Mental Ray Skydome tutorial

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  01 January 2005
Mental Ray Skydome tutorial

I've added a quick tutorial for making a realistic skylight dome to my website. Here's a few renders from the setup:


I would normally just throw the scene out there and let you guys tear it apart. However I've received a good bit of email from people wanting an explanation instead. Sooo, I'm trying to do just that. However with limited time to dedicate to this, the info I threw together might be too scattered? If so, let me know. I just bascially wrote down what was in my head.

Here's a link to the tutorial:
http://www.jeffpatton.net/Tips/Sky-dome.htm

Jeff
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  01 January 2005
Thanks a lot

Very interesting read. I wondered about this extremly low FG samples.
I will do some experiments too.
What was your rendering time?
I always used glow instead of glare on my skysphere. Does it make
a different?

all the best
flo

edit: my Browser Opera shows parts of the text over the images. It's still readable.
Just wanted to let you know.
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Last edited by florian : 01 January 2005 at 04:17 PM.
 
  01 January 2005
Originally Posted by florian: What was your rendering time?

I always used glow instead of glare on my skysphere. Does it make
a different?

edit: my Browser Opera shows parts of the text over the images. It's still readable.
Just wanted to let you know.


The rendering time was a bit slow with the small FG radius. It was around 4 minutes for a single frame. That can be improved on my increasing the minimum FG radius..but then the samples will have to be increased too...but I'm sure there's probably a happy medium there somewhere.

I didn't really use the glare for the dome, it was to make the sun highlights a touch brighter where needed. Did you mean is there a difference between the glow and output shader? From what tests I've made, I don't see any difference in output from either.

Thanks for the info about Opera. Unfortunately, I don't know what to do about it. I stink at putting web pages together...Terribly sorry about that.
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  01 January 2005
nice tutorial
I'm going to experiment a bit with it... thanks

btw. firefox has the same problem with the text over the images, but you can still read it fine.
 
  01 January 2005
Smile

great as always jeff !

you should sell your tutorials to discreet ...

thanks a lot, oliver
 
  01 January 2005
4mins is still fast compared to my render times.
Normaly I switch off the radius settings and increase the FGsamples until it looks good.
I should take some time for further experiments.

I meant the difference between using glow/glare for the dome. I don't know if it works if you use glare for the dome (I never tried it) But I would be interested to know how you control sun highlights (especialy "where its needed")

here's a best of "worst parts"
It's not that a problem


I have to agree with panrok. You should get a award, just because so many artists (including me) make use of your experiments and results ...applause and standing ovations
Thanks a lot

all the best
florian (including 6beer)
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Last edited by florian : 01 January 2005 at 09:41 PM.
 
  01 January 2005
Well that sucks about the text messing up. I'll have to dedicate some time to learning better html I suppose to try and make a page that works for as many as possible.

"great as always jeff !"

"You should get a award, just because so many artists (including me) make use of your experiments and results"

Those nice comments are rewarding to me...but thanks you guys.
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  01 January 2005
Originally Posted by Jeff Patton: Well that sucks about the text messing up.


Just give it a empty line. I know of lots of weird sites in Opera that are based on html.
Maybe it's more a opera problem. Beside that, it's fantastic.

cheers
flo (including 8)
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  01 January 2005
Here's another test render using the skydome & one MR spotlight. I'm just trying to recreate the feel of these wonderful Maxwell test renders on RichardRosenman's website (http://www.richardrosenman.com/maxwell.htm)

Here's my render (render time about 20 minutes):
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  01 January 2005
This Maxwell renderer seems to be just as cool as the greeble pugin. I've also fallen over this site today:
http://www.maxwellrender.com/indexeng.html

Can you do me the favour and put the max file of your last scene online?
I still can't believe that low radius settings wins against lots of FG-samples (without using radius)

please
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Last edited by florian : 01 January 2005 at 04:49 PM.
 
  01 January 2005
Fantastic info Jeff! I am going to have a run at this stuff myself, just finishing up a project I've been working on. Thanks for sharing the info, much appreciated!


Todd
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  01 January 2005
florian - I've been trying to conserve space on my server (starting to get full and I don't want to have to pay more to increase the space). However, others have asked for this scene too, so I guess it would be beneficial if I post it. So, here's the file:
Download Scene
Notes:
I've left the DOF enabled, so you'll probably want to turn that off to speed the render up.
I forgot which frame I was at when I made the render. Since I've animated the skydome and sunlight source the scene opens up at frame0 (the light source will be low in the sky). So, I think I was around frame 45 or so when I made the render above.

Loran - If your following this thread, I modified the scene above and created a more enclosed object for the test. Is this closer to the test you wanted to see?


Obviously I used some low settings. I was mainly focused on the amount of light and not the details though. I should've turned off the DOF, but I forgot.
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Last edited by JeffPatton : 01 January 2005 at 04:09 AM.
 
  01 January 2005
Thanks a lot

I'm looking forward to take a look at your settings.
I've done some tests with my own scene too. Normaly I control the power of GI with the "decay" level. But if I render that scene with radius enabled, my skylight looses influence and the result looks totally different than the pure FG version. Also bump mapping behaves different.
Ok...I guess there are a few reasons to use a dome.

It doesn't really matter what frame number you used. I just need something with the right settings I can learn from. There must be something I completly misunderstood...or never heard of

time for testing...
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  01 January 2005
great stuff Jeff - ill look forward to dissecting the scene! thanks a lot
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  01 January 2005
Thanks Jeff! You really are the Mental Ray Master! haha thanks a lot!!!
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