Advanced Texturing and Lighting: The Haunted House – Textures

I think this week was one of the longest I have experienced in a while.  A lot of it was spent trying to figure out some weird rendering issues, but also me just having anxiety on where to start.  I always have that problem when I start texturing something.

This week we started to add some bounce lights to our scene.  Before the advent of efficient global illumination algorithms, this was a very tedious task.  Most of the time, you would fake the reflected light in a scene by adding another light and aiming it at the surrounding geometry.  Now things have advanced to make that happen in the rendering itself at render time, saving a bit of time.  However, there are a few times when you just want to control the lighting a bit more, so you add another light or two.

You can see the contrast from the "Neutral Gray" scene to the textured scene below:

When doing textures, you have to see certain images or textures as what they could be rather than what they are.  For example, the floor panels were textured using a photograph of the fence across the street from our apartment.  The cracks and grime on the walls are actually in the pavement in our carport.  A lot of the textures are the same for all of the geometry, but with a little bit of tweaking with the UVs, so everything isn't the exact same.

This image actually has some fairly complex things happening both with the textures and with the way it is put together.  Here is a little breakdown of how things are composited at the moment:

Background plate

Beauty pass (an accumulation of diffuse, specular, reflection, ambient, etc.)

Occlusion pass (to simulate the real world phenomenon)

 And finally a glow pass, which I did in Photoshop after the fact

This is an involved process and I have a lot more to do, but the heavy lifting is done for the most part now.  I spent some time linking shader values in Maya, so now if I adjust one of the "master" values for the walls, the rest update as well, rather than having to go through and remember the values of each attribute separately.  It took some time to set up, but in the end, I know it will pay off.

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