I’m triyng to master the “magic” of 3D. I’m studing 3DS Max. Now I’m busy with illumination and rendering.
Of course I feel attracted by advanced GI and renderers like Mental Ray and Brazil.
However, some notes from the very good book “Digital Lighting and Rendering” by Jeremy Birn, made me think.
Says Birn, talking about some tricks to simulate area lights: ”Using these techniques is not just a “workaround” to avoid area lights, it is actually the most common solution to soft lighting used in professional productions.
To date, most shots using computer generated imagery in feature films have been rendered without any extensive use of raytracing, radiosity or area-lights. Instead, they have been rendered using spotlights and depth-mapped shadows for most shadow casting.
As a part of a complete lighting design, your choice of simple, effective, controllable tools, does note necessarily hurts your production values.”
What do you think about? Is still true that (the book has been published in 2000)? In what situation you avoid GI for less advanced but effective tools?