Cartoon rendering in 3Ds max 2012/2013 Quicksilver render type

Firstly I will show you how to use the quicksilver render type in 3Ds max. Then I will show you how to get the best “cartoon” effect. 3Ds max 2012 has released a built in render type which will do pretty similar things to a plugin which could be used on old versions of max called Swift 3D. This software was great to use, but did come at a cost. 2012 version and 2013 max have this render type.


First of all, if you make a scene even if it’s something as simple as a plane with a box on top. Once this is done, you need to go to the rendering -> Render Setup or press F10. This will bring up the render setup pannel.

This will change the render type, it might mean slower rendering time per image, but the rendering can be changed back just doing the same thing but in reverse

This allows you to change the Rendering Level. There is a pretty big different in each of the levels, not all of them are good in all cases. You need to play around with them and your scene to get the best result. But I did make a test image below to show you an example

To save you time test, is a render using each of the different visual style rendering levels.

When you now render (Pressing the render button at the bottom right of this window, or by pressing F9). You should play with the settings to get the best render for your scene. I mostly either use the color ink or acrylic render levels. I personally think that the Color Ink is best for the bulk colors, for example if you don’t use bitmap textures on the objects and only apply solid colors. The Acrylic render is best for images with full bitmap textures with the scenes I have created so far. Below is an example of this render using the one I think is best for my scene and its purpose.

This is the final image with the acrylic rendering level. It gives the scene a cartoon almost 2D look. This is what I was hoping for as it is going to be imported into a game and I needed the game to have this type of feel to it.

5 thoughts on “Cartoon rendering in 3Ds max 2012/2013 Quicksilver render type

    1. Sean Mcgee - Admin Post author

      Hey, Great question! Yes there’s a few ways of doing it.

      This video I talk about using colour ink texture using mental ray rather using quicksilver hardware renderer. But, there is also another technique if you wanted to specifically use quicksilver. That’d be using State Sets in 3Ds max,topicNumber=d30e71845

      Though, I’m guessing the first method/video is what you’re looking for!



    In this video, I explore the numerous options now available with the 3ds Max Quicksilver hardware renderer. Demonstration includes how to produce near-realistic renders as well as use the new stylized rendering options for non-photorealistic pipelines.

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