The Gnomon Workshop

Final Gather in Maya & mental ray

Lighting and Rendering Series Vol. 3 with Frederic Durand


In this lecture, Frederic Durand demonstrates a variety of techniques for using indirect illumination within Maya and mental ray. Indirect Illumination with Final Gather is arguably the most useful lighting method in mental ray and in this lecture Frederic demonstrates how to light using fill lights, bounce lights and IBLs (image based lighting) with an emphasis on the artistic and technical challenges that Final Gather brings to the table. Final Gather creates a very natural non-directional illumination. Artistically, it is sometimes difficult to give character to this type of lighting. Technically, it is difficult to master, as it is known to create blotchy patches of light in still frames, or flickering noise in animation. Production proven solutions show how to balance the different settings of Final Gather to minimize artifacts, promote fast rendering times and achieve artistic control. Compositing is addressed as an integral part of any lighting workflow, as it helps to work more efficiently, while rendering in passes is critical to successful lighting strategies. For those interested in mastering mental ray, this title offers invaluable techniques from an experienced industry artist.

Duration: 249 minutes

Format: HD 1280x720

Frederic Durand

Lighting Artist

Working on animated films, feature films, and commercials for the past 20 years, Frederic Durand has had the opportunity to work at Sony Imageworks, Disney Animation, DreamWorks, Jim Henson’s Workshop, the Mill, MPC and Digital Domain. He is the co-founder of Noroc Studio. As a leading lighting artist, his approach is not only technical, but also artistic. He heavily emphasizes and integrates aspects of cinematography into his approach. Frederic graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, France. Additionally, during his master’s program, he completed one year residency at The Copper Union in NYC.

  • Fred is one of the most technical and proficient lighters I've ever had the pleasure to work with, and his knowledge of mental ray is unparalleled. For the commercials on which Fred and I worked together, he proved himself to be an indispensable part of the team.

    - Nathaniel Morgan
    CG Generalist at Bad Robot