1. #1
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    Arrow Make it look real (With mental ray)

    000 - BottomRow.jpg
    This is intended as a quick guide to do a nice render from a zBrush Model, using the set of tools provided by pixologic, in another rendering app, in this case Autodesk Maya, using Mental Ray. The results can be achieved in any other 3d software using a similar setup.

    The end result should look something like this:

    Alguien_Print.jpg


    - - - - - - - - - - Lighting setup - - - - - - -

    001 - Light Setup.jpg

    The simplest of all, this is an Area light, two bouncing cards (in this case just two polygon/nurbs plane) and a curtain (a lofted curve).

    I'm using the Mia_material (Arch&design material in max), but a simple blinn or lambert material should work just fine.

    With this setup the light is intended to bounce from the curtain and the bouncing cards (duh ) and light the object with soft light, and also provide a "Infinite white" sensation.

    002 - Light parameters.jpg

    For the light, I tend to use the Mental Ray's Area light shape, enabled to have a nice realistic shadow, with enough samples to avoid the grain.
    Plugged into the light shader, a Physical light node, to give a realistic decay for the light.
    Last edited by ISK-86; 03-10-10 at 09:16 PM.
    - Todo artista vive del aplauso del público, y muere de hambre -

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    - - - - - - - - - - Camera setup - - - - - - -

    To avoid gamma issues with the displacement textures I use a mia_exposure_photographic for the main camera shader. For the dept of field i like the Bokeh lens, nice and quick.

    003 - Camera.jpg

    Using a 2.2 gamma in the mia_exposure_photographic node, the dark/lit transitions tend to look more natural. It also allows me to adjust the overall look of the lighting and contrast using the node settings.

    004 - Exposure.jpg

    In this pic the gamma is in a 1.00 value, the default is 2.2. and you should use it...

    005 - Lens.jpg

    For the bokeh node, the plane represents the focused point, the radius the size of this de-focus (in a real camera it is defined by the lens diaphragm).

    For the samples a good value for testing is 2 or 4, for the final render more than 32 is overkilling.

    For the bokeh texture I use this image, tends to create pentagonal figures in hotspots (there are none in the final render). The color shifting on this pictures gives a pretty good sense of chromatic aberration.

    BOKEH.jpg




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    - - - - - - - - - - Render setup - - - - - - -

    For the light bouncing I adore Mental Ray's Final Gathering. The bouncing cards provide a good amount of bouncing light to define the shape of the model.

    The light bounces in 2 gives a realistic lookl without extreme rendering time (I've seen some renders with 5 -physical correct- light bounces, but they tend to render for ages)

    006 - Light bounces.jpg


    - - - - - - - - - - Textures - - - - - -

    Generating the normal maps and displacement maps is really quick in 3.5 r3, simply saving a morph target in the highest subd level and presisng the "create disp map" or "create normal map".

    The big deal here is the brand new exporting option: Maya Binary file

    Some months ago rendering displacement maps was a nightmare, now thanks to pixo is a one-click solution.

    By the way, the uv layout was done with uv master.


    Thanks pixo!!



    Any comments or help needed for this tutorial, I will happily reply
    - Todo artista vive del aplauso del público, y muere de hambre -

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    very nice tutorial, thanks!!!

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    Nice work! Thanks so much for this tutorial man!
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    Thanks Man
    Contract Character/3D Artist
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    Thank you, that was very quick, concise and helpful!

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    Good Tutorial, It's always nice to find someone who knows how to use the mr lenses!

    "Some months ago rendering displacement maps was a nightmare, now thanks to pixo is a one-click solution."

    what do you mean: pixo is a one-click solution?


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    IS there anything special your doing with the bounce cards material wise?

    Also how would you assign different materials to a single model, with multiple parts. Such as a human with clothes and hair, which are intended to be different materials? What's difference about the MIA material over your average blinn and phong shaders?

    I always thought you had to use a dome and light emitting colors to get that type of look with Final gather. Is GI used at all for this?

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    @ everyone: Thanks for the quick replys It's always a pleasure helping others....

    @ sadicus: Before the zBrush 3.5 releases rendering displacement maps involved messing with the "Aproximation editor" of mental ray, calculating subdivision levels and programming the negative/positive displacment for the mesh taking on account the size... that took a lot of time and the settings were always different on each object/model. Now with the .ma exporting, all those settings are written by zbrush, not to mess with them anymore
    - Todo artista vive del aplauso del público, y muere de hambre -

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    @ womball: The material of the bounce cards is a white and non-reflective material, just the same material of the curtain.

    For different materials on the same object, I strongly recommend AGAINST sculpting different materials in the same mesh (Like sculpting the clothes out from the body mesh) The best thing to do (render+material wise) is to export different objects using subtools.

    Mia material is a physical shader, so it will never bounce off more energy than the energy it gets, something that the other shaders usually do, that's why I love the mia... it also gives fast blurry reflections, refractions and almost any material can be done tweaking it.

    And yep, something like GI is used
    - Todo artista vive del aplauso del público, y muere de hambre -

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    Very nice render...great stuff

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    Thank you for the tutorial, very helpful.
    Gabriel Garcia

    Product Development Coordinator at 3D Sysytems/Gentle Giant LTD.
    Lead Sculptor and 3D modeler at
    Gabriel Garcia Studios.


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    Yey!!! hermano, a million thanks for made this tutorial!, im gonna try it!, the model is greaaat!

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