View Full Version : Gi renderer...

02 February 2002, 07:56 AM
I always work real hard on the lighting for my scenes, but no matter how hard I try, I still dont get that nice photon mapping render that GI does, is there any free software or trial version of any Gi render for Maya. or something?

I swear, I've tried faking radiosity with a lighting dome, I've tried the Raydiffuse plugin, but still i don't get that great quality that something like Vrender or any other cool Gi render does.

any ideas?

N.T.S.C. = "never twice the same color" :D

02 February 2002, 12:15 PM
you can try Exluna's Entropy rendering engine from and for connection betwen maya and entropy you could use MAYAMAN from animal logic

there is also VirtuaLight and the MVL for connection


Light sources: Spotlight, Point, Directional, Area light.
Maya shaders: Lambert, Phong, Blinn.
VirtuaLight shaders: PlainSurface and FunctionalSurface.
Image mapping and Bump mapping.
Objects: NURBS surfaces (with tesselation level), Polygonal Meshes (with uv-coordinates).
Camera (fov, depth of field, background, fog, etc...)
Specific VirtuaLight options for ray-tracing and global illumination (Antialiasing, Monte Carlo irradiance, Photon mapping, Skylight, Sunlight, etc...)

There is also MentalRay witch I didn't try yet. :(

02 February 2002, 02:25 PM
It's faster and it's pretty nice. It isn't true GI though it has a realy nice feeling.

Mikkel Jans
02 February 2002, 03:02 PM
I allways use GI Joe:

02 February 2002, 02:39 AM
thanks for the replies, i'll definetely try all of them..... except for raydiffuse :p i tryed it allready... but still thanks for the comment, I DO LIKE IT!! its nice and really good for certain situations.

But anyway thanks to all for taking the time for the replies ill get on trying all of them!!!

ps where can i get mental ray ( i've heard of it but i can't seem to find a link for download at the alias page...




" a reel is a good as it's worst element" ........Dale K. Myers

02 February 2002, 08:17 AM
mental ray costs like $3000

02 February 2002, 05:56 PM
IS it possible for someone to post some small pictures of 1 scene that is rendered with those different renderings-software/plugins ?

Would be very interesting to see them side by side.
(i know this could be hard , as every rendering has tons of settings , altough it is still possible to go with the standard settings ?? or ... )

02 February 2002, 03:16 AM
Well, since im going to try all of them.
i'll get a scene that i have and then ill try all of them with the custom setting . and then perhaps with some alteration on each......

it would be a nice test to show for comparison purposes, and besides........... i will still have to do it to render my own
scenes anyway, ....... so might as well go on and do it!!!!

good idea chappo!!!!:D

ps. perhaps even get a critique on my work!!


el gatto
02 February 2002, 01:13 PM
I hear you Axl, I have the same problem, if you wanna compare with me, here's a simple scene you can use, you just need to create 3 blinn shaders test.mb (

and this is a quick test I did using virtual light

the render globals
globals (

btw, this is the the first time I used MVL (virtual light)
the results aren't that great,
I'm sure it could look way better,
I'd love to see other people results with diffrent settings or diffrent plugins ;)


el gatto
02 February 2002, 10:37 AM
No problemo :D ! try this you can upload your stuff, they allow direct linking :) it's easy to use and you don't need a website.


02 February 2002, 12:08 AM
Every website starts with an index.html :)

replace the one on the server with yours ! :)

02 February 2002, 07:15 AM
how many lights did you use for the ray-diffuse, and what kind of lights were they?

what were the render times?

aaaannndd... what did you use to render teh second pic??

thanks :D

el gatto
02 February 2002, 07:38 AM
I don't see any of your images ????
the link dosen't work :( I think there's too many characters, I see ... instead of the image name in your link ???

Try linking your image this way
(IMG)your link(/IMG)
but use[ ] insead of ( ) and no space

Krugar's right, give us more info please :) how many lights, render time, processor...


02 February 2002, 08:40 AM




02 February 2002, 09:24 PM
Not sure where this thread is going but thought I would comment on lighting. Earlier pixho and raydiffuse were mentioned. I have become set into a solution I like utilizing the best of these two options. Used in conjuction the raydiffuse material and the GIjoe light dome there isnt a better "Fake" solution out there. For a real GI solution I would have to go with entropy, but at this point I am actually likeing my combo solution better for speed and quality. So try mixing the raydiffuse and GI Joe. I'll try and post an example later on with render stats.

02 February 2002, 12:29 PM
well i posted this thread and i got answers and that is more that GREAT!!!!
so first ill like to thank everyone for the info on where to find stuff. thats what i like about this comunity:D
Second, as i said i was working and i couldn't do any of the things proposed, SPECIALLY the one proposition i liked the most wich was GATTO'S i think that that was a great idea thanks for the scene
so because of that. I decided to begin trying all the renders
and although i just started.... its coming along
so i will attach on the message after this a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF
its just the first part of three....
and i have all the info i think necesary Logged
Hope that helps all of us
By The By... since these are JUST TESTS they are not to be looked artistically (well maybe some have just enough quality for that but not really);)

here is the first part
the second part i call RGB, and the Third, Caustics,but i havent gottent to those yet


02 February 2002, 08:11 PM
well i finally got this to work... sorry i took long in case some one looked and din't see a link.
This is the first time i do a web page ( yes i know)

but hey i did it Thats what counts

here is the mini-site

sorry if it takes long to load.... i just did what i could



el gatto
02 February 2002, 11:20 PM
hey ! it's pretty cool, nice little mini-site, now I'd love to see other people stuff with diffrent settings, that would be nice, and it could also be very helpfull ;)

Other test i'd love to see: BMRT, Virtual light, exluna...

I'll try something if I have time...


02 February 2002, 10:00 AM
I'd love to see other examples as well. Possibly displaying a certain pic you believe posses a special render quality from your personnal technique. And dont posting render time, setup info,and rendering package, could be very informative.
I'll post an example in the morning.

02 February 2002, 10:49 AM
if you want you can also send me the pic and ill put it on the mini site....
ill try and fix it so that its more pleasant more accesible as well as easyer to read

but anyway... ill also add more to it.. and also some pieces that are more artistic and pleasant


hope to see your work



02 February 2002, 12:10 PM
In the dome light setup it gets a bit blurry with such similar colours. So i suggest you make the floor colour different to the object colour.

02 February 2002, 04:07 PM
as a matter of fact i am...
i am working on three diferent sets or ideas...
one is called grays
(which is the one there right now....)
also i will do another one called HSV
(which will have different color for the objects, including the floor)
and another one called reflections
( which has two different reflective objects)

and lastly a las one that is called xtras
which are the more personalised settings and no the default values unlike the last three wich are all done on defaults... and will or might have some more (nicer) images.. and not so technical.

but anyway... thanks for the comment i appreciate the concern... and im glad that i get comnts on the work
but i guess that for now i want to show the images as how they look in a basic BASIC!! way... with no alterations... so that we can tell how the more complex images will look if we keep them on the defaults...or in oder words.. 'to know how much do we really have to work on lighting and material shading to get a nice image '

and one last thing... as im going along with the work i will also fix and orgainze the mini-page (as i likle to call it) more so that its more pleasant to the eye..

anyway... thanks again fo the comment!!!:)

and if you like i will post some of your work there... it would be nice to compare!!! or just to see different artists perspective on the same image.. or other images... i havent thought about it too much yet... for now im working on getting the renders and times and pics done..

k too much writing....
see ya..

02 February 2002, 03:42 AM
I apologise I said I would post in the morning, but work is always that way....Unpredictable.
So heres an example, Not the most exciting just happened to be what i'd done at work recently. This should be fine though to get some stats off of then later i'll post the forest scene from the short i've been working on with my partner.

02 February 2002, 04:09 AM
This is cool man :)

I'll be checking in alot for some test renders.... am very very VERY curious now ;)

02 February 2002, 07:24 AM
Yeah, i think its a good idea.... It would be nice to have a web resource for everyone who asks about GI solutions for Maya.

I'll work on some image submissions if i get time.

02 February 2002, 08:23 AM
hey im soo happy!!!... i cant believe this post is acually going somewhere....:D

anyway... wow great image!!!!
i kind o feel bad about the work on the the mini page but i guess its a good start..( gotta start somewhere) anyway.. one i know the results better ill love to post some of my (real) work as well as all of yours... i mean.. just that pic of the cell is so inspiring!!!
thats what cool about this site amongs all the other things off course!!!
i try and keep working on the mini-page.. im kind of re-sorting it out ( so that its more organized) but at the same time i know nothing about web design... anyway here is a litle pic from the tests so far...

later on ill work with customized settings and im preety sure the images might look nicer..

well gotta go, gotta sleep
see ya

alx. :D

02 February 2002, 09:04 AM
Hey all,
I noticed earlier over in the renderers forum the near same discussion going on, and gave the thread link to here. Hopefully we will have more examples soon.
Some one had mentioned mental ray there, so if its wanted i'll also try and put together a stats on some of my Entropy, Renderman, type renders.
Possibly this should become a new thread at some point, but for now on new postslet us know a bit about your solution.

Resolution of render
speed of comp rendered on
number of lights
any outside render solution/and setup
other useful info you want to share

To alx:
Nice last pic are you using the caustics mel on the cube? I havent had cause yet to use it in production, but would like to just for fun. Hows your render time and light setup affected by it? Much slower?

