Different ways to add Gamma in your renders

Lesson by admin | Official 5SRW study material


Every real device to take pictures adds gamma.

We actually are “producers” of images and we need to correctly setup the gamma in 3ds Max, in order to imitate the behavior of real cameras.

In 3ds Max the options we have to add gamma are various:

  1. Gamma in “output” / preferences
  2. Gamma / color mapping
  3. Linear workflow / color mapping
  4. sRGB button /V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB)

Every option in this list affects gamma.
As you can understand we can’t use all at the same time!
We have to choose a combination to just adds 2,2.

 

COMBINATION 1 

– Gamma in “output” / preferences = 2,2

– Gamma in color mapping = 1,0

– Gamma in VFB (sRGB button) = disabled

Brief Explaination:
You’re adding 2,2 to the final image. But in this ways will you’ll get artifacts in the shadows.
The reason is that you’re just adding a “fake” gamma – not good

 

COMBINATION 2:

– Gamma in “output” / preferences = 1,0

– Gamma in color mapping = 1,0

– Gamma in VFB (sRGB button) = enabled

Brief Explaination:
You’re adding 2,2 with the sRGB button but it’s  just a “fake” gamma – not good

 

COMBINATION 3 (my favourite)

– Gamma in “output” / preferences = 1,0

– Gamma in color mapping = 2,2

– Gamma in VFB (sRGB button) = disabled

Brief Explaination:
You’re adding gamma 2,2 during the computation: that’s fine! Simple and effective – Good, my favourite! 

 

COMBINATION 4:

– Gamma in “output” / preferences = 1,0

– Gamma in color mapping = 2,2 / linearworkflow = enabled

– Gamma in VFB (sRGB button) = enabled (for preview)

Brief Explaination:
You’re adding gamma 2,2 during the computation
Linearworkflow hide gamma but avoid artifacts
Use sRGB button just to have a preview

This way is perfect if you want to save in EXR or you want to add gamma in composition. In these cases disable sRGB before to save, it’s just for preview – Good!

 

CONCLUDING

There’s no better or worse solution: Ways 3 and 4 produce the same results.
It only depends on your way to work .

  • Way3 is simple and is for adding gamma during the render (my favourite)
  • Way4 is for adding gamma in composition

I showed you also Way1 and 2 to let you avoid these ways.

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Note 1: If your image is correct in 3ds max but really brighten in photoshop,
99% you forgot to setup 1,0 for output in preferences.

Note 2: Of course if you use gamma in color mapping + gamma in output + sRGB button… you’re completely wrong. Gamma added will be 2,2 + 2,2 + 2,2!!! Every image need just 2,2.

Note 3: Always use V-Ray Frame Buffer

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Check Lesson 2! Preparing 3ds max and V-Ray to start : video and notes about gamma setup.

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