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  • Chunny Baker

Set In Stone

Recently through a small project with SAE we were given a task to explore render layers and procedural texturing within maya. With this project we were given a model of a statue that was created from a 3d scan. First of all working with a model that has been created from a scan makes working with the the file quite heavy and sluggish. So at the start i optimized the scene and reduced the poly limit of the mesh.

With procedural texturing can create quite complex materials through linking of various nodes. To create the texture for the statue I played around with blending different textures to create the material.

Here is a shot of the node map i had on the statue texture. I experimented with having two noise variations created from the fractal and the leather. These nodes fed into separate inbuilt marble texture then blended through a blend colour.

This setup allowed the render of my statue with veins in the rock that had variation from light subtle to darker more pronounced.

Playing around with procedurals is a balance on trying to see if change makes results, and results changing the material too much.

I know now that the better way to build this material is to use the layered texture node, which allows a blending between two nodes similar to layers in Photoshop.

With this project I played around with using area lights Area lights are great to create a softer more naturalistic light source in 3D. With Area lights I discovered that due to the light decay have to have the intensity or exposure of the light at higher values than would with directional or spot lights. The result is a more diffuse light and softer shadows.

Render layers are a great way to break up a render of a scene to create passes that only focus on particular aspects. This is a pretty handy way to render scenes as it allows for more flexibility with the outcome of the projects.

Initially setting up the layers can be done in a few ways which for some reason seem not to work independently of each other. I ended up exploring the new render layers system in maya 2017 as opposed to using the channel box layers to set up the scene.

Once I had the project setup for rendering I was happy with the overall result, had the layers organised and the texture looking like nice polished marble I set the render. I found out after putting the render together that I did a typical rookie mistake on not parenting the 3d texture node from the marbles to the the statue. So when I animated the statue to rotate the texture slides around the model. At least i know now for future reference.

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