Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Creating sky in Maya

I have just come across a tutorial on producing a feasible sky in Maya.  This tutorial can be found here and involves producing a sky by applying an Environmental texture called envSky to a camera.  This will mean that no further modelling will be needed to produce a sky and I will be able to apply these effects once the set decoration and camera set-up is complete.  Furthermore, the advantage this has over something like mental ray is that you can apply this effect with or without a floor.

The envSky texture also comes with settings for a Sun and Clouds, which can be animated using keyframes.  The colour of the sky is easier to texture as well, allowing for us to create a red effect.
The likelihood is that we will not assign a floor to the envSky and apply little Floor Altitude, as we will be modelling the terrain ourselves.

One thing which the tutorial failed to mention, was that in order to produce any clouds, I had to configure some of the settings in the cloud layer, namely the Contrast, Amplitude and Ratio.  The tutorial just stated that I needed configure the Density settings under the Cloud Attributes of the envSky texture.
I have also done an animation test so I can see the sunset in action.  It is very quick but it demonstrates how I can reduce/expand the number of clouds, along with change the colour of the sky through the course of the sunset/sunrise.
video
The texture of this sky is cloudier and conveys a more open space than a cel shaded sky.

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