Learn about methods used to create soft and realistic lighting in Arnold for Maya using area lights and mesh lights. In this video, George shows how to create and adjust an Area light within Maya’s Arnold renderer. He then creates a simple polygonal object and turns that into a mesh light, which emits light over the surface of the object.
- [Voiceover] In addition to Maya lights, Arnold also brings along a few`of its own types of lights. So, let's take a look at the Arnold specific lights. We can find them by going into the Rendering menu, and selecting Arnold, and you'll see we have a number of lights here. I'm going to tear off this menu. We have the Maya-specific lights down here at the bottom, but we also have Arnold-specific lights up here at the top. Now we have the Photometric light, which are lights that simulate actual lights in the real world.
We have the Mesh light, which turns any polygonal mesh into a light. We have the Skydome, which will surround the scene with a sphere, onto which we can put images. We'll get to that one when we talk about image space lighting. And then, we also have the Area lights. So, let's go ahead and just use a few of these. I'm going to start off with the Area lights. I'm going to go ahead and select this, and when I do, it brings this object into the scene, and this is my Area light.
Now this Area light has a direction, so you can see this little line sticking out, and that's the direction of this light. And the light itself is emitted from this rectangular section. So if I go into say a four-view here, I can place this in the scene, and let's go ahead and just try and get this to illuminate the car. So we're gonna go ahead and rotate this a little bit. Now, if you want to get a bigger effect out of the Area light, you can scale it up.
So the scale of the light will affect how much light is going into the scene. Now once you have this light selected, we can go into the attribute editor, and mess around with our attributes. Now this will be a quadratic light, so let's go ahead and turn up the intensity. I'm going to turn up the intensity to say about 400 or so. Now this will depend upon how far away the light is from the object, so this is going to be a number you may have to fiddle with as you work with the scene.
So now that I have my light in the scene, I'm gonna go ahead and do a render. Let's see what the area light does. And here we have the area light. Now as you can see, this is a great light source. It's a very soft light and it gives a really high quality light into the scene. Now another way to do this type of lighting is to do what's called a Mesh light. So I'm going to go ahead and select the Area light and delete it, and let's go ahead and create a polygonal mesh. Now this will not work for NURBS at the moment, so we need to use a polygon.
So I'm going to go into my polygon shelf here, and let's just go ahead and create a polygonal torres. So I'm going to go ahead onto my origin here, drag it out, and give it a little bit of volume. So we're going make this kind of ring light, and let's go ahead and just place this above the car. So, now I have this object in the scene. I have to turn it into a light. So, we can do that by selecting the object, going Arnold, lights, mesh light.
And when you do that, it adds in a mesh light. Now if you took the object and just selected it, you might not be able to find it, because it's not in the shader or anything else. It's actually in the geometry group. You have to scroll down through the geometry group to the Arnold rollout. So it's in the shape group, and this is the same place where we set up opacity for an object. So this rollout is actually pretty important.
So, in this case, the Arnold translator has turned this into mesh light. Now, we do have different types of things we can do, if this is a polymesh it goes back to what we saw before, where we can turn this into an opaque object. But if we want to, we can turn it into a mesh light, so we can give the light itself a color, an intensity. We can use color temperature and so on, so we can really affect this light. Now, the intensity, I know, is going to be a bit too low, so I'm going to turn it up to say about 200.
And let's go ahead and just give this a render and see what happens. So, here we have the render. Now notice the light is not in the scene, but we are getting a fairly good light. Now I think we can actually increase the intensity of the light to get a little bit more light into the scene, so I'm going to go back to my scene here. Let's go ahead and bring this up to 500, and then I'm also going to click on this little tab here that says "Light Visible," and that will make this light visible in the room.
So let's do one more render, and here we go. So now we can see the light, and we have a lot more light in the scene. So, if you can't get the light that you want in a scene, a lot of times it might make sense to actually just create a mesh in the shape of the light you want, and use that as the light source.
It starts with the basics of selecting and manipulating objects and organizing scenes, as you learn the interface and explore Maya's features. Author George Maestri then takes you through polygonal modeling, creating and refining meshes, sculpting, and NURBS modeling. Once you understand modeling, George will show how to create and apply materials to surfaces—adding color, texture, and reflectivity. He'll then integrate cameras, lighting, and depth-of-field effects into the rendering process, using the built-in software renderer, mental ray, and the new Arnold for Maya renderer. Last but not least, he'll show how to add movement and life to your work with Maya's animation tools.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Configuring viewports and workspaces
- Selecting and manipulating objects
- Creating hierarchies and layers in scenes
- Creating polygonal objects
- Modeling and refining polygonal meshes
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Sculpting a basic landscape
- NURBs modeling
- Projecting curves on surfaces
- Creating and applying materials and textures
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Adding depth of field and motion blur
- Animating in Maya
Skill Level Beginner
Modeling a Cartoon Character in Mayawith George Maestri3h 6m Intermediate
Rigging Mechanical Objects in Mayawith George Maestri1h 27m Intermediate
1. The Maya Interface
2. Select and Manipulate Objects
3. Organize Maya Scenes
4. Create Polygonal Models
5. Model Polygonal Meshes
6. Refine Polygonal Meshes
7. Sculpt Meshes
Sculpt a basic landscape4m 51s
8. NURBS Modeling Techniques
9. Refine NURBS Models
10. Create Materials
11. Apply Materials and Textures
12. Render in Maya
13. Animate in Maya
14. Render in Arnold
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