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Quick Tip: Creating Stained Glass Using Advanced Transparency In 3D Studio Max

In today's quick tip tutorial, Chandan Kumar will be showing you how to use 3ds Max's advanced transparency material options to project a stain glass window image into a scene. This is an often overlooked but powerful feature of 3D Studio Max that can be used to create all kinds of interesting effects. Click through to learn more!

Additional Files/ Plugins:

First of all, create a Plane in the Perspective viewport which will act as the floor.

Step 1 Image

Now create a 3 sided wall and Boolean the front side wall to make room for a window.

Step 2 Image

Then make the glass for the window using a Plane, and insert it into the empty window opening.

Step 3 Image

Open the Material Editor (M), take an empty slot and in the Diffuse channel add the “stained glass’ texture. Now put the same texture in the Self-Illumination channel also.

Step 4 Image

Now put the same texture in the 'Filter' channel too, which lies in the ‘Extended Parameters’ rollout.

Step 5 Image

Do remember to turn on the ‘2-Sided’ option also. You won’t get the proper result until you turn this option on.

Step 6 Image

Now it’s time for the light setup. Add a "Target Spot" light to the scene from outside of the window as shown.

Step 7 Image

Do remember to use only “Ray Traced Shadows” otherwise it won’t work.

Step 8 Image

Now open the Material Editor once again and this time reduce the opacity by 50%.

Step 9 Image

Now if you render the scene you will find something like this. The light gets filtered through the window and hence you get a nice effect of the stained glass reflection on the floor.

Step 10 Image

I added some textures to the walls and floor and an Omni light in the room and hence it looked like this.

Step 11 Image

After doing some color correction and adding some glow and rays in After Effects, it looks much better now.

Step 12 Image

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