View Full Version : When and Why Do You Use Photographic Lens?

11 November 2009, 11:50 PM
I produce product renders that need to look nice but physically accurate.

I've used the Photo lens many times but it is a lot of work to set up (endless gamma correct nodes, endless exposure tweaking). Recently I didn't use it for a job and I liked the result so I decided to just stop using it until it's easy to work with in a linear format and add glare.

It comes in handy with Phys sky (too bright) and IBL (too dark) but those nodes have their own intensity controls (mutliply and color gain respectivley) so it seems the photo lens isn't a necessity. There are lots of rendering artists and animators and my company and NONE of them use it...

However, my friend is a VERY high level rendering guy and always uses it. Masterzap's latest blog claims that it's needed for a beautiful yet physically correct result so now I'm hesitating before I retire it.

When and WHY do you use it?

Thank in advance

11 November 2009, 06:36 AM
I kinda struck a middle ground on this one too, after slaving with every node for awhile and not liking my results any better. I do more print work now than ever before, and since I had to color/gamma correct for the printer anyway, it seemed pointless to spend so much time inside Maya trying to pre-do it. I understand the benefits mathematically, but not economically at this point.

So I just render to Floater and change the Framebuffer gamma to .454. .455 would be more accurate, but if you say "four-fifty-four" aloud it sounds way cooler. The files can be .bmp 32 for all I care anymore, until a less tedious workflow emerges for Maya though all that matters is that it hits print fine. My printer complains less now that I've stopped correcting each node, in fact. Or he just hates me, one can never be sure these days. Others might not have this lazy luxury. But if it holds up well on a $500K printer, I think it's good enough for me.

Do a test for yourself on a quick scene and see what works best for you. If you like the fully-gamma-noded workflow's result more than no gamma correction, or if you find your own middle ground and it's still acceptable, go that way. I wouldn't wait for AD to incorporate a different system though... I think they're a bit busy over there, making the new box art for Maya 2011.

(grain of salt, AD guys... please don't pick on me!)

11 November 2009, 11:46 PM
I use it on everything, but keep rather generic settings. Render to float and color correct it in fusion. I find fusion has the best color corrector node of any app.

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11 November 2009, 11:46 PM
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