Saturday, August 27, 2005

KFC's Secret Maya Recipes 2: Doodling with Channel Lighting.

I've just happens to got a chance to play around with the After Effects Plugin from Walker Effect.
It's rather cool to know that I can implement a kind of lighting technique created specially for 3d artist where we can change lighting on the fly in compositing stage. It's uses a method which is called "channel lighting" where we can use RGB light at 3 different source in order to let the software to extract the directions of light.
In order to test this new plugin. I've made a simple maya file in a few passes. Color, Diffuse (AO with imaged based light), Specular, RGB (3 directions),Ambient Occlusion and reflections pass.

Color Pass

Diffuse Pass (IBL Light)

Ambient Occlusion

RGB pass (sometimes I call it Normal pass)

Reflection Pass

Specular Pass

Now..... here's a little result after playing around with random settings.
Something I came out with accidentally with all of this pass. It seems quite cool tho. That's why I rather keep this instead. I've manage to tweak lighting on the fly and beable to match lighting to real footage pretty easily. I guess I'll be sticking to After Effect a little longer since I've got this nice little plugin here which can do all of the trick i need in shake.

I do have a few things I wanna do experiments on this plugin in this few days. Thinking of the simplicity of the rendered pass I need and also the time I can save from doing rendering output from maya in this way. One thing for sure is it's taking alot more hard disk space than usual. Someone might starts thinking about using jpg as the solution to this. But we definately needs to add a string "AW_JPEG_Q_FACTOR=100" to either our environment variable or maya.env file. Without this string is not cool because maya by default output with lower jpeg compression. So you ended up with lower quality results from compositor (bad antialiasing and etc).

Well... I can see that using this method, we can easily match lighting or even light our characters/objects in compositor very easily. Sometimes it's even easier than doing it in 3d software.

More info about this will come when I found time to use it on an actual production.


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