The tutorial that I followed made use of creating a physical sun and sky within Mental Ray in Maya. It's a quick way to create a more realistic and nice effect for your scene, however it does need some adjusting. Using physical sun and sky can sometimes create a washed out effect, textures and colours will loose their vibrancy and appear somewhat flat. To counteract this, the node that is created from sun and sky 'mia_exposure-simple' needs to be edited. The gamma attribute is mainly responsible, so dropping this down to 1 will normally fix the washed out look. I followed the majority of the tutorial and it produced a really nice render. I had never really tried adjusting the colour of the lights before and by doing this it creates more of a realistic look. There is never just one colour in a scene. The tutorial also talked about light linking the eyes, however I didn't feel this was very necessary, yet I have used it in another part of my animation which I will talk about later. I made sure that once my lights were set up correctly in one scene, I exported these out to which I could them import into my next scene and have exactly the same setup. Previously I never did this and the lighting changed a fair bit between shots and I found it quite noticeable. The lights still need some adjustment in some shots, depend on where the camera was facing but the main setup was the same.
|Directional with Physical Sun & Sky|