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How to put trees in 3ds Max and V-Ray (2D Planes)

In this chapter of the blog we’re going to learn how to put trees in 3ds Max, using the V-Ray renderer. We don’t need an opacity map, we need only the transparent png image because we’re going to play with the new age method to do it, and we’ll forget about the old school method, for the moment.

To follow this tutorial without troubles, you need to have at hand the image of the tree in pgn format.

Step 1. Start by making a new plane at the center of the scene. Make it using the same proportions -give or take- than the tree image (Command Panel → Create → Geometry → Standard Primitives → Plane).

With the plane object selected, type Z, and the plane is maximized in the screen.

Step 2. Open Render Setup by pressing F10, y select V-Ray Adv in the field «Renderer», at the top of the window.

Step 3. Now, go to Rendering → Material Editor → Compact Material Editor.

In this window, click in the first slot and then click in the material’s button. In «Material/Map Browser», in V-Ray section, select VRayMtl and click OK (look at the image below).

How to put trees in 3ds Max

Scroll down to the bottom of the VRayMtl, open the «Maps» section, and click in the button of the field «Diffuse». Select Bitmap and click OK. Find the png image of the tree and open it (according to the image below).

How to put trees in 3ds Max

Click on «Assign Material to Selection» icon, so the material is assigned to the plane. And also click on «Show Shaded Material in Viewport» icon, so you can see the material in the scene (look at the image below).

How to put trees in 3ds Max

In the material «Coordinates» section, untick «Tile» in both width and height (look at the image above) and find the correct dimensions for the tree image in «Size»; in my case, those dimensions were 21 x 29.5 meters. Take note of these numbers because we will need them in the next step.

Step 4. Click once in «Go to Parent» button, so we can go back to the base material. Scroll down to the bottom of the material and open the «Maps» section. In the field «Opacity», click in the button (look at the image below). Select Bitmap and find the same png tree image.

In «Coordinates» section, untick «Tile» in both width and height, and give it the same dimensions you used in the Diffuse image, in the field «Size».

Scroll down a little bit and you will find the «Bitmap Parameters» section. Here, select Alpha in «Mono Channel Output» field (look at the image above).

Get back to the base material by clicking in the «Go to Parent» button, and close the Material Editor.

Now, you can render your tree.

As you can see, this method is easier than the old school method. This is one of my best tutorials on how to put trees in 3ds Max using my favorite renderer V-Ray.

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