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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Overview of color mapping


From:

V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training

with Brian Bradley

Video: Overview of color mapping

Color or tone mapping is an internal process that V-Ray uses in order to map the highs and lows of our rendered pixels; in other words, the drawing of the brightest and darkest values found in our renders. It does actually have a number of similarities to a camera's exposure control, or the response curve of the human eye to light levels found in its environment, as V-Ray's color mapping is designed to map the colors in our pixels to a range that is usable by, and viewable on, our computer display device. Of course, color mapping in some form is something that all render engines do.
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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

Overview of color mapping

Color or tone mapping is an internal process that V-Ray uses in order to map the highs and lows of our rendered pixels; in other words, the drawing of the brightest and darkest values found in our renders. It does actually have a number of similarities to a camera's exposure control, or the response curve of the human eye to light levels found in its environment, as V-Ray's color mapping is designed to map the colors in our pixels to a range that is usable by, and viewable on, our computer display device. Of course, color mapping in some form is something that all render engines do.

Without this final translation of collected information into RGB pixel values, we would never get any images out of our rendering engine. One of the extremely cool things about V-Ray is that it allows us to make some pre-render choices as to just how this color mapping will take place, and so ultimately, how the colors in our final render will look. Before we go through a brief description and comparison of the color mapping types, however, we just want to quickly draw to your attention two parameters that almost all of the color mapping modes hold in common, and one that they all do.

Of course, we need to go to the Render Settings window, and pull that up. Then let's come along into the V-Ray tab. Let's just close up the Image sampler controls, and we want to open up our Color mapping roll out. Now, the parameter that all of our color mapping modes hold in common is this Gamma value. In fact, if we just very quickly flick through each of the color mapping types, and if you keep your eye on that Gamma value, you'll see that it is there for each and every one of them. Now, the gamma parameter can almost be thought of as a midtones control, but really it has been placed that to give us the ability to compensate for the gamma response curve of our display device.

To correct for a 2.2 gamma display curve, which is a typical Windows system setting, we would set, as we can see here, a value of 2.2. If we were using an operating system that used a different gamma response curve, say, 1.8, then that is the value we would place in this field. Now, the two controls that most of our color mapping types hold in common are these Dark and Bright multiplier parameters. In fact, the only color mapping type that we will find not using these controls is the Reinhard option, and you can see, those disappear.

These options are really working with the brightest and darkest pixels in our rendered image. They are controlling how the dark pixel of color values will be mapped, and the same with the bright pixels. Now, we've got a series of test renders here that we just want to demonstrate to you how changing these multiplier options can affect our rendered images. First, though, we just want to set our Gamma value to 1.0; that is how these render would taken. We just wanted to make certain that everything was really contrasting in here, because that really highlights the changes we make to, not only the Dark and Bright multiplier settings, but also our Color mapping types as well.

So, with that gamma change made, the defaults of 1 and 1 in the Dark and Bright multiplier would yield this particular result if we were to render our scene. Now, if you just keep you eye on the darker values in the scene, particularly around the edges of our image, if we just drop our Dark multiplier down, you'll see that that'll darken all of those values. You can really see how they drop down the brightness range. And of course, as you would expect, keeping your eye on those same dark values, if we double from the default of 1, to a value of 2, we would go to this particular render.

So you can see, if we take a look at the area under the stairs here, you can really see how those dark values are brightened up quite considerably. And as you would expect, exactly the same happens if we work with our Bright multiplier value. Let's just drop those down, first of all, to a value of 0.5, and this is the render we would get. And oftentimes, you will hear the Bright multiplier value expounded as a way of controlling burnout in our scenes. As you can see, it has gotten rid off our burnout, but because we've made quite a drastic change to the numerical value, we're getting some quite nasty artifacts showing up in here.

The Dark and Bright multiplier values really need to be tweaked very cautiously. We don't want to be making any drastic changes in them, because well, as you can see, we can cause more problems oftentimes than we solve. So let's just double our Bright multiplier default of 1 up to a value of 2, and that would give us this render, which as you can see, really does increase the bright values in our scene. So we've demonstrated how the Gamma, and Dark and Bright multipliers are working, but of course, we still need to look at the color mapping modes themselves.

So in our very next video, we're just going to walk you through each of the color mapping types, and we're going to show you the effect that it would have on our scene, as it stands at this moment in time.

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