Daylight Tutorial

MODELING

The main element in the scene is the bridge, which is done using extruded objects; except the bottom ornament, which is a sweep nurbs object.

BRIDGE

First I draw all the splines in Freehand 8. (You can create splines in Cinema 4D, but it is more comfortable for me to work in a specificvector-drawing software, since it has many tools to create and manipulate vectors.)
Next, export ALL the splines to Illustrator, and later import them into Cinema 4D.
Important: To do this (importing all “objects”), in C4D you must check “Group” and not “Join” at  “Import/export settings> Illustrator”
in order to get separate objects to extrude them separately.
Using this technique all “objects” are already in place. Then, take each spline, one at a time, and drag it into the “Extruders”
(extrude nurbs objects). I used “Cap and Rounding” for all extrusions to avoid hard edges. When all splines are placed into their
corresponding extruders, move the objects in the Z axis to re-position the construction ornaments outer than the flat surfaces.
To create the bottom ornament we got a shape, and the bottom ornament path.  Drag them both into a “Sweep Nurbs Object”.
To finish the bridge, duplicate the objects and elements as necessary and put them in position.

WALL

Walls are simple cube combinations..

REAR AREA

The rear area is created using cubes, except the railing sticks; they were done using a combination of 1 cylinder and 2 spheres for each stick.

CHARACTER

This person really isn’t a full person! Is quite simple, actually. Only the visible parts are modeled (the figure is very small in the scene and
back seen only). The cape is created with bezier-splines from Cinema4D. Drag the splines into a “Loft Nurbs Object” (later, we can use a
bump or displacement map to give more details to the cape). It´s possible to modify the splines placed into Loft Nurbs Object, and view the
results in real time, so it´s quite easy to model like this.
To make the hat and the hat-feathers I used “Loft Nurbs” as well. (more realistic feathers could be created by using planes and a texture with
a proper texture map with feather silhouette in the alpha channel but is not necessary here).
To make the arms/legs I used “Capsule Objects”.  The feet are deformed cubes, the head is a sphere, and the sword is a modified capsule!
This person doesn’t have a body; I only created the parts that would be visible from my camera. This “pseudo-figure” looks ugly too as
close-up but the camera is far enough away that this really isn’t an issue.
Now, we have all elements to create the scene. (All modelling work was done in about 2 hours, including the first Freehand 8 drawing).

TEXTURING

There are only a few textures in this scene. They are:A.. a stonework map for all walls
B.. another stonework map for the floor
C.. my own stone map (rouged grey) for the sculpted stone
D.. plain colour textures + bump + diffusion (fractal noise) for the
clothes
E.. a bit of fresnel in colour texture with alpha channel activated
(holes) for the feather
F.. a background map
For the stonework textures I activated the diffusion channel and loaded the new plug in “DirtyNUTs” shader.
This shader creates an automatic “dirt” effect (raytraced rough occlusion) where ever it is applied.
Mapping was really fast, mostly applying a cubic mapping to object groups and adjusting the number of tiles in real-time in the editor view.
I played with the tiling until I liked what I saw.

LIGHTING

-DAYLIGHT-

This stage of the work is the most time-consuming of the entire scene, because I had to do a lot of testing of the effects as I went along.
The main light sources are the “Sun”, the “Bouncing” light from Sun/sky and
the “Skylight”.
The “Sun” is a hard, yellow shaded parallel light. “Bouncing” is the result mainly of sunlight bouncing on the geometry but “skylight” also produces
bouncing light at all directions. “Skylight” is blue light surrounding the entire scene.All lights are added gradually. Note that between lighting stages,
the increment of change is small.Using a big number of low lights gives better results than using a few lights with high values. The idea is to create
something like a “lighting grid” to fill the dark areas using colours

-Simulating light sources using spots and omni lights-

THE SUN:I used a spot placed far enough away to cover the entire scene.
Light colour is warm yellow using a value of 270%, with area shadows enabled.
Area shadows are more accurate than other shadows. These will show hard or soft edges depending on the object’s distance, like real shadows.
This takes more render time than other shadows, but looks nice. Using soft shadows with a big map size, “sun” shadows could look nice too,
but while shadowmap lights are quicker, area shadows looks much better and was quick enough in this case.

“Sun” spot only

MAIN BOUNCING:To simulate the first bouncing light from sun, I used two lines of blue omni lights (8 lights each line) placed along the set.
They are instances from a “master blue light” so it´s easy and quick to adjust because you need only adjust the Master to have the change
propagated to the ‘cloned’ lights.
The first line of lights is placed near the floor and the second one about the middle of the maximum height of the scene.
These lines of lights fill all areas softly with a uniform lighting. (Using more lights with a lower value would looks better but that it takes more
computing  time too).
At this point, the top area still is too dark, but we can solve this later using only a few lights. The Master blue light (so all 16 instances too)
is set to 10% strength, the colour is blue and soft shadow is enabled (125 kb size map); this produces soft shadows and soft lighting,
emulating Global Illumination computing, but isn’t as render intensive.
SKY:For the main skylight I used three instances from a couple of blue spotlights targeting the walls and the floor for a total of 8 lights along
the scene. The parameters used are: blue colour, soft shadows (sample size to 6 to create a more diffuse shadow) and a 20% value.
This shows a more “filled scene” and visible shadows under the Bridge, on floors, and walls.
At this point, some areas are still too dark, so we need to fill them with light.
Lighting the scene using “bounce lights” and overhead “skylights”:
The front view of our bridge looks unnaturally dark, and not in harmony with the walls because there aren’t skylights targeting it yet
(At this point, we ‘ve only got “skylights” on right/left sides.)  This time, a simple spot is placed at a distance to fill all frontal areas.
To take more control of lighting exposure, I used a linear falloff and soft shadows using opacity only at 50%; this produced a more
“filling” light.
Note that the bottom area of our bridge doesn’t show enough bounced-light while sunlight looks high on the floor. To remedy this, a simple
light without shadows is placed under the scene to fill all bottom areas with “reflected” light. This simple light uses a 15% value.
Now is when I apply the overhead “Skylight”:In total three omni lights with falloff are placed in a medium-top area of the overall scene.
Two omni lights with a 20% value are placed at front and back of the bridge, at a medium-top position.  The third light, with a 35% value,
is placed at the top, higher up, but toward the front since only this area is visible to the camera.
Finally small details to improve believability:Because the walls at the back of the bridge fade to open space, more Skylight must appear on it.
To “overexpose” the open area I used a pair of blue spots with a 30% value, targeting the walls at top, and an omni yellow at 25% value with
falloff on the open space between the end and rear wall.
THE IMAGE IS FINISHED

Rendering time:5 minutes: 42 seconds (600×600 píxels) on a Pentium4 1.5GHz/650Mb RAM.
Carles Piles 2002

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