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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.
When it comes to adding a photographic depth of field effect to our renders, there are a number of options available tools whilst rendering with V-Ray. In this video we will focus on using the V-Ray physical camera to create and control an in-rendered depth of field effect. Now when we're working to create these types of effects with the V-Ray physical camera, we really need to keep in mind the fact that choices we make, such as focal length for our lens, camera placement with regards to composition in the scene, the lighting and exposure settings that we use, all of these will affect how we create and control depth of field in our scene.
We just need you to make note of the fact that any numeric values we work with in this video are specific to this scene and this shot. If you were not working with the Exercise Files, you will need to adopt the values you work with to the scale of your scene and to the type of the depth of field effect you're wanting to create. Now the first thing we needed to make certain of is the fact that you are viewing the scene through your depth of field camera, so if we just come to the Panels menu and just make certain that we are looking through our V-Ray_DOF_Cam, that's going to be that place that we want to start with.
Of course we need to make certain that our camera is selected in the scene, so let's use the Select Camera icon and now we can get access to all of the parameters for this particular V-Ray physical camera. To turn depth of field on in the scene we need to come down to the bottom of our rollout, open up the Extra V-Ray Attributes rollout and come all the way down to the bottom of that. Now before we enable anything in our scene, we just want to pull up our Maya Render View, we are going to be working with the number of pre-rendered images, depth of field is a render intensive effect so we are just going to step you through the controls and show you the resulting renders.
Now with no effects currently enabled in the scene, this is the render that we would get. You can see there's no blurring, no depth of filed effect at all. To enable that we want to come to our Physical Camera Controls, put a check in the Enable Depth of Field option, and remember of course your Subdivisions values, your V-Ray Image Sampling values and your DMC Sampler Controls would all contribute to the final look of the depth of field effect. It is a noisy render effect, so these values will determine how smooth or indeed how grainy this particular effect ends up looking.
What I want to do here is just set a Subdivision value of 12; then we just need to come up in our Camera's Controls until we find our F-number values. This of course is as it is in a real world camera, this is the control mechanism for the depth of field effect in our scene. Lower F-stop values will of course give us a shallower, narrower depth of field, higher F-stop values will give us a much deeper depth of field making more and more of our scene or placing more and more of our scene in focus.
We do have to remember that as the F- stop value or the F-number value is the part of the exposure triangle in the V- Ray physical camera, we do need to make compensation if we drop our F-stop value down to get a shallower, more pronounced depth of field effect, then we will also be allowing more light into the virtual camera and so we would have to compensate with our other exposure controls. So with the system enabled I am using these particular settings, if we go and check our next render, you can see that we do indeed produce a very nice depth of field effect in the scene for ourselves.
You can see we have a reasonably shallow, narrow depth of field, our front row of pool balls here definitely out of focus as the time we get up to the yellow ball here, we are again out of focus. We only have this very narrow band here that actually is in focus at this moment in time. Now, this is because this is the area that our V-Ray Physical Camera has its target placed at. By default the V-Ray Physical Camera will use its target as the point of focus in the scene. We don't of course have to work with that particular option, if we want to change the point of focus in our scene without moving the camera's target we can come into the camera's controls and we can work with this Specify Focus option.
Now there is a little bit of gotcha that you need to be aware of, if we just minimize Render View, if you watch how the viewport framing works as we enabled this Specify Focus option, you can see we do change the composition of our scene; we change where our camera is looking. So you just need to be aware of that fact. Now I am just going to leave this option checked and in the Focus Distance, I am going to specify a value of 115 centimeters. We really now have shifted the point of focus in scene.
And again if we pull our Render View window, we would go from this depth of field effect to this one, as you see, we have really shifted the point of focus off the table. We can perhaps notice that we have increased the depth of our effect for getting a much wider depth of field effect in this instance as we use this Specify Focus value that is often times something that will happen so if we wanted to create a lot shallower depth of field effect of this end of the table, we would have to again work with our F-stop parameter or a F-Number value.
So depth of field with V-Ray Physical Camera is easy to create. It works exactly as per real world cameras, the only difference being of course that we actually have to deliberately enable this particular effect in the V-Ray Physical Cameras controls. What though if we were rendering with a standard Maya camera? Now that could be one of the default perspective cameras or it could be a camera we have added into the scene. Well what we are going to move on to now is taking a look at creating a depth of field effects in V-Ray when rendering the scene from one of those camera types.
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