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Stormy Ocean Test in Maya 2010

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I created this stormy ocean scene in Maya 2010.

View Tutorial!

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Creating a Stormy Ocean in Maya

December 6, 2009 2 comments

Starting Off And Creating The Ocean Surface

To start off, fire up Maya. If you are not in the Dynamics module interface, hold down the H key on your keyboard, and then left click anywhere on the scene and drag the mouse onto Dynamics. This will change the menu buttons on the top panel of Maya.

From the top panel, go to Fluid Effects>Ocean>Create Ocean and click on the Option Box as shown in the screenshot below.

An attributes window will open, check the Attach to Camera and Create Preview Plane boxes. Preview Plane Size is the preview plane that shows the effect of ocean on the scene when playing with attributes, you can give it any value you like. In this case I gave it a value of 15 which is pretty reasonable while playback, you can forward play the animation if you would like to check the ocean’s movement flow.

Your ocean should look something like this now in perspective view.

While the preview plane is still selected, hit Ctrl+A to open up the Attributes Editor. Once the Attributes Editor appears click on the Ocean Preview Plane1 tab, you will come across few options over here like ResolutionColorDisplacement, etc. Resolution increases the segments of the preview plane and that will lead to a smoother result on the scene. However, the increase in Resolution could lead to lower playback speed and system performance, in other words, rendering will take much more memory out of your system and preview playback will be slower than usual. Color and Displacement are locked, you don’t need to play with those so just leave them at their default values. Height Scale increases the height displacement of the preview plane. Make sure you also keep it at it’s default value.

Once you are done with Preview Plane 1 click on the Ocean Shader tab. We are going to spend most of our time here to modify and achieve the desired shape of our ocean.

Creating The Stormy Ocean

Creating a specific ocean effect simply requires using specific configuration in the Ocean Attributes rollout. To start off, simply expand the Ocean Attributes rollout to reveal its parameters. Assign the values stated below:

Scale, 1.000
Wind UV, -0.700-0.700
Wave Speed, 2.000
Observer Speed, 0.200
Num Frequencies, 20.000
Wave Dir Spread, 0.200
Wave Length Min, 0.200
Wave Length Max, 100.000

Go down to find the Wave Height rollout beside the color coded window. Set the Interpolation option to Smooth and add some points in accordance to your desired shape.

Scroll down to the Wave Turbulence rollout, set Interpolation to Smooth and play around with the Wave Height the same way we did before.

Scroll down to Wave Peaking, set Interpolation to Smooth, play around with the the settings to get your random ocean effect by adding some points along the graph to get peaking ocean waves.

Wave Peaking basically works well together with Wave Height. Again, change the Interpolation to Linear, play around with the settings and add some points along the graph to get peaking ocean waves.

The final step here is again adding Foam. Find the Foam options under the Wave Peaking rollout, set the parameters as specific below:
Foam Emission, 0.140
Foam Threshold, 0.675

That’s it, you can create a test render to get an image similar to this:

Source: Republic Of Code


Blender – Reflection Tutorial

November 14, 2009 Leave a comment

In the past, Blender used EnvMaps (environmental maps) in order to simulate the reflectiveness of objects. But this way was quite difficult, needing the use of Empties (null objects) and layers when a simple reflecting plane was needed. Fortunately, including Raytracing into the renderer eased the whole process and helped to achieve a greater realism.

Preliminaries

As well as anything related to raytracing with Blender, because of the supplementary calculus time required by your computer, raytracing is only an option that you should feel free to activate and deactivate. This is done by the mean of the Scene menu (F10 key). The Render tab shows a button labeled Ray you will have to activate in order to use raytracing in your pictures. If you do so, you can deactivate the EnvMap button, even if this one shouldn’t bother you if you don’t.

01.png

The Mirror Transp tab

This tab is divided into two parts, the first one being about reflection (Ray Mirror) and the second being about transparency(Ray Transp). We will pay attention to the first one, here. When activating the Ray Mirror button, you can make use of reflection options for the shader of your object. Its surface will reflect its environment at rendering time; the other buttons and sliders are here to help you controling this reflectiveness.

