Monthly Archives: March 2013

Maya 2014 “Unfold” Event

Quite a few things have been going on with Maya for the 2014 release. You’ll get a chance to see them first online at the Autodesk Area Unfold Event.

There’s still much to be done, but the users have been heard on quite a few things as well as the influence of our community here with feedback and ideas.

You’ll also notice the MILA shaders have a new 3.11 compiled version for testing in the forthcoming mental ray on the nVidia Forum. (must be a member of the forum)

MILA updates

On the nVidia forum you’ll see the Layering Library continues to evolve. New features will include:

  • Improved weighting between layers
  • A Quality control for glossy reflection and refaction (to replace ray count). This handles these effects based on roughness and importance. (Changing the roughness of a surface no longer requires re-tweaking ray counts for smooth renders) Also includes a global scene control defaulted to 1.0 as a String Option This will allow developers to improve and change the algorithm without interrupting the user’s workflow.
  • A new and improved flakes shader that will continue to evolve with more flexibility including cellular noise, different distribution, and shapes. Users can control weight, density, perturbation and more.
Multi-level and color flakes

Multi-level and color flakes

Something to note about the flakes shader is the use scenarios are going to be beyond that of metallic flakes. Think of cosmetics packaging and snow for instance. Some more controls and a node-based design will help you to combine these in more ways. The previous issues with repeating patterns found in the flake shader have also been resolved.

**IMPORTANT: A change in controls will often cause a break in Maya for previous scenes. You may find your assigned shader groups are no longer attached to a material. Also, the current documents need updated in the next release**

Flake Applied as Glossy Reflection Layer Bump

Flake Applied as Glossy Reflection Layer Bump (more subtly can be used to simulate “orange peel” effect)

Flake as a Weight to red Glossy Reflection
Flake as a Weight to red Glossy Reflection

2013 Toyota Avalon: Electric

Recently completed at The Mill is a commercial for the Toyota Avalon called “Electric”. You may recognize this set from a previous piece called “Formula”.

This was rendered in mental ray with a complete CG car as before but added lightning as object area lights to get the right feel of light from the contact points.

Special thanks to Brenton for making this light shader for us to use.

You can see the commercial here: Toyota Avalon: Electric

Toyota Avalon: Electric

Toyota Avalon: Electric


Rollin’ Safari

You’re probably familiar with these hilarious shorts from some students at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. But we thought we’d share them again to make sure no one missed their work. Too often we shoot for overly complex visuals (explosions and smoke, etc) when something clean and simple (with a good story and texture work) is often more effective and even more enjoyable. The animation, color, and shape here works well together and shows a good aesthetic design.

Hoping to see more from this group of artists in the future!

Rendered with mental ray through Mental Core, these show another side to rendering with mental ray that’s more cartoon and humor driven.

Take a look here: Rollin’ Safari

And read more about it here: CGSociety: Rollin’ Safari

Rollin’ Safari

Directors: Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl, Constantin Paeplow.
Producers: Valentina Brüning, Anna Habermehl, Philipp Wolf.
Animation: Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl, Constantin Paeplow.
Camera/DoP: Chris McKissick.
Character Design: Kyra Buschor.
Technical Directors: Thomas Hartmann, Sascha Langer, Markus Kranzler Christoph Westphal, David Kirchner.
Effects: Thomas Hartmann, David Kirchner, Markus Kranzler.
Music: Stephan Schelens.
Sound: Nami Strack.
Voice Actors: Ferdinand Engländer, Gottfried Mentor.
Compositing: Johannes Peter, Constantin Paeplow, Christoph Westphal.
Editing: Anna Habermehl, Kyra Buschor, Constantin Paeplow.