Category Archives: Example

The World of Rolex

Welcome to the World of Rolex.

This spot was created in London and despite the seemingly simple look of some shots, contained many area lights across an expansive space and quite a bit of glossy reflection. The rendering of the depth of field was accomplished in-camera (in render) using Unified Sampling.  The longest frames were 2 hours a frame at HD. Take a look below:

The Layering Library in Action


The Layering Library (MILA) shaders are currently in Beta and are not designed for production use. However, here at The Mill in LA, we spent some extra care (and time) in the lookdev process to use the MILA shaders in a commercial spot for Norfolk Southern.

You’ll see many trains rendered using the MILA library for mental ray.

Feedback was very positive and we were able to better layer effects on objects with different material types and labels easily all while keeping render times under control (some complex 1080HD frames with motion blur were about 2+ hours a frame with brute force settings and the Environment Light) Artists also found the glossy reflection much easier to handle and faster to use than the mia_materials.

One artist said of their experience with the MILA material, “I will never use the mia_material again.”

Take a look at the spot below.

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