Lighting & Viewport 2.0

My most asked question from this blog is how I light and render my shots. My basic answer is I don’t render anymore, and I start with a simple 3 point lighting set up.

1. Rendering:
Instead of rendering I use Viewport 2.0, this gives a higher quality image in my Maya viewport:
viewport10

To “render” I simply do a playblast. The quality isn’t as good as a render, but it allows me to easily touch up shots and continually update my reel. As an animator I think that’s more important than render quality.

2. Lighting:
I’ll use a more simple example to give a quick run down of how I light my shots. I should note there should be a ground plane so the character casts a shadow, see my edit below for turning on shadows.
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Firstly Switch to Viewport 2.0. I generally turn the anti-aliasing values up to their highest. I don’t recommend actually animating in Viewport 2.0, it’s more intensive and can be quite buggy at times.

viewport03

This is a view of my lighting set up. Here I’ve used Directional Lights as it’s a such a simple set up, when lighting a more complex scene Spot Lights might often be a better choice.
viewport11viewport08

If I just reduce the scene to one light, it should get an idea of what each light is doing.

Key Light = the main light source.
viewport04


Fill light
brings some detail into the shadows, you can see here I like to add a fair bit of colour to it.viewport05

The rim light just helps separate the character from the background. It’s just a subtle touch.
viewport06

 

The combination of all 3 lights should give a good starting point to your lighting set up.

*EDIT*
To turn on shadows you need to do it both in your viewport and on the light you want to be casting shadows.
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2 thoughts on “Lighting & Viewport 2.0

  1. matt

    Thanks for this Tim. I always wondered what was so special about Viewport 2.0. Keep on crushing it.

    Reply
  2. netherdude

    thanks for sharing this info.
    I wonder which shader is best for skin in vp2.0?
    is there a possibilty of a fake sss shader in viewport 2.0?

    Thanks!

    Reply

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