Yet another 3 week project put to bed. But instead of a bedroom, it’s a living room! Working with mental ray’s mix nodes have been a pain in the rear… Particularly since minor changes like going from a bright orange to a slightly brighter orange within the shading group crashed Maya. My record in 4 hours was 7 times. A little frustrating as I essentially lost 4 hours of work at least and you have to make that up somewhere.
Aside from this, the biggest challenge has been an attempt to make it look photo-real and since I didn’t have a photo to go by, I tried to rely on an important principle within mental ray and that is no HSV Value should add up beyond 1.0. This was the same for lighting. Reason why this is necessary for when working in mental ray is to not have your shaders do one of two things: self-illuminate and blow out. This was a struggle for me to finally grasp and once I did, I setup the scene with two mental ray area lights, final gather, environmental sphere and voila – a composition that looks somewhat believable. I do have to say this is the closest I’ve ever come to creating photo-real work. the 5 day struggle with the color mix node in mental ray made it a hard but important experience.
I think in the future I’ll be attempting more photo-real still-life’s… I’d like to also work on doing an animated version. Hopefully over the next couple weeks I’ll know more about Subsurface Scattering and mental ray render passes. The render passes is key as I’ll be able to adjust in post the look I want rather than wasting hours of re-rendering.
Anyway – this is my latest update in my life. I foresee my 2 Quarter being my next blog post. Only 3 weeks away from needing to complete this and while typing that statement out, it sent shivers up my spine. I still have at least 40 seconds to animate and I’m crossing my fingers things will work out. I have a great partner who’s awesome in general and he’s been hammering away at a lot of technical situations that have come up. We both are pretty tech savvy and it works nicely for this piece that’s a bit in over our heads. I hope to have a website up soon detailing more.
Until then – pray for my safety in completing this 24 week animation!!!