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Lighting and Rendering in Mantra Tutorial


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I just released a new tutorial about lighting and rendering with Mantra in Houdini. Over 5+ hours of content. Topics include Cameras, Lights, Lighting Setups, Materials and Shaders, Render Settings, and Scene Management. If you don't know where to start with Mantra, or with lighting and rendering, in general, this is a pretty good, comprehensive explanation:



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54 minutes ago, Diego A Grimaldi said:

That looks amazing Adam! I hope u did a good chapter on Motion blur because there's a lot of misconception about it and I'm lucky to have learnt about it from some smart people at Dneg.

Accurate motion blur is not always as easy as it should be!

Diego, I do a little bit about motion blur, basically describing when and how to use the "Geometry motion blur" option and how to control sampling, as well as talking about how shutter angle affects blur. I also go through the process also of doing a motion blur shader, using getblurP() and showing how to add post motion blur in Nuke. What have your experiences with it at Dneg been? Where did you run into problems?

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Adam, thanks for the explanation!

Well I feel like many people think that accurate motion blur is achieved by putting down a trail sop, adding v and that's the end of it, which in some case is necessary but not always "proper" motion blur.

For rendering vdb meshes you either need a trail sop or transfer v from particles, but in other cases there are more accurate ways to do motion blur.

Also with packed prims and packed fragments the story gets a bit more complicated, but your info on the motion blur sounds interesting. Doing velocity vector as AOV is very helpful, it'd be great to showcase how to do that with volume, cuz even that is another beast!


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Post motion blur on volumes is tricky, and not something I covered. For a tutorial aimed at novice and intermediate users it's a pretty complicated setup (density to SDF conversion, velocity transferring, etc). A little outside of the scope of the tutorial.

The other motion blur thing I didn't cover, but I will do a one-off tutorial at some point is how to get proper curved motion blur on particles. (Great for sparks). Linear motion blur on fast-moving chaotic particles is a really easy way to tell a cg render.

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