As a frequent user of 3DS Max, and someone who is still learning all of it many complex menu’s and options, I am often looking for tips, tricks, and tutorials. One such tip that I looked for online many times when I started with 3DS Max, was how to easily speed up my render times. However, I could never find anything that easily and quickly affected it. I have therefore decided to post my simple guide to speeding up your renders. Many of these things I am yet to fully understand in depth, and all will only work on certain scene’s and systems, but here they are nonetheless. I do hope they help you!
1- Switch off “Rendered Frame Window”
This is the easiest, and quickest of all. Switching off the Rendered Frame Window saves on RAM, and therefore allows the renderer to use more RAM.
PS. Remember to save the file before rendering, as you will not see anything once finished, although you can click on the rendered frame window after rendering to bring up the image (I think this may only work in newer versions of Max)
2-Switch on “Multithreading” if you have a Dual or Quad core processor and more than 3GB of RAM.
This allows Max full access to all available cores in your processors, and therefore speeds up rendering.
note: this is only available on 3DS Max 2010 and above.
3- Switch on “Use Placeholder Objects” and “Use Mental Ray Map Manager” if you have lots of instances in your scene.
This will speed up the time it takes to translate the scene, and then speed up the rendering as it controls instances much more efficiently.
4- Use “Geometry Cache” in 3DS Max 2010 and later, especially for architectural flythrough’s/stills.
This stores your geometry in a Cache which Max can use over and over. This is especially useful if you are rendering several frames (animations) or several different cameras.
5- Switch to “BSP2″ on the “Ray Tracing” panel if you have a fast computer.
BSP or Binary Space Partitioning is a system that Max, and other 3D packages use to build the scene within its system. BSP2 is a newer, more efficient version of BSP which is significantly quicker at rendering large scene.
note: BSP2 requires a fast computer, with lots of RAM, as it stores the data in much larger detail than BSP.
I hope this helps you in your endeavours, and I will update this when I understand more. I apologise for those tips that don’t have Images, as I do not have 2010 on my home PC, however, you should find them within the various rendering tabs.