Introduction


  • This lesson will take you through using Environment Overrides in V-Ray for Maya
  • The information centers around the overriding environment textures to change the look of renders globally
  • This lesson topic is approximately 20 minutes in length
  • Lesson covers all 3 Learning Cycles for the Lesson Topic – Lecture, Demonstration, and Activity

 

  

Contents


Overview
Available Materials
Lecture
Demonstration
Activity                                 
Additional resources

Overview


Goal - In this lesson you will learn how to use Environment Overrides in V-Ray.

Objective – We will adjust the way the background of our 3D scene renders with V-Ray Environment Overrides           

Outcome – You will be able to apply Environment Overrides  to your scene to get better results in the GI, reflections, and refractions of the background

 

Available materials


To set up the lesson follow the links below and download all available materials.

Lesson plan download
Presentation (Lecture) download
Demonstration tutorial download         
Scenes & Assets download

Lecture


1. Terminology

Here are some terms to be aware of when thinking about Environment Overrides in general

  • Background
    • What renders in the scene if all objects are hidden (black by default)
  • Secondary Matte Environment
    • The background environment seen in reflections/refractions of matte objects (can be different than environment background)
  • VRaySky
    • A natural candidate for Environment overrides

 

2. Environment Overrides

a) Overview

Replaces the default environment settings with user-selected options for the scene through the Render Settings window

  • Override Environment
    • Turn On to override the default (usually black) environment and render with different options for the visible background, GI, global reflections, and global refractions
    • For example, have a different reflection environment than your GI environment
    • Useful for using a high resolution map for crisp reflections and a lower resolution version for faster/cleaner GI calculations
  • Override Secondary Matte Environment
    • Turn On to override the reflection/refraction environment for matte objects

 

 


b) Background texture
  • A color or map used in the background during rendering.
  • Press the checkerboard button to select a texture (if one is present it will override the selected color)

 



 
c) GI texture
  • A color or map used during Indirect Illumination(GI) calculation
  • The effect of changing the GI texture is similar to skylight
  • Image on the right is more yellow and brighter than the Sky image override used in the image on the left

 

 

GI Texture set to Sky

GI Texture set to default color (HSV 210, 0.2, 1)

 

 

 

 

 

  • GI texture override effect on GI Render Element
More sky-appropriate lighting coloration seen in Sky texture GI override than in the single default color override

 

 

GI Texture set to Sky

GI Texture set to default color (HSV 210, 0.2, 1)

 

 

 

d) Reflection texture
  • A color or map used during calculations of reflections
    • Press the checkerboard button to select a texture (if one is present it will override the selected color)

 

 
  • More variation in color seen in beauty pass when using the HDR texture to drive the Reflection override

 

 

 

Reflection Texture set to Env_Refl.hdr

Reflection Texture set to default color (black)

 

 

  • Reflection texture override effect shown in the Reflection Render Element
  • More detail and contrast seen when using the HDR texture as opposed to just a black environment

 

 

Reflection Texture set to Env_Refl.hdr

Reflection Texture set to default color (black)

 

 

 
e) Refraction texture
  • A color or map used during calculations of refractions
    • Press the checkerboard button to select a texture (if one is present it will override the selected color)
    • The V-Ray Sky works well for refractions because it’s optimized for jobs like this

 

 
  • More variation in color seen in beauty pass when using the V-Ray Sky to drive the Refraction override

 

 

Refraction Texture set to V-Ray Sky

Refraction Texture set to default color (black)

 

 

  • Refraction texture override effect shown in the Refraction Render Element
  • More natural feel when using the Sky texture as opposed to just black

 

 

Refraction Texture set to Sky

Refraction Texture set to default color (black)

 

 

Conclusion



a) Background
  • Sometimes useful to throw in a live-action image you plan to composite with later
b) Secondary Matte Environment
  • An optional background for reflections/refractions of matte objects in the scene
c) V-Ray Sky            


Demonstration



Time to see it work! 

Watch while I demonstrate how to set up V-Ray Environment Overrides in our scene.

          

 

 

Activity



Time to do it yourself!

Use the provided scene file to play around with different Environment Override settings.
We have also provided a final scene for your reference.

   

Dialing in the right values:

  • Override Environment On under Render Settings > VRay > Environment
    • Background texture set to Env_background.jpg
    • GI texture set to VRaySky
    • Reflection texture set to Env_Reflect.hdr
    • Refraction texture set to VRaySky

 

                

Additional resources


Find more training resources listed below: