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This course introduces the features of the V-Ray 2.0 rendering engine and demonstrates how to extend the range of Maya with its state-of-the-art tools, such as irradiance mapping, fur and hair textures and shaders, and stereoscopic 3D rendering. The course covers critical concepts such as creating basic materials, image sampling, color mapping, subdivs, and lighting, as well as the Render Elements, RT, and physical rendering workflows in V-Ray. Exercise files are included with the course.
Oftentimes in our scenes, we will want to create a sky or environment light setup for ourselves. Now, there are a number of common uses for this kind of lighting setup. We can use it to quickly check the fidelity of mesh models in our scene. We can use it to make certain that all surfaces that are meant to be in contact with one another are indeed doing just that. In this video, we're going to examine one of a number of skylight options that we have when rendering with V-Ray. Now, to create what I will refer to as a GI environment skylight, we just need to come to our Render Settings window; pull that up for ourselves.
We need to come into the V-Ray tab, and again, if I just close the Image sampler rollout, you can see we have this Environment rollout available to us, and we have an Environment Override checkbox that, if we enable, we get all of these controls coming to life, one of which, you can see, is a GI texture option. Now, using this control, in connection with V-Ray's indirect illumination systems, we can create a very quick, very basic skylight effect for ourselves. We do, of course, need to have indirect illumination turned on for this option. It is a global illumination effect, so if we come in, if we just put a check in the On box, and I just want to come down, and make certain that we've got Irradiance mapping, and Light cache set as our options. By default, we'll find probably Brute force is set in there, but these two will give us a very nice and quick GI effect in the scene.
Now, with those options set, if we just come up and take a render, you can see we get a very, very quick skylight effect for ourselves. Now, of course, there're some good things here, and some bad things. You can see one of the good things is that it's very quick and easy to set up. One of the bad things is that there is not much in the way of contact shadows; the lighting is a little bit soft. If we wanted to remedy that a little bit in the scene, we would have to come and, in our Indirect Illumination controls, if we just come up to the top here, you can see, we have this Ambient Occlusion option; we could enable that. Let's just come back to our Environment rollout. You can see we have this color swatch here; this is controlling the color of the lighting in our scene.
We also have this Background swatch; that is controlling the color of our background here. In fact, let's just do a little bit of demonstration for you, to show how you can mix and match colors in here. Let's set something a little unusual in terms of background color, and even more unusual in terms of our light color. So let's make it obvious what is going on here. And again, if we take a second render, you can see, we can very, very easily, very quickly configure how our lighting and background texture are working. Now, of course, in these map slots, we can use texture maps; we can use high dynamic range images for the GI texture override if we want to.
Not necessarily the best way to use high dynamic range images in V-Ray; there is no important sampling attached to this particular system, so this might not make it a good choice for image-based lighting. The V-Ray environment override, then, is a very quick and easy solution for creating global, ambient, or indirect lighting solutions that can be used as a skylight effect. If outdoor lighting setups are something that we're particularly interested in creating, however, especially if we want to create realistic, natural looking daylight for ourselves, well then personally, I would say that this not the best way to work.
I would say that the V-Ray dome light offers a much better skylight solution tools. So let's move swiftly on, and take a look at that particular V-Ray light type in our next video.
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