I decided to take a day off from the work I'm usually doing and try something new for a change to help break up my pace and stop me from turning into a zombie... I thought it would fun to experiment with lighting and volumes to create the effects of light rays piercing through the cracks of the wooden planks.
As i've never tried lighting before I searched for a tutorial online that would teach me what I needed for the effect I was trying to make, it was difficult to find a tutorial which was easy enough for a beginner like myself to follow and understand correctly but i eventually found this one http://www.cgbootcamp.com/tutorials/2010/8/10/maya-rendering-light-rays-in-mental-ray.html
I followed the step by steps and applied them to my own scene which was the interior of the treehouse, I was surprised to find many of the settings to get the lighting right were actually attributes which have to be adjusted in the render settings, I was mostly interested by the 'Physical Sun and Sky' feature that inserts a light based background with an adjustable horizon which represents a natural light in the scene from the sun which can be seen in the shot above which is more of a mid-day sun. Just knowing about this feature has opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities in terms of me modelling for environments and making renders, so I'm excited to implement it into future pieces of work I do for myself and my portfolio. in terms of this project however it may not find a place as our shots are meant to be very dark and stormy and a 'Physical Sun and Sky' would slow our render time considerably, even if we set it to night time it will hardly be seen as well so in the long run it will not be practical.
The image above is a render showing the 'Physical Sun and sky) feature in conjunction with a particle volume node to create the lights rays through the cracks. However to render this single frame took 2 1/2 hours and the results are less than satisfactory in my opinion as the light rays look incredibly grainy and have a strange pattern on them which reminds me of the caustics and patterns you would see when light shines to the bottom of a swimming pool. However in the end it was a fun experiment and I feel I gained a good amount of knowledge that will be useful in the long run of my career and personal development, but it will not be relevant to this project, especially since we already have James Ferdinando as our lighting artist who is a lot more experienced and technically capable than I could ever hope to be.