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shockwave82
12-28-2010, 05:55 PM
Right now i feel like the lighting is really basic, how can i make this a more interesting light set up?

http://www.jose-f.com/images/AmllEnv.jpeg

ganymede
12-29-2010, 04:42 AM
for the camera angle you have i would suggest having the direct light coming from the right or left to get some nice definition of the geometry. at the moment the light source appears to be coming from just behind the camera so it doesn't give much in the way of depth or detail. to gain a more illustrative look in the picture if you're interested you could always employ some ambient occlusion to further define edges or you could muck around with the colour of the lights

hope that helps

kanooshka
12-29-2010, 03:28 PM
Nice start! When the main light source is directly overhead, shadows are small and uninteresting. Turning the light at an angle will not only create more interesting shadows but also some more interesting illumination.

On top of this, try to shape the objects with light. Try to make each side of the objects' illumination different in values so that the shape of the objects are clearly visible.

shockwave82
12-31-2010, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the input

I have changed the direction of the light added a slight red tint to the light as well

what do you think?

http://www.jose-f.com/images/AmllEnv2.jpeg

IRAFK
12-31-2010, 03:40 AM
Maybe put the sun at two hours before sunset? Add some haze? Maybe a shot from inside one of the structures with some dust in the air and a portal light so you see some rays. That would require a little more work and tweaking. But I think it this needs more atmosphere. Looks good!

ganymede
01-01-2011, 04:20 AM
it's definitely getting better. the colour in the light already adds alot

RickToxik
01-01-2011, 08:39 PM
That's cool. What software are you working with? I agree with IRAFK, you should try to add some participating media (air density, smog, fog, dust, godrays, etc). What is your lighting setup? One direct light? It's ok, but most important what is your indirect illumination technique: global illumination, final gather, hdri?
If you want to make it realistic, I think you should work with indirect illumination and tweak your scene with it. You can also add more light sources and I think you should soften your shadows too. Have fun! :))

shockwave82
01-06-2011, 06:32 AM
this is where i am currently at, tweaked some of the Sun and Sky settings. I totally agree with adding particles in the air. Though, i have never attempted something like that. Where is a good place to start if I am trying to add some dust and make certain rays visible?

also any tips on speeding up my render?

I know that having the gold material is really slowing the render down, before adding it, i was at 2 minute renders now im at 27 min
http://www.jose-f.com/images/gold3.jpeg

mister3d
01-06-2011, 07:17 AM
Looks nice. I would add some clouds on the sky, just a little, then the wall on the left is too blank. You could add something on the foreground out-of focus, but in a relative darkness to create depth. The green color doesn't fit well, make it warmer.

RickToxik
01-06-2011, 07:31 AM
Hi!

You could use Mia_material_x (Maya) or Arch&Design shader (3ds Max) to make your textures realistic. After you do this, plug a mia_rouncorners in the "overall bump" of your mia_x textures, so the edges of your objects will look softer, more realistic.

For the gold material, use mia_material_x too. You can choose from a preset (chrome, stained metal) or recreate the gold yourself, but keep your glossy samples under 32/64...

In mental ray Render Settings:

- Quality Tab/Raytracing:
keep reflections / refractions to 2 / 2 and Max Trace Depth at 4

- Indirect Lighting: use Final Gathering (You don't need Global Illumination for outdoor...)
set Accuracy to 50-100 and point density to 0.1-0.4

You should delete your Physical Sun and Sky, and create a new one if you have added too much samples values. And set your Anti-Aliasing to Min 0 Max 2.

Participating Media (particles in the air) is complicated, you need to find a good tutorial and follow step-by-step...

You can simulate a foggy day lighting by adding haze in the skylight. I hope it helps!

IRAFK
01-06-2011, 07:15 PM
Hi!

You could use Mia_material_x (Maya) or Arch&Design shader (3ds Max) to make your textures realistic. After you do this, plug a mia_rouncorners in the "overall bump" of your mia_x textures, so the edges of your objects will look softer, more realistic.

For the gold material, use mia_material_x too. You can choose from a preset (chrome, stained metal) or recreate the gold yourself, but keep your glossy samples under 32/64...

