Expanded Library

Exterior Rendering Strategies with Arnold and Maya

by Jeff Masters

Successfully creating exterior CG environments requires an understanding of natural light, depth, atmosphere, and scale. In this course, you'll learn practical techniques for leveraging all of these in a production level workflow.

What you'll learn

Have you ever wanted to create the kinds of stunning cinematic environments you know are possible with Arnold and Maya, but feel like you're only scratching the surface with your current approach? In this course, Exterior Rendering Strategies with Arnold and Maya, you'll learn advanced practical techniques for lighting an exterior scene, in addition to a rendering and compositing workflow that maintains creative control all the way into post. First, you'll discover how to implement the fundamentals of natural lighting in an exterior light rig. Next, you'll dive into creating a flexible render setup using render layers, AOVs, mattes, and Arnold's Light Groups. Finally, you'll explore how to use all the render passes in compositing to adjust individual lights, add depth, and even create lens effects. When you're finished with this course, you'll have both the artistic and technical background needed to carry out your vision for your own exterior environments, from lighting through compositing. Software required: Maya, Arnold 5, and Nuke.

About the author

Jeff Masters is a lead lighter at Reel FX in Dallas, TX, where he does lighting and compositing for feature animated films and commercial projects. In 2014, he was nominated for a Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Created Environment for an Animated Feature Film for lighting in The Book of Life. Jeff's previous experience, includes Digital Domain Media Group where he was a compositor for VFX live action films, and multiple commercial post-production shops in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ready to upskill? Get started