My goals for Milestone 1:
- have diving helmet rendering with sun and sky
- improve/rework workbench texture (looks low-res on the stand)
- start setting up breakdown shots/render passes (diffuse, spec, shadow, AO, etc)
How it went:
Sun & sky turned out not to be the best lighting solution here – there just wasn’t enough environmental detail to make the metal reflections look good, and putting the light outside the window killed the nice specular highlight that the area light was giving me. So after returning to the previous light set up, I tweaked the FG settings and ditched the depth of field I had been trying out. This cut my render time down to under 3 minutes per frame for the master beauty pass.
When I rendered out an image sequence to test how my lights held up, I noticed two problems: first, the shadow samples were too low, giving the helmet’s main shadowed area visible moving noise. I remedied this by increasing the shadow samples of the main area light from 8 to 16. This caused a modest increase in rendering time, but kept the beauty pass under 4 minutes.
The second problem that the image sequence revealed was, of course, the normal FG flicker. Since the camera was the only moving object in the scene, this was remedied by freezing the FG maps and tweaking the FG settings slightly.
In addition to the lighting adjustments, I added some color variation to the rust texture (circled in the old render) and adjusted the bump map to look more natural. I also remapped the wall, workbench, and helmet stand to address the slight low-res distortion that I have circled in the old render image.