Software Used: Maya and Photoshop.
Size: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Date of Completion: Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
Description: One of the things I love doing in Maya or any 3D package is lighting. I was looking for stock set-models that I could light and I came across this model of a farmhouse that can be found at animationjobs3d.blogspot.in. Its a simple yet great model, and I'm not sure as to who modelled it, but the entire credit for the modeling, unwrapping and texturing goes to him/her.
As for the lighting, I had my inspirations from one of my favourite cartoons as a child, "Courage the Cowardly Dog" which had a lonely farmhouse set in an eerie environment. So I wanted to do a "night lighting" for this set and I came up with this result.
I used one directional light for the key light, nine directional lights for the fill light, another nine directional lights for the bounce light, four point lights for each of the windows in the set, one area light and a point light for the light coming from the bottom-left room and finally one area light to light the porch. So a total of 26 lights with varying intensities, all having ray-trace shadows with a setting to produce soft shadows.
As for the render, I created contribution maps in the master layer for each of the light sets, creating "Diffuse", "Shadow" and "Specular" passes and an Ambient Occlusion pass for the entire set. I then created another render layer to calculate the camera depth(Luminance Depth). And finally rendered using MentalRay without FinalGather or Global Illumination.
I took all the passes to Adobe Photoshop where I composited them in an appropriate manner, did some tweaking, added a lens blur using the luminance map and put a suitable background, colour correcting it to match the rendered image.
The final output is what you see above.
The total render time was 40 minutes.
The set with ambient occlusion.
Set with textures showing the light setup.