Orthographic View Camera in 3ds Max

May 13, 2010
Illustration to the CG article which explains how to create an orthographic view camera in 3ds max and V-Ray.

The answer to the question about orthographic projection with VRayPhysicalCamera is quite simple: with VRayPhysicalCamera you can't have a technically strict orthogonal view.

In fact, the perspective is a distortion of dimensions and shapes of objects in their visual observation. It is specific not only to any camera lenses, but to the human eye also. Speaking in the aspect of traditional photography, perception of the perspective distortions of the human eye, for example, close to those in the so-called normal lens. The strongest perspective distortions are in the wide-angle lenses with small focal length. And in contrast, less perspective distortion observed in telephoto lenses with long focal length.

It is these distortions that cameras and viewports of 3D software are mimic.

It is easy to guess that to get rid of perspective, you simply need to increase the focal length, simulating the telephoto lens and reducing the perspective distortions to a minimum. However, as in real photography, the changing of the focal length also changes the camera's zoom and angle of view. This makes a need to carry the camera to a considerable distance from the subject, so that the shot hit the same part of the scene, as in the shot with a smaller focal length.

The* focal length* setting is responsible for a VRayPhysicalCamera focal length. To achieve results that are very close to the orthogonal projection, it is necessary to increase this parameter. Typically 3000-5000 mm would be enough to significantly minimize perspective distortion. Also you should move the camera back at a considerable distance for all objects to be completely in the shot.

In any case, it will be only the relative visual similarity with the orthogonal projection, while in fact not being it:

Instructions on how to enable orthographic projection option in a standard 3ds Max target camera.

The real orthographic projection can be obtained using standard 3ds max camera. To do this, just replace VRayPhysicalCamera with standard and activate the appropriate function in it.

Take a look at the bike picture. At the first visualization it looks pretty standard, like any forward-looking photo, but at the second picture it looks more like a color drawing than a photo. This is especially evident at the handlebar. In the first case the both left and right red handles are clearly distinguishable, which go into perspective and distort, while in the second case even the left hand is virtually invisible. It is visible strictly on the side only and has no perspective distortion.

If your scene is initially configured for visualization with VRayPhysicalCamera, you can simply change it to standard 3ds Max camera using a few basic operations. You can learn how to do it from the switching from VRayPhysicalCamera to Standard 3ds Max Target Camera hint.

The Orthographic Projection option is responsible for the reconfiguration of the standard camera from perspective into orthogonal. It is located in the camera settings Parameters rollout. Simply set the checkbox near Orthographic Projection and the camera will be orthogonal without any even minimal perspective distortion.

Whether to use VRayPhysicalCamera with intense settings or an present feature of a standard 3ds Max camera is rather a matter of taste than of a principle correctness. The desired result can be achieved in both ways. Pick the one that is comfortable and easier. We hope that this lesson has helped to answer the frequently asked question about how to do render without perspective distortion in the V-Ray.

Have a beautiful and precise ortho-renderings! :)

Questions and suggestions regarding this tutorial please leave in comments below.

