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Old 01-12-2002, 05:27 AM   #1
NitroLiq
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Default Lighting a starfield

Anyone have any ideas on lighting for a space scene? I created a NURBS cube around the grid (a nurbs plane on top of the grid), deleted the front and bottom faces and changed the default lambert shader to black shading. I then went with paintFX and painted a small section with some of the galactic brushes. I had to paint a ton of stars to get them to show up at all with the default lighting. I switched to point lighting to see how it would look but all that was visible were the nubulae. With the default gray lambert color the stars show up much easier.

Also I noticed that paint FX slowed my machine to a literal crawl. This is a newly built 2.53 P IV with 512 RAM and ti4600 128 video card (not a true Workstation card, I know) but still. Are PaintFX that system intensive? Would it be better to map some starfields to the cube's faces? I figured that wouldn't looks as real but I'm not really sure.

Suggestions?
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Old 01-12-2002, 08:51 AM   #2
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I'd start with a camera, add an image plane to it and map a good starfield to it. Use that as the furthest most stars. Now you can use the PaintEffects in the workspace to paint other stars and galaxies and space gas. Add some bits of space debris and perhaps a moon or planet. Maybe a volumetric pointlight as a sun? Remember space is very dark so don't be afraid to use that to your advantage.

If you can't find a good image to use as an image plane, create your own with PaintEffects. Paint on a black canvas some stars, galaxies, and space gas, then save it out, switch back to the perspective view, create a camera, create an image plane for it, and use the image you just created

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Old 08-12-2002, 12:36 PM   #3
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The best way is to create an image plane, then map Maya's leather texture to it.
The leather texture is then edited to produce a
random star pattern.
In the
Leather Attributes section, set:

Cell Color to white;

Crease Color to black;

Cell Size to 0.001;

Density to 0.015.

When you render later, these
settings will create a starry pattern.
Maya's procedural textures can
often be used to produce your
desired effect.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-12-2002, 02:59 PM   #4
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That's pretty interesting. The texture looks like a starfield in the hypershade but after I map it and render it, everything renders out black. Maybe I'm not mapping it correctly? I'm "Assigning texture's material to selection" by right-clicking on the leather shader in hypershade. I tried this on both a nurbs plane and poly sphere. If I have hardware texturing on, the sphere shows a star on both poles (looks like a white x-box "X") but that's it. I also tried this by connecting the texture to a lambert and assigning that but the same results. The only I can get anything to show is if I crank the density up which then ends up looking like granite or tarmac (black with white monochrome, gaussian noise).

Last edited by NitroLiq : 08-12-2002 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 08-12-2002, 03:09 PM   #5
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Oops i forgot to mention the texture must be a '3D' texture not 2d.

In the Image Plane Attributes section, click on Map next to Texture.

In the *3D* Textures section, select the Leather texture.

Maybe this could the prob
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Old 08-12-2002, 03:29 PM   #6
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The only leather texture I have is the 3D texture so I think it has to be something else. I've been playing around with the attributes but nothing still.
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Old 08-12-2002, 03:47 PM   #7
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"I tried this on both a nurbs plane and poly sphere." Wrong!!!!



This is your problem m8, don't assign to a shader.

You have got to create an 'image plane'



Goto 'view' in your perspec view or whatever camera,
Then goto 'camera attribute editor'
Then personally i would reduce 'angle of view to about 20 (less distotion)

This is the important bit-
then go down the list and find the 'Environment' variable section and click to open it.
then click the button 'create an image plane'
then in this new node click on 'fit to resolution gate'
then in the 'image plane attributes' select texture from the 'Type' menu

Then click on the button next to texture (beneath) to map the 3d texture to it.

Then do your stuff with the leather texture attributes as before
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:07 PM   #8
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Ah-Hah! I get it now. I haven't really done much with cameras or image planes yet so this is a new experience. Let me ask one last question, if I animate the camera or a ship flying through, can I still motion blur the starfield when I render it out?
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:23 PM   #9
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Yep, it should motion blur, as long as you've checked the box in 'render globals', i've done an anim with it and was quite impressed, but it kind of only blurs in a 2 dimensional aspect though (no warp speeding) i'm afraid, but if you want a warp speed effect you'll have to start messing with Maya's particle effects, and i haven't really begun to mess with that yet, (only attempted a little smokey effect and an explosion), but i've found this 'leather' method of a starfield quite effective so far in my anims.

Mess around with it, and you could come up with some really interesting effects

Glad i could help out a little
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:33 PM   #10
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Yeah, I really appreciate it. Now I need to figure out how to adapt the 3-sphere method of creating a planet into Maya Hey I'd love to check out your animation if you have it up somewhere.
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:53 PM   #11
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Here it is, now don't laugh

It is one of my first
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Old 08-12-2002, 05:18 PM   #12
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Hey, ya gotta start somewhere It looks as if part of it was from one of the tutorials at chalmers medialab. Cool, though. I'm going to experiment with creating the starfield through paintfx and attaching it to the plane.
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Old 08-12-2002, 05:32 PM   #13
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Yeah, it's a tut alright, it took me 4 mind boggling days

But it was a great insight to Maya,
Its an official Maya E-book called 'Learning Maya'
32 megs of info in .pdf format.

p.s.
If you've got kazaalite (not spyridden kazaa) just put 'learning Maya' in as a search, you should find it, its in my sharing folder for sure
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Old 08-12-2002, 06:14 PM   #14
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You'll get a kick out of this. Check out the spaceship movie/tut I mentioned before here:

http://www.medialab.chalmers.se/tuto...ialLevel1.html
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Old 08-12-2002, 06:59 PM   #15
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Ahaa, yes very similar indeedy, he must of read this book, i've also done the bouncy ball, that was my very first project.

I've never seen that site before, but he's got 2 of the projects there, but his own variations, i like the ship one (the landing part is much his own work) very good, the bouncy ball 1 is the same as the book but he's substituted the water for fire, lol (in the Maya book it was a spongy ball with water particles on the alpha channel)

Good tutorials, its good of him to go to the trouble of publishing them for free, in the official book it's got a further 2 projects (sammy the seal, bouncing the spongeball off his nose) and also a project that will take you through the basics of your first character animation 'Walk cycle'.

Happy Animating dood
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