Monthly Archives

January 2016

Mission Control : Lighting with VRay RT

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Mission Control provides an easy way to adjust complex lighting in your scenes, especially when combined with a realtime renderer such as VRay RT. Make adjustments on multiple lights with the drag of a mouse. Apply absolute or relative adjustments (stepping up or down for example). Apply relative or absolute randomisations.

There are a number of ways to edit values.

1. Direct entry. You can click the cell and enter a new value.

2. Copy/Paste. You can copy and paste a value; both as a copy and as an instance. This is a very powerful feature as it allows you to very quickly make soft-instances of objects where only a small number of parameters are instanced, rather than the entire object.

3. Spinner. You can click single or multiple values and whilst holding the middle mouse button down, drag to raise or lower the value. Dragging left and right provides fine adjustment, whilst dragging up and down makes large adjustments.

4. Mass editing. Beyond these standard methods, there are a selection of more powerful tools in the util panel that allow mass editing of values in a number of ways.

Absolute :
You can apply a single value to all the selected cells.

Relative :
You can add, subtract, multiply or divide by the specified value all the selected values. This provides a nice way to adjust values by specific amounts or proportions.

Random relative :
You can set a minimum and maximum of a random value to add to the values of your current selection.

Random absolute :
You can apply a random value to the selected cells between the minimum and maximum values specified.

Stepped :
This allows you to apply a number sequence to the selected cells with the specified step size. Useful for quickly applying material IDs, or for placing objects a set distance apart for example.

Spaced :
This applies a number sequence to the selected cells equally spaced between the minimum and maximum values specified.

All of these operations can be applied to all the selected cells, or using a conditional operator allowing you to only affect values that are equal to, not equal to, greater than or less than a specified value.

Mission Control vs Light-lister : An update

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It has been quite some time since I released a performance comparison between Mission Control and the ‘light-lister’ that ships with 3ds Max.

Since there have been some big performance gains since then so I thought it would be interesting to see how the latest version of Mission Control stacks up.

I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions!


Coke Buildings Making Of

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I was lucky enough to work on this great spot at Nexus Productions last year, and I recently came across this making-of that shows a glimpse of the hard work that was involved.
It was a amazing to see, up-close, the incredible attention to detail that the model makers put in to their 1/10th scale that our CG characters were to inhabit.

I was tasked with taking the reference photography and spherical HDRs and generating light rigs for each scene. Ben Cowell went the extra mile to make this process as painless as possible by providing some very cute 3d-printed maquettes of some characters which were placed into reference photography to help us achieve a good match in CG.

This is the first time I had seen 3d printing used in this kind of situation and it is definitely something I would try to do again in the future. You can’t do much better than having your CG characters shot for real in your plates!

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