see some tips to speed up rendering by optimizing materials.
- Limit the number of textures used. You can use a single texture in multiple materials by varying its RGB intensity, scale, orientation, and so on. A texture uses the same space in RAM regardless of the number of uses in the scene.
- Limit the use of reflections: reflections are most often called raytracing. So it's a process that uses the CPU a lot;
- Limit the use of Raytrace materials to Standard material using only a Raytrace, Reflect / refract or Thin wall refraction map;
- Limit the use of the refraction map if it is not absolutely necessary. For example, you can do without refraction for a thin glazing but probably not for a glass filled with liquid with a straw;
- Mitigate the thinking: the software will have fewer surfaces to process and will be much faster. As a reminder, this advice is valid for lighting sources as well;
- Do not activate anti-aliasing in reflections if they are very diffuse and it does not harm the image;
- Avoid activating supersampling if it is not required;
- Disable the "2-sided" option if you do not have big problems with normal (misaligned faces with respect to the camera) that would take too much time to correct. This option forces 3D Studio Max to calculate the 2 faces of a polygon instead of just one. It is often better to spend some time optimizing your model than wasting time with each rendering, especially for animations; Be careful, there is also a "Force 2-sided" option in the rendering options. This option will force 3D Studio Max to calculate both sides of each polygon in the scene, which is even worse than for a single material.
- Avoid the use of textures in very high definition if it is not a foreground element: if the textured object represents only a few tens or hundreds of pixels on the final image, it is useless to use a texture in high resolution. Similarly, if you are working on an animation, you can often settle for relatively low resolution texture for elements that will only be seen for a fraction of a second. Still images require a higher quality since the viewer can examine the image in detail.