Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hydrant Rendering

This evening I told myself that I should not procrastinate and decided to get the hydrant rendering done.

I started lighting the scene and found this to be really challenging. The lights had to match to that of the actual scene. I added an area light as my main keylight, something which represented the sunlight. I know in most cases, a directional light is usually used for a sunlight. But I guess in this case, an area light suited the best because of the way the shadows were soft during render time. I then added a point light behind the hydrant, somewhere inside the building as my back light and finally another point light as my fill light. This is what the rendered scene looks like:

And this is what the light set-up looks like:

Of course things such as ambient occlusion and things like that will be done during the compositing stage. Right now, I only focused on getting the lighting almost accurate. Next, I went onto creating the render layers. I added two layers for occulusion - one for ground occlusion and another for the hydrant occlusion. I did this so that I could control each occlusion pass separately during compositing instead of masking and rotoscoping. Next, I added the usual diffuse and specular render layers. For the reflection layer, I used a phong shader as a material overide for the hydrant and made it super-reflective so that I could reduce and control it during compositing. For the shadow layer, I used a background shader as a material overide instead of the default shadow preset. This gave me more control over how my shadow looked like.

Once the render layers were set up, I did final touch-ups such as naming each pass, turning on final gather and ensuring that every pass was being rendered as high quality through mental ray. Currently, all the passes are being rendered.

The compositing will be done in Digital Fusion. I know I mentioned in my previous post that I would composite in Combustion as well and try to get similar results from both the packages. Well, I'll try to do that but Fusion would be my first choice.

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