View Full Version : Maya depth map shadows are rendered wrong

05-23-2009, 04:58 AM
Hi there. I am (still) a novice and trying get to grips with Maya. Sometimes I hit a snag but tend to overcome it after some googling but this one is sticking...

I am following a lighting tutorial but after playing around, this happens when I use Depth Map Shadows. I have deleted all my lights and reset Mental Ray to both preview and production but I still get the "scetch" effect. I have tried diffirent settings in both my Penumbra and Dropoff settings.

When I use Ray Trace shadows, it works. (Just a quick render to show it does.)

I hope someone can help, its really anoying and frustrating atm, but I want to puch through but dont want to start all over, I think it might be something in the level, not the lights...
Thank you in advance!

Windows XP SP3
Maya 8.0

System Specs
Intel E8500
Geforce GTX 285 (Driver ver : 180.87)
4GB System Ram

05-23-2009, 08:36 AM
regarding your Depth Map Problem, you can solve it by adjusting these settings...

Depth Map Shadow settings:

- RESOLUTION: determines the shadow's EDGE 'sharpness/jaggedness. NOTE: this setting is not used to soften/blur a shadow, rather only to remove the jagged edges around a shadow.. A resolution value too high will result in slow render times and could become slower than ray traced shadows... try 512 or 1024 but keep it below 2K

- FILTER SIZE: this setting is used to create soft/blurred shadows. eg: a value of 20 gives a soft shadow. NOTE: A high filtering value also increases render time.

TIP: If you're using a relatively high filter size to create soft/blurred shadows, there is usually no need to set the 'resolution' valule too high, infact you could decrease it because as we know 'resolution' determines the sharpness/jaggedness of the shadow's edges and since we're aiming for a soft shadow using a higher filter size, we can set the 'resolution' to a lower value.

These other settings aren't really going to help you with the problem above but just for your knowledge.

- BIAS: used to solve/lower shadow artifacts/unwanted patterns in shadow or lightleaks...

- USE MID DISTANCE: always recommended to keep this checked as this reduces unwanted shadow artifacting.

- USE AUTO FOCUS: You can turn this off and set the focus yourself..

05-23-2009, 12:28 PM
btw I HIGHLY recommend getting Jeremy Birn's dvd on lighting titled "Lighting and Rendering in Maya"... This is hands down the best tutorial on lighting and rendering I've seen.

I was a 'novice' like you just a week ago, but having watched the dvd and followed the exercises, I can confidently say that I can light any scene with ease now...

Here is my FIRST ever scene lighting and rendering after following the tutorial dvd.. damn! This tiny image took my computer 2 hours to render :D I got a slow computer... time to work and get myself a new computer this summer


05-25-2009, 01:30 PM
You seem to be correct! Thank you veyr much for the help! Just struggling very much to get the shadowing right!

I'll try to get the DVD but in South Africa its kinda hard to get hold of it.

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05-25-2009, 01:30 PM
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