02 February 2002, 08:12 PM
yeah it actually do is preetymuch slower when caustics are on... specially if you really want a nice caustic effect. i mean that pic was rendered on defaults and the light was prettyfar from the objects (which helps to speedup caustic procecing time) but if the custic camera was closer to the 2 objects then the caustic effect will be much better
anyway here are the stats on that image

- rendered at 640 *480
- intermediate quality (and all the defaults that thaqt quality give)
- dephmap shadows on
Reflections 5
Refractions 12
Shadows 0
Bias 0

3 lights
Intensity 0.8
Dephmap filter 5
Scale 1.8

Intensity 0.6
Dephmap filter 10

Spot (caustic)
Intensity 0.4
Dephmap filter 5
ConeAngle 60
Penumbra 6

Caustics (all defaults)
Pentium III
524 RAM
Geforce 2 GTS video card 64 m

Render time 11 min 26 secs!!!
(the default render time (no caustics no RT) but with meped reflections took 43 secs) to be able to compare

hope that helps



02 February 2002, 11:36 PM

it is great, that u put all the renderings together, but wouldn't it be better if u do it in a html file with an easy navigation?
would be better for updates too...

just my two cent ;)

so long C.

02 February 2002, 12:11 AM
cool idea, but think it needs a other layout so you can compare the images between each other. For example: create a button with which you can switch between the different images without loading a complete new page (1 image update). Or place the different images next to each other.

btw in flash you can use different scenes so you don't have to make seperate .swf files but everything in 1 .swf file

gr. Dennis

02 February 2002, 06:51 AM
Yeah im gonna a try as a matter of fact all is set up on one file w/ different scenes... i am trying to to get em to work but as i said its the first time i try this... anyway.. i will do it that way (thats the way i had it before) just that i dint like the way it was set up but worry not!!!!
it will be done as so!!!:D

well just got back from work so now it MAYA time!!!!

well talk to all of you soon!!!



02 February 2002, 10:12 AM
I've been following this thread and another in the general rendering section...
I have had very good results with raydiffuse at work, here at home I only have a few silly renders. But the fun thing about these examples is that there is no lights illuminating, only the raydiffuse node mapped to incandesence (just for tests, at work I either do a seperate pass to add in compositing, or map it to the diffuse attribute) This uses the ray direction connected to a directional light (intensity of light is 0) anyway take it for what it is, a test of a plugin, not an attempt at a great image...I was curious to see if you really needed extra lights with raydiffuse, or could you get good solid directional shadows by it self, so yes you can...

02 February 2002, 02:27 PM
Well first Thanks to all for following this thread!!!
second...I still am working on th page everytime i get some spare time ( that way i do two things a t the same time
1. do the comparisons w info

anway thanks to all for putting in their 2 c!!

Question: do you guys think i should post your images on the site ? as different examples on the later link i will do with customized settings?

if so let me know if i can post your image!!

ps... try to keep it simple.. the idea is to see the Plugin(s) funconality

ps just in case the mini-page is
(but it still isnt finished)
and another thing!!
the basic setting is just to base every render based on that time... hope that helps

Well see ya!!

02 February 2002, 07:38 AM
Hey Looks like the site is coming along. Great info you listed, including the render globals. Only thing I was kinda looking for with the render times was speed of the machine you rendered from. Thought I mention it since it gives a new perspective. on the efficiency of the setup by stating wether it took 2 minutes on a 400 mhz compared to 2 minutes on a 1.4ghz athlon.
i also agree on your earlier statement it is great to see this going somewhere.

Please people post moreinfo/examples!

02 February 2002, 07:42 AM
I read rumours about splutterfish wanting to bring out a version of Brazil for maya too.
But i don't expect it to come at the same time as Brazil 1.0 for max.
I believe they'd have to start with alpha and beta testing all over for maya.
But atleast they have a heck of an experience with this being done for max.
So my hopes are up.
But i rather see true radiosity in maya rather than GI.(like in lightwave)
A full integration of Pixar Renderman and a true Radiosity renderer would be a killer combo for maya 5.
But hey who knows what the future might bring.

02 February 2002, 08:51 AM
Yes wouldnt that be cool! Maya with Renderman totally integrated, or Entropy! I must admit I am leaning more towards entropy right now. Easy to use and pretty fast. Settings also are quick to set for production test then bumped up for final render quality.
Biggest bitch about this is that Animal logics bridge(mayaman) is (I believe) the easiest way to connect Maya and PR. So to use this you have to buy software from three different places. When support time comes who do you call first.

Heres an idea SELL IT ALL TOGETHER ALIAS! Hell we allready pay 17 grand for just maya why not milk us for somemore?
comm' on we know you wanna.......

As for brazil......mixed emotions.......I'm origionally a max user so I tried brazil in beta. Not really that fast considering I can nearly fake that particular look with maya and raydiffuse, and in much less time...

Lets see......guess which one I used for this.

el gatto
02 February 2002, 11:19 AM
ME3D, that would be nice :)
Btw I'm not sure if mayaman is the easiest way to run PR, renderman artist tools is probably a better tool.
Have you tried PRman ? 'cause I'm pretty sure it dosen't support GI and radiosity (correct me if I'm wrong)... not even raytracing :confused:.... Am I right ?

David, I agree, radiosity like in LW would definitly be nice too, in fact Lightwave's renderer would be nice... heheheh ;) OK !!! I'm not gonna go there, we all heard that one a zillion time :D sorry I couldn't resit ;)

Red fuzz, good results, interesting, I'll have to try that.

Btw, has anyone had good results with BMRT ??? after all it's a free renderer,it supports radiosity, I'm not sure about GI but.....


02 February 2002, 03:19 PM
el gatto,
Yes your right renderman doesnt even raytrace. Sorry I should have been clearer on this one I was just agreeing that as far as integration into Maya ::::I'd take it!!!!!!:::: As far as the GI goes Entropy does support functions of the sort, which is why I was "leaning more in that direction".
As far as BMRT well its a plus that its free, and it has alot more control since it utilizes the same type of shader engineering as renderman renderers, but it is considerably slower. Entropy is the new big brother of BMRT and it is nearly as fast as PRman with (Ray traced reflections/refractions/shadows, true area lights, global illumination, and caustics.) -quoted straight from their site.
I definitly prefer entropy myself so far.
You say the full package RAT has an easier connection? Could be i'd like to know more about that, but I havent ever worked anywhere that has bought the full eight thousand dollars worth....
Have you used RAT (RenderMan Artist Tools) el gatto? MTOR does look easy so the question is does it link together more efficiently?

el gatto
02 February 2002, 08:34 PM
Damn! , that's expensive, I can't belive it! from what I've seen in tutorials and from what i've read artist tools seems to be a good tool though, plus, it's from the same company (pixar) that does Prman so.... I'm just saying it's probably really well integrated with Prman ... I'll have to read more on Mayaman though ;)

That entropy thing does look very interesting, it seems to be the most complete, it does everything we talked about so far :D

One thing is for sure, those all cost a lot of $$$ :(, and it would be nice to find ways (w free plugins, scripts or w Maya native renderer) to simulate that GI effect, so far we've seen ray diffuse, Vlight, skydome , and I think that's about it, how about GI Joe, I never had good results with it but some say it's a cool script, any interesting results with it ?


02 February 2002, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by el gatto

One thing is for sure, those all cost a lot of $$$ :(, and it would be nice to find ways (w free plugins, scripts or w Maya native renderer) to simulate that GI effect, so far we've seen ray diffuse, Vlight, skydome , and I think that's about it, how about GI Joe, I never had good results with it but some say it's a cool script, any interesting results with it ?


I am curious, all I have seen so you guys work with so far is 3rd party plugins. Even with the plugins no consideration is given to what type of shading networks you are using in your tests. A blinn is going to behave like a blinn no matter how many lights you put in your scene. If all you use is default materials you are going to get default results.

Maya's renderer is not like other 3d apps native renderer. In Maya you have access to information that other apps would require you to be a programmer to get at. How many other apps give you a visual tool for performing vector mathemetic functions on the matrices of objects? If you guys want to get good render results I highly suggest you research what causes the effect you wish to render in your scenes, and then build a shading a network to replicate it.

Shading networks can also be complimented with expressions and MEL, infact MEL can be used as a shading language. If you are ignorant of what is going on with Maya's renderer I highly suggest you purchase the advanced shading networks cdrom from AW. Also purchasing the Renderman companian and Advanced Renderman would be good as well. Though both books are Renderman specific they contain lots of info relevant to rendering in general. You might also be a little surprised at the similiarities between the Renderman standard and Maya.

02 February 2002, 02:17 AM
can any one possibly give me a simple .mb or .ma scene (ball and plane) which is already set up and uses true GI and NO FINAL GATHER.. ive been trying to get global illumination from mental ray for maya but to no avail... ive tried Everything, light emit photons, check that GI was on whatever, you name it.. i experimented for hours and got no GI... some half way long render times but no color bleed, or any other effects that gi should look like. if i open a premade scene and nothing happens than i know where the problem is.. thanks in advance.


02 February 2002, 03:55 AM
Hey LYR,
Thanks for the advice on that CD. I could use more research time in that area, but I am not currently ruling it out as a method. Its currently the way I did the above pic from my other post. (shader using rays)

Sorry to make it seem like no thought is being given to the shaders, but its just tough to explain how to place in, and what makes your network "special" on a forum.

More or less concerning the 3rd party plugs....I think the indicisiveness is just a discussion of possibilities. Mostly due to the fact at present there isnt one difinitive "does it all" solution.

You have a idea on the solution?
Got an example?
Shoot, I'd love to see it. Especially if what your saying is maya can already do it.

02 February 2002, 04:02 AM
flipnap make sure you have cast photons and recieve photons checked on in the objects attribute editor.

i dont know what you are doing wrong but GI works fine here .

