Rendering Preferences
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Customize menu Preferences Preference Settings dialog Rendering tab

On the Rendering panel of the Preference Settings dialog, you set options for rendering, such as the default color of ambient light in rendered scenes. The many choices available enable you to reassign the renderers used for production and draft rendering.

NoteAs of 3ds Max Design 2010, bitmap paging is always active, and managed automatically.


Video Color Check group

Some pixel colors are beyond the safe NTSC or PAL threshold. You can choose to flag or modify them to acceptable values.

Flag with Black

Flags all illegal pixels with black to show you the illegality of your image. This mode teaches you how to make correct colors, instead of depending on Scale options. Scale options force a natural discontinuity in the color values. In some cases, that discontinuity can cause visible aliasing.

Scale Luma

Scales the luminance to bring the color into range, and maintains saturation. This generally makes the illegal areas appear darker than they should be.

Scale Saturation

Scales the chroma to bring the color into range, and maintains saturation. Because this option keeps the brightness levels of the pixels fairly equal to the unscaled ones, this is the more useful of the two scale methods.


Determines the standard for the video color check. See NTSC (Glossary) and PAL (Glossary).

Output Dithering group

Sets output dithering for all file types.

True Color

Toggles dithering for any true color output device. For 24-bit work, turn on True Color. For paletted work, turn it off.


Turns dithering on or off for any 8-bit paletted device.

Field Order group


Selects the field order of rendered images when the Render To Fields option is enabled on the Render Setup dialog. Some video devices require that the even field be first, other video devices require that the odd field be first. Determine the correct field order for your video device. If the video output of your device is strobing or appears jittery, it may be due to incorrect field order, try changing this parameter and re-rendering your animation.

Super Black group


Keeps the super black threshold above a certain level primarily for luminance keying.

HotSpot/Falloff group

Angle Separation

Locks the spotlight hotspot and falloff cones at the angle separation defined by the spinner (degrees). This option constrains the hotspot angle so that it can't equal the falloff and cause aliasing artifacts.

Background group

Don't Antialias Against Background

Ensures that the edges of rendered geometry are not antialiased against the background. The inside of the geometry is still antialiased. Keep this control off unless you're creating sprites for game development, or require special compositing techniques because the background will not be rendered. In these cases, turning on this option helps avoid generating alpha antialiasing on the outlines of the geometry. Default=off.

NoteWhen Don’t Antialias Against Background is on, render only against a black background.
Filter Background

Controls whether the antialiasing filter of the renderer affects the background image. See Plate Match /MAX R2.5/VIZ R2 Filter Types in Default Scanline Renderer Rollout for detailed information of filtering background and antialiasing.

Use Environment Alpha

Controls whether or not the renderer uses the environment map’s alpha channel in creating the alpha for the rendered image. When off, the background is transparent. When on, the alpha of the resulting image is a combination of the scene and image alpha.

NoteOnly background images with alpha channels or black backgrounds are supported when compositing in other programs such as Photoshop.

Default Ambient Light Color group

Click the color swatch to change the default ambient light color for renderings. This setting defines the darkest color for rendered shadows in the scene.

Output File Sequencing group

Nth Serial Numbering

Specifies whether output frame files generated using a frame-step value other than 1 are numbered sequentially (on) or according to their true frame numbers (off).

Render Termination Alert group


Beeps when the rendering has finished. You can set the frequency and the duration.

Play Sound

Plays a sound file when the rendering has finished.

Choose Sound

Opens the Open Sound browser dialog, select a sound file using the browser. You can test sound files with the Play button in the Open Sound dialog. Press ESC to turn off the sound.

GBuffer Layers group

Maximum Number

Limits the number of layers that are stored in the G-buffer during rendering. Default=10; Range=1 to 999.

Memory requirements might dictate that you limit the number of G-buffer layers. The RLA and RLF image formats, used for compositing, can store many G-buffers for object Z buffer information, material ID, transparency, and so on.

Multi-threading group


Causes 3ds Max Design to treat the rendering task as separate threads. This option works with multiprocessor systems. Each processor in your computer handles a different thread, which makes full use of available processing power and speeds up rendering to its maximum level. When off, 3ds Max Design treats a rendering task as a single processing task and doesn't divide it up.