Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya

with Eric Keller
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Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya
Video duration: 0s 4h 56m Intermediate


Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya with Eric Keller shows how to master practical mental ray techniques for rendering models created in Maya. This course walks through the most efficient and innovative mental ray techniques, including direct versus indirect lighting methods, creating different types of shadows, using the new ShadowMap camera, and reusing shadow and final gathering maps. A chapter on optimizing render times and enhancing render quality is also included. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding computer-generated lighting
  • Creating depth map and ray traced shadows
  • Softening and shaping shadows
  • Working with global illumination
  • Lighting with the caustic settings
  • Applying physical and portal shaders
  • Adding depth of field with the Bokeh shader
  • Splitting a scene into render layers
  • Comparing render passes and render layers
3D + Animation Photography


- Hi, I'm Eric Keller and welcome to Maya 2011 Lighting and Rendering in mental ray. Creating realistic lighting in Maya is best achieved using the mental ray plug-in that comes bundled with Maya. With each release of Maya, the integration of the mental ray plug-in is improved, allowing for more efficiency and quality, as well as ease of use. To create stunning photorealistic renders with Maya, you'll need to master the various aspects of working with mental ray. This course will show you how to light a scene with the mental ray tools and how to use render passes for efficiency and speed.

We'll start the course by looking at how Maya's lights behave when rendered with mental ray. We'll look at direct lighting and how it differs from indirect lighting. We'll see how to set depth map shadows and compare those to ray-traced shadows. We'll take a look at how to create bounce light effects, such as color bleeding and ambient occlusion. We'll light a scene with incandescent shaders. We'll see how to use a physical sun and sky tools and image based lighting and how they can add realism to Maya scenes. Then we'll dive into using mental ray render passes and render layers for efficient compositing.

Along the way, I'll show you how to improve the quality of images and use diagnostic tools to reduce render times. The mental ray plug-in does take patience and practice to master. Before starting this course, you'll need to be comfortable with the basics of working in the Maya interface. As a professional Maya animator, I rely on the mental ray plug-in to create great lighting. So I'm excited about sharing my knowledge with you. Let's get started.

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