Hope that helps


02 February 2002, 04:50 AM
yep i tried that --- thats why i was wondering if anyone had a small sample file that works for them so i can try the identical file... i seriously think there's something wrong here. i have GI eneabled in the globals i have a single spot emitting emit photons, physical, - on the objects in the scene i have cast and recieve flags on -- and nothing.. Also remember that im not using final gather gives me a nice look but i can get the REAL GI to render.. im experimenting with such a simple setup that i see no reason why GI isnt rendering except that theres something buggy. i dunnnooooooo

help me

02 February 2002, 05:12 AM
Wow im again so glad we are all talking about the same thing here and not goinf off from it.. the thing i like the most is that it is all being talked in a technical way that at least for me helps alot because that way i get to follow exacly what's has been done to an image and i don;t assume that maybe this was done..
y have a question for Lyr.. or anyone who can help me... maybe me3d...

can maya really do some good renders and quick with its own structure?... by aplying mel scripting to shaders?....and or lights and maybe even conecting attribuites beetween them?...
or... are thate any hidden nodes inm maya realting with subsurface scatering for example?...
the reason why i ask this last one is cause i saw some info o a hidden node from maya called "ocean..."
i really have no idea how it works of if you have to create a mel for it... anyway ( i know its not render related) but it is a hidden node that exploits maya's capabilites and i hear that there are plenty of "hidden" nodes in maya anyway.. hope to hear answers to any or all of those 3 questions.

Thanks in advanced

ps... can HDRI be used only with its own software?.... i know the whole theory behinf it but im not certain if there is a way to implement hdri for Maya.


Thanks in advance



02 February 2002, 05:41 AM
Hey Redfuzz, you might be interested in this film:

It uses the raydiffuse plugin with no lights. Although the film isn't going for a realistic look... it looks cool IMHO.

"In fact there is no light, and no diffuse materials. Only shader surface with rayDiffuse on the color input" - Cedric

02 February 2002, 06:03 AM
here is a little pic i did on maya on my lunch break,

its an iff file ( i hope everyone has maya..)
il post the jpeg later
Ray diffuse test] (

i think you have to right click save as..

here is the info

hope that info helps

if i did something usless please let me know..

and by the by... hope you enjoy the pic..


02 February 2002, 08:14 AM
Alx, maya has some rendering nodes that are practically ignored by the average user. Sampler info, vector product, plus minus average, multiply divide, light info, distanceBetween, closestPointOnSurface, LumVSat etc... Learn how to use these nodes, learn the theory behind them and you will have a much more enjoyable time with Maya's renderer.

I know very little about the technical aspects of HDRI, but from what I gather it has alot to do with color range. Maya seems to have a very wide range of colors. If you want to see just how wide Maya's color range is create a ramp, kill one entry list so there is only 2 colors, make sure you are in RGB 0 to 1 mode and numerically enter values higher than one into the boxes. Watch what happens to your ramp. From my understanding, if you want a shader that takes advantage of HDRI theory, you need to use color values higher than 1 (as a maximum).

Me3D, I am just beginning to dig into Maya's renderer. Right now my goals concerning shaders are mostly non-photo real. However this discussion is starting to really get me interested in GI and radiosity shader solutions. Perhaps it's time for me to do some deeper research on GI and see how it can be implemented in a shader.

02 February 2002, 01:38 PM
Ok heres is my lil contribution...rendered with virtual light. Used only skylight and one spot. Render time was about 40sec on a p3 500 with 448mg ram

I think this renderer has alot of potential...besides its free :D

02 February 2002, 01:54 AM
well here is the jpeg



Underdog... at what rez did you render?... and.... is that the only quality or is that the best quality?..

:) Thanks :)

ps 2
as soon as i get time ill keep on working on the mini-page


02 February 2002, 02:11 AM
I rendered at 800x600 with pretty much default settings. Only things I changed were the antialiasing and I turned samples up a small amount. So yeah quality could be set much higher...

I'll do some more renders later...

02 February 2002, 07:10 AM
Ok another test render, I'm not completely happy how it turned out..especially the shadows. Easily fixed if I turned up the samples more I think...but it was taking long enough already:)

render time about 1.5 hours on p3 500 at 800*600
Tank was d/l from take no credit
bigger version ~95k (

02 February 2002, 03:10 PM
Krugar... damn!!! thnks for that link ... i know it wasnt aimed specifically for me.. but well i saw it ;) and i liked it ALOT... how did you find out about it?... it was preety cool i love that style... i am begining to stylize my work and i Realy like it a la Ray diffuse!!:D
but first i gotta try all the plugins mentioned on this thread.!!

Underdog... Thanks for posting work and Specs ( that goes to everyone as well off course) it really does help to know all that info...

( i don'ty know about you guys... but i always wonder how long did 'whatever" image take to render and to compose and even to move around the scene. or if it was touched up in Photoshop... but im glad that we are doing this) at least for me... its already helped a lot 'cause once i see how the basic image works on somewhat basic settings.. then i can say o ok so now i can fix this or tht... and not try to guess it.. or assume...
anyway thanks for staying along with the thread..
hope to see more stats.. i will also do so...

Thanks again


02 February 2002, 04:14 PM
alx - i saw the link on

theres also an interview with the makers of the shortfilm on the raydiffuse website.

yeah, i really love the dirty, grainy look... it gives alot of character to the render... more so than pure realism.

02 February 2002, 05:39 PM
i don't know if anyine read the last 3dWold magazine.. i got it a couple of weeks ago... anyway there is a great article on Photorealism vs Stylism, talks about how a lot of Cg Artists are moving into stylism kind of like what happened with the impressionists .....

it talks about how the technicla issues are begining to (fade) and now the artist is adding his own impresion of what he sees...
anyway i loved the article and then i saw the animtion (thnks again krugar) and it kind of follows that path ... and i actually do like it alot... i love that style.. i can still make my real life proportion scenes and then render it with a nice style... mybe even no textures just the plain old plugin just that using the whole range of the value of the color used...

just a post...


02 February 2002, 10:50 PM
Sounds like an interesting article. This book I am reading on renderman had a chapter in the beginning about how what effects houses do is really hyper realism, not photo realism. I think I agree with that assesment. I think photorealism is a good exercise in that it can teach you alot about human perception, but to me as a style, photo realism seems to be lacking.

Thankfully Maya's renderer is so damn robust, and gives the artist so much control over thier renders, that developing a personal render style is a reality. I really don't know how I would cope if I were limited to a few pre-built shading models.

02 February 2002, 11:03 PM
too bad the Maya renderer is so damned slow!!

I'm beginning a month long project in May, and I was originally planning to use outdoor scenes. rendering outdoor lighting takes far too long on my computer.

has anyone tried BMRT?

02 February 2002, 11:10 PM
If you are having speed problems BMRT is not going to be the answer =)

For your out door scenes have you tried experimenting a bit with ambient color and incandescences? If not give it a try, you might be able to kill a few lights.

02 February 2002, 10:53 PM
Im not sure exactly what type of effect your looking for, but after seeing your time using virtual light I was compelled to do a work up.
Once again this is using RayDiffuse. Not the entire plugin, but just the texture node. And my own little light dome.

Render time for 800x600 was 1 min 5 sec.
So this is actually a good case to gauge against for production.
With this setup you can then go more grainy, or sharper like your present pic. The render time on my tests didnt vary between these. All times were just over a minute. I just prefer this look from the mid range.
Oh just to mention yes this is rendering on a faster machine (1.4 athlon) But I dont believe this will make as drastic a time difference as to pu it up to over an hour of render time.

Hope this helps in your render testing. If you have other questions on setup or anything please just ask.

02 February 2002, 10:59 PM
nice pic. I love the bit grain you have going there.
Ray Diffuse right? It kicks ass!

Lyr had it on the money concerning BMRT. All my work with it has been extremely slow. Most likely getting the quality and speed you want can be done with just maya. Tweek the lights, and materials.
For more options then try out Entropy or Renderman, just a suggestion.

02 February 2002, 12:29 AM
hey guys pardon my ignorance but what is BMRT?

i at the beggining i thought it was related to BRDF (bydirectional Reflectance distribution function) which is the function that opperates for ray casting how rays are emmited and reflected but i lokked up and i didn't find anything relating BRDF with i have no idea what BMRT means... help!!! :D

Me3d.... THANKS for the comp... YEAH thats Ray diff!!!! it kicks A$$ !!
as a matter of fact i liked that so much that i decided to animate it.. usisng Ray diff and caustics (i added a cristal cube) but its taking for ever to render at a low rez... anyway... as far as the tests im goint to continue them today... i have to finish them... i think that the info that comes from there is priceless.. specially to those new to the pluggins...

Lyr... do you know any special; type of material connections that give an interesting shading quality?.... can we know about them?... it would be nice to see what different qualities can we acomplish with mayas default render..

well thats all for now See you all!!!



02 February 2002, 12:46 AM
Here's my understanding of things...
Dr. Larry Gritz went to school, needed to write a renderer for a course, saw renderman was the best wrote his renderer (BMRT) to do everything renderman did and more. It will accept to same input files, it's so similar. But BMRT had raytracing, renderman still doesn't (and many great things have been done with out it, but when ilm needs to raytrace, they download bmrt just like the rest of us, but then they hack the two renderers together) So Larry got hired at pixar to work on renderman of course, which he has for years, and at the same time kept BMRT upto date with the renderman specs. Then he must have went postal because he has now formed his own company (exluna) that has writen a new spanky soon to be industry standard (maybe?) renderer called Entropy. Which has all the bells and whistle including GI (but not DOF?? coming in next release) I believe they are working on an integrated max plugin. But write now you use a bridge application plugin that writes out ribs (mayaman maxman, softman, rhinoman) that animal logic developed to use renderman with maya originally (animal logic is the ilm of australia)...
it's all rumors...

02 February 2002, 01:05 AM
thanks redfuzz !!:D
thats great info... i guess i gotta try renderman for the mini-page tests!! hope that it isn't that hard to use!!



02 February 2002, 02:53 AM
yeah. i heard that Exluna's Entropy (the big brother to Blue Moon Rendering Tools) renders at about the same quality as Renderman, as well as the other big names in GI, but is (as they say up here in Boston) wicked fast. Might be something I will look into...

Are there any integrated solutions on the horizon? With Maya ($7500) we always have to export to another program in order to render real GI, whereas in 3D Studio MAX ($500) you can do it right in the package. The nail in the coffin is that in 3DSMx you can do GI right out of the box!

