Lighting Photoreal Rainforests with Pixar Renderman

Taught by Liam Whitehouse

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
June 2018 
5 hours 49 minutes 
Lighting Photoreal Rainforests with Pixar Renderman
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Course Objectives and Intro to RenderMan

Brief description of the objectives of the course, the RenderMan renderer and an introduction to the 3D class content and software. A review of RenderMan's key strengths and capabilities in regard to memory efficiency, ability to handle extremely large textures and large models, its ability to render vector based displacement, super smooth motion blur, smooth depth of field, and the new physically based renderer RIS.

Class 2: Key Lighting and Matching

Introduction to key lighting and matching 3D scenes to art department concept art. A breakdown of concept art from the art department and how to break up the lighting into different lights and how to start blocking them out in Maya. A brief look back at how artists in history sculpted and defined 3D objects in classical artwork during the renaissance, how they painted the characters and environments to have depth and to draw the viewers eye to certain points in the image, techniques they used to wrap lighting around surfaces and define shapes using form, colour, and contrast.

Class 3: Texture Colour Correction

How to colour correct textures and materials in the Maya material editor using the RenderMan colour correct node and how this can be helpful in matching reference plates and images before compositing.

Class 4: Displacement Maps in Renderman

How to setup displacement maps in RenderMan for Maya and test render them in the viewport to ensure they are mathematically correct. We will learn how to set the render displacement bounds for objects to get fast efficient render times and how to change the render quality in both path tracing samples and pixel samples in the Advanced RenderMan settings.

Class 5: Water Surfaces

How to create a quick-to-render water surface in Maya and a look at the different settings for creating reflection, refraction and cloudy depth to water surfaces. We’ll also look at adding a normal map for the water.

Class 6: Depth of Field in Renderman

How to setup depth of field in RenderMan for Maya and the camera settings and quality settings you can use for final production detail. How a real camera works, bokeh shape, and why depth of field is important for realism as well as storytelling purposes.

Class 7: Daylight, Dusk and Night

How to setup the lighting for three different times of day: daylight, dusk and night time. We take a look at reference imagery and discuss the importance of the colour and intensity of the key and environment lighting and then use the RenderMan interactive rendering engine to preview the lighting changes in realtime.

Class 8: Pixar Light Path Expression AOVs

How to setup Pixar Light Path Expression AOV’s to output different render passes so we can composite lighting in Nuke X. We will setup the different passes in the Advanced RenderMan Controls in Maya and then import the renders into Nuke X.

Class 9: Composite and Colour Grade AOVs

How to composite and colour grade AOV’s in Nuke X. We can take a look at the different AOV’s we rendered out of Maya and then set project settings in Nuke X and build a compositing node network to colour correct and adjust the AOV’s.

Class 10: 4k HDR Stereoscopic Rendering

How to setup 4K HDR Stereoscopic rendering in Maya and Pixar RenderMan. We will look at the stereo camera and the ideal depth of field settings and changes needed for a stereo workflow as well as compositing stereo 4k footage in nuke X. We will also look at spherical stereo VR Rendering in RenderMan for Maya. We will learn how to setup video for spherical stereo VR encoding and how to embed VR ready metadata into videos ready for viewing on VR devices as stereo 360 movies.