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- 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
Skill Level Beginner
As modern 3D applications and renders engines are often employed as virtual photography tools these days. It does seem right that V-Ray should offer us an extremely photographic approach to using cameras inside Maya in the form of the V-Ray physical camera. Now creating the V-Ray physical camera in our Maya scenes really couldn't be simpler. You can see we have our Maya camera already set up; we have a rendering point of view that we have been working from. But all we need to do really is append V -Ray physical camera attributes to our existing Maya camera.
So let's make certain that our Maya Camera is selected. Let's come across to the Attribute Editor and you can see with the controls that that really is all we have here is just a standard Maya Camera. One thing you might want to do before enabling your V-Ray physical camera is make a note of the Focal Length that you are currently working with. If you want to keep this framing then that value is going to be important. So with that memorized, we can come up to our Attributes menu, we drop down, we have this V-Ray section. And all we need to do is put a check in the Physical camera option.
Now if we just close up our Camera Attributes rollout and if we just come down here, you can see, and let's just close our Film Back up also. You can see right down at the bottom, we have this Extra V-Ray Attributes option. If we open that and just scroll slowly down, you can see we have all of our V-Ray Physical camera parameters available to us. Well, almost, all we need to do is put a check in this Treat as V-Ray Physical camera box and they all come to life. Now instantly as you can see our framing has changed that is because our default Focal Length in the V-Ray Physical camera is set to a value of 40 millimeters.
Just like a real world camera we set our Focal Length in a millimeter value so again you can transfer and you know how from real-world cameras to your V-Ray Physical camera with no problem. So let's set that value of 30 in there and you can see we return to our framing as we would expect. Now one thing the V-Ray Physical camera automatically does is set up a default exposure control in the scene for us. If we just scroll down and take a look, you can see we have an F-stop value, Shutter speed and ISO and if we just take a render of the scene, in fact let's just make certain that our Render Settings are giving us nice fast preview renders at this moment in time.
So our V-Ray>Image sampling set on 1 and 2 that is absolutely fine. Our DMC Sampler>Adaptive Threshold, that's not too sensitive, that will mean we get the nice, speedy renders. We are not really interested in the quality at this moment in time. We want to test how our exposure is looking. So let's just set our Render off. And you can see we get a very nice default sunny day exposure set up for us that absolutely works fine in the scene as we have it set, we can see that we have our V-Ray sky, working very, very nicely.
We got the gradation; we got the color in our shadow, so all of that is working pretty well at this moment in time. Now we do just need to prove that we are not using our workaround as we did in the previous video, we have not lowered the multipliers off our V-Rays on the sky. So let's just come to our Render Settings window. Let's come down in the V-Ray tab to the V-Ray Sun and Sky rollout and let's just select our V-Ray Sun first of all, we can see the multiplier is at 1 and same with the V-Ray Sky. So they are set at their default, they are working as they opt to do. So again, let's come and select our Camera so we can get back to our V-Ray Physical camera controls.
Now one of the things we can do of course is to change the way our exposure is working. If we want brighter or darker scenes that is absolutely fine. There are number of ways we can do this inside of the V-Ray Physical camera as with a real world camera. Of course we could alter our F-stop, our F-number value if we drop this down, if we lower the numerical value, then we will be allowing more light into our virtual camera. One thing we have to be aware of though, just as with a real-world camera this value affects any depth field settings in our scene. So we need to be careful that we are not altering how those effects are working by working with the exposure Ctrl.
We could also use our Shutter speed. Again if we lower these values we will get more light, our scenes will become brighter, but again the Shutter speed also controls Motion Blur inside of the V-Ray Physical camera, so as we drop down the Shutter speed, we will have the camera become more and more sensitive to any movement in the scene and we will get blurring effects if Motion Blur is enabled. We also have in the Exposure triangle our ISO, our film speed value. Now we can easily work with this to control lighting in the scene without really affecting anything else.
Particularly in older digital cameras oftentimes the ISO value was something that will if we cranked it up too high, we could often introduce a lot of noise into our images. That is not the case in inside of our rendering engines such as V-Ray, we can work with these values, we can work with any values we want and we will not introduce extra noise. So let's set this to a value of 400. Let's save the Render that we currently have and let's see what kind of a difference that makes to the illumination in our scene. And very obviously, if we make a comparison you can see that we get a much higher level off illumination now because of that Exposure control.
Now with all of these exposure parameters, the ISO, the F-stop and Shutter speed, are all a little bit daunting to you, well, in that case I would highly recommend that you watch Ben Long's excellent Foundations of Photography series found right here on the lynda. com Online Training Library, especially the Exposure course. The fundamentals of controlling light through exposure discussed in that course can be transferred over to the V-Ray Physical camera pretty much in full. So we have already looked at how we can use our camera's Focal Length to control the composition in our scene, we can also work with our field of view if we want to, we have Zoom factor controls and if we just come down here a little bit, you can see we have these Shutter controls that seem to be disabled at this moment in time.
This is because we are working with a still camera, they relate to Movie and Video camera types. If we just select Movie camera and scroll down, you can see that those parameters become available. We can change our Shutter angle and offset also. And if we come down, you can see we have the ability to work with Exposure color correction, we can set a White balance inside of the V-Ray Physical camera. If we want to add or take away a color shift in our renders, we can use that control to do that, and as we have said, we can work with Depth of field and Motion blur, both of which will be covered in our next chapter, we'll show you how to use the V-Ray Physical camera to create and control those particular effects.
So the V-Ray Physical camera offers to us a genuinely photographic approach to rendering and V-Raying. Having the ability to take real-world camera and lighting experience and apply it to a 3D rendering package has obvious benefits to it. Anything we learn in real life can be applied to our rendering package and anything we learn inside the V-Ray Physical camera can be taken and applied to our real-world photography. Also if you've been following along with this course, using the provided Exercise Files, you will have noticed that we've pretty much exclusively stock to using the V-Ray Physical camera.
Examining those scenes and the camera setups can go a long way towards helping you really master this powerful and versatile V-Ray tool.