May 16, 2010
Thank you!
May 24, 2010
really helpful. thanks man!
Jun 2, 2010
Thank you very much!
Jun 6, 2010
I'm working on an architecture project, and needed the orthogonal projection of the building, I am designing the buildings with sketchup with the help of v-ray for the renders, I appreciate if you can explain how I do in r-ray to obtain the projections of the orthogonal to the building.
Jun 6, 2010
Hi arq! We do not use the Google SketchUp in our work, but it is for sure that the conceptions for using 3dsmax's and sketchup's V-Ray are similar. All you need is to correctly position the camera exactly perpendicular to the facade. Then to minimize perspective distortion. This is done by enabling the Override Focal Length option and setting it to 3000-5000 millimeters. This way you imitate the extrastrong telescopic effect and get the minimum of the perspective distortions. After that move the out (back) camera so the all facade be in the frame and render it. Also you can check if there is a possibility of using the default camera with V-Ray in SketchUp in ortho mode.
Jun 9, 2010
zmetil than the less professional approach any unnecessary bullshit need to nibble rezalty. it is rather a hindrance. physicist himself does not use :)
Jun 9, 2010
You guys are miracle-workers! Thnx for your advices. They very helpful to me.
Aug 31, 2010
Thank you:)
Oct 25, 2010
and thank you from me!
Oct 25, 2010
By the way, solving the question before reading this lesson when I nat. chamber pressed the ortho projection, reduce kolormeping and received the same picture as in the process. Does it make sense to change the camera?
Oct 25, 2010
Hi, Marina. It is, rather, a matter of personal convenience. If you do not need to shoot it from the camera, then, of course, possible and without it, just to render one of the orthogonal projections. However, with the camera fixed to the desired position, it is more convenient to deal with than one of the orthogonal projections, but not necessarily;)
Oct 30, 2010
great , it work for me. thank u guys. thanks again
Jan 30, 2011
any idea how one could change the camera from perspective to orthographic over time? I have an animation where I want to pull the camera up from an object to show it from the top, but in orthographic.
Jan 31, 2011
Hello cale, Generally, the Orthographic Projection option is not animatable. However, FOV is! So, you can decrease the camera's FOV value to the minimum on animation. Also, move camers away from far enough, so the object can be fully be seen in the frame as you intended. Actually, this is the trick described in the Replacing VRayPhysicalCamera with Standard tutorial. As an option, you may create additional camera with Orthographic Projection enabled, and switch to it on the desired frame of the animation. The last and the simplest, you can make your animation as before, but saving it to the rester image files sequence. After this, separately render the ortho-frames and paste them with corresponding numeration to the final sequence. If you wish to have the smooth animation of the gradual changing from the perspective to the ortho, the first option will be the most suitable.
Feb 28, 2011
Thank you for the lesson. And another question, it a bit off-topic, however it possible to save Max from the orthogonal projections in DWG format?
Mar 2, 2011
Masha, hi. Yes, the question is a bit beyond the scope of the article. Let's stick to curent topic.
Big Chris
Mar 21, 2011
Vray 2.0 already use an standard 3ds Max camera with VRay exposure settings. as follows, you can have whatever angle you want vith V-Ray 2!!!!
Mar 21, 2011
Yeah Big Chris, you're right, that is already possible with V-Ray 2.0 in V-Ray Exposure Control rollout of Environment tab in Environment and Effects window :)
Jun 5, 2011
Thank you so much! Your the world's best explanators)) The whole site is very cool! You need to be a book writers))
Jun 5, 2011
Hello, dartanyan. You can easily think of RenderStuff as an online book on computer graphics. So we are the Internet books writers!
Oct 11, 2011
Could you tell me. Why with orthographic projection the glass has no reflections. The HDR map set into environment slot. It can be seen in perspective view, but in orto-view is not...
Anton (RenderStuff)
Oct 11, 2011
Hello! Orthographic projection has no perspective. That is just a front view of the current scene in the camera. When you, for example, visualizing facade normal camera perspective, then you do it, as a rule, from the bottom, as it were, from the human growth. Here you can see the bottom of the foundation of the building is almost frontally, but the top of the building begins to lean on you and narrow. That is "out" in the future. That is why you see the glass on the facade of the building is not frontally, but at an angle. It is from this angle they capture the "sky", which is reflected in them. In the case of orthographic projection, you can not see nothing at an angle of perspective, everything is clear frontally. "Angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection." Can not be on a strictly vertical (to the camera) surface reflected the fact that strictly horizontally on it. In orthographic projection, on a flat vertical surface, which are the windows, it can be reflected only what is strictly in front of them, but it does not from the side or from above :)
Apr 9, 2012
Hello, and how to be in the interior? When we remove the prospect of seeing the wall of the room in front of him. regulated scope did not help.
Maks (RenderStuff)
Apr 9, 2012
ziczod, just fly out the room with te camera and clear the view by cut off a wall using camera clipping planes.
May 23, 2012
thank you for help!
Jul 14, 2012
go to tools, vray light lister all vray light multiplier divided by 30. for example, 30 change to 1 600 change to 20 and also the multiplier for vray lighting material. here u go just render the elvation and plan
Feb 21, 2015
when using normal standard camera with vray exposure settings hdri image background does not appear in elevation views is this not possible?
Anton (RenderStuff)
Feb 22, 2015
Do you mean that Environment map («8» key on keyboard) not visible in the viewport? If so, go to «Views -> View port background» and select the «Environment background» option ;)
This discussion has been closed.