02.png

RayMir:

By default, this value is set to 0.00, which is no reflection at all. By increasing this value up to the maximum (1.00), your object will have the same reflectivity as a perfectly polished mirror. Please note that the reflected colors are strictly those of the original environment, whatever is the base color of your object.

Depth:

In our reality, reflecting objects located near each other will reflect themselves up to infinity, and it is possible to spot in the reflects of one, the reflects of the others. Unfortunately, this behavior will require an infinite time of calculus to reproduce. Most of the time, you only need a recursivity level of two or three to get visually attractive results; because of this, the default value is set to 2. Beware: if you foolishly increase the value of this parameter, you will suffer from from drastically longer rendering time if you have many reflective objects in your scene.

Fresnel:

Let’s undertake a small experimentation in order to understand this parameter. After a rainy day, go out and stand over a puddle of water. You can see the ground under the puddle. Now, please kneel just in front of the puddle, your face close to the ground, and look again at the puddle of water. The liquid surface part which is closer to you lets you see the ground, but if you move your glance toward the other end of the puddle, then the ground is gradually masked until all you see id the reflection of the sky. This is the Fresnel effect, and this option sets how much of the surface is effected by it; with a 0.0 value, the surface is 100% reflective, even if the casual observer is glancing from above, and with a1.0 value, it shows only the natural shader of the object.

Fac:

This option sets the intensity of the Fresnel effect.

Fresnel effect example

The animated picture below shows a glossy ground on which we will apply the Fresnel Parameters: Fresnel 2.50 and Fac 1.35. It shows quite well the Fresnel effect: when the angle of view of the camera is close to the angle of the horizontal plane, then we can only barely spot the patters on its surface and on the counterpart, we see easily the reflection of the sky on its surface. But when the camera is at the apex of the plane, it’s mainly its texture that can be seen.

Check the attached files in order to download the source file.

Colored reflections

In the Shading menu (F5 key), the Material tab lets you define the color effects of three distincts properties: Col simply colors your object; Spe rather gives a hue to the specular spots on the object; finally, Mir gives a slight color to the reflexion of the object. By default, Mir is pure white, which is quite perfect for chrome effects.

03.png

This way, if you’d prefer that your object looks like gold rather than chrome, then you will have to adjust the ColSpe and Mir properties more accordingly for such a material. Specifically, it is the Mir parameter that gives a different hue to the reflections. Logically,Mir should be the same components as Col, but as Blender is more orientated toward artistic freedom than realism, you can set the colors the way you really want.

05.png

The result is rather obvious:

04.png

Blurred reflections

A careful observation of the objects in our environment shows that glossy objects (reflective, varnished, metallic, etc.) don’t reflect the light perfectly, because of some roughness of their surface, for example. The reflections then look more or less blurred. This is the very purpose of the Gloss parameter: with a value of 1.000, the surface is perfectly reflective ; the lower this value, the blurrer the reflections become. Click on the following pictures in order to witness by yourself how the reflections on the ground loose their sharpness when the Gloss value decreases.

06-01-gloss_1.000.png06-02-gloss_0.900.png06-03-gloss_0.800.png06-04-gloss_0.700.png

The Samples value sets the quality of the blur: high values will provide a very smooth blur but higher rendering times. Thresh is the threshold that puts the sampling to a halt if the previous sample doesn’t contribute to the pixel at least at this value (as a percentage), even if the iteration has not reached the set Samples value. Aniso allows for anisotropic blur to occur (when the value equals 1.000) enlighting the direction of the surface’s tangent ; with a null value, the blur is perfectly circular. Anisotropy is especially useful for machined objects (lathed objects, for example).

07.png

Max Dist sets the maximum distance a ray will travel in order to find a pixel to reflect ; once this distance is reached, the pixel from which the ray has been emitted will herit one of the two following colors (as set by the Ray end fade-out drop menu):

Fade to Sky Color: the pixel herits from the color of the sky, as set in theWorld Buttons

Fade to Material Color: the pixel herits the base color of the material

This last option is very interesting for varnished objects that are reflective only over a short distance.

Article written on December the 26th, 2004.

Source: Febblemind