Dervla kindly helped me take some nice photos of the setup in our room. I actually ended up choosing one of the photos that was taken to show the setup.
Below is my chosen image. I thought the unusual angle of which Dervla took the photo was quite usual- a nice 3/4 view.
I started off inspired by Gerald Duvleavy- using the photography setup. At a later stage, I would like to create a camera track similar to his creature work- maybe even animate my character a little.
When looking at the image I noted a few things about the lighting. There were 2 known light sources- the two DIVA lights and a bounce light (the light bouncing off the wall).
I set this up in Maya using some of the previous methods explored- including attaching an image to the render camera.
I used the idea from the video blogged previously previously about Arvid Schneider’s lighting tutorial. Creating two area lights, I sized these to the dimensions of the photography lights, messing around with the exposure until I got the desired brightness.
I then needed to recreate the shadows- using the shadow catcher material I have looked at before. I was presented with the problem that I used a draping piece of paper over the tripod stand- so therefore the shadows would bend quite a bit.
Below is the set up for my scene.
Below is the original render attempt that I completed.
Above is my first attempt of creating this. I found that the shadows did not follow the material quite as expected, therefore needing to fix the shape of the shadow catcher plane. This was an easy fix- simply soft selecting the plane to the shape- making sure the edge was more defined.
Alec commented that the shadows were too sharp too- an should have a sharper shadow with a softer falloff- sending me the below example in explanation.
I realised that I was being a bit silly- using Area lights, the larger the lights, the softer the fall off, so I went back and resized these lights to create what Alec suggested.
I made Click larger to stop my eyes crying everytime I tried to look at the shadow.
Alec said this was a lot better and that I should add feet to give a bit more illusion of where he is standing. I’m thinking suction cups. I showed Meabh and she suggested upping the light intensity a bit more as it is so close to the lights. That will be my next step.
Above is the next altered settings. I managed to fix the eyes too- using a photo mesh light that I had seen earlier, rather than using the emission in the material settings. I also realised that I forgot to include a plane to catch the shadows behind the character- so I made a plane and again applied a shadow catcher material to it. I gave him some feet too- just simple boxes for now.