In this series of tutorials, we'll be taking a detailed look at each of mental ray's environment and geometry nodes. Each video is a self-contained tutorial centering on one of mental ray's nodes. This means that these tutorials can be viewed in any order you wish, allowing you to jump straight to the content that is most relevant to you. Over the course of these tutorials, we'll learn how each node works and best practices to utilize for attaining desired results while saving time. Software required: Maya 2008 and up.
Kyle was one of the first authors for Digital-Tutors (now a Pluralsight company) and has been a part of the team for over 10 years. Kyle began his career in computer graphics education as a college instructor and worked as a Digital-Tutors rendering tutor and curriculum manager since 2002.
Introduction and Project Overview [Autogenerated] in this lesson, we're gonna take a look at how to use the M I a environment blur node. So this isn't though that will allow us to pre blur any kind of an environment map that we currently have assigned to our scene and that will make it much, much easier to achieve the effect of these really nice, soft, glossy reflections on our object without having to worry about over sampling the scene. So if we scroll down, this could be found inside the environments tab. Now you'll notice that this shader has the m I a prefix assigned to it. So what that means is that this is a material or a shader that can only be utilized by another material that has the M I a prefix as well. So we need to make absolutely certain that we have an architectural is cereal assigned to our object. So this environment blur can be assigned as a lens shater for the environment, traitor to our camera. So just go to view select camera, take a look inside the attributes and we can connect this environment blur to the environment shader of our camera. So let's take a look inside. The attributes for this environment blur now inside the environment. What we first need to do is pipe in some kind of a standard environment map. So let's go to the Checker box and plug in any of the standard mental ray environment. Maps in our case will use something like a spherical, and we can connect in the texture that we want to use. So let's go ahead and connect in the digital tutors office Bright found inside the source images directory. There we go. Now let's just take a quick render at what we have. And now on this material, you can see that we do have the reflections and they do show very clearly, but they don't have any sort of blurring applied to them. So there are actually several things will need to do in order to really see the effect of this environment blur happen. So the first thing we need to do is take a look inside our architectural material, and we first need to make sure that there is some kind of glossy reflection that is happening. So let's make absolutely certain that the glossy nous is set to a value lower than one. And if we rear ender, you can now see that we do have the effect of a blurred environment. However, this blurriness is not coming from the environment. Blur Note. This is just coming from the standard glossy nous attributes that we have here now. The problem is, if that we don't use this environment blur, we do wind up with situations that have a lot of noise in our glossy reflections. Now, this is exactly the type of effect that we want to fix by using this environment blur node. So let's save this image for comparison. And let's go to the environment, blur attributes and start see what we can do to control this. So right now, the blurring is set to zero, which means there is no pre blur that happens. So this is a value that ideally goes from 0 to 1. So one, meaning we get the full blurring effect Now, below this, we have the resolution. Now, this is controlling how many samples of our environment will be taken at rather before render time and then blurt appropriately. Now, even though we set the blur value upto one, we still won't see the effect and the render until we go back to the architecture material and change one last thing. So let's go back here. And if we take a look down inside the interpretation tab and if we scroll down, you should see an option for single sample from environment. We have to turn this on in order to now calculate this environment blur. All right, so now again, if we save this for comparison and rear ender and now you can see that if we take a look at what we have now that there is now a lot less noise in our glossy reflections compared to what we had before. So this is exactly the types of effects that we can start to get very, very easily. Now, with the use of this environment blurt. Now, keep in mind that this is a no that's best used whenever the majority of your reflections are going to be coming from the environment. If you still have objects in your scene that are heavily reflecting each other than this environment, blur node won't be quite as much use. So that's a look at how we can use this M I a environment blur as a way of getting these nice, soft, glossy reflections without having to sacrifice a tremendous amount of rendering time.