Creating Digital Studio Look Development Environments 1001

This on-demand course will teach you how to create digital studio look development environments for props, characters and vehicles, all based on real-world reference.

Jahirul Amin
Enrol on course for £249.99
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Learn how to create look dev environments for small to large assets, allowing you to fully assess your models, textures and shaders.

This on-demand course will demonstrate how to create a series of look development studio environments for the purposes of model, texture and material creation, analysis and review.

We’ll kick things off with an overview of the importance of working within a studio-controlled environment and the photography kit used during a real-world shoot. Following on from this, we’ll study real-world lights (softboxes, panels, spotlights) and then look at working with digital lights using a combination of HDRIs, ramps and ‘digital gels’.

Once we’ve established our light maps, we’ll move on to creating the light rigs, covering prop, character, 360 and vehicle setups. For each light rig, we’ll cover the process of shooting real-world setups, of which we will then base our digital setups on.

Here is an example render using the Character light rig (cyberNinja asset not provided with the course).



Please note that the course will not focus on look devving any  specific asset to a finished state, but more about creating the environments to light, texture and shade your assets. By calibrating our studio environments, we’ll be able to ensure all artists working on assets for your projects are working under the same conditions.

We’ll be presenting this course in Maya and rendering with Arnold, however, you will be able to follow along in any other application as all the concepts for the setups will be compatible for any app that is PBR-based. (including real-time applications).

Provided with the course are over £75 worth of CAVE content including:

If you have previously purchased any of the above, please get in touch and we will provide you with a discount code to the value of the above products.

Course Details

  • Release Date: 2022.11
  • Type: On-demand
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Lessons: 9
  • Duration: 41hrs 22mins
  • Format: Pre-recorded videos
  • Tools: Maya, Arnold, Nuke
  • Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Maya and Nuke
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Understand how to create look dev environments that will allow you to create consistent and PBR-ready assets.

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Lessons in this course

  • 01. Lights, Camera, Action!

    In this lesson, we'll look cover the aims of the course, the importance of creating studio look development environments, the shoot kit I'll be working with throughout the course, setting a mid-grey value, and working with the CAVE Project Directory. Phew!
  • 02. Playing with Light

    Before we go about creating our look dev setups, let's explore different types of lights and assess the results. We'll also look at how we can work with bounced light, ramps and 'digital gels'.
  • 03. Creating the Prop Studio Setup

    For our first studio setup, we will look at creating a prop look development environment, which can be used for very small to mid sized assets.
  • 04. Creating a Character Studio Setup

    Here we will look at creating a character and creature studio look development setup. We'll also be able to use this setup for mid to large-sized hard surface assets.
  • 05. Creating a 360 Light Rig

    We'll now look at creating a 360 light rig, which will allow you to really assess how an asset responds to light.
  • 06. Creating a Vehicle Studio Setup

    Here we will look at creating a studio setup for vehicles. You'll also be able to drop in large assets like dragons, dinosaurs and those pesky Decepticons!
  • 07. Cleaning up the Light Rigs

    Taking everything we've created so far, we'll now clean up and refine all our setups. This includes adding subtle textures, adjusting the lighting and making sure we have consistency across the light rigs.
  • 08. Creating 360 HDRIs and Transferring our Setups

    We'll now look at rendering out our own custom HDRI setups, so we can use them in other applications and to create faster renders. And lastly, we'll take a look at how we can go about using our setups in other applications, and some of the technology at our disposal to easily do so.
  • BONUS - Creating the Studio Setup in Unreal Engine

    In this bonus lesson, Paul Eliasz will demonstrate how to prep and export a studio environment from Maya and make it render-ready for Unreal Engine. This lesson is an extract from Real-Time Automotive Rendering 1001.

Tutor: Jahirul Amin

CAVE Academy Founder | VFX Teacher

Jahirul Amin is a Computer Animation and Visual Effects Teacher and Consultant. He specialises in designing and delivering courses to create solid and diverse production ready skills in all 3D related departments and across a number of facilities worldwide. His background in academia feeds into his ongoing connections with Universities and Colleges which provide Computer Animation and Visual Effects courses. He is also involved in course and examination design as well as lecturing, running workshops and mentoring.

Course Fee: £249.99

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