Oil Lamp Study for Skills Development

July 2016

I intended to study multiple photos so as to improve my modeling, lighting and compositing skills. I used substance painter, Arnold and Nuke for practice. Trying to match the outcome from Substance Painter, which is pbr based, to the render from Arnold was a bit tricky. This could also have been due to lighting. Matching the perspective between Maya and the photograph also turned out to be more challenging than expected.

These were some of the tutorials that I looked at for my oil lamp study.

Substance Painter Tutorial – Model Preparation 01: UV Mapping and Texel Density


Substance Painter Tutorial – Fundamentals 05: Baking textures


Substance Painter Tutorial – Model Preparation 05: Mesh export options


Forum Topic: best way of baking a curvature map for painter


Forum Topic: best way of baking a curvature map for painter


Forum Topic: Substance plug-in to Arnold


Using Xnormal:


This video shows a great technique for unwrapping curvy objects such as the wire on my lamp model. Instead of spending crazy amounts of time trying to select faces and edgeloops, this method uses the unitize function and then makes a selection of every UV, except along the seam, and sows this selection together in one neat shell which can be unfolded.

Chasing My Tail With Plug-ins

So, today I was trying to match the perspective of my Maya scene/model to that of a photo that I was studying. I thought, wouldn’t it be handy if I could zoom into the view without messing my camera settings. I remember hearing something about this in Devon Fay’s tutorial on Creating a Sci-fi Alleyway (very awesome) so I asked the Google. I came across the Creative Crash website, which seems to be a good source for scripts, and the “shotView” script.


Then after digging through my notes for the script that Fay uses, I found “zoomerator”.


“Great, I just need to copy and paste these into some folders in Maya’s/version directory.” said I. But of course, me being me and Maya being Maya I misread the instructions. Instead of putting the files into the users directory/documents I put them into the c/programs directory where Maya has similar folders. So after many copy and pastes into different folders and errors in the script editor later I discovered that Maya had been telling me the correct directories all along in the script editor. How nice. Although I wasted a lot more time than was necessary I did learn a little, or at least discover more doors that I haven’t looked much behind yet. I’ll leave links here to these articles that I found for future reference. Pointless story aside, this is the main point of this blog post. Also, future me, don’t half ass the reading of the instructions.

Installing a Maya plug-in

Setting environment variables using Maya.env

The whole environment variables thing didn’t work for this purpose for me but maybe next time….