Archive for the ‘lighting’ Category

Wow, so this has been a really crazy month. Lots of things going on and work to be done, both personal and school/career-wise. So, I’ve been forced to do a sort of “all-in-one” update on this one, instead of posting for each progression.

First is the UV layout with shaders. Not really much to look at on this, as the detail of the models tends to make it look like a jumble of colored checkerboards, but still an important step. Some preliminary lighting work is started on this as well.

Next is the first round of texture work. Not all of them are present yet (signs are missing, for instance), but the idea was to focus on key items, like the skeletons. They are bump mapped as well. The lighting was still being worked out, and there was an issue with the refractions of the glass shaders. Still, moving right along…

This is where things diverged somewhat. I was initially going for a sunlit scheme (skylights) with the practical lights inside the museum on, as they often are. As I mentioned before, I found a great reference pic showing a nice separation of the different color temperatures of the sunlight and tungsten inside the museum. However, on further reflection, my instructor and classmates felt that this was an HDRI image taken over time, and that it did not look natural. So, I decided to go more for a straight, sunlit scene.

Which resulted in this. All of the practical lighting inside the museum has been turned off, to simulate more of a purely sunlit area. As a result, everything else had to be tweaked, including textures and shaders. The bump maps have been turned down a little since they were a bit much.

Here I added spotlights and a light fog to bring some interest to the scene by giving the impression of particles in the air. This and many other little changes to the lighting, including toning down the foreground, made other changes necessary. One was the loss of reflections in the glass of the skull case, as well as some other reflections.

So I worked on the reflections a bit more, as well as some of the texture placement, and eventually came to this. Depth of field has also been altered slightly to focus on the front half, as Maya loves to put everything out completely in focus.

This one was certainly more of a challenge then the study scene, and I will probably work on it a little more before I call it “done”, which I may post. There are a few things on it that I know I can make even better with a bit more time. Overall, though, a great learning experience!


This is the new one I’m working on. Again, I would love to take credit for these models, but they are NOT mine. They were obtained online from (I believe) 3DRender under a non-commercial use agreement. I have, however, done the layout and applied the various shaders at work here, with some preliminary lighting worked in. The building model has skylights, and I have begun to simulate the look of sunlight coming in through them. I found a really interesting reference photo of the main floor of the Field Museum in Chicago with Sue the T-Rex skeleton, with some great separations of light between the more blue temperature of the sunlight coming in and the orange of the tungsten lights on the floor, cases and walls. I am hoping to come as close to that effect as possible. We’ll see!

And here we are. Like everything in art (and life), there are areas that could use more work, but I’m fairly happy with it as a pretty basic, straight-forward piece. We’ll see what my instructor says. šŸ˜‰ My next WIP is a museum complete with dinosaur skeletons, so that will be a little more complex and will involve some post work with AfterEffects. As always, stay tuned for updates!

I’m a little late with this one, but we had a blizzard here and it kind of messed a lot of things up. Yeah… that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

This may seem like a step backwards to the unfamiliar, but what is happening here is that I have applied a generic checker texture to the objects to see how the actual texture files will lay on the surface of the mesh. The checker is VERY unforgiving to the eye as far as stretching and warping, so it is one of the best ways to see where there might be some problems. From there, I go in and manipulate the UV’s (mesh map) until the checker pattern looks as good as I can get it. It can be a pain in the butt on irregularly-shaped objects like the chair, but it is a necessary step. There are no checkers on the books in the background because they are small and way in the back. Next on the agenda: Textures!

Update on the WIP – more light work, shaders and the like. Played with specularity, reflections, transparency and so on. The next step is to get the textures ready and to map the UVs – while still continuing to tweak the other stuff, of course. Feedback appreciated!

Okay, so here we have a preliminary render of my latest bit, a little thing I am calling The Study. What you see here is the first step of the process – layout/placement of the objects and aiming of the camera, with plain shaders applied to help get a sense of things. This will NOT be animated (for now), so there is only the one shot to worry about. I will continue to post updates as the project progresses. Please note that I did not create these models – they were obtained for free from several artists on Turbosquid. But some of them I will probably have to tweak. šŸ˜‰

So here we have a little composite/animation I did recently of a robot with apparently REALLY bad coordination stumbling around in what looks like a tunnel to Narnia – or an old sewer, take your pick.

 The background is a photo and the robot is a child of Maya 2010, naturally. It still needs some tweaks, which I will continue to poke at in my spare time. I would like to soften the edges of the shadow some more and add some audio and what I like to call “short circuit” effects (or what Mike would call Quantum Leap lightning) to emphasize the, uh… ‘malfunction’. On the other hand, I do kinda like the zombot walk by itself. What do you think?

And would a zombot eat robots’ CPUs? Or a vampdroid drink oil, for that matter? I must know!