Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Gnomon releases AO in Maya & mental ray

The Gnomon Workshop has released Ambient Occlusion in Maya & mental ray, the fifth in Disney and DreamWorks veteran Frederic Durand’s series of guides to the fundamentals of lighting and rendering.

An invaluable guide to mastering mental ray
In the video, which lasts 225 minutes, Durand demonstrates a variety of techniques for indirect and direct lighting using Ambient Occlusion within Maya and mental ray.

He begins with an introduction to AO theory, then moves into how to control the look of AO lighting, using the built-in shaders mib_fb_occlusion, mib_amb_occlusion, mib_fast_occlusion and mib_bent_normal_env.

The video also explores advanced concepts like environment lighting, refraction and transparency to ensure accurate results from complex situations; and explores the need to render in passes for compositing work.

Previous videos in the series covered light and shadow, direct lighting, final gather, and GI.

About the artist
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 and MPC.

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.

Pricing and availability
Ambient Occlusion in Maya & mental ray is available from The Gnomon Workshop’s online store as a digital download, price $59.

Buy Ambient Occlusion in Maya & mental ray from The Gnomon Workshop

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