Loren Colcol — Infrastructure Resource Assistant | VR Developer

Rooftop Picnic (Maya/Arnold Renderer)

Lighting • Rendering • Shading

This project was created in Maya 2017, using the Arnold Renderer. Following a tutorial by Bhaumik Patel, I created a rendered realistic scene from start to finish using existing models of grapes, cheese, cheese board, wine glasses, and a knife. Some of the tools and processes used to create the final image include: different light types in Arnold, using aiStandard shader to create wood, glass, and metal materials, using aiSkin material to make cheese and grape materials, using the Arnold render view to troubleshoot and diagnose renders, editing camera setting with respect to depth of field and aperture, using samples to reduce grain in an image, using sets to smooth objects at render time, and using textures and optimizing them using tx maps. Overall, this project took ten hours to complete.

Date01/2018 SoftwareMaya 2017 • Arnold Renderer

We begin with a simple scene using provided meshes of grapes, cheese bits, a cheese block, knife, cheese board, and wine glasses half filled with wine.

Our first step is to add an Arnold area light to light up the scene. Next, we add a background. By adding an image plane to our shotCam, we get to place a background image into the scene. I chose to use this image from Pixar’s Ratatouille since the existing scene of grapes, wine, and cheese reminded me of the film.

Here, I’ve adjusted the lighting of the scene through intensity and exposure, as well as adjusting the background image to fill the shotCam lens, thus covering the empty black space from the previous render.

I then began by creating shaders for each of the meshes. First up, the cheese bits. Using the aiSkin material, as well as tweaking the specular, diffuse, color, and subdividing the mesh, we achieve soft-looking cheese bits.

Next were the grapes. Since grapes are more see-through than cheese, as well as more shiny, there was a bit more work involved to achieve the right texture. Using aiSkin again, I adjusted values for SSS, Shallow/Mid/Deep scatter for color, Specular for shininess, and lastly Sheen Layer for tighter controls on specularity.

The same process applied to the cheese block, however, we added a marble material to get the patterned effect, otherwise, the cheese block would have a smooth face, much like the cheese bits.

Using a texture, we add the table cloth.

Next up, the knife. Since the knife is a metal material, we again had to adjust our diffuse and specular to achieve a metalic look. By applying a texture, we can then get the subtle scratches along the blade.

The knife handle was next, using an applied wood texture. In this render, you might notice that I changed the background image to be a little brighter, and to give more head space to the Eiffel Tower.

I made more adjustments to the lighting, by tinting it pink, to match the background change to the scene, appearing more of an outdoor sunset scene.

Here, I’ve added a wood board texture to the cutting board, additionally adjusting specularity and diffuse once more, to take a highly contrasted texture and greying it out, while adding more roughness to the specularity.

With all meshes appropriately having shaders added, I then adjusted the shotCam settings for depth of field and aperture. In this render, the DOF is a tad bit far, and the aperture too high.

These settings are much better, bringing the full scene into focus while blurring out the background.

In our final render, we increased the number of samples and tweak the render settings to remove any grain in the shadows of the scene. However, in doing so, our render time is substantially much longer. This final render took approximately 37 minutes and 24 seconds, compared to our previous render for the last image at 2 minutes. In the end, I have a final rendered image I am very happy with with respect to lighting, color, composition, and shading.