Time Lapse Lighting and shading


Hi guys,

Any suggestions on how to setup lighting and shading for leaves, flowers, etc for production (Bug’s Life, Antz). I know this has been discussed in small threads before but I would like to get the opinion of people who’s worked in scenes like these using various rendering engines. There’s so many approaches (translucency, delayedreadarchives, brdsf, sss, etc.) and would appreciate everyone’s opinion on the subject.



Well… I think it would be best to do tests with several different techniques.
I think the most challenging part is to find a translucency solution that will work in harmony across all the objects.

If you are going to use SSS, youll need closed surfaces, so that will make your geo quite heavy if you want a lot of edge detail. (i could be wrong about that- havent attempted doing an open surface sss since version 7)
I’ve found the translucency on the mia_material works fantastically on flat-plane style objects- but can get pretty heavy to render without noise.
You could also look into faking it with different render passes and doing it in comp- or try some of the third party sss shaders like the diffuse shader.
Whatever way you chose- I would probably render it out as a seperate pass so I could use it in conjunction with a depth pass and such to have nice fine tuned control of the translucency.

Youll also need a good ambient lighting solution- so play around with final gather, light domes, etc. If you are doing time lapse- the physicalsun/sky combo might save you a lot of time with changing the time of day/atmosphere.



Defrago: Cheers mate!

I actually used a combination of techniques using MR for Maya. MIA_Materials on the foreground elements (light linked to a directional light for the translucent sun shadows), good old blinn shaders with translucency cranked up for the background elements. Used FG to add the ambient lighting and shadows for the foreground elements, and Jeremy Pronk’s Image Base Lighting Tools for the background elements).


Hmmm… RIB Archives are awesome in production. I used Mayaman and AIR in my last studio and the workflow we came up with for Foliage was to use RIBs to populate our scenes so that it would still be light enough to work with for other people.

Its very useful wen you’ve got to fill huge landscapes or sets with forests and similar heavy geometry. We basically created our plant templates, archived them and then used those archives to populate large scenes.

As for translucency, we never used sss for plant leaves and stuff. The normal translucency on maya shaders worked fine.

Having said all that, I don’t get the title of your thread. Time lapse lighting and RIBs and translucency… you’re mixing up a lot of things here :stuck_out_tongue:


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