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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs
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Global illumination (GI) explained


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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training

with Brian Bradley

Video: Global illumination (GI) explained

V-Ray comes equipped with a number of extremely powerful global illumination, or GI engines that can help us recreate pretty much any natural lighting scenario, and a good number of unnatural ones, should we have a mind to. If we just come up to our main toolbar, we can just click on our Render Settings window icon to pull that dialog up for ourselves, we'll just show you where V-Ray's indirect illumination tools are housed. If we come to the Indirect Illumination tab, you can see, with our systems enabled, with a check in the On box, all of the tools and controls that make up V-Ray's GI systems become available to us.
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  1. 4m 28s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      51s
    3. Exercise files
      40s
    4. Workflow recommendation
      1m 58s
  2. 11m 32s
    1. Installing V-Ray
      4m 25s
    2. Setting up V-Ray
      3m 14s
    3. Locating V-Ray's tools and features
      3m 53s
  3. 24m 41s
    1. Image sampling explained
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding subdivs
      3m 49s
    3. Using the DMC Sampler
      6m 54s
    4. Overview of color mapping
      4m 45s
    5. Understanding the color-mapping modes
      5m 54s
  4. 27m 55s
    1. Dealing with lighting problems
      9m 26s
    2. Adding a spherical fill light
      8m 50s
    3. Creating a mesh light
      2m 43s
    4. Creating a skylight effect
      3m 18s
    5. Working with the dome light
      3m 38s
  5. 44m 25s
    1. Global illumination (GI) explained
      3m 55s
    2. Understanding primary and secondary bounces
      3m 34s
    3. How irradiance mapping works
      5m 30s
    4. Using irradiance mapping, part 1
      4m 35s
    5. Using irradiance mapping, part 2
      5m 44s
    6. How light cache works
      3m 48s
    7. Using light cache
      7m 58s
    8. Understanding brute force GI
      2m 18s
    9. Using brute force GI
      7m 3s
  6. 40m 3s
    1. Introduction to V-Ray-specific materials
      2m 22s
    2. Creating diffuse color
      8m 31s
    3. Making reflective materials
      5m 40s
    4. Blurring reflections
      8m 31s
    5. Making clear and colored glass
      8m 49s
    6. Creating a translucency effect
      6m 10s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Introduction to image sampling
      2m 56s
    2. Using the Fixed-Rate sampler
      5m 57s
    3. How to use the Adaptive DMC sampler
      5m 21s
    4. Working with the Adaptive Subdivision sampler
      7m 7s
    5. Comparing image-sampling renders
      2m 54s
  8. 17m 23s
    1. The physical workflow explained
      2m 37s
    2. Working with VRaySun and VRaySky
      7m 39s
    3. Controlling the VRayPhysicalCamera
      7m 7s
  9. 45m 0s
    1. Depth of field: VRayPhysicalCamera
      5m 45s
    2. Depth of field: perspective viewport
      5m 49s
    3. Creating a motion blur effect
      9m 30s
    4. Generating caustic effects
      7m 51s
    5. Using VRayFur
      6m 2s
    6. Setting up render-time displacement effects
      10m 3s
  10. 34m 17s
    1. Render elements workflow
      6m 47s
    2. Preparing to composite
      2m 22s
    3. Compositing V-Ray elements
      7m 8s
    4. Putting extra elements to work
      6m 20s
    5. Post-lighting a scene
      11m 40s
  11. 11m 47s
    1. Overview of V-Ray RT
      5m 27s
    2. Demonstrating the RT workflow
      6m 20s
  12. 1m 8s
    1. What's next?
      1m 8s

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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training
4h 46m Beginner Mar 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing and setting up V-Ray
  • Using the DMC Sampler
  • Understanding color mapping modes
  • Adding a spherical fill light
  • Working with the V-Ray Dome Light
  • Using irradiance mapping and the Light cache
  • Creating diffuse color
  • Making reflective materials
  • Creating translucency
  • Ensuring quality with image sampling
  • Controlling the V-Ray physical camera
  • Creating a motion blur effect
  • Compositing V-Ray elements
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Textures Materials Visual Effects
Software:
V-Ray
Author:
Brian Bradley

Global illumination (GI) explained

V-Ray comes equipped with a number of extremely powerful global illumination, or GI engines that can help us recreate pretty much any natural lighting scenario, and a good number of unnatural ones, should we have a mind to. If we just come up to our main toolbar, we can just click on our Render Settings window icon to pull that dialog up for ourselves, we'll just show you where V-Ray's indirect illumination tools are housed. If we come to the Indirect Illumination tab, you can see, with our systems enabled, with a check in the On box, all of the tools and controls that make up V-Ray's GI systems become available to us.

Now, the feature sets of these engines are robust; they are powerful. They give us the ability to easily switch between physically correct and artistically correct approaches to our lighting setups. They can be tuned to be fast enough for even the most demanding of production schedules, whilst still outputting high quality images for us. Ultimately, these systems can remove an awful lot of the guesswork that would otherwise be involved in manually recreating realistic lighting solutions. All we really need to do is evaluate the lighting needs of our current project, choose the tools we want or need to use, run through our usual lighting setup, of course, and then we can have V-Ray's GI engines assist us in achieving our artistic goals.

For the benefit of those somewhat newer to 3D rendering, we're just going to start this chapter, making the assumption that maybe we're somewhat unfamiliar with just what global illumination is, and so we would benefit from just a quick breakdown of its definition and workings. An understanding of just what global, or indirect illumination is can probably best be gained by contrasting it to its lighting opposite, which is local, or direct illumination, as we see in our slide here. By default, adding light into a scene, and rendering without any GI systems enabled will give us only this type of local illumination.

Of course, local illumination as we see it in computer graphics, is not how light behaves in the real world. This is why we need GI systems in our renderers. They allow us to simulate the physical reality of light, which of course, in the real world, spends a lot of time, and a lot of energy bouncing around our environments. The basic GI process goes a little like this: As direct light is emitted from a source, such as our light here, it will travel until it strikes the surface of an object in our scene.

At this point, a lighting phenomenon known as intersurface reflection occurs. All this phrase means is that a portion of that light's energy will reflect, or bounce, and create a global or indirect illumination effect in the scene. Dependent upon the amount of energy coming from our light source, we should actually see that our light is able to bounce from a number of surfaces. With each bounce, it will lose a little bit of energy, and with each bounce, it will pick up a bit of coloration inherited from the diffuse properties of surface it is interacted with so far.

The end result of all this bouncing is that, well, our surroundings become lit, and even the dark nooks and crannies of an environment will end up receiving at least some level of lighting, even though they may be far away from any direct light sources. This complex process is what gives us the ability to create lighting scenarios that have a very high degree of accuracy, and realism to them. We can even conduct lighting analysis tests that give architects and engineers the ability to measure just how much illumination a given environment, and the given set of light sources will produce.

And now, with that basic explanation of global illumination, we're ready to move on to examining a very specific aspect of V-Ray's GI implementation, and that is its use of primary and secondary bounce engines.

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