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Apparently good lighting is crucial to get nice scene renders in Blender.  What I would like to be able to do is produce renders in Blender that are similar to the results you get in The Movies.  This would allow one to mix media between The Movies and Blender without it being too obvious.  One trick that I stumbled on uses the "emit" adjustment for blender materials.  The following images show a similar scene rendered in two ways:  One with the materials for the main figures set to Emit=0 and, using the same lighting, adjusting to Emit in the range .4-.5 for each of the materials in the figures.


Horse Walk.00 by lefty2016
Emit = 0.
The lighting scheme is really simple: there is a single spot light to give a nice solid ground shadow.  The ambient light parameter (Amb) was cranked up to around .5 for each of the materials in the figures, but it seems to have no effect that I can see.  Maybe something else is not set.





Horse Walk by lefty2016

Emit ~ .4 to .5
The other light settings are unchanged, but just cranking up the Emit parameter on each material brightens up the figures and softens the shadows.  No single setting worked best for all materials; the setting varies a little for each material.

This scene was created by importing the movies animation wes_horse_rider_walk.anm using importanm(5.1).py.  This is one of those animation files that imports very easily; it includes an animation for the human actor and the horse prop.  I used the append setting in the ID property browser and imported enough copies to yield about 5 seconds of video at 25 frames per second.  One tricky problem is that the actor costume must be loaded first,followed by the horse prop.  The script processes the armatures in the order they are stored in blender data.  If you import the horse first, the script will try to apply the animation data to the wrong armature.  I need to fix this someday.

The animation produces a "walk in place" but if you look in the ID property browser and look at the "destination" location, it will tell you how far the container empties need to move for each cycle to produce a nice walk with no foot slipping.

I made three clips at different ranges and spliced them together to make a 40 second video of the rider walking her horse through the forest.  The forest texture is from the game; I attached it to a plane for a backdrop.  The texture for the ground plane is also from the game, it is one of the standard grass textures.

The Video

The video was edited together in Camtasia.  I borrowed the forest ambience sound from the game and added a soft Gaelic themed mp3 I had on my hard drive.
:iconmikedboing:
MikeDBoing Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Professional Filmographer
One of the major challenges in texturing models for the game is the lighting is partly  "baked in". Soft shadows in the textures make lighting outside the game difficult because it is static and the light maps used to "light the sets" are static also. As a baseline lighting effect, I use an ambient occlusion pass to better define the shape of the models and its self shadow. It's not perfect but it does add a higher sense of realism. The downside is if some lights are added to the scene in Blender, the baked Ao pass can be very distracting and come off wrong.

I noticed the reflection of the ground on the horse... I never noticed the shininess in game. Was it because it used a reflection map or something in the material?
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:iconmoviesbandit:
MoviesBandit Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018
That's wonderful.
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:iconvictorixxx:
Victorixxx Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018  Hobbyist Filmographer
Bravo! Maestro! It's a pity I do not know Blender so well. Thanks for the info. Although I'm shooting a movie exclusively in The Movies.
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