Wallpaper, Maya + Mental Ray. (Download the full-sized 1920 x 1080 wallpaper here [1.4mb PNG])
Using the National Map Viewer, I brought USGS data from the Glen Alum Mine in West Virginia into Maya. This elevation data was measured after the mountain was stripped – you can see the flat areas. In the next step, I’ll be adding a coal texture to the footprint of the mine.
On the technical side of things, I’m having trouble getting my writetoColor buffers to save out as expected. It’s starting to seem like it could be a bug in Maya 2015 – the Master Beauty pass renders out fine, so that means the contribution map is right. I think I can workaround the problem with render layers: since my misss_fast_skin is split into diffuse, specular, front, mid, and back channels, I can use material overrides.
This is probably the image I’m happiest with from this semester’s work. It’s based on terrain data from the Black Mountain mine, on the Virginia-Kentucky border.
Rendered in Maya, with some post in Photoshop. Getting this to 8-bit for saving to web does some bad things to the contrast – the print looks substantially better, I think.