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How to make Lightning in Maya 2018 with Arnold

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Hello everybody! I am stumped on a problem that I can't seem to find on the internet so I am coming here and seeing if I could get some help. I wanted to make Lightning in Maya and then render it with Arnold to make it look amazing, though I can't find tutorials online that show me how to do this properly. Only to render it out in Maya Software. If anybody has a clue on how to do this, please let me know! Thanks. 

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  • musashidan
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    musashidan high dynamic range
    I realise this is not very trendy with the kids these days, but have you considered starting with the documentation?

    https://docs.arnoldrenderer.com/plugins/servlet/mobile#content/view/40111392
  • kenten_dev
    I realise this is not very trendy with the kids these days, but have you considered starting with the documentation?

    https://docs.arnoldrenderer.com/plugins/servlet/mobile#content/view/40111392
    I actually have, but not fully indepth. Will reading and doing these documentation get me to doing lightning in Arnold? 
  • musashidan
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    musashidan high dynamic range
    Hey mate, I replied to this when it said(or at least I'm sure it said) lighting, not lightning. :D

    If you can create the effect in Maya then try and set up an emissive shader in arnold. Isn't there a specific tool in Maya that create a geometry based lightning effect out of the box? Lightning shader effect is really something that can be pushed in post.
  • throttlekitty
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    throttlekitty Polycount Sponsor
    I also hate to say "just google it" but there are a vast number of tutorials on the subject. The easiest way to jump in and get some geometry down is under the FX menu, Effects>Lightning, or set up a paintfx system. Or this premade rig. The Arnold material would be just a simple emissive white, tinted with whatever color you need. The glow effect is best done in post, like musashidan says.
  • kenten_dev
    Hey mate, I replied to this when it said(or at least I'm sure it said) lighting, not lightning. :D

    If you can create the effect in Maya then try and set up an emissive shader in arnold. Isn't there a specific tool in Maya that create a geometry based lightning effect out of the box? Lightning shader effect is really something that can be pushed in post.
    @musashidan It's all good man, I have been going at this project for a while now and I would totally go with your method, but I wanted to see if I could actually do it in Arnold, since what I am essentially putting around the lightning is a glass bottle. So it's lightning or electricity in a glass bottle. I have made a material for Arnold to where my glass bottle looks like glass. I could make lightning and any other element, but I would have to render that in Maya Software though and I do not want to do that. 

  • kenten_dev
    I also hate to say "just google it" but there are a vast number of tutorials on the subject. The easiest way to jump in and get some geometry down is under the FX menu, Effects>Lightning, or set up a paintfx system. Or this premade rig. The Arnold material would be just a simple emissive white, tinted with whatever color you need. The glow effect is best done in post, like musashidan says.
    And @throttlekitty I have googled this problem tons of times and no matter what I search up isn't what I am looking for. That's why I am here on Polycount :D I will try your method and see what happens. 
  • Eric Chadwick
    If you're rendering a highly emissive surface inside a glass container, then you still want the bloom to happen in post. In real life, glow is an effect created by the camera lens itself (or your eyeballs/visual system).

    Unless there's significant fog inside the glass, which the lightning is illuminating. For example, sheets of rain under a distant rain cloud. In which case, you would want a volume fog in there. 
  • throttlekitty
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    throttlekitty Polycount Sponsor
    I also hate to say "just google it" but there are a vast number of tutorials on the subject. The easiest way to jump in and get some geometry down is under the FX menu, Effects>Lightning, or set up a paintfx system. Or this premade rig. The Arnold material would be just a simple emissive white, tinted with whatever color you need. The glow effect is best done in post, like musashidan says.
    And @throttlekitty I have googled this problem tons of times and no matter what I search up isn't what I am looking for. That's why I am here on Polycount :D I will try your method and see what happens. 
    Vague question, vague answer, you know? All you said was you couldn't find info, when a my search came up with at least a page and a half of good starting places, maybe you can see why I would see your OP as a bit lazy? You've given more details now, so that's good at least. :)

    Ok, so you've got the bottle and glass material, cool. What I would do is get some geometry in there for the lightning, even some very thin cylinders to represent until you can get something better made. Maybe a background would help visualize the whole thing.

    Apply a mesh light on the lightning mesh, tinker with the settings a bit and do some IPR while you continue to get the look you want. You may find yourself adjusting your glass material as well. Personally, I'd try to get the lightning to be very bright, but also sharp. Sometimes it's easier to adjust the light renders in photoshop or something, using separate AOVs for your lightning, glass, and background if there is one.
  • kenten_dev
    I also hate to say "just google it" but there are a vast number of tutorials on the subject. The easiest way to jump in and get some geometry down is under the FX menu, Effects>Lightning, or set up a paintfx system. Or this premade rig. The Arnold material would be just a simple emissive white, tinted with whatever color you need. The glow effect is best done in post, like musashidan says.
    And @throttlekitty I have googled this problem tons of times and no matter what I search up isn't what I am looking for. That's why I am here on Polycount :D I will try your method and see what happens. 
    Vague question, vague answer, you know? All you said was you couldn't find info, when a my search came up with at least a page and a half of good starting places, maybe you can see why I would see your OP as a bit lazy? You've given more details now, so that's good at least. :)

    Ok, so you've got the bottle and glass material, cool. What I would do is get some geometry in there for the lightning, even some very thin cylinders to represent until you can get something better made. Maybe a background would help visualize the whole thing.

    Apply a mesh light on the lightning mesh, tinker with the settings a bit and do some IPR while you continue to get the look you want. You may find yourself adjusting your glass material as well. Personally, I'd try to get the lightning to be very bright, but also sharp. Sometimes it's easier to adjust the light renders in photoshop or something, using separate AOVs for your lightning, glass, and background if there is one.
    Hey, thanks, I am going to give these suggestions a try and post what I have done to here. 
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