Friday, 28 April 2017

Maya Tutorial: Mia Material X 28/04/2017

Mia Material X is connected directly with Mental Ray, so once again, Mental Ray needs to be activated in order to activate this function.

So this whole tutorial was more of an exercise in the hypershade rather than in Maya. Things like HDR lighting, final gather, render resolution and color correction can be applied really well here.

I think Alan actually worded this pretty perfectly when he said that Mai Material X is like "A Swiss Army Knife" (A Postings. 2016)

The whole idea the whole idea of this shader is that it can do a ridiculous number of things, it can be chrome, copper, water, glass rubber and ect, ect, ect. This is a material that really just needs to be experimented with in order to get the correct result.

Maya Tutorial: Displacement Maps 28/04/2017

First Render

Mental Ray Approximation Editor

Settings Enhanced

Ambient Occlusion Render

You can also use a vector displacement map as well, which can make your render look a lot better, however, render times could be increased and you could encounter some issues.

First Initial Render

Bounding Box Size Increase

AO Render
The process of creating, applying and testing these Maps can somewhat tedious, and most of the time your left to guess what works and what doesn't. A lot of work needs to be done in the hypershade in order to achieve the results required, but if done correctly, whatever you work this into, it can make your work scarily impressive.

Final Gather Render
Side Notes:

  • Page Up Increases the Poly View (Mudbox)
  • Page Down Lowers it (Mudbox)
  • Shift + D Creates a higher Subdivision (Mudbox)
  • In Maya 2016 (Extension 2) There is no longer a color profile, so the way to fix this is  to change the 'Colour Space File' node to 'RAW' (Maya)
  • Mental Ray needs to be activated in order to use a lot of these features. (Maya)

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Maya Tutorial: Physical Sun & Sky 27/04/2017

The Physical Sun & Sky is built around Mental Ray, so overall learning about how to create rough lighting for scenes, over even a final lighting set-up for a scene, this render can be really handy.

How to get the Physical Sun & Sky
It worth noting that this function is directly linked to Mental Ray, if Mental Ray is not active, then you cannot use Physical Sun & Sky.

Red & Blue Shift (Blue)

Red & Blue Shift (Red)

Desaturated Sky

Hard Shadows

Soft Shadows
 There a number of options in the physical sun and sky menu, being able to adjust the softness and qualities of the shadows is rather simple, just push and pull values until you get something you like. If you want a soft shadow however render times may dramatically increase.

Sun & Sky Pointing at Camera

Final Image Mixdown
The final image was done by saving my renders out as TIF's, then separating them in Photoshop, altering each one, then putting them back together.

Maya Tutorial: Final Gather 27/04/2017

Final gather is similar to global illumination, just following different rules and principles. It calculate light reflection and can create realism in some renders.

Final Gather works very similarly to the logic of Ambient Occlusion and Samples, the higher the values (In this instance the values being Accuracy, Point Density and Point Interpolation) the better the result. When trying to do things like test renders, either the test resolution may be decreased, or the values of the current render are altered. Instead of the image becoming very grainy, the image can take on an almost muddy appearance, or even sharp squares if the point density is low enough.
Map Visualizer
If your render ends up going very slow, sometimes it can be beneficial to use this menu to see if you can't reduce the render time, or see where problems occur one a map is created.
Small Point Size

Large Point Size
Final Render with Final Gather
I could definitely see how this render option would be useful, the smooth shading is something that can be achieved in other rendering options, however this renderer seems to be very smooth, almost looking like something you would see in Disney animations.
Low Intensity

High Intensity
So Final Gather can also be linked to Mia Material x, in this instance, I was able to use a material created in the hypershade to give this model a glowing effect. Could be useful if I'm trying to create something Sci-Fi inspired.

Maya Tutorial: Mental Ray Proxies 27/04/2017

So Proxies are a clever way of rendering a large number of objects, without crashing your main viewport. By exporting a mesh into a proxy and setting up your viewport to have an insane number of objects, you can render a scene with much more ease in the viewport. The only catch with this is whilst you can still see the all the objects, you can only see their bounding boxes. So you might not have as much control as you would if you could see the models.

Also, the convert tool is hand for converting more or less anything in Maya. You can turn Polys into Nurbs or a Paint Effect in Polys. I could definitly see how this would be handy.