Sigma 6

Today I spent the majority of the day trying to figure out the best render settings to use so that I can at least have my first two scenes exported into movie files. Then I can have something to show a sound designer and would be in a better place for funding.

After trawling websites, I decided the best thing to do was test loads of render settings to see the difference for myself. I tested 640×480, 1920×1080 (HD1080) and 2048×1556 (2K). I also saved each test in three different file formats: PNG, TIFF and TARGA. I knew TIFF was the largest, but they all handle colours differently so I wanted to see how much of a difference there might be. However, I’ll still have to take them into After Effects and Final Cut so that’ll change them anyway…

Useful sites I found: – discussion about render settings in Maya – Good general info about file formats (explaining lossless and lossy compression)

So, after all that I’m still undecided… Any advice will be much appreciated! I’d like to use 2K but fear my wee Macbook might just melt. Also when adding global illumination in tow, each rendered image may take up to 10 minutes! That’s a lot at 24 fps… I’m veering towards rendering at HD1080 with global illumination as the light just looks so much more realistic with this. (However if anyone knows why circular orbs have appeared (see image below), please do let me know. It would be much appreciated as it’ll save hours of working out how to prevent it on my own.)

I learned a few things today, for instance I was unaware it was possible to use a vector render for flash or illustrator! Don’t need that for this film but it’s good to know for the future. I should really look at my Maya book more often! It’s a bit overwhelming at times though.

I also learned how to use the scatter attribute so skin looks more realistic… see before and after images below. Not sure how well the colours and light will come across on the web, but hopefully you can see a difference.

(Originally posted 10.02.2011 on


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