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Lighting La Ruelle - Chapter 1: Fog/Mist (Damp) at Nighttime

By Joseph Harford
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Date Added: 26th April 2013
Software used:
Maya, mental ray

Now the result is more accurate and we can see our scene properly lit by our light. Notice that I've given the glass of the street lamp a yellowish bright color and increased the transparency to almost .9. In the Render Stats section I have also unclicked Receive Shadows (Fig.12).

1707_tid_fig12_8.jpg
Fig.12

It's a good time to now add our second lightsource. What would normally be the sun is this time the moon. The moon can be rudementaly simulated by a direct light which we will position above the scene. With the direct light we can rotate it to position the shadows exactly where we want them. The fuller the moon the stronger the shadows are, and with a bright full moon there are often shadows visible, but they are usually more diffuse and soft than that of direct sunlight.

Place the direct light in an aesthetically pleasing location and then modify the Color Attribute to be a dark and saturated blue. As we said earlier, most moonlight photos are quite neutral and are not blue, however, our eyes perceive moonlight with a blue tint. To make a pleasing and well balanced image it's up to our artistic direction to combine reality with appearances in order to create our own mood. Also decrease the intensity a little, as this is not our main source of light (Fig.13).

1707_tid_fig13_9.jpg
Fig.13

In the following two images you can see how the additional blue light creates a new mood and adds atmosphere to the scene. It also hints further at the lighting conditions (Fig.14 - 15).

1707_tid_fig14_10.jpg
Fig.14
1707_tid_fig15_11.jpg
Fig.15


Fog

The image is coming along nicely and our main lightsources have been placed. Now is as good a time as any to place our fog. It will help us see the final balance of the color and lighting and let us more accurately position and tweak additional light sources.

Fog is a tricky subject and so is mist. Often done in post production, in Maya we can create them quite simply using fluids.
Position the camera ready to start creating our fog and mist (Fig.16).

1707_tid_fig16_12.jpg
Fig.16

Under the Fluid Effects menu, click on Create 3d Container. The container will appear and you can use the Size Attributes along with manual positioning to try and "fill" the alleyway area with our container.

It's a good time now to increase the resolution in all axes, so change the resolution to 40,10, and 75 respectively. This should create all equal squares on the grid. If it doesn't, just adjust the resolution yourself to try and create equal squares.

Now we need to adjust the properties of this fluid container to really make it look like low lying mist. Under the Contents Method dropdown, the Texture dropdown, and the Shading Quality dropdown, copy the settings from the below two images (Fig.17 - 18).

1707_tid_fig17_13.jpg
Fig.17
1707_tid_fig18_14.jpg
Fig.18





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