Maya Lighting

Posted by Sam Hayes On Saturday, January 16, 2010
Edit: Getting there!

I haven't finished all my modelling/texturing for my scene yet, but I have decided to light it so I have a better idea of what my final result will look like. Since my first concept I wanted the street to be very foggy and the distant view obstructed, so I've been looking into the enviromental fog in Maya.

My first attempt was to have one building lit, as if to suggest there is still life, but this could also mean that the power is still on but the building is desolate. The glow is a bit high in this image, I'm still fiddling with that.

I next tried using the enviromental fog in the Maya Software render settings. It came out looking very weak, I tinkered with the settings for some time, but it still seemed to just look like an overlay on the image. I also found, that Mental Ray's render options has no Enviromental Fog settings, but if you create it in the 'Maya Software' render options and then render in MR, it keeps the fog.

My next attempt was to use the 'Physical Fog' enviroment setting, which seems to create dense fog which 'wraps' around the objects, much more realistically. My first try was very dense and thick, I also added some streetlights on the left which are light very dimly. (The line down the middle is because I rendered it in two-halves)

Lastly, I played with the fog settings to create something I'm happy with. It may need a bit of tweaking once all my objects are finished in my scene, but for now, It creates the atmopshere I wanted. Although the street-light isn't glowing (I think because I rendered it in two-halves again)

The grey background will be Matte a painted after the finished render to create distant buildings rising out of the mist.

4 Responses to 'Maya Lighting'

  1. Ruben Alexandre said...'> 16 January 2010 at 20:08

    hi sam, How long that is taking to render ???

    the fog is somehow changing its atmosphere a lot...


  2. Sam Hayes said...'> 16 January 2010 at 20:14

    Surprisingly, once I added the fog, it took a lot less time to render, probably because it hides some features which Maya doesn't bother to render. About 30mins at the moment on my Laptop, which isn't too bad


  3.'> 16 January 2010 at 23:03

    NatEast looooooooooooooooooooool, the fog definitely adds to the atmosphere, I'm already beginning to get that indescribable feeling from looking at it.


  4. Alan Postings said...'> 17 January 2010 at 00:57

    Hi Sam..

    Connect a 3D Fractal texture (or 3D Cloud) to the transparency channel for the fog. This will add variance to the fog. You can also achieve a similar result using the density channel too.

    Once you've added the 3D Fractal or Cloud you can change its scale using the '3D Placement' node.


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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