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Tutorial : FUR rendering with maxwell render (en.)

16 janvier 2012 One Comment

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Rendering fur with maxwell render isn’t  that hard. Once you understand the basics of Maxwell Render’s technical knowledge, it’s an easy thing to manage. The only difficulty remains in the lighting set of the scene,  the fur (or hair) parameters, and the photographic skills of the user. If all these things are mastered, you’ll get the following picture very fast.

ours en peluche 3D
teddy bear Final render – maxwell render fur


NB:This tutorial isn’t only for expert users. I will therefore recall maxwell render’s fundamentals to make it useful for beginners.

Setting Up the Scene

Programs & Plugins to install:

  • 3dsmax
  • Maxwell 2.6
  • Hairfx (furfx) for 3dsmax

Hair fx is a hair plugin system working on 3dsmax. You’ll need to install maxwell render for 3dsmax plugin in order to manage and preview your renders before going to Maxwell studio.

Start by installing the maxwell render system in render options (common) as showed below.

3dsmax render parameters

To optimize render time on fur/hair mesh complexity,  start with a default lighting system ( sun ). You can easily control Hair/fur length, density and thickness. Then, load a studio HDRI to get closer appreciation of your final render. At least use the multilight system to perfectly set the lighting values.

Once you loaded the teddy model, you’ll have to carefully check the scene scale. This heavily impacts the hair/fur system.

The hair/fur system has to be loaded in the 3dsmax environment menu.

Module Hairfx environement
Hair fx in environment mode


Hair system environment

Hair fx has 3 parameters mods:

- Hairfx render for specific rendering parameters, mostly set to default.

- Hairfx for hair settings

- furfx for fur settings.

Here, we decided to use the fur system. We’ll soon release the hairfx support guide on our Facebook page (for fans only) in PDF.


NB: I will not give much details about the scene light settings. This is not the subject of this tutorial and we’ll write a devoted post about it. meanwhile, you can have a look at this screenshot to figure out what it looks like.


Studio set + cyclo

To properly set the fur, you just pick the desired object. It’s important to have a « clean » modifier’s pile (editable mesh or poly). If you want to have a uniform application, do not make specific polygon selection.


hairfx selection polygone
hairfx object selection


Here are the teddy bear fur settings:

paramètres hairfx 01
hairfx parameters 01
paramètres hairfx 02
hairfx parameters 02


And here is the render result:

Render with default material – HDRI image base (studio)


Setting up materials

Maxwell render automatically transforms hair to mesh and sets a default material. Don’t forget to consider that both mesh and hair object have to be set with the same material to avoid « holes » in your fur.

Very Important: Appling UVmaps in 3dsmax (or any other unwrap) doesn’t work properly. As I explain it in a further note (see the important note below) the map has to be set in Maxwell render studio.


We can now export the scene in MXS and export it to the studio.

Maxwell studio interface.
The fur material is easy to set. The tip is to apply any kind of texture map with a channel set to 1.
The fur material
texture j&denis with channel 1


As explained in the official Maxwell render knowledge support :


The fur object can be set with 2 different channels:

-  Channel 0, is the default one. It will apply the texture along each hairs from root to extremities.

texture set with channel 0
- Channel 1, will set the texture on the whole objet, depending on the map selection.
texture set with channel 1


IMPORTANT NOTE: unfortunately the previous application of UV set in 3dsmax doesn’t work until now, mainly because the export procedure reset the UV channel affectation when converted to MXS. I will let the readers comment this part and give me a solution.

It seems anyway easier to set the map coordinates in the studio. .

Fur map settings


You can adjust it with the mesh object in order to visualize the result in the viewport on “texture shader”.

In our example, the j&denis texture is set on projector 0 / channel 0 with scale parameters.

you just have to report the parameters on the fur object, with the channel 1 parameters.

texture applied on the teddy object with channel 0
Here you are ! ready to render !

I’m waiting for comments.

good render.

Click here for reuse options!

Copyright 2012 J&Denis

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