Monday, February 15, 2010

Office Lighting Fixes

Here's the latest version of the lighting. With the exception of banding on the main character's forearm, this is looking good.

To get here, I removed all the area lights and replaced the whole set up with directional and point lights. I'm using a lot more light linking so that the background is lit almost entirely separate from the characters. The main character also has his very own subtle rim light so he pops out just a bit more. Apart from the visual improvement, the render time has also been cut by 30%.

Update: Here's a clip with the new lighting

Office Light Test from Group of Six on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lighting Tests

While 3D lighting certainly isn't my forte, it seems that in my thesis group I'm the one with the most experience with it. So I've been tasked to develop the initial lighting set up for our film's three sets.

Just to give you some background on the project, I am working with 7 other artists. There is Dave, our producer, Ryan and Rory, our directors, John, our lead animation and character development, James, lead story and art direction, Brian, lead simulation and effects, and Kevin, our sound designer. This many people working together on a single animation is unprecedented at our school, so its kind of a big deal.

The story goes like this: Gabe is starting his first day at the Department of Human Fate, a company located in a city in the clouds, which watches over people on earth to ensure that they die at the right moment. Gabe is assigned to watch a construction worker, but things start going wrong when Gabe has trouble figuring out how to control his subject. In the end he learns a lesson about determination and trying your best.

With that said, check out some renders. Here we have the first lighting set up using mentalray's physical sun and sky and some area lights to fill in the background. I took the render into photshop and bumped up the saturation a bit and multiplied an occlusion over it:

My companions complained that despite the increase in saturation, we were losing a lot of color and our characters were looking sickly.
So we decided to totally ditch the physical sun and sky because it was too much of a pain to try and work around it.

So I worked on the lighting a bit and rendered out a scene. This still needs a boat load of work before we can call it done.

Office Light Test from Group of Six on Vimeo.

And since vimeo butchered the color, here's a screen cap: