Monday, March 17th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Gnomon ships five-hour Maya lighting masterclass

The Gnomon Workshop has released Direct Illumination in Maya and mental ray, a new five-hour masterclass on the technical and physical aspects of replicating real-world lighting effects.

Recorded by Disney and MPC veteran Frederic Durand, the DVD is a sequel to last year’s non-software-specific guide to the principles of Light and Shadow.

A detailed dissection of Maya’s direct lighting controls
In the new DVD, Durand shows a range of methods to improve the appearance of direct illumination within Maya, exploring both the way CG light sources illuminate scenes and how they help describe materials.

The training begins by dissecting the controls of Maya’s area and spot lights, discussing light falloff strategies, controlling light color, physical light setups, and light rigging for extra control.

Durand also explores how to render using unified sampling and set up a linear workflow.

Next, Durand explores specular highlights, including techniques for layering highlights, and the use of reflector rigs. He also discusses IES and photometric lights distribution utilities and custom color and light decay.

The video then moves on to explore how indirect illumination methods, including GI, caustics and final gather, can be used in conjunction with direct lighting techniques.

Finally, Durand demonstrates how to achieve realistic lens effects, specular bloom, glows, glares and atmospheric effects using a combination of 3D and 2D techniques.

About the instructor
Frederic Durand is a leading lighting artist with over 20 years’ experience in animated films, features and commercials, at studios including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Disney Animation, DreamWorks, The Jim Henson Company, The Mill, MPC and Digital Domain.

His approach to lighting is not only technical but artistic, emphasising and integrating aspects of cinematography. He is also the co-founder of design and visualisation firm Noroc Studio.

Direct Illumination in Maya and mental ray is available now in The Gnomon Workshop’s online store as a digital download, price $59, with a DVD release to follow.

Buy Direct Illumination in Maya and mental ray in The Gnomon Workshop’s online store

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.