When will we be able to render GI from INSIDE Maya?

02 February 2002, 03:52 AM
Man are you guys on the right track or what.

Well this is exactly what I have puzzled over and tested for the past 6 months. Rendering in in entropy, as I've said before, is fast just like renderman.
So Entropy and Renderman are the prime candidates for Maya to combine with!
But in walks Mental renderer, not nearly as functional, or fast, But............. they did build their own bridge to maya.

Seems like if entropy would build a bridge to maya and workout some sort of deal with alias we could all be happy. I will try and post some of my older tests with Entropy as soon as I can.
Or I may just rerender that tank again since its a pretty good test subject we can all get ahold of. I believe you get more out of seeing an actual obect rendered as opposed to a box.

02 February 2002, 05:11 AM
ALX, right now I am doing research for a couple of shader ideas I have. One is a chiaroscoro shader that treats light and shadow like painters do. The other is more of a script than a shader, what I hope it will do is find edges, sillhoutes, and sometimes colors at a certian value in rendered images and then stroke those pixels with paint fx. I'm also working on some ramp lights of my own that are based on the ramp light on AW's advanded shading network CD, except mine use color values above 1 and I can control how they affect the surface they are hitting, like do they add or multiply? Might even throw some conditions into it depending on how successful it turns out.

I've never really had much of an interest in trying to recreate GI inside of maya. GI is one of those things that artists in more traditional mediums spend their time fighting, yet for some reason CG artists want to hand over the lighting of their work to the computer. Not saying that's bad, just not what I want to do

02 February 2002, 06:08 AM
Lyr.. i agree in what you say about the artists handidng over their work into a gi system but the whole idea (at least for me) iand for most artists i hope is to take the advantage of the gi function and use it in an artistic way...
right? teka beyond the default...

but in order to do so we must have good knowledge of what Gi can do..right?..

and thats what i hope we can get out of this therad..
just a thought



02 February 2002, 06:23 AM
I understand your reservations on the use of GI in the way you spoke of. In fact i've seen in the studio I work at that LW has that built in "im a dummy button" for GI.
When this is used....... yes any monkey could run the render and produce something decent!
But just as alx said I believe with GI or Radiosity as part of my toolkit would mean I will have more options thus differentiating my work into a style just to my liking.

I't would be good to see other directions like those you spoke of earlier with shaders development.

02 February 2002, 07:47 AM
Saw last week that exluna are currently doing a deal with animal logic; you can pickup a copy of entropy and mayaman for a fairly hefty discount.


02 February 2002, 08:38 AM
Ok I see what you guys are after now. In order to proceed with creating a native GI and radiosity solution in maya we need to know what exactly it is about GI and radiosity that we want. We also need to know what other GI and radiosity solutions are actually doing when a scene is rendered. Once we know that we can go about creating a shader based solution to GI and radiosity.

For me, one of the things I like in GI is the distance based shaders. I like how points will shade eachother based on proximity. For an objects points shading each other This feature can be implemented through the use of closestPointOnSurface, however that particular node only works on Nurbs geometry(I have some ideas for getting the same effect on polys and subd's). For seperate objects swapping colors and shading each other, distanceBetween could be used, as that node works on geometry of all types

02 February 2002, 09:11 AM
Here are some great examples since the rendertimes are listed on the bottom. Animal logic lists renders done in Entropy, Renderman, Air, and native maya.

Oh and since we havent given a sttraight link to the Ray Diffuse site here it is:

You got it. If ya havent seen it already check the lightengine link above. This is, I believe, the direction we have all been speaking of.....hes writing shaders and scripts to achieve his specific needs. This node uses Rays and calculates distance on objects. I'm actually baseing alot of my own shader theories off of this beginning direction.

Later fellas....

02 February 2002, 09:44 AM
I must be an idiot becuase I can't figure out how do get good results with RayDiffuse. Here's a GI test using's GI_Joe. Rendered at 640*480 on a 1Ghz Thunderbird, 768MB RAM, GeForce2 Pro in 24 seconds.

I think it is pretty good considering the simplicity of the creation and the length of the render. Can anyone help me out on RayDiffuse?

Also, I'm going to be starting a pretty big project this spring. Although it seems really minor, I'm looking for a name for my "production company". Any suggestions?

02 February 2002, 10:17 AM
Create a shader and under say color look under utilities for RD. Then just for begining leave the settings, and make sure under render globals that raytrace is on. For speed set refect and refract to 0, then shadows to 5. Plaace in the light dome set up of your choice and your set. If you already used RD on the texture like this......then I would say next its your light setup.
Call back operator will be standing
Just kidding, let me know how it goes man.

02 February 2002, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Lyr

For me, one of the things I like in GI is the distance based shaders. I like how points will shade eachother based on proximity.
My understanding is that Raydiffuse is in fact "a proximity based stocastic monty carlo" shader...

02 February 2002, 01:06 AM
Yes it is. Personally I can't stand the way monte carlo looks. Way too much artifacting, it's wasteful of system resources and you have to raytrace. It also tends to take over your scene.

02 February 2002, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by ME3D
Create a shader and under say color look under utilities for RD. Then just for begining leave the settings, and make sure under render globals that raytrace is on. For speed set refect and refract to 0, then shadows to 5. Plaace in the light dome set up of your choice and your set. If you already used RD on the texture like this......then I would say next its your light setup.
Call back operator will be standing
Just kidding, let me know how it goes man.

Well, I would also suggest, simplify your testing. Test one variable at a time, don't mix a light dome and Rd.
These are trying to acheive the same goal.
I have had good success using each, on their one.
Try mapping the Raydiffuse node into the 'diffuse' channel of a material. Then you can have what ever you want in the color. Also...I think that this Raydiffuse is very similar to the grunge shaders that came about a while ago. Try using it with a blend color node to mix between rust in the cracks and crevases and shiny elsewhere. Or into the RGBmult to darken a texture in the cracks. These work especially well if you buy the 1.1 version, convert to texture maps and then edit them in a paint package to add some dripping beneath the cracks.
What my theory is, is that Raydiffuse into the diffuse channel is simulating the hemispherical ambient light, from the sky, from bouncing around a room or whatever, and then I add a key lights with shadows). I use GIjoe in a similar way.
But then I can also think of raydiffuse replacing all my lights (see my above test images with NO lights) Using a directional light connected to the ray direction you can use ray blend (v1.1 only) to dial in soft or hard shadows from that light. Very cool...
There are some very clear tutorials and documentaion on the lightengine site.

I'm hoping I have time soon to test out pixho's subsurface light scatting (skin, marble wax etc) and lightengine's new ray marcher volumetric shader, it looks great.

This is a very good link all about rending research at stanford (

el gatto
02 February 2002, 08:39 AM
HI, this is an interesting result using the lightgen plugin with HDRshop plus Ray Diffuse, it took something like 2 hours to render a 1k x 1k image, but this is the best results a had so far ;)

image (


02 February 2002, 10:30 AM
i like the render ... to bad it took so long?.... was it maya's default render syst?..
how hard is it to get hdr to work?...

i have one more question... why is there a COFFE 'MATIC on the skylight control wiondow from the pixho page ?... what does it do?... has anyone used it?... the vertion 1.1
it kind of made me laugh when i saw it on the webpage

at ubnder get the maya 4 plugins for skylight control...

anyway... i really have no iddea what it does anyone knows?



02 February 2002, 11:13 AM
guys thanks for trying to keep the Gi conversation on this thread i think it makes alot of sence specially cause we are all trying to explore the posibilities of Gi.. photon mapping bmrt hdri etc..

and find ways to control all those attributes, plugins, functions, scripts etc that the computer can do for you.. instead of them controlling our work...pluss i ove the fact that the conversation ( as i mentioned before) keeps a technical langauge so that no words are misinterpreted... aaannnnd... all the different render times and render types as well as styles that an algorithm an do under diferent settings...
i think thats just too cooll!!

hope to see more tests.. and as i said before, ill still posts all the defaults on the mini page...
i still got a somewhat long way to go and fix some things in there .. but it will be done!!!



again thnks..!!!!

02 February 2002, 08:04 PM
el gatto
something I'm unclear on with the HDRI.......How are you using this within maya? I need to research this more I will admit, but to help could you run through the general process. HDRI shop's tutorials, and explanations arent that great for explaining how this works into your "pipeline"
As for your pic is see the effect in lighting! Very nice. I had no idea you did that pirate

Just in case anyone wants to misinterpret me saying pipeline let me say " I know this is not for commercial use" What I am saying is does HDRI really act as a post process? Or can it be used as some sort of image imported back into maya to a dome or such that emits light?
Confused I am. Yes confused....must study.

02 February 2002, 11:46 PM
From what I can tell HDRI is the process of rendering a 3d scene using a single HDR image to light the scene. Essentially each pixel acts as a light. It's horribly wasteful of system resources and takes to freaking long to render to be useful anytime soon.

Now, Maya as we all know supports 16bit color, so I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to write a mel script that would take each pixel, sample it's luminance and color values, and then light according to those values.

Here's a link to a tutorial that presents a very practical and artistic way to simulate global illumination, however this setup also parrallels alot of what HDRI programs do. The main difference bieng Mr.Campin didn't use high range color in the example he gives in the tutorial.

Personally I think the idea presented in Mr. Campin's tutorial is superior to other HDRI programs. All the HDRI programs I have seen churn out what is obviously programmer art. With Mr.Campin's setup we get a nice effect from nature that we can control fully. My suggestion to you though would be if you are going to use a setup like this make sure you use high range color (values above 1).

02 February 2002, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by el gatto
HI, this is an interesting result using the lightgen plugin with HDRshop plus Ray Diffuse, it took something like 2 hours to render a 1k x 1k image, but this is the best results a had so far ;)
how exactly did you use the raydiffuse, in the color or diffuse channel, or...? I guess one reason I see to use a light dome (or the lights from lightgen) and ray diffuse is that you could get various colors from different lights.

