Blog Archive

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Maya Turnaround


Overall, I feel like the outcome of this module has been successful on a whole. I have learned how to use a new program to a substantial enough level to create a 3D character. I found the process of learning particularly difficult at times, as the program not only has a complex interface but has differences throughout each yearly version of the program. Although, I am now able to confidently use the 'space bar' interface', I feel that I would like to learn other 3D animation programs as I have heard maya has the most complex interface and user ease. I will be studying how to incorporate maya files into 'zbrush' to achieve a higher level of detail as a result of this module, as I am very pleased with my final outcome.

The major drawbacks in this project for now are the final rendered turnaround. I had some issues in creating a video for the final piece using the mental ray render- which requires a batch render rather than simply exporting to avi or .mov as with maya's own rendering software. As a result of this, I will be getting some help in exporting this so I can upload a far superior version to my portfolio when applying for internships and jobs. I am aware that mental ray creates each frame as an image during a batch render. I have downloaded adobe after effects to compile this later. In future, I will try to stay of better health to stay on top of my work and have a better schedule.

If I were to do this project again, I would try a different method of modelling, where I would create the entire body first, as I had not attached my arms to the body. While this is not an issue from a aesthetic view alone as the clothes hide this, if I had wanted to import this character to a game with the option of changing clothes, or the character were animated, I may wish to render the body first so I have a clearer idea of how the clothes fall and interact with the body. For example, how the cloth may bunch at a crease such as the armpit.

Mental Ray Render

3 Point Lighting

I used the spot lights to position my lights, using panel- look through selected. I also experimented with area lights as they mimic the use of real lights within a photography studio. I found that I did not achieve an even enough cover of light using this method. The tutorial I was following using the area lights had the wolverine character placed within a white box room, so this may have been a contributing factor since light is able to reflect off of each wall onto the character.

1. The back light, this is placed behind the character, either on the left or right side to avoid it shining into the camera, this lights the rear of the character to make them look less flat

2. The Key Light, this light is off to the side opposite of the back light, it lights the character's side and helps provide full coverage so there are no shadows.

3. The front light, this light stays either directly under or beside the camera facing the character, it fully illuminates their face and figure, and is usually a little dimmer than the other lights to avoid glare, or blinding the subject if used in a real life scenario.

Different Light Position Renders

A series of different test renders
I had a terrible issue in which every render I did had a glow on the face. I was so frustrated as I looked for hours trying to figure out what the issue was. At first, I believed it was the placement of the lights in which the glare of the rim light was glaring into the lens of the camera. This could not be the case as why would Maya be designed in a way that is years behind camera technology.

I found that the eyeball shader had a glow shader on it. In future, I need to be more aware of what type of special effect I'm adding. In order to improve, I need to learn the function of the shaders and materials. 

From this experience, by discovering these glowing special effects, I was thinking about creating an accessory or weapon which could glow. For example, a lantern or a staff with a glowing crystal. 

Another useful quality outliner had for me was setting up my camera. I was able to select the camera, and then go to panel-look through selected, in order to place my camera perfectly for my final video render.

Looks very different from the in maya rendered version to the output saved version. Lighting is far less strong. I am using area lights as recommended by the CG arena tutorial online. (Accessed 10/01/2017)

Light shining in camera in render.

Rendered in 1080 HD. Back light: 1 Key Light: .8 Fill Light :.4

Moved a few of the cameras around. The harsh white on the arm to the right is burning out some of the detail.

Rendered again with new settings. Back Light 1 Key Light 5 Fill Light 3

Quite a harsh shadow is set with such a low key light.The lights are also giving away their placement, so either they need to be pulled back or the camera to be moved in. 

Created new issue of an enormous black shadow by moving the key light.