FXPHD MYA214 – Maya Lighting and Rendering in Production
Introduction: Week one’s video is all about getting up to speed, so we’re covering the shaders,
a quick brdf tour, projections and why we’re going linear with our colourspace. There’s also a
lighter’s tour of Nuke, as we’ll be using it quite heavily and its important you know its main functionality.
What we know from the set’s lighting, and creating/calibrating the HDRI environment/grey-ball/lights,
giving us our look-development scene.
The grey ball, basically. Week three is mainly covering what wasn’t in week two, with week three’s
original content moved back (it’ll be fine). This week it’s our approach to the greyball
(and the effect of “Canon’s look” on our reference photography), plus replacing parts of an HDRI
image with CG lights to deal with those sampling issues we’re getting when combining really bright
HDRIs with finalgather. It will also come to light how handy a spreadsheet is versus a calculator,
and how much this course relies on them to solve problems.
Convolutions and ARBs, and what they let us do. Week four is all about trying to see how we would
finish our look dev scene. We cleanup the hanger HDRI in Nuke, allowing us to make a nice diffuse
convolution of the room, and then set up our environment, seeing how we would arrange two spatially
aware HDRIs, one for lighting and one for reflections. After that we define the principles of our
ARBs based workflow and cover how we would set that up in Nuke.
Grading our HDRI, even when we make it difficult for ourselves. This week we’ve received the plates
from Comp for each shot, and we’ve now got to grade our HDRIs to match them. We’re going to work through
one particular process to get there, and work around one particular oversight we had on set – a good test
for us. We’re also going to be working through replicating the lighting size/positions on set, and
sticking it all together with our test object & reference shot.
Referencing and some minor pipeline automation Week six’s big thing is working with Maya’s referencing,
how it goes wrong, why it goes wrong, and how we fix it. Due to the realities of our model we’re going
to want to use referencing, so its good to get to grips with how it likes to work. We’re also going to
be changing our ARBs as Comp has decided it should be done differently, so we’re going to look at how
we can automate that to make our lives a bit easier. On top of that, there will also be a look at what’s
coming up in week seven’s shaders. This week’s file upload is 18 CR2 files covering one angle from the main
hanger fisheye, so you can try out other routes/software to making those HDRIs.
Reflection rules and shaders: Week seven sees us start to lookdev our shaders, but also gets us up to speed on
how real life material reflection values relate to what we can achieve in mental ray, how they are portrayed
in optics and what we can do to mimic that (and also what we can’t).
We finish off our materials development phase by examining the difference between the possibilities
we have for matching metals, and adapt our environment to deal with the noise. Its all about getting
ready for the final assault on the machine model.
Render time… Our modeller, Oliver Kane, has given us our giant machine, so this week we’re going to
render it – or at least start. We go through our referencing process to help manage file sizes and start
our two lighting setups, all of which leads to the week ten finale…
The End. Week ten finishes off everything. We cover the lighting decisions and why they’ve been chosen,
reconstruction of the floor, a method for projecting her moving shadow, what texturing we need to do,
render layers, utility passes and some quick comps to make sure everything’s working. Its a long one.