Issue:

When using legacy NVIDIA Mental Ray assets in 3ds Max with the Arnold render engine (materials, lights, etc.), the legacy materials appear black in the Viewport and Arnold renders the objects as white or self-illuminated.

Note: The rendered image may appear to be over exposed or washed out. 

Causes:

Autodesk legacy materials (based on the NVIDIA mental ray render engine) are used in the scene and are incompatible with Arnold.

Solution:

To prevent Arnold from rendering white or self-illuminated objects present in legacy scene files, do the following:

  1. Go to Render menu.
  2. Choose Scene Converter.
  3. In the Scene Converter dialog, run the default Scene Converter options on the entire scene to convert legacy Autodesk materials (including the Architecture and Design materials) to ART and Arnold-compatible Physical Materials and Photometric lights instead.

Note: For more information on using the Scene Converter see: Scene Converter (3ds Max Help Documentation)

  1. Next, go to the Rendering menu.
  2. Choose Render Setup (F10).
  3. In the Render Setup window, select Arnold as the active renderer.
  4. In the System tab, ensure sure “Legacy 3ds Max Map support” is checked.
Legacy Map Support Arnold
Render Setup

Important: Some legacy scenes may also need manual material adjustment in the Compact or Slate Material Editors to eliminate Bitmaps being placed incorrectly in Physical Material Emission slots.

If some objects/materials still appear white after running the Scene Converter, make sure any Bitmaps used in Emission material slots are deleted and/or the Emission settings are set to 0.

See also

Source: https://autode.sk/37VdF2d

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