Texturing and Rendering a Sci-Fi City
Overview of the Rendering Process
This is a still from the final "SpaceCity" animation. The scene was completely done in Maya with compositing in After Effects.
The scene was modeled with Nurbs, only the "cars" and very few parts of the city are polygons.
Below are all the layers I usest to compose the shot together. Nothing special though, but I'd like to highlight a few things. All layers where rendered using the Maya renderer. I used render passes to get the firtst three layers, the rest was rendered seperately.
Glows: All objetcs are black only the glowing objects are visible. Glow was turned off for rendering and was added in the Post using glow and blur effects. The glow in Maya tends to flicker.
To render the "diffuse light" layer I used the "diffuse light" shader by Paul Carter which is available free on the internet. But be careful, the rendering times are extreme. To render the complete scene with fogs/glows/shadows just everything in full production quality takes about 15 minutes. And to render the diffuse layer in Low Quality can easily take 45 minutes, so be careful and start with a sphere ;-)
The top picture shows the scene without the effect of 'Diffuse light'. The bottom one - with.
Texturing the Windows
Let's take a look at some of the Shaders I used for the scene. Most of it is basic stuff but maybe of use for someone.
For the window I used a Phong Shader set to 100% transparency and with a small highlight. To immitate a room behind the window I placed polycube behind all the windows to give some depth. This effect is mostly visible in animations.
The "room/window" map was connected to the color and ambient color. The diffuse was set to 0.000 and the glow to 0.430. For the map itself I used a pictue of a reflective window.
Texturing a Ventilation Tube
This is a part of the SpaceCity scene. Here we used a "3D Total Texture " without altering in Photoshop. This part of the scene is completely modeled using Nurbs.
I used a "2D placement node" for the tube so that the texture conforms to the shape of the tube.The same map was used for color and bump.
This is what I have so far a simple looking metal shader, next we work on the highlight.
Next I map the "Specular Color". We make a duplicate of the file texture "With Connections to Network". This way I only need one texture placement node. Then I connect the duplicate with the Specular Color of the shader.
Now the highlight looks a little more interesting.Next I will try some variations on the Specular color by connecting a Ramp to the "Color Remap" of the "Specular Color" file.
In the file of the "Specular Color" under Effects click the "Insert" button next to "Color Remap".
This is my final network for the tube shader, all that's left is editing the "Ramp" to get the desired look.With the help of the IPR it's easy to check out different settings. Now open the "Remap Ramp" and experiment. Below are some Testrenders with their appropriate "Ramps".