October 30, 2009

Maya and Art

I'm actually kind of blown away about the amount of stuff I've learned about art from Maya. Maybe learned is not the correct word, affirmed? maybe. Just a couple of weeks prior to this semester, the fact that lighting was important finally started to settle in. Now though, it's obvious (mental ray).

I asked my prof what separates those cheap 3D commercials on TV from a Pixar render and he told me it all really comes down to the textures and the lighting. Maya says:

In the real world, objects are seen in specific ways based on the following:

  • The materials they are made of.
  • Their surface textures.
  • How they are lit and reflect light.
  • The environment surrounding them.

Which of course, now that I read it, makes sense. In maya you can even tweak about a thousand setting on light that harken to stuff I've seen illustrators talk about like "Rim lighting", "Lambertian reflectance", which blows my mind because I've never really been told about this by anyone, but then I come here and it's all there.

I know in art: "Draw/Paint what you see", but...I like to go better by what Michael Mentler over at Conceptart.org's forums (and I think I've mentioned it here) says:

"Draw what you know you see not what you think you see"

Anyway, the first house is based on a reference image we imported from an architect student's model at our school. The clouds were actually made in class using the 3d texturing for them from spheres.

The 2nd and 3rd are from our Maya Book, where we just had to model all that stuff and mess with shaders and the uv axis. Our prof also went a bit further and made us put in texture on the chimney.

The last couple were not modeled by us. They came with Maya. We just rendered it from that gray lambert base to a better lit up scene with fancy colors using the mental ray and its caustic settings, global illumination (which ties with photography sooo much), shadows, reflectivity and bunch of other settings I'm still not quite sure how they work. The helmets were modeled by us though, we got the ref image on the planes from Maya though.

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