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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.
In this video, we're going to start demonstrating just how quick and easy it can be to set up a basic global illumination solution using V-Ray's irradiance mapping engine. To help us with this, we have loaded our GI_Room_Interior_Start file from the Exercise_Files folder. We've chosen an interior setting to test our GI engines as this represents by far and away the biggest challenge when it comes to getting a clean and believable global illumination solution. The plane gray material we have added to our geometry will increase the difficulty level for us, because, well, now it will help highlight, or show up any of the unwanted noise and blotchiness that can, and probably will, be present in our GI solution, at least as we are working to create it.
Now we have no materials, no textures, no areas behind which we can hide these GI flaws. We will be using this same scene to build basic GI solutions for each of the engines we will examine in this chapter. This means we'll have the ability to just compare the solutions that we get from each of the engines. We'll be able to see their relative strengths and weaknesses in this difficult GI lighting scenario. To give you a quick overview of the lighting in the scene, I'm actually just going to pull up our Hypershade window. So go to the Windows menu, Rendering Editors, pull up the Hypershade window, and if we come along to the light tab, or Lights tab, you can see, we have two light sources available in the scene.
We have a V-Ray rectangular light that I have named Sky_Portal. This is currently, as you can see, disabled, and we have a VRaySun that is operating as our key direct light in the scene. In fact, if we just come and close Hypershade, and take a render for ourselves, you can see that we have a direct only lighting solution. There is no bounce light occurring in the scene at this moment in time at all. Of course, we want to remedy that particular situation, so let's come across to Render Settings window icon, pull that out for ourselves, come into the Indirect Illumination tab, and let's enable V-Ray's GI systems.
By default, V-Ray will give to us a pretty high quality generic GI system that can work nicely in many scenarios. You can see, if just scroll down the options here, the Irradiance mapping is set as our Primary bounce engine, whereas Brute force has been set to handle any Secondary bounces. Of course, we want to focus on irradiance mapping in this video, so I'm just going to disable our Secondary bounces for now. We do have a little bit of a tweak that we want to make to our current settings. You see, by default, V-Ray will set this High preset; we get a very high quality setting from our Irradiance map system.
Really this is overkill for our starting situation here. Any test renders, any preview renders we take at this moment in time will take way longer then we want them to for just setting up a global illumination system. So we're just going to use this dropdown, we're going to access these presets, and we're just going to switch over to the very low option. As you can see, all of these parameters will change, or a number of them will change, as you can see as we flick through our different presets here, each of them will be set according to the preset that it is working in.
These are the Irradiance mapping quality controls; they will determine the resolution, and ultimately, the quality of the irradiance map solution itself. With the GI systems enabled, let's come and take another render, and you'll see that we get irradiance map calculation visible in our render view. That it set by default inside of V-Ray for Maya. And in no time at all, in fact, in just seven seconds, we get a global illumination render back from the system. Now, one option we do want to highlight to you at this moment in time is an option that can be invaluable when it comes to just troubleshooting our scenes, and that is -- if we just scroll down here in our Options section -- that is this Show samples option.
If we check that, and if we take another render, what we see is that V-Ray will still run through its irradiance map calculations, but ultimately, we get not a GI render, but a direct light render with our irradiance map samples visible in the rendered frame window. This means, of course, that we can make some fairly good choices when it comes to how we want to set our Irradiance map controls, because we can actually see where the samples are being place, and so how the global illumination solution will be calculated. We've made a start at getting our irradiance map GI solution in place, but in the next video, we want to spend some time working with our Irradiance mapping controls.
We want to clean up our current GI solution a little bit. We want to see if we can get something that would work a little bit more appropriately as a final production render setting.
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