Introduction to Maya - Rendering in Arnold
This course will look at the fundamentals of rendering in Arnold. We'll go through the different light types available, cameras, shaders, Arnold's render settings and finally how to split an image into render passes (AOV's), before we then reassemble it i
# 1 11-10-2016 , 09:35 AM
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Old gym WIP... what needs to be improved upon pls?

Hello, I'm trying to achieve a local bulb-lit gym and here is my progress so far but, I don't think I like it. What do you think needs to be improved upon to give it that realistic or near realistic feel?
Thanks

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# 2 11-10-2016 , 11:31 AM
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For me, lighting is a LOT of trial and error.

Right now the lighting seems a bit too dark so unless that's the look your going for you might try bumping up the lighting a little. Might also add a little more shine on the floor, but again it depends on the look you're going for. I think most gyms with wood floors have more of a shine on them.

You could also try to soften up the shadows a little bit. They seem a little too harsh.
Are you using any global illumination or final gather? The light just seems too confined and not spreading out or bouncing around correctly.

I think it's the little things like dark areas being too dark, the walls too evenly lit, etc. If you haven't already, just try playing around with global illumination and final gather and see if it helps you out any.

I really like your scene! With some more work on the lighting, I think it'll turn out pretty awesome. Good job so far!


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# 3 11-10-2016 , 12:30 PM
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For me, lighting is a LOT of trial and error.

Right now the lighting seems a bit too dark so unless that's the look your going for you might try bumping up the lighting a little. Might also add a little more shine on the floor, but again it depends on the look you're going for. I think most gyms with wood floors have more of a shine on them.

You could also try to soften up the shadows a little bit. They seem a little too harsh.
Are you using any global illumination or final gather? The light just seems too confined and not spreading out or bouncing around correctly.

I think it's the little things like dark areas being too dark, the walls too evenly lit, etc. If you haven't already, just try playing around with global illumination and final gather and see if it helps you out any.

I really like your scene! With some more work on the lighting, I think it'll turn out pretty awesome. Good job so far!

Thanks bruh... Yea, I had wanted a poorly lit gym with few dark areas but, yea I think the dark areas are too dark. I'll work on that. And slight reflection too. And I do use FG, didn't use GI though...
Thanks again will post the progress soon

# 4 11-10-2016 , 03:31 PM
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What type of lights are you using?

Edit: Here's my last light settings and render settings (Mental Ray). Probably not pro but for the scene I was working on, it seemed to be working pretty well. I used point lights for the interior and I used area lights in the windows. I also used physical sun and sky but I had a daytime scene.

I'm sure you already know that light settings will depend on the scale of your scene. I used 'Cubic' for the Decay Rate on my Point lights but you might want to try Quadratic.

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Last edited by Perfecto; 11-10-2016 at 04:08 PM.
# 5 11-10-2016 , 06:56 PM
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Wow! Thanks a lot for sharing your settings.. .
Though, I used a point light as the key light for general illumination and spot lights for the bulbs. I used D.Map shadows because ray tracing was taking too long to render. I used adaptive sampling with sampling quality 2. And I got that. I didn't use area lights because I didn't need light rays from outside.

PS: I tried quadratic and cubic it wasn't even displaying anything. However, only linear seems to work fine for some reason so I chose it.


Last edited by luciferr; 11-10-2016 at 10:10 PM.
# 6 11-10-2016 , 08:50 PM
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I just made a disturbing discovery. I just realized that the reason why my reflections aren't correct and light isn't bouncing on some of the materials as they should is because of the D.Map shadows. I used ray tracing and I got this. All the floor reflection and object reflection displayed better. But it added 14 minutes to my render time. That's A WHOLE LOT. do you think I can achieve correct light relationship with objects using D.Map shadows or I have to use ray traced shadows? Despite I have tried softening the D.Map shadows. It displays correctly on my viewport but, doesn't make any difference in my MR render view.

Any tip? user added image

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# 7 11-10-2016 , 08:50 PM
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Hey Luciferr, glad to see you back at it!
First thing I’d do is disable all GI/FG as they have a tendency to mask what's going on with the direct lighting. Just like modeling, you block out a rough version and refine in phases. Area lights are great and quadratic decay the closest to real world light falloff. Right now the entire gym is being fairly evenly lit because the light isn’t decaying, so it’s flattening out the scene. Adjust the lights to have the desired temperature/color, then you can tweak the intensity and balance that to create the mood and turn on GI/FG and tweak further. The decay also helps to focus on a subject, for example, the big bright lights can highlight the boxing ring.


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# 8 11-10-2016 , 09:54 PM
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Hey Luciferr, glad to see you back at it!