Also, there is a support mailing list for lightengine plugins, it's a yahoo group called lightengine3d...but it's pretty empty, this is a great thread, but I did get quick feedback from the author of rayDiffuse when I had a problem...

02 February 2002, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Lyr
From what I can tell HDRI is ... horribly wasteful of system resources and takes to freaking long to render to be useful anytime soon.

I agree with that, lovely for stills, but I'm working in production here people....Also I agree with what you went on to say about artistic control, Image Based Lighting is a little too devoid of emotion for me...

Originally posted by Lyr
Now, Maya as we all know supports 16bit color, so I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to write a mel script that would take each pixel, sample it's luminance and color values, and then light according to those values.

The script that the tutorial you linked to has been replaced by one called GIjoe, which uses a dome instead of a square patch and is also VERY much more controlable to get the artistic control you speak of.
It does basicall what you suggest about lighting from each pixel. But to save time, you create a defined number of lights, which are arrayed around a nurbs sphere, and using the 'closestPointOnSurface' node they look at the closest UV point (and coresponding colored pixel) and then that is the color and intesity of that light.
Very much like the lightgen pluging, except the lights are evenly distributed, where as light gen weights more lights towards the bright places of the lightprobe image. But then you are stuck with the lights as they are, where as with GIjoe you can play with their shadows, the contrast of the image mapped to the color and ground, and many things to get an image just as you like.
And I don't see why you could not map the dome (and thus the lights) with a 16bit file, but keep in mind that HDRI is much more than 16bit, it is floating point intensity values (not 0-255, but 0, 0.293, 0.876, 1.347, 637.392, at least such is my understanding from One way to do it could be to add non hdr images of multiple exposures together by layer sucessive expossures into the rgb mult of the lower exposed image???....

02 February 2002, 02:01 AM

i also read on debvecs page... they do are floats ( 1.001. 7.002, 1'209.457.003... etc...) wich definitley adds more precision.

but about using a multiply node from the least exposed image... whouldn't that still not get enough info?... i mean... the pixel might be sharper once its overlayed with the other exposed photos but perhaps when reducing the gamma it'll just loose the whole gamma of everything as a whole. instead of only the areas that are not light sources?
i mean i havent tryed it... but i have a couple of photos i took under different expocitions so ill tryit... but i' don't know if it'll work...
if it does then SWEET!!! that would mean maya has its own mini hdr shop in its default...

anyway... if anyone tryes this aproach let us know to see the differences...



el gatto
02 February 2002, 06:26 AM
To ME3D: yep that's my pirate ;) HDR shop is a software to manipulate high dynamic range image, lightgen is a plugin that generates a colored lightdome (btw you choose how many lights you wanna have in the dome) based on light probe image (environement) it generates a mel script that can be used in maya... and it takes foooooooreeeeeevvvvvver to generate the mel script ;(

I'm sure I could get faster results in maya (rendering), I could probably render the same image in less than an hour using both, lightgen and raydiffuse, I'll have to work on that.

how exactly did you use the raydiffuse, in the color or diffuse channel, or...?
Color :)

To Redfuzz: I tried GI Joe, but the results weren't really good :(
they were even worst combined with ray diffuse ???
I'll have to give it an other try as soon as I have time :)


02 February 2002, 08:00 PM
alx, lyr, redfuzz, el gatto,
Alright! Looks like the HDR could be worked around then cool. Im just going to address all issues since my question. So bare with me.
Looks to me like the GIJoe is the closest solution at present and much faster than the HDR type of post manipulation.
Sorry for my confusion...I have used GIJoe and was just putting together in my own mind, at the time of that question, that they are accomplishing much the same look. But! And here it comes I found that the light dome settings were very efficient. So PIXHO if your on here.......we should talk.

Sounds like we may have a semi custom solution on the horizon.
i have a light solution that is faster thus far than the ones weve mentioned. Combine it with a script enabling the same effect of coloring from light as what GIJoe is doing>use the texture node from raydiffuse> and possibly work in a shadow baker like raydiffuse uses as well. We should really get mark davies, I believe it is, in on this discussion. Hes the creator of Ray Diffuse and is also working on a radiosity solution.

What do you think? I may need to explain that thought more but we'll see.

02 February 2002, 09:31 AM
All day and nothing to say. Comm 'on! Surely someone can script better than me in order to pull this together. Or maybe someon knows one of these two fellas.
Disagree with the theory? Sure go ahead. Id rather you did that than to fall off not knowing if it will work or not.
say the word.......

02 February 2002, 09:46 PM
i like the idea me... but i am not quite clear on one part....
for what do we need the texture node from RD?..... is it so that it is more visual?....
im not sure if that is the reason or if there is another reason...

and the Gi joe coloring method... you mean the tut on lightengine?... if so... SWEET!!
i was thinking. if we could use what Lyr said about the pics... maybe we could use the multiplier,.. But use it to find the brightest points on the images and then reduce the gama. so that we only get those brightests point degrations. Then have the lights pick up that color on a gradient scale.... but i don't know how to do it yet...
Also, a secondary (env ball) to wich the lower lights would read the incident light intensity and color; so that it would create a smooth gradient incident Shade...

think it might work?....



02 February 2002, 09:46 PM
Hi all. I was invited to participate in this thread as it concerns the use of RayDiffuse in faking GI. In browsing the thread I have come across many novel setups that integrate the plug-in, and as always I am impressed with all the ways artists will creatively mangle tools to get the desired result (a compliment for sure).

I am not sure what your interests are, or how I can help specifically, but I wanted to make myself available for any questions related to the use/abuse of lightEngine3d tools. Forums like this can provide valuable, production-based feedback that can help in future developments (get those wish lists ready!). I hope that I can be of assistance, and once again, kudos to you for some inventive setups!

03 March 2002, 01:23 AM
Heh heh, right on.

03 March 2002, 05:09 AM
mark thanks for the support i think that we would all definettly like to get a Gi solution that can be fast and with good resluts...
and having your input on this definetly helps BIGTIME!! thanks agin for visiting and joining cgtalk!!
i'll try and work on shaders but i'm sort of new at advanced Advanced shader-lighting solutions... but ill still try to come up with a basic so that we can enhance from there...

again thanks.



Me..Lyr.. Redfuzz...
anyideas... are surely welcome... and maybe we can all come up with a solution faster than one person by itself can...

anyway... again thanks for staing along with the thread,...
10 heads are better than 1....

03 March 2002, 07:56 AM
I have heard people mention that they use RayDiffuse with no lights. How is this done? I know you bake the textures, but even with textures colored with the GI it would still be all black. Do people actually mean that they use just 1 light? like an ambient or something? or do they really mean NO lights.

the tutorial for the tank is good. i couldn't get it to work, but it seemed really thorough. Maybe you could do a tutorial on baking textures.

03 March 2002, 11:43 AM
Glad to see you made it. I saw you on after I said wrote yesterday, but knew it would take a bit to get through all of our post's.
i checked out your raymarcher several times now trying to figure its possible placement in this whole scenerio.....How far out is it could you say? And do you need help in beta? Im pretty sure you wont be short on volunteers. Might be nice to know what you think of the ideas said hear regarding rendering possibilities in Maya?
Any chance of working with some of us on alx's idea of a combined vision? (Good idea by the way, alx)

03 March 2002, 08:35 PM
Ok, I'll roll my replies into 1 wad...
:I have heard people mention that they use :RayDiffuse with no lights. How is this done?
This is one of the biggest sources of confusion I run into when describing RayDiffuse. The way to think about it is this: for each point being shaded, RD fires an bundle of 'feeler' rays that find out the distance to surrounding geometry. If any of these rays hit something and fall within a specified radius they are shaded (for points that are in the 'nooks-n-crannies' there will be more hits, resulting in a darker 'shadow'). This approach can take the place of traditional dmap/raytrace shadows however as you point out, there is no illumination: for this you still need to set up your lights as you normally would (without shadow casters, of course). The main difficulty is finding a distribution for the lights that doesn't result in local hot spots or dark regions (in this example we are simulating an environment with a high level of 'bounce' fill), and as many of you are doing with light domes, the coloring is best derived from an environment texture of some sort (see below for a new RD feature that should handle this portion of the illumination).

:Maybe you could do a tutorial on baking textures.
I would love to...but time is continually in short supply! Once the latest version of RD is released I am planning to fill out the tutorial section a little.

:i checked out your raymarcher several times now :trying to figure its possible placement in this :whole scenerio.....How far out is it could you :say?
RayMarcher will not offer anything on the GI front, as it is targeted at volume effect rendering. I am hoping to have something within the next month, provided things go well with the beta group.

:Any chance of working with some of us on alx's :idea of a combined vision?
Speaking from my point of view, it would be valuable to hear your feedback on what features you would like to see, either in RD as it exists, or any GI-related plug-in. Based on comments from this thread alone I have been testing out a new sampling system that mimics HDRI for RD. This includes accurate shadows cast from an environment map (ie. bright spots in map act as light sources), environment shadow coloring, and variable lighting thresholds (control over how bright the map has to be to cast a shadow). I am hoping to have some test renders for y'all to check out sometime in the next week or so.