In mental ray Render Settings:

- Quality Tab/Raytracing:
keep reflections / refractions to 2 / 2 and Max Trace Depth at 4

- Indirect Lighting: use Final Gathering (You don't need Global Illumination for outdoor...)
set Accuracy to 50-100 and point density to 0.1-0.4

You should delete your Physical Sun and Sky, and create a new one if you have added too much samples values. And set your Anti-Aliasing to Min 0 Max 2.

Participating Media (particles in the air) is complicated, you need to find a good tutorial and follow step-by-step...

You can simulate a foggy day lighting by adding haze in the skylight. I hope it helps!

^^ Excellent advice. Do that and it should decrease your render times and improve the look a lot! :) Cheers

IRAFK
01-06-2011, 07:20 PM
Hi!

You could use Mia_material_x (Maya) or Arch&Design shader...

Does Maya have these "pro mats" sets, like Arch&Design etc? Or is that 3DMax only thing? I've been trying to find some good sets for Maya's mental ray, (chrome, water, gold, copper etc) just to help speed things along if I just through on a quick texture without having to build them every time. Is there such a thing?

Thanks

RickToxik
01-06-2011, 07:48 PM
Maya has 9 presets of Mia_x materials (chrome water glossy plastic...), and I believe that 3Ds Max has over 30... But the upside I think is that you really learn how to tweak the settings to make it look like you want. Honnestly, I've been working with Maya mental ray for a year now, and I never used another material (for archviz, but some vfx and animation stuff too) to recreate whatever real-world material I had in mind... Love it! BUT, it can render funny in the viewports.

IRAFK
01-06-2011, 08:50 PM
I've been trying to create an accurate water now for about a week. I cant get it to work, i need it behave like real water. The scene is an underwater dock, minimal lighting, but i need the room to be filled with caustics coming for the sub bay. There will be lights in the bay itself, similar to submerged pool lights. I'm having no luck. Heres the link to the thread if you are interested. Link (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=944925) Sry if im high jacking this thread, its just the 1st time ive been able to get any feedback on mats and mental ray.

Cheers
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii127/jusjoesh/dockwire.jpg
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii127/jusjoesh/1hour7mins.jpg
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii127/jusjoesh/kindaworks.jpg

shockwave82
01-17-2011, 12:52 AM
thanks RickToxik

this is exactly the type of advice, i will try that in a bit and post a new render when i do

shockwave82
01-17-2011, 03:49 AM
ok so i did the settings like RickToxik mentioned, and it actually increased my render time to about 34 min.

this is the image

http://www.jose-f.com/images/gold4.jpeg

does the fact that the scene is considerably bigger than the the grid have anything to do with the render times? Would subing the material x shader instead of using blinns speed up or slow down the render?

RickToxik
01-17-2011, 02:51 PM
Hey IRAFK,

Although I have never created an underwater scene, I have seen somewhere that using caustics and participating media (mib_volume or parti_volume) will help you to create the underwater feeling... Did you put some participating media in your last image?

Here's one simple tutorial about participating media:
http://cgnotebook.com/wiki/Mental_ray_volumetric_shadows_with_parti_volume_in_Maya

You can also read this thread:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php/t-812857.html

You could also use glow to create beams on your lights (light fog or light glow) to simulate beams of light in the water.

Your round windows (portholes) are looking a little funny i think... Maybe you need to add edges before converting to subdivision.

Good Luck

RickToxik
01-17-2011, 02:58 PM
ok so i did the settings like RickToxik mentioned, and it actually increased my render time to about 34 min.



When you render with mental ray, you have to pay attention when you make a modification and suddenly make your rendering time a lot longer. You said earlier that when you added your gold material your rendering time went from 2-3 minutes to 27 minutes. This is the problem. It should not be that long, and your rendering time should never increase that much in one step... There are some exceptions of course, but this is not normal. I would try to render without the gold objects and see if that is the problem. Also did you delete your sunlight and create a new one like i said, without changing the default values? And keep your fg point density to 0.1.

shockwave82
01-17-2011, 06:11 PM
RickToxik,

i agree with you, i think that the next step is to remove the gold material and start over from there. Im thinking it also might be to some benefit to compeltely redo the materials using maya material x. Also, i remember reading something a while ago about the size of your scene making a difference in mental ray. do you know anything about that? will it help to make the objects smaller? The initial grid is that defaults in maya is super tiny

RickToxik
01-17-2011, 06:36 PM
I don't think the physical scale of your scene really matters here. I THINK (not 100% sure) this will impact on your rendering time if you render effects that calculate the physical scale like depth of field, participating media or some other special cases.

