Lighting Challenge #28: Captain's Log


LIGHTING IS SUPERB- Especially loved the blue and red contrast

Wonder how you tore your mast, like some old pirate ship…?




Thanks jojo1975 for your feedback. I’m seeing a way to add more detail to the sails. I’m going to cheat, but lighting is not science is an art. :arteest:

Maybe is a little late for that but to all Maya users. In some geometry in the render stats the Visible in Reflections and in the Refractions are turn off.


Thanks sir! I tore the sails by splitting some poly edges, applied a Turbosmooth to sharpen them up, then used Cloth to dynamically blow them in the wind. Then later on in the comp, I took the liberty of painting in a little bit more detail to get the real “fine” shreds.

I’ll post some other WIP pictures before the 16th.


WOW, nice. You VFX guys really know how to hit it.
Again, really amazing render.

And Todd, er… I think you are giving me WAY too much respect by calling me sir… :slight_smile:
Govind is more comfortable… :slight_smile:


@toddfx and if possible also an higher res render :wink:


This is my response to the first log entry in the challenge, which describes a sweltering heat that has become unbearable. I am trying to create a back-lit look with the setting sun glowing through the sails. I used Maya and Photoshop to light and texture the scene. In particular I’d like advice on the kind of shaders I should use for the sails and for the side of the boat. I want the sails to glow emulating the sun’s rays but to also show details like the ropes and creases from my sail textures. Currently these surfaces look too shiny, as I’ve used blinns to be able to control transparency and highlights. I think the worn wood should be more matte since it is not freshly painted. Also, I’m not certain if the ocean has too many highlights, since the sky composite is clowdy. I am also working to finish the light set-up for the interior of the boat. I am thinking of adding glow here later in After Effects. Is there a way to do this in Maya by mapping a shader to the glow element in the attribute editor? I remember being told once that there is a way but it produces unrealistic results.

Any advice is much appreciated. :thumbsup:

Sandra Herman


Here we go!


This is my final for the July 5th log entry. I’m still working on the September 21st entry. There are areas that look too dark. I’m posting this one as a WIP and hope to throw a few more passes at it. I’m not sure if it is getting too bright for a night scene. Do the sails look too bright for a low light situation?


Sandra Herman



here are my final images. I try to follow your feedback on the second image. I added a white plane to get reflections on the rights side. I pushed the light also a little bit, to get the snowsphere more seperated from the background.
The big highlight where the ship is coming trough, yeah its not “correct”, but looks pretty crazy if not. I think its ok like this.
Thanks so far for your comments.

Log #1

Log #4



My entry:

August 1st, We are lost in an unknown sea. The water and skies are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Could we be on another world?

Larger image


Alright well I went ahead and made another image.

Also, here is a slightly larger version:

Full resolution

And here is my second image, based on the lost in an unknown sea log entry. I created the aurora in 3D using light fog, but the clouds came from a photograph.

Full resolution

This challenge stood out to me because of the log entries. Truthfully, if the log entry portion of had not been present, I likely would not have participated. Having that bit of back-story and using that as food for thought while creating really helps to get you in the mood, which is then reflected in the work. It of course gives purpose and direction, but it also adds an extra element of imagination which is exactly what this digital stuff is all about.

Because of the significance of the log entries in this project, I decided to create a second set of images to visualize the captain’s journal. Rather than doing this in 3D though, I treated it as a 2D matte painting. I gathered high resolution images of various books, papers, and other objects and mashed them up in Fusion to create a little still-life that you might expect to see aboard the ship. Here is the log entry image that goes with the storm setting, and here is the log entry that goes with the lost at sea image. I created normal maps to aid in re-lighting most of the elements in order to give the image a unified light source.

I also threw together a little behind the scenes page with some WIP info and additional images.
You can find it here.


amazing toddfx…
really great

I just loved your matte paint of log entries.


My final Images!!!

August 1st

[i]we are lost in an unknown sea.

July 5th

…we are forced to stay below deck.[/i]

Thanks for the comments jojo1975 but i just didn’t have time to make the changes.

This is my first forum competition and i’ve really enjoyed it.
And there has been some great final images, and inspiring stuff from toddfx.


Nice one, the first one is amazing and captures the scene perfectly.



here is my final image for the first log.

And my final image to the third log:

This is my first forum competition and I really enjoyed it and I learn a lot in the process. Ready for the next challenge.


Lighting Challenge #28 is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope to see everyone back for the next one!