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Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya with Eric Keller shows how to master practical mental ray techniques for rendering models created in Maya. This course walks through the most efficient and innovative mental ray techniques, including direct versus indirect lighting methods, creating different types of shadows, using the new ShadowMap camera, and reusing shadow and final gathering maps. A chapter on optimizing render times and enhancing render quality is also included. Exercise files are included with the course.
Another way to create indirect lighting effects in a scene is to use what's known as Final Gathering. In this scene here, I am going to create a render. I have a single, direct, shadow-casting light here, this direct light at the top of the room. And I want to create a test render, and this is what we get. You see shadows created by that light coming in here and casting on this sphere and on the ground. This white color that you see in the hole, and then roof is actually created in the camera settings.
Under the Camera Shape tab, I have Environment set to a white color, so that we can clearly see this opening. To activate Final Gathering, I am going to go to the Render Settings. And in the Indirect Lighting tab, under Final Gathering, I am just going to turn on Final Gathering and use the default settings as they are right now. And I am going to create a test render. You'll notice a few things.
As it is right now with the default settings, it's fairly dim, but you can see some reflected light on the walls here in the room, as well as there is some color tint to it. Some of this green color of the sphere is hitting walls there. And we can see how this little pool of light on the ground is actually bouncing back up and hitting the sphere. You will notice that when using Final Gathering, I didn't actually have to create any extra lights or turn on any settings for the lights themselves.
This is because Final Gathering is actually calculated based on the camera. So the rendering camera shoots final gather rays into the environment and basically detects how the light is reacting to surfaces to create the indirect lighting effect. And this is different from global illumination, in that global illumination uses lights that shoot photons into an environment. In this case, the camera is creating the Final Gathering points. So the next thing we need to do is work with the settings to improve the look of the indirect lighting.
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