In addition to the directional light and spotlight you created in this lesson, Maya has several other types of lights for creating nearly any type of natural or artificial lighting. You might use as few as two lights or as many as 10 to get the look you want. Generally, the more lights you create, the longer the rendering will take.
In addition to the light fog effect you created in this lesson, you can also create Glow, Halo, and Lens Flare light effects with a similar workflow. To see these effects, the light must point toward the camera view.
In some situations, you might want to prevent a light from striking a surface in its path. For example, your scene shows a person leaning against a wall in an outdoor night setting. You might want to light the wall with dark, shadowy spotlights, and the person’s face only with a brighter, soft spotlight. Because the face and the wall are near each other, all the spotlights currently strike both objects. You can use Maya’s light-linking capability to isolate the lighting.
The mental ray for Maya renderer has three types of shadows: Depth Map Shadows, Ray Traced Shadows, and shadow maps. In this lesson, you created Depth Map Shadows, which are less realistic than Ray Trace shadows but much faster to render.
Ray Traced Shadows are mainly useful in scenes where the audience is focusing on the shadow region, for instance, a close-up of a still setting. Ray Traced Shadows are also useful if you want to cast shadows more accurately for transparent objects. To reduce rendering time, use Ray Traced Shadows only when necessary.
You can create shadow maps if you are using a spot light, directional light, point light or area light. There are two types of shadow maps: Regular Shadow Map, or Detail Shadow Map. The regular shadow map takes fewer samples than the detail shadow map but requires more resolution. The detail shadow map, on the other hand, takes more samples per pixel and therefore requires less resolution. Detail shadow maps also take extra attributes into account such as refraction, reflection and transparency settings on objects. You can therefore use detail shadow maps to render colored shadows in your scene.
If you have previous experience with photography, you’ll recognize the names of various camera attributes displayed in the Attribute Editor while a camera is selected. You can modify the attribute values to suit your requirements.
The values for certain camera attributes (for example, Film Aspect Ratio) might cause a rendered image to not match the region bounded by the Resolution Gate. In such cases, you can display the Film Gate (View > Camera Settings > Film Gate) to see the region that will be rendered.
You can animate a camera along a path; for example, to create the illusion of flying through mountainous terrain. This type of animation involves the use of (from the Animation menu set). If you additionally want the motion path-animated camera to focus on a stationary or moving object, you need to use . If you want the camera to move in a looping path, (for example, a roller coaster) you need to use .
Before you batch render a scene, you must select the camera you want to use for rendering. Select to display the Render Settings window. In the File Output section, select the camera from the Camera option.