Quick 3D scene for paint over...

EDIT!: This has been moved, it was annoying me on the front page, being so big and ugly...

This ones for Myke, but its good for concept artists who are du- err i mean don't know how to use Maya and don't care about it, its a simple way to setup a shot quickly to paint over.

This is what i will show you:
- Setup scene
- Setup camera
- Setup lighting
- Setup Render

So im going to assume you know how to move around the viewpoint in maya. So we want to setup a realy quick and simple shot that we can then paint over in photoshop, basically to get the perspective right and some nice shadows to work with as well.

Create a plane for the ground.

In the top right corner drop down, make sure you have 'Polygons' selected. Then in the shelf (that's called the shelf btw... not that one stefan) Click 'Polygons' again.

Here you have all the mesh you will need. Create a plane for the ground. Its the one that looks like... a plane.

So to simply move and distort this plane into a shape you may want, on the Left is Move, Scale and rotate (you can figure out how to use those i hope).

If you want to see top down or side views, simply press 'Spacebar' and it will change to a 4 view orthographic view, as well as the perspective in the top right hand corner. With the mouse in any of the viewports you can make them full screen, and back again with space.

Next step is to create a box and put it where you want, using move, and scale it to the size you want. I made this quickly by adding a few boxes and movie, rotating and scaling them into place.

Setup a camera

In the top menu go to

Create - Cameras - Camera

select that, and a Camera will be placed in your scene. It may be really small, you can scale this up just like you would an object (doing this doesn't effect anything to do with the camera, just what it looks like in the viewport)

Now like the boxes you can move it around and put it where you want it. To see what the camera sees, simply go to your 4 view mode (pressing space if your not already in it) and in one of the windows (any, i always use bottom Right for some reason) go to

Panels - Perspective - Camera

(mines called pers1 one because don't worry about it alright). Now you should view through that camera. You can affect that camera like you would the normal viewport, move and pan etc, so setup ur composition. Reason i create a camera is so i can still move my viewport around and not worry about messing up my composition.

You can easily edit the camera FOV buy going:

View - Select Camera' then press 'ctrl + A'

This will bring up the 'attribute editor' for that camera. (what ever you select its attributes will come up in this screen, in this case the camera) See Focal Length and Angle of View, you can change these by moving the slider and you will see the camera change, i didn't change mine because I'm cool.

Thats it for setting up the shot.

Render Setup

Now for some nice shadows and a quick render. Maya has a nice quick sun sky setup which is perfect for paint over stuff.

Hit the 'Render Settings' button.

(NOW! Coz maya is AWESOME (NAHHT) you may need to turn mental ray on. To do this,in the top menu of maya goto

'Windows -> Settings and Preferences -> Plug-in Manager'

Look for 'mayatomr' and check 'Load' and 'Auto Load') You don't need to restart or anything after doing this.

Back in the Render settings In the drop down 'Render Using' Menu make sure 'mental ray' is selected.

Here you can change the image size your going to render out. I have mine as 640x640, again because I'm cool. (This is the resolution your render will come out as)

To see what this will look like in your viewport, and give you a better idea of what the final shot will look like go to.

'View - Camera Settings - Resolution Gate'.

Back in the Render settings again, goto
- 'Indirect Lighting Tab'. The top options under
- 'Envornment' Click
- 'Create'
next to
- 'Physical Sun and Sky' (mine says delete coz i already created it and cant be bothered deleting it and starting again)

This will popup another screen, but you don't need to worry to much about this since you can change the color hue and everything else in photoshop later.

By pressing 'Create' Maya has setup a sky dome and a light for you. The Light is now in your scene.

What you want to do is change the sun direction (so you can have better looking shadows, by default the light is pointing directly down, like a perfect midday sun). So minimize any windows and in your viewport you should see a directional light. (Ive made mine massive, again like the camera you can scale this up to see it better if its too small)

Now the great thing about setting it up this way is that when you rotate this light it will act like a real sun. (Note: If you render it wont look like this yet because we need to setup a couple more things, this is to give you an idea of the lighting)

Here the Light is pointing directly down, if that's what you want then good on ya.

Here by simply rotating the light i can create more interesting shadows. You can tell the way the light is pointing because the light is made up off 3 arrows which point in the direction the light will be cast.

Final Render

Bring up Render settings again, we will just change some things to make it look nicer.

Indirect Lighting Tab.
- Final Gather, make sure it looks like this (this will make it render slower but look nicer) Including some nice light bounce. Set 'Secondary Diffuse Bounces' to 2. (Secondary Diffuse Bounces will give you nice bounce light, Final Gather is a quick way to fake GI, most the time you cant tell the difference)

- In the 'Quality' Tab, under 'Raytrace/Scaline Quality' you can up the 'Max Sample Level' Which is just your AntiAlasing, you want this on 'Adaptive Sampling' and
'Max Sample Level 2'. Basically, the lower you got he quicker it will render but the shitter it will look, the higher it is, the longer it takes but the better it looks. 2 is a good number.

OR! Just copy what i did below because that's a lot of big words...

Render your secen now! Press this button.. (Make sure you have the viewport selected that you want to render, ie. your camrea)

...and it should hopefully look all good.

To save this, in the 'Render View' goto 'File - Save Image'
save it as a PSD, i find JPGs get compressed badly. PSDs seem to be all good.

Start painting. I cant paint so dont look at me...


Michael Manalac said...

Who's this Myke guy? I can't believe he made you type this out for him, just so he could understand the difference between 3d and 2d.

I hope you're not friends with him.

OOP! Thanks mate.

Stefan said...


one22andan8th said...
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