03 March 2002, 07:43 PM
thanks agin for adding your thoughts on this question...
well as far as posting features ... i have a couple...
i usually get the look i want of what im about to say but its just time conmsuming so i guess that an incorporation to a plugging would be great... what im about to say is... get the right incident lights and ther colors.. as well as the incident shadows...( very very subtle shadows that add alot to the mood) ....
and as far as RD itself... is there a way so that it gets the shadow baked but not using RT.... may finding out a way to use a deph file. to be read onto a specific shadow... ( i don't know)....
i would love to do all of this... but i think you need some sort of C knowlegde and a deeper understanding of the shader's construction to get to do all this... and im just begining to understand how shaders are created and biult from the roots up... anyway...
hope that helps...
oh and im trying to get the idea of hdriimplementation into maya... ( no lights he?).... but with mayas default nodes... ( but i still am getting to know ALL of the nodes to see what can i use... i think or i hope...that i can find inderworld nodes that affect the render... hope i find anything...
k thatnsk again

03 March 2002, 01:16 AM
.. ok i began today to try out a way to get it... don't mind the roughness of the images.. its a test.. i still need to work more on the specular of the material.. later ill begin the light work..
Thanks for paul debvec for his images... helped so that i wouldn't have to take the pics, develop etc..
hope to develop it further



ok... the vid... its 370 KB... save as...; ) (

03 March 2002, 11:48 PM
Like I mentioned before let us know next beta you put out. I for one would like to get in on some of the process. At the same time I'm returning soon to my own testing on these matters. I'd suggest some sort of a combined interface for all these aspects if possible. RD on its own is very cool and placed in with these other aspects begins to broaden its range.
Thanks again for participating.

03 March 2002, 02:26 AM
has anyone checked out VRay? It is out for 3ds max only right now, but it is supposedly going to support Maya. Looks pretty promising.

03 March 2002, 04:45 AM
do you when is V ray... going to be on maya?....

oh... and do you have any works on Vray?....

perhaps we cvan see how it differs from maya....




03 March 2002, 11:12 AM
Checked out vray on max 4.2. eh...nice.

I think we'll see better things come from lightengine3d, pixho, and other specificly maya based mels though.

If it goes to maya I would like to test it though. Just in case it runs better though maya than max. Until its ported though............who knows what will come up.

03 March 2002, 11:35 AM
yeah Ive seen some nice renders come out of vray...never had the chance to play with it myself though.

I would really love to see some true GI and radiosity, caustics etc in maya without having to shell out the cash for Mental Ray. I hope Final Render makes it's way to Maya soon...good quality and decent price.

03 March 2002, 12:41 PM
or we could use mayas own atrchitecture to create all these great fx... and besides... maybe even get some controll out of it... instead of all being supper real quality...
what i mean is.... maybe we can use mayas own architecture to be able to create photo realrenders... and some photoreal yet stylyzed renders... the design... well that is up to us!!....:D



03 March 2002, 02:22 PM
vray is fast, very fast, about 5 times faster than brazil and over double the speed of final render. Its the first renderer iv used thats good enough to use in production.

03 March 2002, 09:41 PM
This is a Great Thred,

I am very interested in exploring the facets of GI as well and have been finding all this to be very interesting and helpfull. I'm gunna' start experimenting with GI soon so hopefully I can contribute some nuggets of neet things I Discover on the way too:)

03 March 2002, 10:31 AM
I was digging around in the mel referance again today and came across an interesting little command: projectLight. I can't really tell what it does since it crashes Maya everytime I type it, but it builds a neat looking interface. I also found a related command editProjectLight, it seems to be what the projectLight interface is built around, i can use this command without crashing my machine but I can't tell what it's doing. Also the documentation covering the flags of editProjectLight are written the past tense, very strange.

From what I can tell through reading the description of the flags this command seems to be related to polyGeoSampler, but then again it may not.

If you are going to try to use projectLight, save your work and open a new maya file I have not gotten projectLight to open without crashing Maya, however editProjectLight does not crash Maya.

03 March 2002, 10:37 AM
same here... i just started but it is funny...
gonna do some research on it.. seems interesting....
thanks Lyr.!!!



03 March 2002, 02:31 AM
I hope it's not too late in the thread to share some more images. This is my first time trying to attach one, so bear with me.

This image is a rayDiffuse test with 2 lights, one of them casting soft ray-traced shadows (Light Radius = 15; Shadow Rays = 40)

03 March 2002, 02:38 AM
... ok... thanks for the try... no image though..... is it a jpeg?.... try it again...
hope to see it...



ps... Lyr... i still am trying to get the damn mel to work maya keeps crashing...
perhaps if we could assign the ProjectLight flags into a window correspondient to the projectlighteditor maybe the whole thing wont crash... but i am trying to create it assigning those specific attributes to a window called projectLightEditor.. witch loads the Project lighteditor when called (so that maya won't crash) but load the attributes of the project light withtin that window...
im just preett curious of what could comeup from that mel...




03 March 2002, 02:41 AM
doh! The image was larger than 50k - this one should work.

RayDiffuse test with ray traced soft shadows (Radius=15; Shadow Rays=40)

03 March 2002, 02:43 AM
Same light positions, now with some preliminary colours added.

This is my first ever Mental Ray test, so I had to constantly tweak down the energy. You'll notice that the shadows come out much better.

03 March 2002, 02:48 AM
i would think directional cause u say lightRadius but it could also be area lights...or sports.... err.. ok.. almost all lights... anyway... seem like area or points.. cause of the way the decay goes... but still if u could maybe put up just a tad more info?... rendertimes?




03 March 2002, 03:13 AM
sorry 'bout that - i had rendered these last week and didn't think I was going to get a chance to post 'em.

The rayDiffuse test was lit with 2 area lights. They had very low intensity set, as I had scaled them up fairly high and didn't want the scene to be entirely blown out. The Shadow Rays on the shadow casting area light was set to 10.

Render Globals set as follows:

640 x 480
Production Quality AA (Highest Quality)

My system is a custom built dual Athlon 1800+ (1.53GHz x2) with 1GB of memory.

Render time was 4:26 using 2 threads

If I recall correctly, the Mental Ray render took between 6-8 minutes.

03 March 2002, 03:56 AM
Alx, i showed projectLight to one of my teachers and he came to the same conclusion that I did, it looks like it is for some sort of texture baking, but I am still a little suspicious since I haven't gotten it to actually do anything yet. I've gotten the editProjectLight command to execute after giving info for all flags, but I couldn't tell what the hell it did. I'll fool around with it a bit more when I get some time.

03 March 2002, 04:28 AM
projectLight = This command creates a project light window

projectLightEdit = projectLightEditor created an editor that is used for projecting shadows from a light in the interactive modeling window

isn't the projectLightEdit self explanatory?

as for the projectLight, thats very vague... it has no flags listed or anything.

03 March 2002, 04:56 AM
Yes, I read the description of what it claims to do, and that's great except it doesn't do it. I've tried using it, but I can't find where the "editor" goes to, or if anything at all happens. Also projectLightEditor seems to do things that polyGeoSampler does. So it's entirely possible that it is obsolete.

03 March 2002, 03:25 PM
Hi all,

just a word on the 'useless' projectLight command.
It's been developed under v1.0 of Maya, but never finished as said Jerome Maillot (A|W R&D rendering team leader).

There is nothing to do with this cmd, so just forget it!! ;-(


03 March 2002, 11:55 PM
Thanks a bunch for the info!

03 March 2002, 04:51 AM
thanks pixho....
any idea what it was suppossed to do?... just curios?..... it looked like it could have been preety usefull... but well... it didn't get finished...


03 March 2002, 04:39 PM

I'm afraid I have no more infos that you already have.
Jerome didn't tell me the final purpose of this cmd.


03 March 2002, 04:37 AM
well i'm working on testing the Gi.. (and perhaps a good example to test out exterior lighting is to use a city) but anyway this is a wip... using raydiffuse and gi_joe... i still need some tweaking... but any ideas might be helpful... the main problem is the time for render...
50 minutes on an image @ 1024 x 768... I know its not the real size since im gonna render at 640 x 480 but even then it would be a long time... the image has no textures... excpet for 3 pics... ( sorry for the nudity) they are just place ins...
anyway... 3 textures only, gi joe, raydiffuse, polys mostly...(i kept the polucounmt to minimum.. i think..(there are some nurbs but im fixing those... (too render expensive), env fog..and dof.. rayracing is on... quality is intermediate.
0 reflection.
0 refractons.
4 shadows.

angle 120
spread 2

the sun light has dph as well as the gi joe dome..

730 p III
520 RAM
40 gig drive
64mb video
win 2k

i hope that helps...
any ideas are welcome...
i will work on a photoreal vertion of this scene... but if this is the time with no textures... once its texture heavy.. time will increase bigtime...
any ideas... suggstions?...
and and ideas as far as the look for GI exterior lighting?...

well enjoy sincerely


Poly Count

Early Work

Up to Date


well any suggestions.. are helpful on increasing times. and getting a better look.. :hmm: :)

thanks in advanced..


03 March 2002, 12:56 PM
Looks great man! So this is what you've been up to.....

To speed up renders in GIJoe I usually change his directional lights to spotlights. Tweek the cone to around 65-80, Pnuembra to .2-.8, and falloff to 2-8. This also allows you to cut back the number of lights you use as well. (The ranges on there are mainly just due to scale.) The city shot on the front of me3d was done using the RD but not the GIJoe. I'll probably get around to finishing it after ALFRED's first section is finished. The city will be in Part 2.

What is your render time on those?

03 March 2002, 01:59 PM
Heres a pic of the city for part 2 of the Alfred short.

24 lights ( using the presets I mentioned )
size: 980x281
Raytrace: 0 refelection, 0 refraction, 5 shadows
Athlon 1.4 w 512 DDR ram
Render time: 7:40 largescape scene

sorry dont have a more recent pic of this but you can see a low quality animation driving down one of the bridges on my site if you like. On the animation please excuse poor quality it was only a test.

03 March 2002, 05:23 PM

Quick question, I noticed you had said that you change the lights used by Pixho's GI_Joe script from directional to spot. This may be a bit slow of me, but do you edit the script where it instances the lights, or do you change the lights manually once the script has been excecuted?

