mentalcore Lightroom bundle

      How many times have you create scene from scratch, setup lights, shaders, passes and compose results for simple stuff like packshot in advertising? You can do it once in general, than reuse result in other project and save a lot of time.
       Lightroom bundle is pack of Maya and Nuke templates which you will find suitable for using as is in many projects. Its lighting-shading-rendering-compositing chain. Copy template file into new project, import objects, apply existent materials, change textures and get awesome result in a couple of minutes.
      Sure, this is  not a final solution, but very good starting point for tweaking.
      You will need Maya, Nuke and Mentalcore plugin for Maya. Its cost $200 but if you use mentalray for Maya you should bye this stuff without any hesitation- it will save much more than you pay. Or just try fully working version for free during 30 days, ant than you will know why i advise it. Any way it could be also usable without mentalcore but due to crappy Maya pass output system you will need to change Nuke template and rebuild shaders with mia_material.
      Lets see whats going on inside:

      This is Maya 2012 scene, which simulating basic photo studio lighting setup for small gadgets up to 50 centimeters height. To render bigger objects -scale LIT group and BACK, increase area light intensity.
     For fast render purpose, since there is no DOF and motion blur in 3D, it use adaptive sampling. For rendering with MB and DOF turn on unified sampling. 

      There are two area lights , which is invisible . mib_blackbody nodes drive color of this lights. Intensity of lighting defined by area lights intensity attribute. To get highlights from invisible lights i create polyplanes(Reflector_A and Reflector_B), parent them to lights and make them only visible in reflection-refraction (they don't emit FG, you can turn this behavior ON in shape node of reflectors, mentalray>finalfather cast>on). Intensity of highlights drives with shadows_r ramp node - bottom white point value way to tweak. Rotating area_A_CTR and area_B_CTR  you define placement of highlights on you rendered geometry. Also you can scale and translate area lights themselves (areaLight_A and areaLight_A)
      Directional light "RIM" obvious.
      Spot "BACK_POINT" linked with BACK geometry only. It create shine spot on back surface, which give uneven refraction in transparent objects.

BACK surface used as background, but you can turn OFF primary visibility of this geometry to make custom back in comp stage. This geometry has grate impact, especially on transparent objects, so tweaking ramp_BACK node(make it darker or lighter) you tweak overall look of you render. If you will hide BACK, grate impact on image will have ENVIRONMENT node with HDR texture.

        In scene you have glassIN, glassOUT, glassTOP shaders attached to bottle geometry (take a look how geometry is build and wich side normals facing) to show proper glass-liquid setup.
       BASE shader is my starting point for majority of materials.
       SSS shader plugged to BASE_SSS for example how to setup and comp SSS in a very general way.
Note, that all shaders (but BACKS) has no specular highlight(specular balance = 0) cos we usually do not need specular with physically correct shaders. BACKS has specular just to show you how it works. Sometimes it can be useful instead of non physically correct behavior.

      This is were you should create and tweak your own shaders, export them and use in you render scenes.  Than all shaders will look as you expected in different lighting conditions in all projects.  If you will do shading directly in render scenes you will loose consistency of templates.

      It has several materials, like wood, metal, concrete with tiled textures. The scene lighting is pretty much the same as previous. You can learn how this shaders are build and use same logic for your further look development. The logic is very simple and require only one texture, but result is good enough for replicating physical behaviour and network is obvious for tweaking.
     Shaders and textures you can download at 256 Shader library. This library will be update constantly.

Lighting setup for exterior purposes. Based on physical Sun and Sky. To make it work correctly with mentalcore linear workflow, multiplier of mia_physicalsky set to 0.2 and Maya Lance shader replaced with mentalcoreLens. Also, to avoid over brighten specular dots on shaders sunDiskIntencity attribute of mia_physicalsky set to 0.

This is example how you can setup scenes with fury and hairy characters. The main goal is to split render of characters and characters hairs, because hairs has very complex geometry and they require additional attention to get fast and good results. More in depth about why and how to do it in theory you can read in Rendering fur with passes article.
       In this scene you will learn how to setup character beauty layer, hair beauty layer and layer with shadow from hairs to character. It can seems very basic, but it cover all important points of fur rendering setup, such as using detail shadow maps with rasterizer, simulating GI lighting and mip_matteshadow network.

This is nuke file which store all useful nodes for basic compositing all scenes from bundle. You don't need any extra plugins.
    Generally, if you will put in my scene your objects, render EXR, and just replace file in  you will get proper result(same as in Maya viewport, if you didn`t change display settings of render view) with a lot of ready to use tweak nodes. This is not the only way how to split render on passes and comp them together, but its defiantly one of the working correct solution.
     There are EXR files, so you can play with Nuke template without gpoin in 3D at all.

 Download Mentalcore Lightroom bundle.