Thursday, 11 November 2010

Researching Lighting

Chronicals of Narnia. Inspiration

I started to look at visuals from films i had seen that initially inspired the way i am thinking about lighting. I came across Narnia, and Sweeney Todd in particular for the reference of lighting for the interior of the home in the project. The lighting in the trailer and screen shots below show a clear link between one and other, and i feel they give an excellent example of what i will be looking to replicate when i do my lighting.

In particular i love the shots form Chronicles of Narnia, especially the shot below of the book and the girl standing beside it, i think the lighting is excellent, however maybe a little too extravagant for what we are trying to create, but does however show the sort of thing we will be going for, with the colours and the intensity of lighting and contrast.

ScreenShots from Narnia and Sweeny Todd

Looking at time lapses

The above video is a video reference i found on youtube, this example is extremely slow compared to what i am looking for, however, i have created my own example below, showing the sort of time lapse speed i want to create.

This test below was a very quick mock up example of what i was trying to look for, however i am not too pleased with the outcome of the piece. I wanted the transition from darkness back to light to be much swifter, and i feel there is a period in the middle where the lighting goes from light to dark far too quickly, and stays dark too long. I am not happy with this test. I will certainly be attempting it again to try to get it better.

I have attempted the test again and i changed a few things form the previous attempt that i was not very happy with. I have also added a point light which is animated which alters the darkness/lightness of the area inside the building. I am overall more happy with this test.

Researching Physical Sun and Sky
I started to look into ways of creating a realistic looking dawn for the animation, I knew there were a few ways i could do this and two of those were HDRI, and Physical sun and sky. I therefore started off by looking into how to use the PSAS. I opened up the mental ray features within Maya and then the indirect lighting tab where it was held. It placed th PSAS into my scene and i started messing around with it. I found it very easy to use, and alter, with the rotation tool determining which time of day it was set at. I messed around with it for a while, then started looking at tutorials on how to use it properly for what i needed. The colours that were default on the system were good, however they needed a little tweaking so i had to look into how to do this. I looked at a few tutorials i found on the net about how to use it which i found very helpful. They are below.

This is a screen shot of a written tutorial i found most helpful, this is what i looked at when i first decided to use PSAS.

Below is a video i found which is a basic tutorial on how to set up the PSAS around your scene, i found this very helpful, as it was clear and to the point, and the guy doing the tutorial was very clear in showing me what to do.

Mental Ray's Physical Sun and Sky from Alex Villabon on Vimeo.

The second tutorial i didnt find as helpful because it set the scene around a car model, and was showing it more of a display piece rather than lighting for an entire environment.

Other Tutorial Examples
These are a few tutorials i also looked at to help me get started. I found the majority very helpful, although quite repetitive.

Lighting and Rendering in Maya: Rendering with Physical Sun and Sky in Mental Ray from CG Bootcamp on Vimeo

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