03 March 2002, 02:46 PM
I believe you can do either, you choose. Honestly cant remember which one I did for that since I was testing the lights for several at the time.
What i have kept though is my own little light dome with the settings gathered from those test's. About 24 lights, but no dome to pull off map color from like GIJoe. I will work on it eventually although I'm more interested in seeing how lightengine goes into that area. Id rather use that if the raymarcher and raydiffuse are meshed all into a package.......!!!!!!
Plus I need to focus on my work at the moment. No development, just testing and implementing for

03 March 2002, 08:31 PM

I hear ya, man ("too busy working on your own projects") ;).
thanks for the reply, BTW. I guess I'll try to figure out how to edit the script to make it create "spot" lights instead.

03 March 2002, 08:03 PM
Hi Alx !!!
I have a solution on our problem !!!
My script creates something like GI Fake !!!
It's called Pre render Pyramid !!! The last version is 0.5 !!!
Here is the test scenes !!! The lighting is done by my script !!!
The rendering of this tank lasted 3min 12 sec !!!
Here u can download my script !!!

03 March 2002, 08:09 PM
ill make sure i try it... right now im a bit tyed cause im rendering... but as soon as this render is over i'll test the script... one question dough... what is the dmap focus ur using?... lookis like its one.. but im not too sure..
shadows look a bit sharp... well anyway.. still. THANKS ALOT FOR THE HELP..:thumbsup:
ill try out the scripta nd post some renders with diffenrent sets..
well see ya!!



03 March 2002, 08:13 PM
Ohh i forgot to say that this rendering is done with the version 0.2 !!! Here is rendering by version 0.5 time is 3min 31sec

03 March 2002, 11:24 PM
Hmmm...quite nice. I have a few questions. Is this rendering is done without use of the "Diffuse" plugin, or with? Also, are youb using the default material supplied by hypershade or did you attach a different shader to the tank?

03 March 2002, 06:10 AM
can someone post a render of a tank or something similar with Entropy?? like to see what it has to offer:p


03 March 2002, 02:03 PM
Hi lowlight !!!
This rendering is without any diffusen plugins attached !!!
Everything is with standart lambert material without any diffusen utility attached !!!
This model i had from ray diffusen tutorial so i used it to test render my script !!!

03 March 2002, 02:22 PM
Here is another test render !!!
Time is 1min. 15sec.

03 March 2002, 01:43 AM
I am new to this thread, and I admit to skipping most of it due to the length...

I recently downloaded Virtualight and have some good results. Problems is, as far as I know you can`t use SubD`s...

Please tell me if I am wrong...

Wouldn't it be nice to just have somethig where you pressed a button and it rendered with GI instead of having to fart about with plugins and setting up lights etc.

03 March 2002, 02:04 AM
Yep...already exists: Lightwave's and 3DSMAX' native renderers:rolleyes:

03 March 2002, 11:52 AM
Max's native renderer does not do GI. Also your always gonna need to setup lights, tweak parameter, etc... whether you use GI or not.

03 March 2002, 05:06 PM
Here is another test render of tank !!!
Lighting is done by my Pre render Pyramid script !!!
Time is 2min 08sec

03 March 2002, 11:56 PM
Your shadows are producing noticable multi shadowing.
I had this at the beginning of my light domes as well. Some of which was worked out due to this thread.
When people looked at my dome renders, to crit me, they said too many multiple shadows! When I realized what they meant I took a while to develop my present dome to do three things.
One was to diffuse the shadows from all these lights so to mimic the true likeness of GI.
The second was to utilize the good points already known about the three point light setup and tone down the GI lights and increse intensity on the focus light, and the backlight.
Third, and finally, get the shadow to display all over, and yet deepen in the creases of the scene.
Hope these tips help yours as well...Later

03 March 2002, 12:36 AM
Hi Me3d
Yes i know this problem all this shadows are generated
by my script !!! I had the problem of multipló sharp shadows
in the 0.2 version of my script !!! I tried to disable them by changing the dmap sizes of each level of lights :) !!!
The optimized values are only on the first level of lights !!!
I am know testing differenet values !!! And soon i will update my script :) to version 0.6

03 March 2002, 02:22 AM
or you can just not render the object with the floor...or if you want a floor that bad just paint one with a simple noisy soft shadow in PS and recycle it;)

03 March 2002, 02:52 AM
Use the closestPointOnMesh/surface node with a distance between to get those soft GI shadows, while it's not a real shadow, but rather a shader, I think it looks better, and renders faster. The advanced shading networks video shows you how to set that up.

03 March 2002, 12:09 PM
Here is another test render !!! I increased the dmap filter size from 2 to 5 !!! Time is about 7min 18sec

03 March 2002, 04:09 PM
Here is another one a set dmap resolution from 128 to 20 !!!
dmap filter size to 2 !!! Time is 4min 01 sec

03 March 2002, 05:44 PM
Very good. :) Is version .6 on the way then...or can I adjust your current script with the settings you used?

03 March 2002, 10:41 PM
hello all...
i'm glad that u (Troydm) got to show you'r script here. and i hope that the thread helped out .. i mean.. the change is definitely noticeable.. and the image looks real nice btw.. the diffuse is preety good... and it sets a nice gi look..

.. on your last image a couple of questions, what rez, antialailasing, and system was it rendered on...?...
just curious,.... :p
well thanks ..
see ya..



03 March 2002, 12:45 AM
Hi Alx !!!
I have just updated the script to version 0.6 some new attributes to play with added !!! All the test renderings are done on Duron 650 processor with 512 mb ram !!! The antialiasing was set to production quality and resolution to 720*486 !!!

03 March 2002, 04:40 AM
Nice script Troydm, really enjoying it. Here is one of the tests I did with your script. 720 X 486 production quality presets, sky .164, ground .1 dmap filter 2 dmap res 100 dmap bias .149 render time 35 seconds on a athlon 1.4 with 512 mb of ram and 21,260 polys in the model. I really like the GI effect without the noise and quick rendertimes I can get with your script.

03 March 2002, 02:10 PM
Thanks Lyr for testing my script !!!
I am now creating my website and going to create user gallery !!!
So I am waiting for your test renderings :)
Here is another test of tank !!! I experimented with inner input variable $intc and sky int .2 ground .3 dmap resolution to 20 other attributes are default !!! The rendering time is 3min 20 sec here is picture :)

03 March 2002, 05:01 PM
Really looks like this thing is taking off, Troydm :cool:

Can't wait to see how others like Lyr end up using the script to
get more work done. Bravo.

03 March 2002, 01:23 AM
Awesome script Troydm!!

Here is a test render of my model rendered with your script. Thanks for the time you put into this script.

03 March 2002, 01:33 PM
Hi Nocturnal !!!
Your model is very cool !!! I am waiting for more your test renderings !!! I am now working on the docs for my script and on the website itself !!!
Here is another one from me :) time is 3min 57sec

03 March 2002, 02:17 PM
just to let people know that iv heared that vray will be avalable for maya at the end of may..
you can find out about it at the vray forums

03 March 2002, 07:47 PM
Just a quickie, but does Virtualight only work with one shader per model ?

03 March 2002, 08:16 PM
Just hopping in. Yup VirtuaLight only supports one texture per object at the current moment. I talked with Stephane Marty about it and he said that the render does support it, but mVL currently doesn't. We will have to wait for the next release of mVL.

Corey Kinard

03 March 2002, 03:29 AM
hmmm...MvL..I think I had tried that before. Wasn't able to get the quick results I wanted due to not figuring out the documentation correctly...I suppose. It's a nice program, just not for me.:hmm:

03 March 2002, 12:36 AM
Hi ever1 !!!
I have just opened my website
Brand new version of Pre render Pyramid avaible plus a
doc for it !!! Go get grab them

04 April 2002, 11:40 PM
Mark Davies:
Any chance of working with some of us on alx's :idea of a combined vision?
Speaking from my point of view, it would be valuable to hear your feedback on what features you would like to see, either in RD as it exists, or any GI-related plug-in. Based on comments from this thread alone I have been testing out a new sampling system that mimics HDRI for RD. This includes accurate shadows cast from an environment map (ie. bright spots in map act as light sources), environment shadow coloring, and variable lighting thresholds (control over how bright the map has to be to cast a shadow). I am hoping to have some test renders for y'all to check out sometime in the next week or so.

Wow! This would be great!!!!! Hows the process going? Any images you can show us?:D

Corey Kinard

04 April 2002, 07:05 PM
Here is another test rendering by my script !!!

04 April 2002, 09:12 AM
just saw this posted over at highend.

04 April 2002, 11:47 AM
Interesting discussion... Too bad 99.99999999% of all links given are bad now! :rolleyes: Where can I get RayDiffuse from now? And the script that Troydm was working on?

04 April 2002, 12:09 PM
You can get my script from here
Also check my site it will be back soon !!!

04 April 2002, 12:19 PM
cool link Lyr... thanks!!!!!

gonna try itright now!!!!

thanks again




04 April 2002, 05:10 AM

Another new one?

05 May 2002, 04:08 AM
Ressurection of this thread seems innevitable. There are some really good directions in here that have kept me busy for the past three months. The Pic here is of a Phone I made and was able to test the use of Raydiffuse and the SKY shader utilities together. Render time is down to 43 seconds at full res ( 1280x960 )
I like this setup due to render time and lower number of lights. For the larger scenes I'm testing this on its better due to the increased area and need for more light. Using Sky the objects can still be seen, but are flat without shadow. Add in RayDiffuse and it begins to create more depth around the edges of objects. Minimal lights placed in and speedy Gonzalez for the render time.

05 May 2002, 06:56 AM
hey me... nice render.. GREAT TIME!!

thanks guys for the links to those pluggins...

