Mental Ray: Infinite White Background Lighting

We will be taking a look at how you can light your scene using the “infinite white background” look. This look is commonly used to present technical stuff or single objects.

In my example I am going to use a model of a dragon statue. First we will be taking a look at how to achieve the effect using only Final Gathering and after that we will take a look at using ambient occlusion as a light source.

Scene Setup

Step 1

Create a Poly Plane with a white lambert and import your object.

Step 2

Create a Camera. Set the Environment> Background Color to White

Camera Background Color Settings
Camera Background Color Settings

Step 2

For the Final Gather technique we will not use any lights. The default light would only cause unwanted side effects.

To disable the “default light”, open the Render Settings in the “Common” tab open the panel “Render Options” and remove the check at “Enable Default light”.

Disabled Default Light
Disabled Default Light

 

Final Gather

Setup

The Final Gather Effect will use the environment color of the camera to light the scene. You only need to activate Final Gather and you will see the result.

2016-06-14 02_09_03-Render View
Enabled Final Gather

Result

InfiniteWhiteBackgroundFG
Final Gather Render, Rendertime 2:34min

Ambient Occlusion Light Source

Step 1

Create an Area Light. In the Attribute Editor under mental ray > Area light, activate Use Light Shape.

2016-06-14 02_30_19-Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2_ C__Users_info_Desktop_InfiniteWhiteBackground.mb

Step 2

Connect to the Attribute “Custom Shaders > “Light Shader” a “mib_amb_occlusion” node.

2016-06-14 02_31_22-Maya_ Infinite white background lighting – Neal's Stuff

Step 3 (optional)

To increase the render quality you can adjust the attributes “Samples” and “Max Distance“.

Result

Ambient Occlusion Render, 4:35min
Ambient Occlusion Render, 4:35min