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How to Optimize Your 3Ds Max Scenes
How to Optimize Your 3Ds Max Scenes

Optimizing the scenes is essential for fast render times and avoiding unnecessary cost. A few minutes artists time can save 100s of dollars

Kevin Häfeli avatar
Written by Kevin Häfeli
Updated over a week ago

Optimizing scenes in 3ds Max is essential for reducing rendering costs and minimizing the time required to complete rendering tasks. By following these guidelines, you can achieve faster renders while maintaining high-quality results, saving both time and money.


3ds Max is an excellent tool for creating 3D models and scenes. However, when it comes to rendering, it can be quite time-consuming and expensive. Optimizing your 3ds Max scenes can help you achieve faster rendering times and lower costs. In this article, we will discuss three ways to optimize your 3ds Max scenes and provide you with a more extensive checklist for your daily workflow and check before submitting the rendering.

Reduce Polycount

One of the first things you should do when optimizing your 3ds Max scene is to reduce the polycount. This means reducing the number of polygons in your model. The more polygons your model has, the longer it will take to render. You can reduce the polycount by removing unnecessary details and simplifying your model. You can also use the ProOptimizer tool in 3ds Max to automatically reduce the polycount of your models.

Use Proxy Objects

Another way to optimize your 3ds Max scene is to use proxy objects. Proxy objects are low-resolution placeholders that stand in for high-resolution objects in your scene. They allow you to work with high-resolution objects in your scene without slowing down your computer or increasing rendering times. When it comes time to render your scene, 3ds Max will use high-resolution objects instead of the proxy objects.

Optimize Lighting

Lighting can have a significant impact on rendering times. One way to optimize the lighting in your 3ds Max scene is to use fewer lights. The more lights you have in your scene, the longer it will take to render. To reduce rendering times, you can also use simpler lighting setups, such as ambient lighting or global illumination. Additionally, you can use light caching to speed up the rendering process.

Scene optimization

  1. Simplify Geometry:

    • Remove unnecessary details and geometry that won't be visible in the final render.

    • Reduce the number of polygons by using simpler geometry or optimizing complex models.

    • Utilize LOD (Level of Detail) techniques to switch to simpler geometry for distant objects.

  2. Optimize Textures:

    • Use texture maps with appropriate resolution. Avoid unnecessarily high-resolution textures.

      • Example: if you render a 4k image, compress your 16k HDRI resolution textures to 4k or lower to save memory and render time.

    • Compress textures where possible to reduce file size and memory usage.

    • Convert large textures to tiled or tiled EXR formats to save memory.

  3. Optimize Lighting:

    • Use efficient lighting techniques such as global illumination or image-based lighting.

    • Avoid excessive light sources or unnecessary lights that don't contribute significantly to the scene.

    • Opt for simpler shadow types like shadow maps instead of ray-traced shadows for faster rendering.

  4. Manage Reflections and Refractions:

    • Limit the number of reflective and refractive surfaces, as they can significantly increase rendering time.

    • Use reflection and refraction blurring or glossiness to simulate complex effects without increasing render time.

  5. Control Particle Systems and Simulations:

    • Reduce the number of particles or particles per frame for particle systems.

    • Adjust simulation settings to balance realism and render time.

    • Cache simulations when possible to avoid re-calculating the simulation on each frame.

  6. Utilize Proxy Objects:

    • Replace complex objects with proxy objects, especially for objects that are not close to the camera.

    • Proxy objects are simplified representations that reduce the number of polygons and save memory.

  7. Use Render Region or Camera Clipping:

    • Render only specific regions of the scene using the Render Region tool, especially if only a portion of the scene needs high-quality rendering.

    • Adjust the camera's near and far clipping planes to exclude unnecessary geometry from the rendering process.

  8. Regularly Optimize and Test:

    • Regularly review and optimize your scene to remove any unnecessary elements or redundant calculations.

    • Test your scene with different settings and optimizations to find the best balance between quality and efficiency.

Render Settings

  1. Optimize Render Settings:

    • Adjust render settings such as anti-aliasing and motion blur to find a balance between quality and render time.

    • Use render passes to separate different elements of the scene and adjust them individually in post-production.

    • Consider using a render farm or distributed rendering to distribute the workload across multiple machines.

  2. Check denoiser tools:

    • Using post-production denoising tools can reduce render times.

    • Contact Helio to use an AI-based denoiser during rendering automatically to avoid manual work (alpha-feature).

Corona Settings

Helio Cloud settings

  1. Do preview renderings

    • Quick renderings at a lower resolution will help check the cloud's technical setup. You can e.g. spot missing assets, plugin issues, and other things early - before sending the full render.

  2. Check the project folder size

    • The project folders will be synced to the render nodes in the cloud. Clean and small folders will help to reduce these costs/loading times

  3. Use the estimation tool

    • Estimating and filling out the right data will help us distribute your scene between 100s of nodes efficiently and save costs.

  4. Optimize scene loading times

    • If a scene takes long to load on your machine, it will have a significant impact on the cost. Imagine you're rendering a 1000 frames animation on 50 nodes. If the scene opening time is 1 minute instead of 11 minutes, it will save you 50x 10 minutes of rendering!


Optimizing your 3ds Max scenes is essential if you want to achieve faster rendering times and lower costs. By reducing the polycount, using proxy objects, and optimizing lighting, you can significantly reduce rendering times and save money on rendering costs. Implementing these optimization techniques and other Cloud Rendering-related improvements will help you create high-quality 3D models and scenes without breaking the bank.

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