Saturday, 5 November 2016

Animation Production Process 004


Now this is where the fun starts. Making everything look delicious using the Arnold renderer. I have done a lot of personal studies looking into how rendering works in Maya using the mental_ray renderer, however, I found it difficult to find easy to consume sources of information. Through my experience I had also set myself limitations regarding how lighting worked in Maya. Such as not raising values above 1 as I thought most values in Maya were percentage based and having 400% values would be bad. After learning more about Arnold I realise I was completely wrong and I am now significantly more confident in Maya and Arnold rendering.

Here is a Dragon turnaround I did using mesh lights and some minor animation.
I have a red fill light over the top, yellow mesh on the left and blue mesh on the right. I also started applying some prior knowledge I have about materials and used a reflective yellow surface. It is really nice to now understand more about rendering and creating dynamic lighting for scenes.

Using the Dragon, I started looking into different lighting setups used in film and photography to take those aspects into Maya for testing. The main concept of lighting I cam across is the 3 point lighting, with a key, fill and rim light. Using this with different intensities of light can create a huge amount of different effects and I personally find the lighting somewhat intuitive for placement and intensity.

I also took into consideration more dynamic lighting, using in different styles of film and photography which can be great for creating dramatic moods. Such as this, where I tried to achieve the idea of someone shining a torch onto their face from below.

I also experimented with how different materials can effect the drama and mood of the image while the lighting is the same. I stuck with general colours, cool rims, warm key and mostly neutral fill, leaning towards warm or cool depending on the scene. I did wonder how the scene may look with stronger colours, maintaining the same lighting set up.


Absolutely love how these dramatic colours affect the scene. turning the hue of the blue around towards the red, creating the strong magenta. This really makes the scene seem a little more sinister. The green torch light suddenly looks as though it may be acid or a cauldron. With the high fall off rate showing that the light is from a very direct source and not overpowering the scene as a whole.


The left images makes the dragon look as though it is top lit in a display case, while the right image adds scale, such that it may be someone shining a torch onto a statue at night as there is no secondary light source.

As someone who has always been interested in lighting and rendering scenes, I am very happy to be able to fully experiment with creating different moods in scenes. All of these images are from the same angle with the only difference being lighting and in some cases material.

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