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Old 17-06-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
ben hobden
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Default Lighting and rendering

Hi all. As some of you will know, my lighting and rendering has never been very good. I always kinda belonged to that 'switch on physical sun and sky and make it look good' camp. Along with rigging and animation, lighting and rendering has been one of those areas I've just never got my teeth stuck into.

Until recently.

Here is the result of the first couple of weeks work on the lighting and rendering course I have been doing. So far have learned alot about different shadow settings, learned a few extra things I didnt know before about aiming spotlights and playing with settings such as the 'barn doors' effect, about the relevance of the emit diffuse, emit specular functions etc, and quite a few other things besides. We have been given different set ups to light, the one in the picture below being the most recent. This image was composed of a keylight pass, a fill light pass, and an AO pass. Comped in PS with the key light 'bloomed' back over the top.

Moving onto FG and GI proccesses next. Hope to post more stuff from my learning over the next few weeks.
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Old 18-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Looks good Ben. If you're interested you can hop into one of the lighting challenges that Jeremy Birn hosts on CGTalk, no awards or anything(well 20 images get picked for a gallery) but you learn a lot from others posting their stuff. As a matter of fact, this scene is actually from one of the older challenges.

My one criit would be that you could have added more lights for the role of bounce lights.
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Old 18-06-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks genny, im glad you think so. I heard this scene is from an old challenge. Might get involved in all that if i find time at some point. I meant to say to you, i guess you have seen boaz linvys advanced photorealism in mental ray course on cg? It has a section on gamma correction and all that linear workflow business. Id like to take it too,but have got so fed up with not having time for my own projects, want some time to put into practice what i have learned from the matte painting and lighting courses. Hope to talk more lighting with you in future.

Ben
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Old 18-06-2010, 06:44 PM   #4
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Actually I haven't seen it, its news to me lol. And yeah, stuff gets in the way, I know that one all too well. I'll be around these boards more often nowadays Catch you laterz.
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Old 19-06-2010, 12:53 AM   #5
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Have you been away? I have just been popping in and out briefly myself the last 16 weeks or so. Part of me is getting into the lighting, but some of the render times I'm having to sit through, sometimes after just a couple of minor tweaks, they do my head in a bit. Even when IPR rendering. We've been using this kitchen scene for the last 4 weeks now, and I originally lit it with sooo many lights, I thought I was being a bit clever, I was like, 'I'll have a little splash of yellow here, a bit more orange there.' But since then we've gone into breaking it up into passes, and trying now with lights emitting photons and stuff, really gave myself some agro. Had almost 40 lights at one point. Lesson learned - keep it as simple as possible.

:headbang:
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Old 19-06-2010, 01:08 AM   #6
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Yeah, I'm been on hiatus.

But yeah, a ton of lights emitting photons will take you to that place. Plus, using GI kinda defeats the purpose of using such a direct lighting setup in the first place.

Last edited by GecT : 19-06-2010 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 19-06-2010, 01:16 AM   #7
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The biggest thing, I've just found actually, is that almost all my lights were spot lights and I had them all acting as Mental Ray 'area lights'. New territory to me so not fully understanding the difference, but, unchecking the area light option in the mental ray tab for all the spot lights has dramatically cut render times.

Hope your hiatus has been good.

(p.s for the GI version of the scene Ive cut about a quarter of the 'non-direct' lights out.)
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Old 22-06-2010, 10:11 AM   #8
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OMG! I have just gone onto that lighting challenge place at cgtalk. Some of those are amaaaazing!!! Makes me want to cry!

And what some of those people have done with this kitchen scene. Puts mine to shame! Such a long way to go! But I can see how you'd learn alot from following the threads. Need to find a free few hours to go through some of the challenges properly.

...sob...
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Old 22-06-2010, 11:04 PM   #9
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Lol Ben. Yeah they are pretty neat challenges, and even if you don't post, the free scenes are great for practice.
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Old 23-06-2010, 10:52 AM   #10
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Which ones have you had a go at? I really like what some folk have done with the lighthouse one. And theres that carnival one where someone's motion blurred the blue ferris wheel lights. So much good stuff. Did I recognise the christmas tree from one of your images?
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Old 23-06-2010, 04:24 PM   #11
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I actually missed most of those, the Christmas image isn't from that challenge, its a personal wallpaper. I entered "The King's Treasure" , and it got into the gallery top 20 (first on second row). The "Film Noir" I missed but messed around with anyways. And "The Bedroom" I entered but other things came up so I didn't finish it.

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Old 23-06-2010, 05:28 PM   #12
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Ah, ive seen the kings treasure challenge,but not looked through the gallery yet. Im still trying to improve my kitchen scene. Just taking like, a render, 20 mins, then making a small change,20 mins etc,just getting familiar with different photon/gi/fg settings. Am in a pub at the minute celebrating englands (and the usa's) advance in the world cup. You guys finished above us!! Unheard of! I want to download the lighthouse scene first i think. So much goodness.
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Old 25-06-2010, 11:22 PM   #13
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The sunlight looks really convincing in your pic Genny. I notice that there are several objects without textures and largely (if any?) bump mapping... After my first kitchen attempt it's made me realise how all these parts are all so much a part of the whole. Love the look and feel of the light on the plant, and the slight streaking effect as the sun falls across that back wall. Will you take part in any more of J Birn's lighting challenges? The pic of yours that really impressed me was one in your cg society portfolio. It has lot's of gold in it. Have to check it out again when I get longer to sit down, just a passing visit this.

by the way..is that a 'Ninja Scroll' poster on the wall? The one on the right?

Ive been taking my first look at caustics today. Thought I'd post this. Its obviously nothing special, but it's probably the first render I've ever done that has that 'Maya' look to it Loving the feel and quality of lighting you get with object based lighting and final gather. Im starting to get ideas for scenes, like my bee scene from last year, but improved modelling, improved texturing, perhaps some zb work, and then on top of that using these new lighting and rendering ideas and all finished off with some matte painting type techniques in PS. Watch this space!
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Old 26-06-2010, 07:08 AM   #14
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Thanks, and yeah I didn't finish that one, got into other things. I most likely will join in on another one of Jeremy's challenges, they're fun. And indeed it is Ninja Scroll (probably my favorite anime - they don't make em' like that anymore) The other one is Demon City Shinjuku, Jem and Ronin Warriors haha.

Geometry lights do look kewl but a problem you're quickly going to run into is overexposed/burnt out highlights on and around said objects and you're going to need some tonemapping to whip those back in line. That's a whole other thing lol but its cool that you're getting all inspired and stuff, have fun with it
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Old 26-06-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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burned out bits....as in the test render above...

Tone mapping Thanks for the heads up on that. It's all cool things like that I want to learn more about and get into. Jeremy Birn gave me a link to a page, from CG I think, by someone called 'Floze'? it's the same scene lit 6 different ways but theyve wip'd it really well. They use the MR parti-volume shader (which is why JB sent it me in the first place).

This is that link...

http://www.floze.org/2008/07/six-tut...e-part-vi.html

As for the inspiration... it is good. When I first started this lighting and rendering course it was taking alot of hours and I was getting frustrated. Now I've got the feeling like I did at the start of the year when I just have so many things I want to try, it's going to take me years!! I have 2 weeks left of course, then, barring a trip to Los Angeles, I will be back to doing my own thing.

P.s. I ordered Boaz Livny's Mental Ray book off Amazon the other day (the same guy who's running the course on CG Society)...have you read it at all?
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