Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Directing sunlight, part of VUE: Animating a Landscape.
- [Voiceover] In this chapter on lighting, we'll learn how to develop a look for a daylight shot using Vue's photometric spectral atmosphere model. It's a physical simulation that allows a great deal of artistic control. Let's start by rendering a medium quality image for comparison's sake. In the main camera view I can go over to the camera icon, which is the Quick Render icon, right-click on Quick Render, and choose Final.
And that's just a little bit better quality than preview rendering, and then left-click to render the view. After a few seconds that medium quality preview has completed. If we click into view the image will return back to the Open GL preview, we can get back to that image by opening up the render stack, and we have a button up here on the Control Bar, Browse Previous Render, and here we have the render stack, and this is the image that we just created.
We're going to keep that and store it on disk in the render stack, and we can start making changes. First, let's look at the softness of shadows. Select the sun in the world browser, and in the Object Properties, Aspect tab we have softness, and that's the softness of shadows. That's an angular value. I'm going to enter in a large value of 60 degrees, and do another render to compare it with the default of zero degrees.
Click Quick Render, once the render completes we can see that the shadows are indeed quite a bit softer. Let's take a look at that in the render stack. Here is our most recent rendering with a softness of 60 degrees, and here is a rendering with a softness of zero degrees. Notice that we have a distinct brown cast, or orange cast to the lighting. That is coming from the spectral model. If we select our Rock Island object in the World Browser, and in its Object Properties, we see its material, it just has a neutral gray material applied onto it by default, and notice the difference in color between that and the rendering.
If we wish we could cheat the color of the sun in order to achieve a neutral lighting effect here. We go back to our sun, and play around with this color swatch here. However, only do that after you have established the position of the sun in the sky, and the amount of haze and other atmospheric effects, because all of those will influence the color. Let's open up the atmosphere editor now, close the render display window, and open the Atmosphere Editor.
Go over to the Sun tab, and set the Azimuth and Pitch. We're going to use a Azimuth of 95 degrees, and a Pitch of 40 degrees. Now we've placed the sun in a different location in the sky, click OK to exit the Atmosphere Editor, and do another preview rendering. Changing the position of the sun in the sky had a very visible effect on the color of our image.
Let's compare in the render stack, here it is after moving the position of the sun, and before, you can see that after we've moved the sun we're getting a much more neutral colored light now. That's the basics of setting up the sun's position and softness.
Realistic skies and lighting are achieved with the VUE photometric spectral atmosphere model. This course covers adding animation to plants, water, and clouds with procedural wind effects. Aaron also shows how to create camera movement by employing the Timeline's intuitive tools, including animation and curve editing. Rendering many animation frames poses challenges not experienced with still image rendering, and so the course concludes with key strategies for optimizing the balance between image quality and rendering time.
- Laying out the scene
- Importing and sculpting models
- Adding water, plants and clouds
- Directing sunlight and atmosphere
- Customizing exposure and tone mapping
- Building procedural materials
- Working in the Function Graph
- Automatic and manual keyframing
- Editing splines in the Animation Graph
- Adding wind
- Keyframing the atmosphere
- Optimizing render settings for animation