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Old 10-10-2008, 10:55 PM   #31
LauriePriest
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Are you using the hdi as a light source?
Just use it to fill in the blanks for the reflections and refractions. Keep your render quality and raytrace quality really far down while you get your lighiting right. Shove a lambert on everything so you can see how the light is going over your scene, get some color variation, have a keylight, with variation on the fill lighting. It looks a little flat at the moment.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:09 PM   #32
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I'm using The HDRI mainly to have something to reflect, but it also creates a bit of variation in the lighting.
My lighting is made out of 1 area light, 4 spot lights and the HDRI currently. I set it up using '7' on the keyboard (forgot how this mode is called :headbang: ). I'll try improving this though after I'm done with the current render.

I did some testing with reflection and refraction limits and lowered the refractions limit to half of the previous amount. also increased the refraction rays a bit and lowered anti aliasing samples (I don't know why it didn't work the first time...).
I let it render just about the same scene it rendered yesterday in 2h 8m. I just want to see how long it'll take now.
Thanks again for the help,
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:24 AM   #33
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My brother was using IE while the render was running so so much for testing render times...

2h 25.5m:

Older version for comparison:


Looks pretty good though :attn:
I'll take care of the lighting and the rest of this project in a few days once a new holiday starts...

C&C please,
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:54 AM   #34
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Area lights introduce grain unless you boost the samples on the shadows (now I see why you thought you had to raise the AA to 3><), same thing if you check "Area Light" on another light source. The machine you're on isn't going to give you great render times anyway so don't sweat it, keep testing til you find a nice balance.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:01 AM   #35
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Made some progress with the lights and surface:

I swapped the area light with another directional. I'm not really happy with it but I can't think of a better way to set up lighting.

The marble surface:

A different angle:

Do you see a Fresnel effect on it? I'm not sure I set it up properly...

Here's the shader:

Do I need the 'place2dtexture' for the ramp?

One more thing: what are your favorite lighting set ups? What do you usually use? I might learn something from that...

Thanks in advance,
Benny
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:08 AM   #36
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(bump) (Still need help with lighting and shader set up)

Another version - three point lighting this time, still sucks though...

also made minor modification to the materials.

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Old 12-10-2008, 12:57 PM   #37
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Whatever it is that you did killed the contrast in the scene. What look do you have in mind? Use simple shaders and add one light at a time as you need them. Have you given thought to the final viewing angle? The angles right now aren't flattering since it's just floating there in space. And with that being said, I'm guessing that you're not adding an environment since now you're testing shaders/lighting (not planning this stuff can bite you in the ass huh? lol).
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #38
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Yep, the last version sucks...
Here's a new one:

@ Genny - I guess it answers your question?

New lighting, simplest so far - 2 point lights and the HDRI.
New problem however - the murky glass starts to glow whenever it's lighten. Somebody knows how I can prevent that? Here's the shader for it:


and another question: How can I get the background to be out of focus?

How about the Fresnel effect BTW?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #39
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Ok, turn off ambient color, you really dont need it for this, and turn off translusunce. Its hard to give feedback without knowing what your going for and at what level. A good practice is to research into the kind of look you want, google up some photos which kinda have the same feel, show us and then people can pitch in and say how they would solve it.

I think your lighting is off, ditch the hdri for now, i think its confusing the whole thing. Frankly ditch the glass shader and just put some lamberts on so you can see what the lighting set up is like on its own. The raytrace reflections and refractions take too long for you to render for it to be a viable way of testing your scene.

Use a three point light set up. Standard set up would be one key light which is your main light source and shadow source, one fill light which is the color of the diffuse light in the space ( a blue for a bright day or the resultant ambient from bounced light in a room), and one back/ rim light which is placed behind the focus object.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:06 PM   #40
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Yup, start from the bottom and work up, only add bits when needed.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:13 PM   #41
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Thanks for the advice
I reduced the ambient (I didn't notice it had a value of 0.15) but it's not enough to stop that crazy glow (EDIT: killing the scatter killed the glow as well)... about the look I'm trying to get - there's a pic in the second(Edit: sorry, first) page of this thread.

What's a fill light btw?

Benny

EDIT: one more thing - how can I get the background to be out of focus (blurry)?
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Old 13-10-2008, 12:47 AM   #42
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Fill light "fills" the model with light, to stop hard dark/light areas, google 3 point lighting theres loads on it.

As to blur the back, you could use the DOF in maya in the camera attributes though your render time will go up a lot. I would use photoshop, again google depth of field in photoshop
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Old 13-10-2008, 03:44 AM   #43
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I see that you also turned up the incandescence, and by looking at your ref, I don't think that'll do you any good, and quite frankly, neither will an HDRI. I say a spotlight and a couple light cards. And as Steve suggested, do the DOF in Photoshop, clean, fine blurring without the painful render time yay.
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Old 13-10-2008, 03:45 AM   #44
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OK, thanks, so they're just regular point/spot light usually, right?
Experimenting with DOF now... here's a render of the board and marble - looks much better now:

I'm finally happy with the lighting :attn:

I separated the material of the murky glass to two - one for the pieces' and one for the board's.

Benny
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Old 13-10-2008, 07:15 AM   #45
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Default Getting there slowly

EDIT{
Another version (first was deleted):

Note to self - Imageshack doesn't like TIFFs
}

Not edited in Photoshop yet. I'll probably try it tomorrow...
I didn't seem to understand how to work with DOF. I guess nothing exceptional there
{EDIT: here it is. Easy enough.

}

@ Genny - sorry for the late response. The incandescence is on 0. I tried a negative value earlier hence the illusion of it being on.
About the ref - I don't want to imitate it, it's gust the general direction. If I hadn't known where these type of projects go in my case (some forgotten corner since I don't know where to start) I'd try to create a scene of a cafe / park with a table and the chess set.

If you don't have any critics for me I'll start some final renders soon. Thanks for all the support so far,
Benny
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