Simple SkyDomeLight setup

I thought I’d share a really simple lighting setup using aiSkyDomeLight that I tend to use when I want a bright, icon-like or illustration-like render.  The specular reflections of ai material’s default presets of chrome and copper renders out nicely pronounced with this setup. Note This post assumes you know your way around creating and editing…

Correcting Maya’s gamma in Photoshop

In this post, I’ll share how to fix the 2.2 gamma exposure in post-production using Photoshop, rather than having a gamma correction pipeline within Maya’s hypershade. Maya exports renders without the gamma correction fillter Maya’s Arnold RenderView window has a gamma correction filter on the top-right section of the window, so your render previews might…

Importing a vector shape into Maya as a polygon

Knowing how to import vector shapes into Maya is really useful, especially if you want to make a logo or floor plan three-dimensional.  Luckily, this is super easy to do. To import a vector curve created in illustrator into Maya, save a copy of the vector curve as an Illustrator 8 file.  Make sure any…

Importing a background image that follows the camera

Sometimes you want to set up the camera so that you can place objects in the scene to match a particular layout.  For example, you might be creating a render that accommodates for predetermined text areas; for a poster or a presentation slide: Layout with text + Maya render = Final artwork   To place…

Fixing aiSkyDomeLight’s blue hue

When you just create an aiSkyDomeLight and link the Color node up with a blue sky image, the scene tends to get very… blue. For example, take a look below. The SkyDome light was created by hitting Arnold –> Lights –> Skydome Light.  In the attributes window, the Color node was linked to the sky…

Rendering with aiSkyDomeLight in Maya with Arnold

MentalRay for Maya is no longer supported.  This post is designed to help transition from lighting a Maya scene with Mental Ray’s Image Based Lighting to the new Arnold’s aiSkyDomeLight. Similar to Mental Ray’s Image Based Lighting, Arnold’s aiSkyDomeLight is a simple way to light a scene that gives relatively realistic results. Note: This post…

Image based lighting with mental ray

Update: Nvidia no longer supports Mental Ray for Maya.  Please see my more recent posts on how to use aiSkyDomeLight with Arnold renderer instead. To see how a scene can be lit by an image instead of lights in mentalray, a simple scene was created and mib_material_x were applied to the 3 objects.  One sphere…

Experimenting with aiShadowMatte instead of UseBackground

When using Arnold as the renderer, UseBackground material like the mental ray method causes the background to become bright pink.  This is Arnold telling you there’s a shading error. When using Arnold, you need to apply aiShadowMatte to the ground plane instead of UseBackground. Note that the Opaque attribute needs to be turned off on the ground…

Render layers & Ambient Occlusion in Maya 2018 Arnold

With Mental Ray for Maya no longer supported, my post a few years ago about rendering ambient occlusion using render layers are now obsolete.  So here’s how to get started with ambient occlusion using Arnold in Maya 2018. Creating an AO pass To get an ambient occlusion pass in Maya 2018 with Arnold, firstly make…

Resetting window locations in Maya

When you work with a dual screen setup then disconnect the screen to use the laptop only, maya windows (e.g. Create new material, Hypershade) get lost as if it keeps opening on the “other screen” that’s no longer connected. To fix this, go to the folder maya –> 201x –> prefs and delete the file…

Extruding and animating along a circle in Maya using Sweep

Using the Sweep attribute to extrude a face along a Nurb Circle is a great way to animate a circle or pipe being built.  It’s also great when you want to model a partial pipe by specifying its angle in degrees.   In this post, I’ll be sharing a quick way to extrude along a circle,…