If you make one change and your rendering time goes from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, this is not normal and you should undo the change and start from there. I have seen this many times...

Try another material for your gold. I don't know how you made the reflections glossy on that material, but those can make your rendering time very high.

If you really don't know what the problem is in your scene, you can try to reimport your objects in a clean new scene to see if that helps.

I'm almost sure it's not the size of objects versus the size of the grid.

shockwave82
01-19-2011, 05:59 AM
So what i ended up doing was exporting my scene as an .obj then re importing it back into a new scene, redid all my materials using mia material x, re did the sun and sky shader, and i cut down my render time from 28min back to 2 min. Im pretty happy with the way this color pass turned out, now i have to work on getting some DOF and other passes so i can composite this image and getting it to look better.

though this gold material isnt quite as glossy as i'd like it to be. any suggestions on making it glossier/have more shine

http://www.jose-f.com/images/gold5.jpeg

RickToxik
01-19-2011, 06:26 AM
Wow! This is by far the best render you came up with in my opinion, and you made it in 2 mins.... Ha ha funny isn't it? Bugs can sometimes appear in maya (I'd say the user is faulty...) and if you spend more time looking for the bug, it's better to start in a new scene. There are SO MANY parameters in mental ray that can make things go wrong, that's why you should not play with every parameter if you don't know what you're doing.

GREAT! Honnestly, the gold material looks more realistic to me like this than before. The glossiness is very believable. What you're saying, in fact, is that it has nothing to reflect! Other than the building it reflects, there's nothing in your scene behind the camera or in the sky and that's what we're seeing in the reflection: nothing! For realistic reflections in scenes like this, people often use IBL. But I would stick with Sun and Sky for now.

You could add more realism to your reflections by trying this:
- add a bump map with metal rust or scratches on the gold object
- add a plane with an image or some objects (trees or background jpg) behind the camera, so they reflect on the gold object and so we think your scene is not empty

Remember how those settings are when you render in 2 minutes....

Finally, I would add a comment, something I am thinking from the beginning of your renders. The color between the objects do not always match. You have pink there, brown here, blue there, etc. You should try to create - in my opinion - a more artistic scene if you want to push your scene further. That said, you could try to harmonize the colors and the tones between the objects of the scene and/or create a more original mood with your lighting than plain blue (early "am"?, sunset?, daylight and spots?, etc) - the lighting could also help you to harmonize the tints between the objects of your scene. Good work! Push further :)

shockwave82
03-17-2011, 06:28 PM
Hey guys,

its been a bit, but i finally got some composites together, they style is there and overall im happy with the look. One of the renders has some elements that are out of place in some of the render passes, so ill fix that soon. But overall what do you guys think?

http://www.jose-f.com/images/Composite1HD.png

http://www.jose-f.com/images/Composite2HD.png

RickToxik
03-17-2011, 06:41 PM
It looks good, but honnestly I don't see big changes trough time in the overall look of your scene. Maybe it's time to move on to the next project then!... ;)
It's a good thing that you learn to render in passes, zdepth, motion vectors, ambient occlusion can be very usefull in post.
The last thing I would try before wrapping this up would be to color correct the whole scene, like give a tint or saturate/desaturate the final image, because it looks like the scene (which has a orange tint) and the sky (blue tint) come from to different renders.
cheers

p.s. I like the depth of field too

shockwave82
03-18-2011, 04:15 PM
Thanks Rick toxik you have been great help troughthisbwhole process and I donagree its time for a new project (once I color correct the scene)

RickToxik
03-18-2011, 08:22 PM
Good luck! In the meanwhile, you may find this guy's youtube channel very interesting (more than 80 free videos!). I watch his videos very often, as they cover a lot of maya's basics and are a veeeery good reference for many workflows in maya. Subscribe to the Deepfriedectoplasm!!

http://www.youtube.com/user/deepfriedectoplasm

shockwave82
03-20-2011, 09:00 PM
this channel is perfect! exactly what im looking for to keep learning. thanks!

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