PDA

View Full Version : How often do studios use the basic maya shaders?


MBaker
08-26-2011, 04:57 AM
Hi, I'm a student focusing on lighting and shading and was hoping to get some insight as to what the current trend is in terms of shaders so I know what to practice with.

Basically I was hoping to get a good perspective of what shaders animation and VFX studios tend to use for materials such as the blinn, lambert, and phong shaders, or if they lean towards using the more advance mental ray or vray shaders such as the mia_material_x.


Would any one mind helping me out?

Thanks in advance,
-matt

lostparanoia
08-26-2011, 08:12 AM
I think most people, me included, mostly use the mia_material_x in mental ray. the surface shader and lambert are also very useful when setting up layers and passes though. if you want to learn mental ray, you should definately focus on the mental ray shaders.
you can build your shading networks with the maya software shaders too ofc, but if you want somewhat physically correct shading, you need to really know what your doing. The mia_material_x will also in most cases render faster than building the equivalent shader from scratch with software shaders.

MBaker
08-27-2011, 05:35 AM
Hey thanks for the reply. I've used the mia_material_x shader before just I wasn't sure if that's what studios tend to use but now I have a bit of perspective of what to expect. It's a wonderful shader and easy to use much like 3dsmax's arch and design material.

once again thanks for the info

-matt

Bitter
08-27-2011, 07:22 AM
I still see some smaller studios using those, makes me cringe. (Then they complain. . .and don't know why it's so hard to get the right look, or render faster. So they blame the software.)

Generally it's: mia_material, sss_passes, mip_shaders, car_paint, vray material(s), or materials in other packages that approximate the aforementioned materials.

Larger studios will use custom materials built for a show (or re-purposed) in those packages or their proprietary system (Arnold, CG Studio, Wren, etc.)

crispy4004
08-28-2011, 04:16 PM
I still see some smaller studios using those, makes me cringe. (Then they complain. . .and don't know why it's so hard to get the right look, or render faster. So they blame the software.)
I have definitely been through that one before. And lets not forget, linear workflow might not be in use either. I learned very quickly how much time and money can be wasted trying to correct something broken. It's those situations where you just have to buckle up, do the job to the best of your ability given the limitations, and ride it out. Of course you may know better, but once a studio starts blaming the software, there is little you can do to change their minds or help put the project on the right track.

m0z
08-28-2011, 08:51 PM
I have definitely been through that one before. And lets not forget, linear workflow might not be in use either. I learned very quickly how much time and money can be wasted trying to correct something broken. It's those situations where you just have to buckle up, do the job to the best of your ability given the limitations, and ride it out. Of course you may know better, but once a studio starts blaming the software, there is little you can do to change their minds or help put the project on the right track.

VERY true both of you. :thumbsup: I always keep telling my mates it's not the renderer it's the artist but hey... as if it's cool to blame Autodesk & MentalImages / Nvidia.

MasonDoran
08-30-2011, 06:56 AM
Because the Pass system wont work if you mix Maya Shaders with MIA shaders...there is no choice really.

Regardless, rest of the shader/math nodes are invaluable and used all the time.

jedipottsy
08-30-2011, 06:11 PM
It totally artist dependent, i know people who use mia shaders thinking it gives them better results along with GI+FG, and i get better and quicker results using blinn/lambert/phong and a light rig. I personally prefer the maya shaders however once your comfortable with the principles it doesn't matter. Recently made the switch to vray and i was getting good results within a couple of hours. Also depends on the studio, some write custom shaders for just about everything, so there would be a plastic shader, a separate wood shader, seperate metal etc.

You can also find alot of power and control using the often unused utilities nodes, the sampler info node is used in just about every shader i created in some way or another.

m0z
08-30-2011, 06:17 PM
an ultra complicated maya shading network with tons of nodes quicker than a simple mia? I doubt that. :twisted:
The only reason because I use the maya shaders sometimes (surface shader only) is the matte opacity gain. I don't understand why you can't change the matte opacity in the production shaders. It would be quite useful.

jedipottsy
08-30-2011, 06:38 PM
an ultra complicated maya shading network with tons of nodes quicker than a simple mia? I doubt that. :twisted:
The only reason because I use the maya shaders sometimes (surface shader only) is the matte opacity gain. I don't understand why you can't change the matte opacity in the production shaders. It would be quite useful.

depends how complicated the shader is, depends what im doing. However maya shaders with no GI is much quicker than mia with GI. I find maya shaders work better with light rigs compared to mia. Mia has been designed to be true raytraced, ie full GI.

m0z
08-30-2011, 06:57 PM
ok. I'm a raytracing guy anyway maybe that's why. But for illustrative projects at work we tend to use the maya shaders because you can fake things easier... Nothing that has to look real.

Bitter
08-30-2011, 09:43 PM
However maya shaders with no GI is much quicker than mia with GI. I find maya shaders work better with light rigs compared to mia. Mia has been designed to be true raytraced, ie full GI.

That would seem to be logical. A shader with no GI should be faster than a shader with GI. (in almost all cases)

Most contemporary shaders are designed to be energy conserving. That doesn't necessary mean it must be raytraced (but it does benefit realism when traced).

The original Maya materials are fast approximations of real world properties but do not conserve energy or reflect based on a microfacet model. MIA and Vray materials (and default BSDF/BRDF materials in many packages) are designed to mimic reality more quickly. This should decrease the amount of work you have to do to generate a realistic (or even photo-realistic) scene.

They should also be more consistent scene to scene with the proper linear workflow and scene scale. This means assets used in multiple shots should not need major changes between setups in order to look correct.

Exchanging textures in something like a Maya Phong can introduce a more drastic change where its physical properties are more easily skewed. (HSV, where the V(alues) are added to greater than 1)

When speaking of shaders I am not including the utilities. Just the material shaders.

MBaker
08-31-2011, 11:07 AM
Wow thanks for all the helpful replies.

CGTalk Moderation
08-31-2011, 11:07 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.