- SHADER GENERATOR (SHD GEN) - Added new feature called Shader Generator - You just have to type in shader name, choose texture/shader channels that you want to use and click create. It will generate a shader with added aiColorCorrect, aiRange, aiClamp and aiColorToFloat nodes. You just have to connect your textures and start your lookdev process.
- Checker texture scale set to 3 so that checker tiles are a bit smaller in the viewport.
- Color Management (CM) and OCIO - LDV kit now supports use of ACES config in the CM preferences. If you use ACES config it will automatically detect it and switch IDT on skydome to the proper color space. It expects linear images because most of the HDRs from internet are linear.
I'm still trying to figure out how to handle multiple files with different color spaces. In the end I will probably create a ACES converter...
- fixed Refresh HDRs command - there was a bug on recent Maya/Arnold versions that made .tx creation to crash. It is fixed now.
Shader Generator Ui
Shader Generator node output
Just delete the old version and copy new in the same place.
Don't forget to check DOCUMENTATION PAGE for more details about Lookdev Kit functionality.
If you have any errors and bugs feels free to contact me.
- Improved Auto - Framing function. I've written new Auto Framing function that calculate object size much better than previous one. Also it is much faster and optimized. Still, in some cases you will have to adjust framing slightly.
- Auto - Framing now moves camera depending on the asset size (in previous version camera was scaled)
- If your asset is moved away from scene center in X or Y (left, right, up or down) direction Auto-framing will move camera to match X or Y position of your asset.
- If parts of the asset are in the -Y space the Shadow plane will move down so that parts of the asset are no longer under the shadow plane.
- Auto Focus function - when creating Lookdev scene with asset selected Lookdev kit will run Auto - Framing and also Auto - Focusing - it will move focus plane so it matches your asset position. You can still tweak the focus plane after initial setup. (It sitll doesn't work well if asset is moved in Z axis, but I'm working on it)
- Multi-threading when doing HDR conversion to .tx and .jpg. New function for Refresh HDRs command. It will check how many cores you have and run enough processes to saturate your entire CPU. It will save 1 thread so your PC doesn't slow down completely.
- OCIO config check - if you use OCIO config in color management it will load HDRs as Utility - Raw. If you don't use OCIO config it will load them as standard Maya Raw.
- Focus Plane text is now loaded from separate Maya scene. I had some reports of this text generation crashes Lookdev kit.
- Added Shutdown checkbox to Batch rendering UI. If you check it your PC will shutdown after rendering
- Macbeth chart and spheres also update X and Y position based on your asset
- Added button that will open Lookdev kit documentation web page (bottom right question mark - ?)
Auto-Framing OLD behavior
Auto-Framing NEW behavior
Auto-Focus will try to focus on your asset based on the asset size
Special thanks to Arvid Schneider - arvidschneider.com - for testing and reporting a lot of stuff in this release.
Don't forget to check DOCUMENTATION PAGE for more details about Lookdev Kit functionality.
If you run Del tx/jpg or Refresh HDRs commands after they finish Lookdev kit should start again, but sometimes it bugs out and it just turns off. I tried everything to fix this and couldn't find the reason for it. There are two possibilities:
First - I suck at coding and I created accidental bug that I cannot detect.
Second - Maya cmds UI is buggy and should be burned
Either way, I plan to re-write new UI with pySide, so there will be no random bugs.
If this bug happens to you please just start Lookdev Kit again.
I finally managed to prepare everything for release. This is my first ever Python project and I used it to learn some scripting. There are a lot of beginner mistakes in code, but I hope those will be rewritten in time. You can also expect bugs and crashes, I gave my best to minimize them :)
Considering this, I'm pretty proud of this. Handling 1400+ lines of code for the first time python coder was challenging.
The tool should be functional and fun. I hope I managed to speedup some of lookdev challenges in your daily tasks.
You can download it from my ArtStation Marketplace. It is a Free tool, so consider leaving a small tip if you can:
Here is a features preview that I recorded 10 days ago. UI changed a bit, but all main features are still there.
Also, I created this cheat sheet just to quickly explain all the stuff in one image:
Click on the picture to zoom in
You can find a lookdev_kit_install.txt file in the 7zip archive when you download Lookdev Kit 2.0 from ArtStation Marketplace where you can find all of the steps necessary to run the tool. But, I will explain them here again .
- copy entire lookdev_kit folder from .zip to your MyDocuments Maya scripts folder. It is usually here:
- from folder lookdev_kit\shelf copy the shelf_dk_mtoa_lookdev.mel and paste it here:
- run Maya and you will have a shelf with LDV kit button
If you don't want my shelf you can create button by yourself:
- open script editor and in PYTHON tab paste following code:
from lookdev_kit import ldv_kit
You can always select that code in script editor and middle-click-drag it to your shelf to create a button, so you can call it when needed.
