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Old 14-11-2002, 06:41 PM   #1
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Default Indirect Illumination In Maya

Hey howdy hey!

I found this REALLY neat 3d package out there advertised in Computer Graphics World called Realsoft 3D - it goes for about $700 - and its renderer floored me to the ground! Oh man! It has the ability to use indirect illumination and it results are nothing but amazing. I'm starting to get feelings of defection (now, c'mon, folks, I could never leave you for a piece of better, erm, software ) How can I use indirect illumination in Maya? Is it even possible?
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Old 15-11-2002, 08:08 AM   #2
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If you have Maya 4.5 it's easily possible!

Starting from version 4.5, Maya has Mental Ray for Maya free!

Mental Ray can do all the fancy stuff like real GI, caustics etc
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Old 15-11-2002, 03:12 PM   #3
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Hey Joz!

Well, firost of all, I've actually tried MR and either I have no clue how to use it or it's just so darn easy, even a baby could learn it. I finally figured out how to get a plug-in called GI Joe to work after a billion years of working with it and the results of it, along with shaders like RealFakeGI, SoftReflect, DiffuseLight and others in the same arena, give me a pretty schweet render. But, there's so much work involved in getting that "just right" look that it's getting daunting and I'd kill to be given the right direction at finding a way to get MR to work worth a crap. Anything special involved to use it? Do I need to find a Mental Ray for Dummies book to even get the jist of it? Thanks in advance for your time and help!

- Russell
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Old 19-11-2002, 11:10 AM   #4
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Originally posted by Russell
Well, firost of all, I've actually tried MR and either I have no clue how to use it or it's just so darn easy, even a baby could learn it.
you should not judge mr when you failed to archive something after few testings. if you combine gi and caustics you already get some pretty cool results. just dont forget that you will need a closed room set up to use caustics and even gi ...
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Old 20-11-2002, 05:45 AM   #5
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Okay, here's a question for ya. Do I need to create new shaders specifically for MR or can I use shaders already created in Maya? Any help is greatly appreciated.

- Russell
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Old 20-11-2002, 06:33 AM   #6
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MentalRay will render anything in Maya except for Paint Effects, Fur, and Image Planes. I haven't tried rendering subdivs so I'm not sure if you can render them or have to use Mental Ray settings.

MentalRay is easy to use and the results are incredible, puts all those grainy renderers to shame

To render using MentalRay, simply go to the Rendering menus. Choose the MentalRay menu item and go to Render Globals. If you want to use the same settings as in Maya's Render Globals leave things at derive from Maya and then choose Render from under the MentalRay menu. But the true power of MentalRay comes when you start playing around

Go back to the MentalRay/Render Globals menu item, for Frame Buffer choose Window, you'll now see a new tab come up in the attribute editor. Choose your image type and image size there (MentalRay doesn't render to .iff so I suggest you use .tga to render, it's a high quality format ). Next, where you can set quality choose Production. Now another tab appears for the Production settings. Here is where you can turn on GI, caustics, Final Gathering, change the sampling,etc.

Toss those other plugins out, MentalRay is the real deal

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Old 20-11-2002, 10:01 AM   #7
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So what you're saying, my friend, is I CAN use Maya's shaders in Mental Ray. Just askin' cuz I tried to render my scenes before in MR and I never got what I wanted. Also, in using MR, how many lights will I need in my scenes? Currently, I'm using a plug-in called GI Joe and it uses a technique wherein you use anywhere from 16 to 64 directional or spotlights in a sphere shape to light the scene globally... it works but I wonder at what cost sometimes.

Another thing is if I can figure out how to use MR, I may just keep those other plug-ins just for the novelty of the "grainy" look. I kinda like it but there will be instances, I'm sure, where I'll want it and somethimes I'll want a more photorealistic look. That's where my friend MR will come in. Thanks for your time and help!
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Old 20-11-2002, 04:22 PM   #8
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Yup, you can use Maya shaders with MentalRay and all you need is at least one light in your scene

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Old 20-11-2002, 04:51 PM   #9
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And yet, another question. Should I use the 3 point light method to light my scene... at least to start?
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Old 20-11-2002, 04:52 PM   #10
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Umm...correct me if I'm wrong buttuh...

I haven't used neither GI Joe or MR but isn't GI Joe used to fake GI (global illumination)? MR can do the real GI so why would you want to fake it? Ok, granted there's most likely some render time issues but still...

The grainy look you mentioned is imho an unwanted side effect of bad quality. I would want to get my renderings as noise free as I can. You can always add grain in post if you like...

Just my $0.02...
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Old 20-11-2002, 04:58 PM   #11
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Originally posted by kbrown
The grainy look you mentioned is imho an unwanted side effect of bad quality. I would want to get my renderings as noise free as I can. You can always add grain in post if you like...
I agree ... quite easily by the way with the Film Grain effect PS
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Old 20-11-2002, 08:38 PM   #12
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I try to use the 3 light setup whenever I can, but you have to look at the scene and consider what it needs first. For an outdoor scene the 3 light setup is perfect....barring things like torches, etc.

Let the scene dictate the lighting.

As far as all those fake GI plugins, they never impressed me either, but MR does! But then again PRMan 11 will have GI, caustics, etc. too and that's due soon It's all a matter of personal taste. There's plenty of room for all sorts of render types

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Old 20-11-2002, 09:51 PM   #13
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I havn't investigated MR much, because I don't want to get attached to it, then when it expires, be forced to go out and buy it.

Personaly, I don't have that kind of money right now...

I use proper lighting, and if need be, GIJoe2.0 because, well, it will be free forever.

MR is great and all, but like John Knoll said,
"We fake as much as we can to pull-off the shot to get it to George on time."

Even ILM "fakes" GI on most of their GI work.

It's just takes too long to use full-on GI in production right now.

So, for me, proper lighting, shading, and if need be, GIJoe2.0 is what I use.

I do agree with Darkon that proper scene science and investigation of the environment will help you achive better, and more realistic shots.

...of course, I just could be on crack
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Old 20-11-2002, 11:53 PM   #14
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Oh man, what can of worms have I opened here?! LOL! I've read all of these responses, I've installed MR on my machine, I've tried to get it to work, and all I seem to get is error message after error message... the one that gives me the red arse is the one telling me MR has aborted. And there's something in there somewhere about IMG and API and Mayatomr.Geometry/Mayatomr.Shader. OY!

I'm seriously considering sticking with GI Joe unless I can get MR figured out. I thought I was doing pretty well with my GI Joe renders although on my eMachines 533 MHz POS it renders awfully slowly. I had to take a nap when all of my MR work was for naught! And Izzy, you're not on crack... I am.
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Old 21-11-2002, 02:06 AM   #15
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got 4.5?? you are ready for it
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