In this tutorial, we will tackle a lighting challenge with small-scale production needs in mind. Intended for small-scale productions, this tutorial walks through one lighting and rendering workflow that introduces new tools, techniques, and workarounds. We will exploit the environment-sampling power of portal lights, build a fake GI solution with projected light fields, and use MEL scripts to automate tedious tasks. These methods won't work for every scenario, but they can be very useful tools for the guerrilla CG filmmaker.
Introduction and Project Overview Hello and welcome to Guerrilla Lighting and Rendering with Maya and mental ray. I'm Ed Whetstone. I'm a visual effects artist specializing in lighting for animated feature films. If you're anything like me, you got into this business or you want to get into this business, because you want to tell stories. I believe every artist is a storyteller at heart. But the odds are pretty good that our stories no matter how good they may be will never see that million budget or a major studio release. But the tools and techniques to make high quality CG images have never been more available or more affordable and with the right approach you can make that short film, which you've always wanted to. This series of lessons will walk through a lighting and rendering work flow I've developed as part of my own ongoing short film project, The Sum of Parts. In the following lessons we'll setup an efficient indirect lighting rig, create faked global illumination, and setup glossy reflections on the cheap and a whole lot more. So we've got a lot of material to cover, so let's get started.