After you run it, you will have to click on Refresh HDRs button
Bearded man sculpture model not included. Downloaded from www.myminifactory.com
HDR images and controls:
The HDR images stayed more or less the same as in the first version. I don't like some of them, so in the near future I will probably change some of them. Of course, new version of Lookdev Kit allows you use your own HDR images. You can just paste them in the HDR folder (lookdev_kit\sourceimages\hdr) and run Refresh HDRs command from Ui. There is also a button in Ui to open the folder that contains all HDRs.
Because I'm a big fan of photography, I've included "photographic" controls for the camera that is included in the scene. You can change Focal length, Aperture and Sensor Size.
Focal length changes camera focal length.
Because Arnold camera settings doesn't show camera aperture in f-stops, but with number that represents camera aperture diameter in world units, I have created a script that allows you to choose aperture settings in f-stops. In the background it will recalculate the Arnold camera aperture diameter depending on the chosen f-stop setting in the Ui. It considers chosen Focal length and chosen f-stop in the calculation.
I've also included sensor size settings if you want to simulate different sensor sizes. 3 sensor types are included - Full Frame, APS-C (1.5x crop) and Micro 4/3 (2x crop). This setting will change your field of view on the camera, because sensor size influences focal length of your lens.
If you turn on DoF checkbox Focal Plane will show in the viewport and Depth of Field will be turned on. All the settings that I mentioned will influence DoF thickness and Focus plane will change size depending on the settings chosen.
In the Lookdev Kit 2.0 you can use your own HDR images. I've added this feature because a lot of people use different HDRs. So more flexibility :)
Refresh HDRs - Deletes old and generates new HDR preview images for Ui and .tx files for all .hdr and .exr files in the HDR Folder.
Del Tx/jpg - Deletes generated HDR preview images for Ui and .tx files
Open HDR folder - Opens a folder that contains HDRs used in Lookdev kit. You can delete the included HDRs, paste your HDR files here or use both in the same time. When you paste additional files press the Refresh HDRs button.
You can select your objects, choose turntable length in frames and click Setup Turntable button. It will create a Lookdev scene and create all of the constraints and animations that are necessary. First half of the timeline is reserved for object rotation,and second part for Skydome rotation.
If you want to change the length of the turntable just select your objects again, choose different length and click Setup Turntable button again. Obj. Rot. Offset allows you to manually rotate your object, without influencing already present animation.
SubD settings are used to turn on or off render time catclark subdivision. Also there is slider for choosing how many subD iterations you want. You have to select object to control SubD settings.
Create mtoa_constant_ attributes. Just select object, type name in the text field, choose data type and click create. After that use aiUserData nodes to read created attributes.
When you run a Refresh HDRs command and the process has finished, the Ui of the Lookdev kit should restart itself, but sometimes it does not... I'm still fixing this. Same thing happens when you run Del tx/jpg command. If this happens just click on the LDV_kit button in your shelf again. It will generate the Ui again.
Also, if something bugs out, or crashes, try running script again, or restart Maya.
In the end, Lookdev kit 2.0 is FREE tool, so use it as is. I will try to minimize bugs and crashes.
If you have any advices, ideas or anything else feel free to contact me.
I made it in my free time and that's why it took a while to finish. Consider leaving small tip when you download it.
I finally managed to write a semi - stable version that has new features and works better than first version. I started learning Python on this project, so it is not 100% bulletproof. There are still chances of some bugs, crashes or unexpected behaviours.
And now, here is a preview of what you can expect when I release it (probably next week). There is a possibility that I will remove, change or improve some features.
It will stay free, as the last version was. I hope you like it and that you will find it useful.
Due to my current lack of coding knowledge, first release will be Windows only. It will eventually come to Linux also. It is still a Arnold/Maya only tool, but I plan to include more render engines in the future.
It took me a while to start with it, but I started to learn Python. First thing on the list - Lookdev Kit 2.0. I will try to fix all problems and things that I didn't liked on the first version. I already did the UI and some basic functionality, but there is still work to be done.
There will be more tools and utilities available on release, at least I hope so. Everything is still WIP but here is a small preview
Also all stuff except skydome textures is generated on the fly, there is no longer need to reference the scene or anything similar.
This is about 750 lines of code and it is growing steadily. I will probably publish it as soon as I cover all functions that are needed.
So, today Google Photos reminded me on the one important day in my artistic part of life. On this day, four years ago, I started my work on Coffee table and I tried vintage lens on dslr for the first time. At the time, I never tried anything similar, so the main goal was to learn how to do realistic glass shading.
In the end I was really pleased with the result and work I did. But, I probably wouldn't achieve this level of quality without using reference photos. So here are some photos that I took before I started working on this.
This was the first photo I took, it gave me idea for the composition, lighting and general mood. After that I started taking more photos of different objects that were on the table.
Here is my old camera and the lens I got from my wife Ivana for birthday that year. Had to wait 2-3 weeks for lens adapter to arrive from China. Couldn't find it locally.
In the end it was a great project. I really like to remember the entire process and how I experimented with different approaches.
Here is another update to the Lookdev kit. It is a small one, but it fixes the problem with converting environment map to .tx. Also there is a new HDR in the HDR slot 01 and a Focus plane to control focus and depth of field. Here are more details about this update: