Rendering > 

Rendered Frame Window

Command entry:Main toolbar (Rendered Frame Window)
Command entry:Rendering menu/main toolbar Render Setup Render Setup dialog Render Rendered Frame Window opens.
Command entry:Rendering menu Render Rendered Frame Window opens.
Command entry:Main toolbar (Render Production)
Command entry:Rendering menu View Image File Choose a file to view. Open Rendered Frame Window (reduced functionality) displays the file.

The Rendered Frame Window displays rendered output.

This window has controls to:

When you choose the View Image File command from the Rendering menu, 3ds Max displays still images and image sequences in a feature-reduced version of the Rendered Frame Window. When you view sequentially numbered image files or images in an IFL file, this window displays navigation arrows that let you step through the images.

The Rendered Frame Window Title Bar

The title bar of the Rendered Frame Window includes this information:


To zoom and pan in the Rendered Frame Window:

You can zoom in and out and pan the image in the Rendered Frame Window. You can even do this while a scene is rendering.

If you have a wheel mouse, you can use the wheel to zoom and pan:


This first section documents the controls on the main Rendered Frame Window. For information about the additional control panel that appears below the main window when using mental ray, see mental ray Rendering Options.

Rendering Controls

These controls provide access to rendering settings such as presets and the viewport to render, as well as the Render command. To toggle display of these controls, click the Toggle UI button at the right end of the Rendered Frame Window toolbar.

Area to Render
This drop-down list provides the available Area to Render options. Choose View, Selected, Region, Crop, or Blowup.

When using Region, Crop, or Blowup, set the region with the Edit Region control (see following). Alternatively, you can set the region automatically to the current selection with the Auto Region Selected option (also see following).

Edit Region
Enables manipulation of the region window: resize by dragging the handles, and move by dragging inside the window. When Area To Render is set to Region, you can edit the region both in the Rendered Frame Window and in the active viewport.

If Area To Render is set to View or Selected, clicking Edit Region switches to Region mode.

When Area To Render is set to Crop or Blowup, you can edit the region only in the active viewport, because in those cases the Rendered Frame Window doesn’t necessarily reflect the same area as the viewport. Hence, also in Crop and Blowup modes, a warning icon appears to the right of the Auto Region Selected. The icon’s tool tip suggests that you edit the region in the viewport. A warning also appears in Region mode if the Rendered Frame Window area doesn’t match the active viewport.

Turning on Edit Region automatically activates the Show Safe Frames function in the active viewport.

Note 3ds Max maintains two separate render regions: one for Region and Crop, and another for Blowup. Changing the Area To Render option activates the relevant render region.
Auto Region Selected
When on, sets the region for Region, Crop, and Blowup automatically to the current selection. This auto-region is calculated at render time and does not overwrite the user-editable regions.

If Area To Render is set to View or Selected, clicking Auto Region Selected switches to Region mode.

TipAlternatively, when rendering with mental ray, use Subset Pixels (see following) for greater accuracy.
Subset Pixels (of selected objects)
When on, rendering the scene applies only to selected objects. Available only when rendering with mental ray.

This option differs from the Area to Render Selected option in that it takes into account all scene elements that affect its appearance. This includes shadows, reflection, direct and indirect lighting, and so on. Also, Selected replaces the entire contents of the Rendered Frame Window (except for selected objects) with the background color, but Subset Pixels replaces only pixels used by the re-rendered, selected objects.

Subset Pixels rendering is particularly useful when performing iterative rendering while adjusting lighting, shadows, and other scene elements for a particular object or set of objects in the scene. It lets you re-render repeatedly to view the results of isolated changes without disturbing the rest of the rendered output.

TipObjects rendered in Subset Pixels mode at low antialiasing settings might show objectionable outlines. To eliminate any such outlines, increase the antialiasing setting. For best results, use Medium antialiasing (Min 1/4, Max 4) or better.

The equivalent Render Setup dialog control is Subset Pixel Rendering Render changes to selected objects only.

This warning symbol appears when Area to Render is set to Crop or Blowup, accompanied by a tool tip that tells you to edit the Crop or Blowup region in the viewport. It also appears in Region mode if the Rendered Frame Window doesn’t show the same area as the viewport (that is, if you previously rendered in Crop or Blowup mode).
Shows the viewport that renders when you click the Render button. The drop-down list contains all visible viewports. To specify a different viewport to render, choose it from the list or activate it in the main user interface.

Activating a different viewport in the main interface automatically updates this setting if Lock To Viewport is off.

Lock To Viewport
When on, only the viewport active in the Viewport list renders, even if you activate a different viewport in the main interface. However, you can still choose a different viewport to render from the list.

When off, activating a different viewport in the main user interface updates the Viewport value.

Render Preset
Choose a preset rendering option from the drop-down list.
Render Setup
Opens the Render Setup dialog.
Environment and Effects Dialog (Exposure Controls)
Opens the Environment and Effects dialog to the Environment panel. You can set an exposure control on the Exposure Control rollout.
Choose the result of clicking the Render button:
  • ProductionRenders using all the current settings on the Rendered Frame Window, Render Setup, dialog, and so on.
  • IterativeIgnores network rendering, rendering of multiple frames, file output, export to MI files, and email notification. Also, with the scanline renderer, rendering Selected leaves the rest of the Rendered Frame Window intact in Iterative mode.

    Use this option when doing quick iterations on the image, usually in parts; for example, working on final gather settings, reflections, or specific objects or areas of the scene.

This choice is also available from a drop-down in the bottom-left corner of the Render Setup dialog. And you can render in either mode from the render flyout on the main toolbar.

NoteWhen rendering with mental ray, the Production/Iterative switch moves to the lower panel for easier access after adjusting settings.
Renders the scene using the current setup.
NoteWhen rendering with mental ray, the Render button moves to the lower panel for easier access after adjusting settings.


Save Image
Allows you to save the rendered image displayed in the Rendered Frame Window.
Copy Image
Places an exact copy of the visible portion of the rendered image on the Windows clipboard, ready for pasting into a paint program or bitmap editing software. The image is always copied as displayed, so, for example, if the Monochrome button is on, the copied data consists of an eight-bit grayscale bitmap.
NoteNo HDR (high-dynamic-range) data is copied.
Clone Rendered Frame Window
Creates another window containing the displayed image. This allows you to render another image to the Rendered Frame Window and compare it with the previous, cloned image. You can clone the Rendered Frame Window any number of times. The cloned window uses the same initial zoom level as that of the original.
NoteA cloned window provides minimal functionality, and cannot be re-rendered or cloned.
Print Image
Sends the rendered image to the default printer as defined in Windows (in Windows XP, see Start menu Settings Printers And Faxes). The background prints as transparent.
Clears the image from the Rendered Frame Window.
Enable Red Channel
Displays the red channel of the rendered image. When turned off, the red channel is not displayed.
Enable Green Channel
Displays the green channel of the rendered image. When turned off, the green channel is not displayed.
Enable Blue Channel
Displays the blue channel of the rendered image. When turned off, the blue channel is not displayed.
Display Alpha Channel
Displays the alpha channel.
Displays an 8-bit grayscale of the rendered image.
[color swatch]
Stores the color value of the last pixel you right-clicked. You can drag this color swatch to other color swatches in 3ds Max. Clicking the color swatch displays the Color Selector, which displays more information about the color.

You can leave the Color Selector displayed while you right-click over other pixels in the Rendered Frame Window. (Changing the current value in the Color Selector changes the color swatch on the Rendered Frame Window's toolbar, but it does not change the color of pixels in the rendered image.)

[channel display drop-down list]
Lists any channel rendered with the image. When you choose a channel from the list, it is displayed in the Rendered Frame Window.

For most kinds of files, only the RGB and alpha channels are available. If you render an RPF file or RLA file, additional channels can be present.

The Rendered Frame Window displays nonvisual channels, such as Material ID or the G-Buffer, using colors it assigns at random to distinct values.

Toggle UI Overlays
When on, displays the frame that shows the Region, Crop, or Blowup area when one of those options is active. To disable display of the frame, turn off this toggle.
NoteThe frame is still active when not displayed.
Toggle UI
When on, all controls are available. When off, disables display of the rendering controls at the top of the dialog as well as the mental ray controls on the separate panel below the dialog. To simplify the dialog interface and allow it to take up less space, turn this off.
TipWhen off, you can resize the window smaller than is possible when Toggle UI is on.
This setting appears on the Rendered Frame Window toolbar when you render to the RPF or RLA file format. It lets you see the information at different layers of the following channels:
  • Z Depth
  • Normal
  • Non-Clamped Color
  • Coverage
  • Node Render ID
  • Color
  • Sub-Pixel Weight
  • Sub-Pixel Mask

Layer shows no additional information for other channels. It is useful primarily when the scene contains objects that occlude each other, and you have turned on the Render Occluded Objects toggle for these objects. (See Object Properties.) Be aware that rendering occluded objects increases render time.

TipRendering occluded objects can help you create 3D effects when you composite images with the Autodesk Combustion software.
Frame-Steps (arrows)

When viewing sequentially numbered files (such as image0005.jpg) or IFL files, the arrows display the next or the previous file in the sequence. To jump to the first image or the last image in the sequence, hold down Ctrl and click an arrow.

Available only when you use the View Image File command on the Rendering menu.

TipTo see these buttons, enlarge the size of the Rendered Frame Window.

Pixel Data

When you right-click the Rendered Frame Window, the color swatch is updated, and information about the rendering and the pixel beneath the mouse is displayed.

If you hold the right mouse button down while dragging, the information changes with each new pixel the mouse crosses.

The display includes the following information:

Image group

The width of the image in pixels.
The pixel aspect ratio.
The height of the image in pixels.
The gamma value carried in the bitmap file. This value is always 1.0, because once the image is rendered and saved to memory or a file, no correction is applied. You can see the gamma value used to display the image, if any, in the title bar of the Rendered Frame Window.
The type of image, based on color depth.

For example, a full-color image with an alpha channel will show “RGBA Color 16 Bits/Channel”; a bitmap with a limited color depth might show “Indexed Color 8 Bits/Pixel,” and so on.

Pixel group

Pixel information includes the pixel location in the bitmap, in parentheses following the Pixel group heading. The counting starts at 0. For example, in the above illustration, the pixel in question is the 308th from the left edge and the 141st from the top edge. Also shown in this group are channel values for red, green, blue, alpha, and monochrome, both as 16-bit integers (0 to 65535) and as floating-point values between 0.0 and 1.0.

NoteWith high-dynamic-range images, the floating-point values can be greater than 1.0 or less than 0.0.
The red component value (0 to 65535) and the floating-point value.
The green component value (0 to 65535) and the floating-point value.
The blue component value (0 to 65535) and the floating-point value.
The alpha component value (0 to 65535) and the floating-point value.
The monochrome values of the pixel, using the same formula used by monochrome material map channels such as bump and opacity maps.

Extra Pixel Data (G-Buffer Data) group

If the rendering output uses a format that contains additional channels, such as RPF or RLA, the informational pop-up shows this data in the Extra Pixel Data group. The group includes all the possible channels. If a channel is not present, its value is displayed as "N/A," for "not applicable."

Z Depth
Displays Z-Buffer information in repeating gradients from white to black. The gradients indicate relative depth of the object in the scene.
Material ID
Displays the Effects Channel used by a material assigned to an objects in the scene. The Effects Channel is a material property set in the Material Editor.
Object ID
Displays the object’s G-Buffer Object ID.
UV Coordinates
Displays the range of UV mapping coordinates.
Displays the orientation of normal vectors.
Non-Clamped Color
Displays the "real" color value delivered to the renderer in RGB order. The renderer uses a floating-point range of 0.0 to 1.0 to represent the range of each color channel. Thus, 1.0 is 100%, or 65535 (real color values can be greater than 1, but are clamped by the renderer to 1).
Displays the coverage of the surface fragment from which other G-Buffer values (Z Depth, Normal, and so on) are obtained. Z-Coverage values range from 0 to 255.
Node Render ID
Displays an object’s G-Buffer Object channel.
Displays the color returned by the material shader for the fragment.
Displays transparency returned by the material shader for the fragment.
Displays the velocity vector of the fragment relative to the screen.
Sub-Pixel Weight
Displays the sub-pixel weight of a fragment. The channel contains the fractions of the total pixel color contributed by the fragment. The sum of all the fragments gives the final pixel color. The weight for a given fragment takes into account the coverage of the fragment and the transparency of any fragments that are in front of a given fragment.
Sub-Pixel Mask
Displays the sub-pixel alpha mask. This channel provides a mask of 16 bits (4x4) per pixel, used in antialiased alpha compositing.