Church Renovation Scene (5 images)

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  03 March 2013
Lightbulb Church Renovation Scene (5 images)

Hello CGTalkers,

I just finished an architectural visualization project I just sort of fell into. I am rusty with maya but was to come up with something the architect and client liked - however I think it is mainly because they have been using terrible rendering software for years

Anyway, I really want to improve and know these images have a long way to go to reach anything near the level of quality I see on this site and others. Basically just be as critical as possible, my feelings will not be hurt and I want to improve as quickly as possible, Thanks in advance!






Last edited by Liamo0o : 03 March 2013 at 07:11 PM.
  03 March 2013
Pictures not showing
  03 March 2013
Shoot, thanks for the heads up... they were showing in my browser weird... Anyway just added links to the pics instaed
  03 March 2013
I think the model itself is great, good design and layout. I would certainly bevel the edges so they're not so sharp though. What render engine are you using? Is this the default Maya rendering engine? If you're looking for realism I would suggest getting your hands on Maxwell Render or something close to it like Vray. It would definitely give this scene what it's missing.
  03 March 2013
@chopinlive: I'm using the Mental Ray engine, lots of waiting... does Maxwell Vray work with Maya? Beveling the edges seems like a good idea. I think I am least happy with the West view it reall seems fake to me and the colors dont seems right and it seems flat... I feel it all works for "nicely" visualizating what the model might look like but there is no sexiness to it. Military Polonaise was always my favorite Chopin piece to play ;D
  03 March 2013
Ha! Yeah I played that polonaise a while back, very good. As far as the rendering goes, If you're using mental ray, be sure to turn on and experiment with global illumination, final gather, precompute photons, and raytracing. Also make sure you use raytrace shadows in your light sources. Not sure what light you're using but a directional light might be best here.

Also if you're familiar with it, try using an HDRI map (image based lighting) instead. Mental Ray implemented it in the default settings some time ago.

Both Maxwell Render and Vray have plugins for Maya and Maxwell would give you the most realistic render, but it will take longer to render. Vray is quicker but not as realistic.
  03 March 2013
I'm using final gather, and during this process I learned the invaluable trick of using final gather maps. I did have trouble creating some realistic lighting, as it is there are just the soft shadows cast from maya's physical sun. I'm also using an HDRI map with the physical to get some reflections but it is not very noticeable in this scene. I tried experimenting with GI near the end but there was a serious deadline time crunch and did not have time to spare any more renders. I'm also using some area, spot, and point lights with raytrace shadows but am not very happy with their overall effect - I think I need to learn more about the differences between emitting photons, final gather, and GI... all very confusing at the moment.

Another MAJOR thing I have struggled with is getting a realistic looking horizon. On some of the views like the South-West and South-East, the horizon looks really crappy because it goes from blue sky to pavement. I tried adding some trees or grass in photoshop (from reference photos) but the look really clashed with my cg buildings.

I also needed to improve the windows in some of these perspectives as they look a lot like mirrors, tried creating an inside of the building to allow some transparency but looked a bit dark and funny.
  03 March 2013
I think the main problem here might be there's just too much light and everything is negating the effects of the HDRI map and final gather. Limit the light sources down to two things: the HDRI map you have and a single directional light with raytraced shadows. Also make sure the light aren't at 100% tone them down a bit so your HDRI map is doing most of the lighting.

Here are two unfinished scenes I did. same setup: Maya, mental ray, HDRI map, 1 directional light, GI, Final Gather etc... and here are my results. If you look carefully you can see how dynamic the lighting is. There's variation in intensity:

It seems like you have 100% light coverage in your entire scene and it's giving it a very unrealistic look.
  03 March 2013
I really like the light setup you have going on there, it looks natural and simple (did you also use a noise bump on the tile floors? looks nice). I'm a bit confused about GI, does that interact with FG, and are photons what control both or just GI? Thanks for the advice
  03 March 2013
It looks fantastic, but some of the textures need some polish of displacement and bump maps. Otherwise, good job.
Training to become a top 3-D character and creature animator
  03 March 2013
Thanks for the kind words voltstorm but I wouldn't call it fantastic I used some bump maps for the brick and shingle textures, no displacement maps because I was worried about render times and I don't have much experience with them yet. I think the overall look is "nice" but not sexy. I want sexy ... need to work on lighting I think
  03 March 2013
Don't worry about the time it takes. It's the final result that matters.
Training to become a top 3-D character and creature animator
  03 March 2013
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