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 Post subject: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:36 pm 
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I've been trying to design my own tracks in the past few days. I know a bit of 3Ds Max, so for the shapes and the design, it's all fine. The problem is, I've always sucked with the lighting. I can't figure how to place the lights and how to set them up. Yesterday, I got a copy of V-ray SP2 and I'm trying that out, but it always seems to be wrong. I searched the Internet for tutorials of outdoor lighting with V-ray, but none of them helped me.

The only thing I'm trying to achieve is the same lighting effect as in the Proun original levels, smooth and elegant... Does anyone have an idea how to setup the V-ray lights correctly with the good setup? I would really enjoy to know!

Thank you :)


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 Post subject: Re: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Cool, looking forward to seeing what you are making! 8-)

Doing a really good lighting setup is a specialty in itself. It is a combination of artistic design and technology, but a basic lighting setup that looks good isn't too difficult to get working.

A good start for a really simple and standard lighting setup is to place a yellow omni light on the far end of the world. This is the sun. Place another, slightly dimmer light on the other side of the world. This makes sure everything gets some lighting and shadow. Give both as shadow type a VRayShadow.

Next step is to set up a slightly blue skylight and global illumination in the VRay settings. I am not near 3dsmax now, so I'll look up the details for you later. From my blog:

Image

For some info on the ideas behind the lighting in Proun, check out this link. The top two are the most interesting posts, but the others are also about lighting:

http://joostdevblog.blogspot.com/search/label/lighting


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 Post subject: Re: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Wow! Thanks a lot Joost! I would indeed like some details about the global illumination setup :) I'll keep designing my track and I'll add the lighting effects at the end of the creation!


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 Post subject: Re: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:29 pm 
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I am not sure how things changed in different versions of VRay (I use 1.50), but this is how it works in my VRay.

To turn on the skylight in VRay, go to the render settings and look for the Environment group. Turn on GI environment (skylight) override and leave the colour on the default blueish colour. Decrease the Multiplier a bit to 0.7 or something like that.

Now go to the Indirect illumination (GI) group and turn it on. Leave the Primary bounces on Irradiance map and go to the Irradiance map settings group beneath. Change Mode from Single frame to Bucket mode, so that you are able to see what you are rendering. Finally, depending on the speed of your computer, you can change the Current preset to Low to see results quicker. Set it back to High for the final baking when you are done tweaking, though!

A nice little optional thouch: for shadows that blur with distance, you can set the Area Shadow setting on a light. Leave it to Sphere and use the U size to change the amount of blur. This uses up a lot of extra rendering time, though, especially when you increase the quality by increasing Subdivs.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Well, that helped a lot! The shadows seem to be correct, except at some place I wanted more, but it's allright. I have another question which is a bit off-topic but it still concerns 3Ds Max. In the original tracks, you use a bitmap texture to create 3D shapes with black edges, like the first rectangles in the first track of Proun. I really like this effect (and so you do because you keep using it and it's awesome). How do you do it, like to fit the edges perfectly with the texture? :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Vray Lighting
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:18 am 
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To texture that precisely, you need to unwrap your model using the Unwrap UVW modifier and then from there export the UV layout to an image, so that you can draw on top of it to get the lines exactly right.

However, to get really straight lines, you need really high-res textures, which kind of sucks, so for the later tracks I made these black outlines using polygons. It is not that many polygons and a lot easier to do, and sharper, and can do proper anti-aliasing. The Bevel function of an editable poly makes it really simple to split the mesh for these outlines.

While making track 5 I also found out that extruding these edges instead of only making them black gives nice and subtle shadow edges.


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