i’ve placed a bridge in a scene - it sits in water with the ‘sun’ shining obliquely down onto it. shading/shadows underneath are super flat. i realize this area would largely be in shade but all of the shading /shadow is the same flat gray. how can i articulate these shadows? i’m using mental ray to render but feel as if it is limiting my options. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Post a reasonably sized image of your rendering so we can see what’s going on. It can be very helpful.
Also, please tell us what your Indirect Illumination settings are. For instance, do you have Final Gather enabled, how many bounces is it set to, and what are the values for it? Are you using Global Illumination?
Flat shadows are often due to lack of bounced light. In some cases, it’s easier to composite in an Ambient Occlusion pass or enable the AO built into the Arch & Design materials.
Add a bounce or two, that will help. Yes, caustics would be nice comming from the water.
What materials and lighting are you using? The materials are not very convincing to me, are they standard? If so try some mr materials.
The lighting itself also looks rather flat to me & it looks like there’s no area/soft shadows. I could be wrong but if I had to guess I’d say you were using something like a standard white light for the sun and a grey fill light instead of the more realistic mrSun/mrSky combination.
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- turn ON global illumination (will give you a nice color bleeding)
- turn ON final gather (to refine the GI solution)
- turn ON caustics (to have those patterns underneath the bridge and underwater too)
You better read some MAX help/tutorials too because there are MANY parameters you’ll have to tweak till you get satisfied.
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