ME3D... i was wondering what were ur settings on Rd or the RT to get those short times?...


and thask for the pic looks nice :).. i also have some scenes ill post up as soon as they finish rendering... though they are heavier and take longer times... they still render quite fast...


thanks again ME,,




05 May 2002, 07:26 AM
[Edit] If you read what was here before, never mind it. :) [Edit]

Give more info on your settings you used! I want to render that fast too! :)

05 May 2002, 10:16 AM
take a look at RealFakeGI plugin (you can find it on

here is the link

05 May 2002, 12:17 AM
I've been playing with rayDiffuse, Sky, and RealFakeGI, and I think the coolest and fastest is Sky. I think Sky and RealFakeGI is probably a good combo, but I haven't really had any convincing results with RealFakeGI yet, but I'm not done playing with it either. Sky and rayDiffuse seem to do the same thing pretty much for shadows, but Sky is quicker and the results are much cleaner, at least in my experiments. I couldn't get rid of the dirtyness of rayDiffuse without cranking the sampling way too high which took forever to render. I haven't been able to get the fake HDR in Sky to look too great, but I don't know very much about that stuff, so I don't know how to go about picking a good image to use. Anyway, that's the result of my tinkering, what about everyone else who has tried these plugins? I think I'm going to stick with Sky..

05 May 2002, 07:53 AM
hey all... wel this is a test frame for a demo im doing for me... this is using mainly RD though the times arent that bad thy can improve i hope to see hoe they look usin the othert pluggins u guys have mentioned... i guess i use RD just cause i love the lok... but if we can get same look w less time... then ill love to get that... any way... here is the info on the image

this is made w ray diff and gi joe
3 layers
front mid and back

1. apt....RD and Gi joe 2min 30secs (still gonna try w the sky to see how it turns out) nothing in particular just mayas default w lighting i am gonna try it w sky and gi shader.. to see what happens (5 min) just a bg of clouds..




05 May 2002, 02:28 PM
looks great ... for a 2min render :)

05 May 2002, 10:01 PM
better say ... look awesome for a 2min render :)

Darrell Croswell
05 May 2002, 02:04 AM
gi renderer/render

what the heck are they?????

i just render with maya. i light with maya...and after i got to know it i t looks fine....

is there a better way to render???
like what the hell???


05 May 2002, 02:33 AM
the goal of GI and Radiosity is to simulate the effects of light in the real world. to illustrate, lets play an interactive game. I'm going to assume you are indoors.

1. Turn off all the lights in your room and open a window. If it is night time or you have no windows, turn a single light on.

2. Now... look under your desk. Chances are, nothing under your desk is directly lighted, however it isn't pitch dark down there. Take a look at an area between a couch and a wall, or behind a TV... these areas aren't directly lit, yet they are still illuminated.

This is because light photons bounce, and light that comes in through your windows bounces around the room and goes everywhere, including under your desk and behind your tv.

No standard lights in Maya simulate this behavior, and the only way to do it with our program of choice is to use an outside renderer or to fake it.

GI and radiosity renderers simulate this behavior of light, in an effort to bring more realism and depth to CG art.

Darrell Croswell
05 May 2002, 07:32 PM
finally at long last i got a strait answer....
thanks man!!

05 May 2002, 10:28 PM
Gi and raydiosity lighting also absorb part of the color of the object they hit.. and bounce from that object tinted w te object's color...

anything else?...

ok... cya


07 July 2002, 01:52 PM
is anyone actually using virtualight?

I've been playing about with it, but i'd like to hear from anyone that has actually used it on a project.


08 August 2002, 07:35 PM
i have begun to enjoy coming back to this thread every once in awhile.
So update the next version of
RayDiffuse v2.0: Features
Shading Node Enhancements
1. New 'Light Mapping' method - uses an environment map to represent
incoming ambient illumination including shadowing from bright areas. this
approach is similar to HDRI rendering models and allows the use of either
spherical or chrome ball maps.
2. Inverse Sampling - allows sampling of the 'inside' of surfaces. this can
be used to fake sub-surface shadowing and looks great when mapped to the
'translucence' channel of a shader
3. Shadow Masking - limit the diffuse effect to areas that fall within
shadow. great for outdoor sunlight simulation
4. Ray Direction manipulator - create directional manipulators to control
the 'Ray Direction' vector with the click of a button
5. Cleaner Attribute Editor layout

Baking Setup Enhancements
1. New 'Per-Vertex' baking - allows baking to polygonal vertex colors
2. Arbitrary Node Baking - allows baking of any shading node. in this sense
rayBake can be used as a substitute for 'convertSolidTexture', including
many plug-in nodes that rely on raytracing.
3. UV Range controls - allows you to specify the UV range to bake over
3. Multiple image output formats - baked images may now be saved in the
following formats: ALS, GIF, JPG, IFF, RLA, SGI, PIC, TGA, TIF, BMP
4. Bake progress output - progress is output to the HelpLine as percentage
completed for each texture.

Thanks go out to Mark Davies for creating a great addition to

08 August 2002, 03:40 AM
Allright!!!! Been a huge fan of RD since its inception. Can you show any examples of the the new RD?


08 August 2002, 11:58 AM
Where can I go to see Raydifuse v2.0. I'd like to see the interface of this new version.

08 August 2002, 10:17 AM
Hey How do I do to become an C.g Animator helppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp:hmm: :hmm: :hmm:

08 August 2002, 11:01 AM
Learn a software package and the prinicpals of classical animation. Then it's all down to practice.

12 December 2002, 09:03 AM
might be off the subject but i tried to install raydiffuse tryout on maya 4.5 (and made sure to use the specific plugins). when i try to load it up, i get an error message. (initializePlugin failed --name of plugin--)

i m wondering if it s my workstation ?

12 December 2002, 09:12 AM
Did you create the lightengine3d folder and place in your license file?
If so try checkin placement on .mll files once more.

-Been awhile since I saw this thread.....

12 December 2002, 09:17 AM
does it give anymore details of the problem in the script editor?

12 December 2002, 09:45 AM

i downloaded the full version, not the free demo one under it.
i shall hide in shame now :)

thanks for the quick feedback, aye, it was a license issue (obviously).

now going to try the baby)

12 December 2002, 10:19 AM
cool stuff

03 March 2003, 12:58 PM
I dont know if this has been posted already but i found this script and i get good results (at least they look good for me...)

DomeGI by Ben Rimbey

It's a mel script with configuration panel

04 April 2003, 01:22 AM
can someone enlighten me here......i dont know what GI is, is it a rendering program like mental ray or something? its not like i can do a search on GI and find out the definition or what it is on google or on here....

all this new terminology i have to figure out....HDRI, GI, etc. etc.

anyone care to briefly tell me what it is? heheh


04 April 2003, 07:33 AM
In a nut shell GI is the lighting of a scene with global illumination. Meaning the light can be bounced and the intensities controled in a manner more like the real world.
Certain additions to 3d programs now have this built in such as mental ray and renderman.

I would suggest going back through this thread as it contains links and many other useful bits of information many of us have contributed and learned from in the past.
It may be an old thread now but I have to credit it for many of the questions and the answers in my own research of digital lighting.

Good luck

04 April 2003, 07:59 AM

hdri = high dynamic range image

04 April 2003, 08:45 PM
Just thought I'd mention that there is a new version od rayDiffuse that is looking really great. It no has additions to the old shading node, and a new light node. So now you can use it as a light instaed of a shader node. Very nice, and still faster that mental ray's GI....

04 April 2003, 04:46 AM
Hey alx, and every Maya user, Alias|Wavefront has made Mental Ray for Maya FREE!:bounce:

Anyone who with Maya 4.5 can use have mental ray with no cost to them. It's available on every platform that Maya supports. For OS X users, its the first time mental ray has been available on that platform, though I think it's still in beta.

So my advice would be GO DOWNLOAD IT NOW!:buttrock:

04 April 2003, 05:38 AM
i did.. dood it rocks

ill posta test render with 10 minutes of first time use of Mr

04 April 2003, 05:56 AM
ok i know it aint much but then again i havent messed with MR

so here it is.. it looks cool and not to complex.. if this is the outcome with simple simple stuff i bet a worked on project will rock

04 April 2003, 09:13 AM
As a small aside, for another GI / radiosity 'fake': I heard of a technique whereby you render a seperate pass of the scene with certain materials replaced with 100% raytraced reflectivity.

When composited, blurring this render layer and using something like a 'lighten' or 'screen' mode could give a nice colour bleed.

I suppose this could be used mostly on main character, as obviously not all materials in the scene could be reflective otherwise there'd be no colour to reflect. There again, you could render more than one pass...

04 April 2003, 06:34 PM
it's great to have mental ray, but I am still very much interested in faking a GI look.
Mental Ray has been a bit too sloow for our purposes in production. We have used it to great effect fro it's increased render quality (anti aliasing, motion blur especially, etc.) But the few times we have used global illumination in production it has been crazy slow. We need to dig in to look at optimizing mental ray renders.
But I don't see why mental ray should replace our old bag of tricks. The tips and tricks, scripts and plugins described above often give more control and are usually faster in our informal tests.
I'd love to hear from people that may be getting better render times AND better images with mental ray than with rayDiffue GI_Joe etc....

04 April 2003, 08:46 PM
I can tell you this:
the raydiffuse plug-in for mental ray is a lot faster then the maya version. I did some test renders and got times a least twice as fast + i think the diffuse quality was better not as noisey with less sampling. And its way faster then final gather

04 April 2003, 03:44 AM
Although raytracing is intrinsically slower when compared to scanline rendering, mental ray is much faster than most, if not all, raytracers. It uses many of the same algorithms that Pixar uses in Renderman in order to speed up calculations. The reason mental images could do this is because Pixar only holds the patents for that technology in the US, while mental images holds it in Europe (maybe most other countires too).

Once reason that many find mental ray too slow to use in production is the quality of the integration between whatever software is being used to send the data to mental ray, and mental ray itself. Mental Ray for Maya is pretty darn good. However, when compared to the integration of mental ray with Softimage|XSI, it appears very slow. Rendering in Softimage|XSI, especially the recently released 3.0, is very fast and quite capable of use in a production environment.

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