Rendering: Assessment Pipeline and Final Renders

The rendering assessment, required us to do two separate lighting scenarios. Here are two images (both are not mine) oh lighting scenarios I liked the feel of, the first is an early morning or late afternoon sort of feel, which if I had time I would have liked to play around with light fog and bokeh lighting effects. This scene has a more natural feeling to the light, it’s quite warm and inviting.


The second lighting scenario is a cooler more artificial light kind of feel. I also like the style of the kitchen in this image and that the cool light is broken up briefly with a warmer light along the top of the bench.


Here are my initial lighting setups; The first one I decided to use the physical sun and sky node within the render settings, I felt this might give me a more natural “early morning” feeling and the sky reflection on the tiles if incase it was to be seen in the final render. I also used an area light to the left of the scene to fake the light on the fruit bowl a bit better as the physical sun and sky wasn’t doing the best job at lighting up the room. There is also another area light to the right of the camera to help soften the shadows.

Here is the second lighting scenarios, initial setup. I only used two lights in this scene, an area light up near the ceiling to replicate the blue, cold, artificial light and a second area light with a sphere light shape on it directly above to imitate the warmer artificial light.  

This time round with my pipeline I decided to wait with turning on the photons option until actual textures were on the objects. All of the fruit, minus the grapes were textured in Mudbox, the grapes however were procedurally textured inside Maya using a custom Python script from one of the teachers to create a shader network which flowed through a ramp to randomize the colour of the grapes by only using a single node to control this.

However this shader network connects to a lambert which doesn’t hold the attributes needed to create sub surface scattering (SSS) or control the glossiness. To correct this I needed to plug in the following shaders into the randomized network. The ramp plugs into a misss_fast_shader which controls the SSS, while a mia_material_x shader plugs into the diffuse of the misss. This now gives me more control of the actual fruits texture, I also plugged a mountain texture into the colour on the mia shader to replicate the little brown spots on the grapes. I had to make sure the snow attribute was turned down to a mid grey to keep the green colours from the ramp from washing out.

I decided with all the fruit textures I wasn’t going to tough the roughness attribute as I found this made the “natural” shadows originally cast by the light dull and lifeless. For the other fruit I only really concerned myself with the reflection, glossiness and gloss sample nodes, as well as plugging in the bump and displacement maps.

For the wall tiles I used a marble texture I made earlier in the year and created a bump map using noise to give the tiles a bit more of a texture. The bench top is a procedural texture, consisting of a fractal for the colour and pattern with a noise in the bump map. The fruit bowl itself is a free texture from CGtextures.


Now that I have the textures in place, I can start to readjust the lights and finally add in the photons, final gather, and global illumination. I found working this way was a lot faster and more efficient than the last rendering assessment. I remembered to use light linking this time, and it was crucial I used it on the grapes in the first scene as the python script shader doesn’t respond well to the physical light and sky node, a third light had to be made just to light the grapes, this was another area light with quadratic decay and photons.

The rest of the scene was mainly lit with the physical sun and sky, where I adjusted some of the settings like I upped the Haze to 0.500 so the light had a more diffused “morning” feel to it, turned on the photons as well as  finding how to change the quality of the shadows took some time to find as I originally thought I might find these in the render settings, however it is hiding on the second node created by the physical sun and sky button. Here I ramped the shadow samples up to 64 and changed the softness of the shadows from 1.000 to 10.000 this then gave me the final result you see below.

I also adding in some depth of field to the camera, with an F stop of 2 and the focus region scale also at 2.000, this softened the background just enough to keep the viewers attention more on the fruit rather than the background.


For the second lighting scene adjustments, I imported the lights from the second file into the first so I could save some time with the settings of the textures. The only real adjustments I had to make  here were to make sure the light above, the intensity was high enough to light the scene but low enough to not blow out the SSS on the grapes as I found when I went too high the top few grapes would turn a blueish grey. The other thing I changed was the intensity of the blue light and used it more as a atmospheric fill light, leaving the bulk of the light to come from the area light above, which also has the photons turned on.

Final touches included the rotation of the camera view and adjustment of the depth of field attributes (only the distance as the F stop and focal region scale remained the same).



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