Hello Gen,
Very Glad to glad to have you on my thread too.. .
I have tried Area lights and I didn't like the way it was decaying. The light radius was too big and I couldn't seem to find a way to reduce it to occupy the area I wanted it to. That was why I used the spot lights, to have more control over the light radius. But I'm gonna try what you said out, do some tweaking and let y'all know how I'm doing.
Thanks a lot

PS: What do think about the D.Map vs ray tracing problem? Do you have any clues on how to get a nice soft realistic shadows with D.Map shadows or do I have to just use ray tracing and pay the enormous time price? Because I can't seem to find any tip in how to make D.Map work with soft shadows in MR...


Last edited by luciferr; 11-10-2016 at 10:01 PM.
# 9 11-10-2016 , 10:16 PM
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Here's the scene without they key light... I think the decay rate is okay. What do you guys think?
I used ray traced
Light radius - 2
Shadow rays - 30 (might increase it)
Ray depth - 3

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# 10 12-10-2016 , 04:55 AM
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That definitely is looking more realistic now. By the way, the barbell/dumbbell on the floor at the far right of your image is floating off the ground a bit.

I don't know anything about Dmap shadows but I'll see if I can help you research how to achieve softer shadows with it. Good time for me to learn as well. Keep in mind that a really good render usually takes time. I think cg movies can often times take over a day to render out just one frame.

Anyway, looks like you're off to a good start.


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# 11 12-10-2016 , 08:12 AM
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Thanks man... I always notice that since dumb bell after my renderuser added image

# 12 12-10-2016 , 05:14 PM
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I haven’t used depth map shadows in forever. I know that you can soften up dmap shadows by increasing the filter size but the entire shadow will be uniformly softened unlike raytraced shadows that can get softer the further it gets from the point of contact between objects. Raytraced shadows are hands down the better option for realism and you’ve found that out with your reflections.

Are these your final anti alias settings? If not, then you may not need to increase the shadow rays on your lights. What were your render times like with dmap vs raytraced? Are you making an animation and what are your machine’s specs? And as Perfecto said, rendering can eat up time, you just have to decide on some trade-offs to balance quality with processing time. It’s not uncommon for realistic interior shots to take a couple hours.


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# 13 12-10-2016 , 08:11 PM
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I have a
Core i7 2k 3.4 ghz
16gram
Nvidia zotac gt 730 4gig

Raytraced time: 13 mins
D.Map time: 5 mins (but without feathered edges) just as you said the filter just generally reduces the shadow intensity instead of feathering the edge like the ray trace does.

And yea, I wanna make an animation.. .

Here is my recent render... I created another spotlight and placed the light cone half of the wall so that the brighter (lower) part would simulate light bounce from the floor and also part of the bulb illumination rays and the upper part of the wall darker to simulate lack of sufficient light.
What do you guys think?

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Last edited by luciferr; 12-10-2016 at 08:17 PM.
# 14 13-10-2016 , 03:35 AM
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Sorry to say, and don't let this get you down, but it looks like you're kinda back to where you started. There's a severe lack of shadow information. For example, there should be noticeable shadows under the bleachers. Some of your objects have shadows but then they completely disappear in the darker areas of the floor. Maybe it's just an issue of using d-map shadows and it's just a matter of finding the right settings.

Seems like you just need to troubleshoot what's causing the shadows to get washed out/away. My approach would be to return to your previous settings. Then make an adjustment, check render, make another adjustment, check render, make another adjustment, etc. I would keep repeating that until I found out what was causing the shadows issue.

You know your settings and scene better than anyone so always proceed the way "you" feel is best, otherwise, you'll either never finish your project, or you'll end up with something that's not really what you wanted. Just want to make sure you don't feel like you have to do everything we tell you. We won't be offended if you don't. Although, I do know that Gen's lighting work is really good so I'm definitely always excited to hear what Gen's suggestions are (winks at Gen).


Don't be satisfied with what you can do but rather strive to do the things you can't do!
Exceed Expectations!
# 15 13-10-2016 , 05:31 AM
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I appreciate your responses and no... Nothing would let me down. I always make a scene and don't feel right about it but, wouldn't know what to fix that's why I like bringing it here so people would share their experiences of the details of a similar scene. So, you guys are doing me a huge favor and I thank y'all for that. You guys helped me get the dark area# lighter and I'm gonna go work on the shadows now. And please don't draw back any comment on how good or bad my scene is. I won't be offended and I won't feel bad. And Uhmm, I'm using raytraced now... Dmap isn't working the way I want it to.
Thanks


Last edited by luciferr; 13-10-2016 at 05:36 AM.
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