combining raytrace and depthmap

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  09 September 2012
combining raytrace and depthmap

I just tried this because i had hard time getting good results making soft sky light shadows with raytrace. Seem to work without problems, but i just wonder if combining raytrace and depthmap is ok to do or, for some reason not a good idea?

Im using raytrace for sunlight and depthmap for sky light, in maya
  09 September 2012
There is no reason to use depthmap shadows in mental ray for Maya. They have severe limitations inherent to begin with, and also will not translate through raytraced materials and shaders anyway. This is also true of Maya's software renderer and Vray, if you're using that instead.

What do you mean by "skylight", though? Are you using the sun/sky system for mental ray, inside Maya?
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  09 September 2012
by sky light i mean the soft light emitting from the sky.
So is raytraced the way to go in mental ray no matter what?
I read so many different things, its hard to know...thing is, i have tried abit
with raytraced shadows (but not alot yet). When im trying to make soft shadows, the rendering get alot slower...any tips for me? Im glad for any tips, especially on lighting. Thanks
  09 September 2012
Yes you can combine both without any problem.

There are more advanced things you can do in mental ray such as sun and sky, environment lighting etc. They all will give you better results. But as you already noticed - they're slower. There's no way around that. Depth map is fast, that's how it is.

If you're interested, search for mental ray global illumination, final gather, and hdr lighting tutorials.

Last edited by Panupat : 09 September 2012 at 03:59 AM.
  09 September 2012
It also depends on your scene. Is it an interior or exterior?
I wouldn't try raytraced shadows for skylight or depth map for that matter if it's expterior. Best thing to use would be an ibl or physical sky, which uses final gather rays to give soft diffuse light and giving you the soft shadows you need.
For interiors it's best to use a large area light outside the window with raytraced shadows for the sky. With area lights and raytrace shadows the larger the light, the softer the shadows.
  09 September 2012
ok thanks for your answers. They are helpfull
  09 September 2012
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