With our production coming along smoothly at the end, I spent some time helping teams with rendering issues. Two groups were having issues with the batch render crashing, which led me to demonstrating the diagnostics of Arnold and how to stop it from aborting render. This also led to some issues with the size of render, with one group having to cancel their render to turn down sampling and the resolution which would take too much time to render for the deadline. When the issue of rendering couldn’t be resolved, I allowed them to use one of our computers to get the batch render out.
I also got a chance to teach some cinematography, which was exciting considering I haven’t properly taught it since last semester. I showed a group how to create a depth of field focus puller for their camera (see blog post here). Admittedly, I explained that it does take a considerable amount more time to render, however, at the time I first did it I was using Maya shaders, not Arnold. That said, there was also the case that I wasn’t that familiar with the depth of field on Maya either so there were ratio issues with the shallow focus I wasn’t able to solve. Yet, I did suggest cheating the depth of field through 3 point lighting. A solid non-reflective key light on the focus point (the character) then a key light to suggest depth, followed by a back light to draw viewers’ attention to the character gave the right attention the shot needed without having to reposition the camera or mise-en-scene.