Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maya: Lighting and rendering

A general rule for effective lighting is:

- A key light, which represents the main light source.
- A fill light, which lifts the shadows created by the key light. It is typically set at a much lower value, and is placed directly opposite the key light.
- A back light, also "rim light", which highlights the edges of the subject.

I came up with this composition of lights, using spot lights as they are more defined and obvious. I've named them respectively for reference:

I decided to make the overall lighting quite dark in this instance, just to make it easier to distinguish between the different lighting options.

Key light:

Fill light:

Back light: 

And all together: 

It is easy to see how the fill and back lights make the model appear much more three-dimensional and realistic, and make it "pop" out from the background.

I also modelled the basic objects that will be used in the background and as Sackboy's prop. I will show them before and after lighting, to highlight the importance of high-quality rendering. 

Desk lamp (I used an image from Google as reference):

Pen pot:

Tree (I used an image of a tree from Littlebigplanet as reference):

When I smoothed the tree it came out looking a bit lumpy around where the trunk is made of different parts. If I have the time I will look into how to seamlessly merge different polygons in this area.


Sword (again, I used a quick image from Google as reference):

Now... time to put everything together and begin animating!

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