In this training we’ll use a scene from Pixar co-op short film, Only a Dream, where we’ll learn to use some of the most effective RenderMan shot lighting tools. During this process, we’ll understand how to make meaningful artistic choices in order to tell the best story possible, while digging into some of the more technical aspects of mastering shot lighting in RenderMan for Maya.
Our main goal as lighting artists is to tell a story, in this case, a coming-of-age thriller. The aesthetic we’re going for is film noir with an analogous blue/ green color palette. In fact, one of the color inspirations was the Chernabog Demon sequence from Disney’s Fantasia. In order to achieve our look, we’ll mix a couple of different lighting techniques, including low-key and motivated lighting, which will give the scene a bit of drama while heavily art directing the shot to create the look we need.
01 MASTER LIGHTING
A useful way to start is through an environment light. We’ll use a PxrDomeLight with an industrial HDRI map which is full of small and bright lighting features, yet offers dim diffuse lighting. This will give us interesting glints to bring out shiny surfaces. If the light is overpowering, RenderMan offers decoupling of diffuse and specular under the Refine tab in all lights. Using light temperature is also a great way to stay within a plausible aesthetic, as it’s based on physical Kelvin color temperatures, but don’t be afraid to add or remove color for a more stylized look.
02 DIRECT YOUR SCENE
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