Author of the Post: Captain Rara
My time management skills need a tinge bit of work, I've discovered. With the week and couple days that I got to complete this project, I literally spent almost the entire time on procedural texturing. Re-teaching myself about procedural texturing and then reimplementing it into various parts of the scene was far more time consuming than I had originally anticipated. Not to say that it wasn't a fun learning experience [and believe me, I learned a LOT] but for someone who wants to go into lighting... I left myself such little time to actually play around with the lighting in Maya. Thus my "close-to-done" renders that included my lighting choices, became something I wasn't proud of.
I found myself having a lot of trouble with the materials, as well. I'm so used to using the Maya Software material nodes, but while working realized that these materials can't actually do what I need them to do for some of the fruits [the high amount glossiness and reflectivity of the cherries]. And on top of that, they're not really designed to be used with Mental Ray.
Specularity proved to be another issue. Because all of my textures were procedurally created, I had to either fake a specularity map, bake the procedural textures to a file, or somehow connect a monochrom-ed version of my created color shading network. Of the three options, I thought coloring of my shading network would work. (Past attempts of baking the texture have proved to reduce and muddle the textures and faking works to an extent but doesn't necessarily create the look I want.) I utilized the the re-map HSV Node, which changed my color shader to a monochrome one. However, I discovered that could not attach the newly changed shading network to the specular roll off option.
In the end, I ended up faking most of the specularity.
One of the most random issues I encountered with the overall scene was the placement of a material itself on the plum shape. For some odd
random particular reason, I couldn't place any 2D texture node. Yet, all of the 3D texture nodes worked. Upon learning of this, I figured this was an issue to every object in the scene and had a momentary panic attack. However, much to my relief this issue only occurred on the plums. To get around this issue, I had to place a series of spherical projection nodes around every plum. Each plum received it's own blinn and to each one the specularity, bump, and color shading network of the completed plum were duplicated to every new blinn.
|Final Plum on Top, Projected Texture Bottom|
|Plum Shading Network|
Of the all the textures created for this scene, I loved how the Pear and Plums came out. While the pear shading network isn't as long as the plum one it took a great deal of time.
|Pear Shading Network|
Later test renders showed that the apple, grapes, and cherries had an appearance similar to to plastic [while earlier ones didn't]. While I had the opportunity to work with the material nodes, there wasn't really a chance to research them more in-depth.
For now, base on the time limit that I have, I'm settling with this image.
|Final For Now|
I'm not happy with it, for the record. I had the idea of a moonlight
On a side note, for a project that took me a week and couple days I'm still very proud of it. This is quite possibly the fastest (with a drive to work) where I made all the textures as well as "meh" lighting.
I need to learn more about material nodes themselves as well as take a look back at HDRI lighting.
It's been a busy night. Till the next time!