34.2 Image Based Lighting

In this step, we use our HDR panorama to create a light dome in Maya 2017 and test lighting and materials on new dummy models

HDR Color Match

The background plate (top) and HDRI (bottom) have been color matched

Exposure and color of HDR can also be adjusted in Maya quite easily

Arnold Renderer

Open Render Settings

Render Using: Arnold
Image format: OpenEXR

Create Sky Dome Light

Arnold > Lights > Skydome Light

SkyDome Attributes

Attribute Editor should open automatically

Click on Out Color checkerboard box

Texture File

Add File texture

Import HDR Image

Attribute Editor > File Attributes

Open HDR image file

Set Color Space to Raw

Dummy Objects and Image Plane

Don’t use the Nuke dummies, they are for position reference only. Create new dummy objects, or import your models

The camera image plane is in front of dome in this example

Hide Camera Image Plane

We need the image plane out-of-the-way to see the dome texture

To hide: Nuke camera >imagePlaneShape > Display Mode > None

Rotate Dome

Select aiSkyDomeLight in outliner or viewport and rotate to match the scene. Dome moved up slightly in this example


Render with Default Materials

Open Render View to render the first test

Options > Test Resolution: Set 50 or 25%

Render > Render > Nuke Camera

Render Frame

Light direction is good, a cooler light is coming from the left glass door casting soft shadows to the right of our objects

SkyDomeLight Attributes

Adjust Intensity to match roughly with your background

Increase Samples to remove noise

Set Visibility > Camera to zero to hide dome in render

SkyDomeLight Color

To adjust Color Balance of HDR

file texture > Color Balance > Color Gain

Color Gain

Made a bit warmer by increasing the Red channel

Apply Materials

Apply Arnold aiStandardSurface materials. Plenty of presets available

Chrome, matte finish and plastic are great to assess the lighting

Render with Materials

Metal, glass and self-illumination (emission) added in this example