Maya: Background Images, Procedural Mapping
Apply background images, gradations or procedures to an image background.

arrows.GIF

Color Background
In the Perspective view select View->Camera Settings->Resolution Gate.

In the Perspective view use View->Camera Attribute Editor
Under Environment
Change the black Background Color to another color.


Gradated Backgrounds
In the Perspective view use View->Camera Attribute Editor

Under Environment
Click the Create button next to Image Plane.

Under Placement
Click the Fit to Resolution Gate button.

Choose Type  Texture
Click the Map button   map_button.jpg   across from Texture.
Click Ramp.



File Background
Find out the resolution of the image you would like to use.

Open Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings... render_settings_button
Under Common tab, under Image Size, input the Width and Height of your background image. Or match the aspect ratio.

In the Perspective view useView->Image Plane->Import Image...

Under Placement
Click the Fit to Resolution Gate button.


3D Starfield
Note: Does not work with Arnold renderer

In the Perspective view use View->Camera Attribute Editor

Under Environment
Click the Create button next to Image Plane.

Under Placement
Click the Fit to Resolution Gate button.

Choose Type  Texture
Click  Map button map_button.jpg    across from Texture.
Under Env Textures
Choose Env Sphere

Click Map button map_button.jpg    next to Image.

Choose Granite
Under Granite Attributes
Change Color 1,2,3 to white and light grays.
Change Filler Color to black.
Uncheck Creases
Input Cell Size .04.
Input Density .01.



Delete the Background Map

Use Object mode. scomponent.jpg 

Select the image plane in the Perspective window, yellow outline.

Select Edit->Delete



3-D Compositing -- Match the Camera to an image
UseBackground Shader

neutra  neutra2

The balls are 3D; they reflect and cast shadows in the pool, the image is a photograph of a Richard Neutra house.

Find out the resolution of the image you would like to use.

Open Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings... render_settings_button
Under Common tab, under Image Size, input the Width and Height of your background image. Or match the aspect ratio.

In the Perspective view use View->Camera Attribute Editor

Under Environment
Click the Create button next to Image Plane.

Under Placement
Click the Fit to Resolution Gate button.

Choose Type     Image File
Click the folder icon and select an image.


In the Perspective view use View->Select Camera
In the Channel box on the right, input:   (This will straighten your camera.)
          Translate X    0
          Translate Y    1
          Translate Z    12
          Rotate X,Y,Z   0, 0, 0


Create a plane to match the ground.

Use Windows->Rendering Editors->Hypershade...
Select Create-> Materials-> Use Background button.

Select the plane and assign the Use Background shader to the plane.

Add a directional light to simulate the sun:
Use Create->Lights->Directional Light
Use the Hypershade to match the color of the light to your image and turn on shadows.
Rotate the light to match the angle of the sun in your image.



Pretty Good Reflections for Maya Render and Mental Ray
Place a giant NURBS sphere in your scene, larger than everything.

Select Windows->Attribute Editor...
Under Render Stats:
Uncheck Double Sided
Check Opposite
Uncheck Primary Visibility if you do not want to see this in the background

Use Windows->Rendering Editors->Hypershade...
Select Edit->Create...
Click on the Lambert button.
Assign the Lambert shader to your sphere.

Turn the shader's color to black

Click the Map button map_button.jpg    across from Incandescence
Choose the same  image you used in the background.

Switch to the place2Dtexture tab
Input Repeat UV to   2 1
Select Mirror U


Open Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings... render_settings_button
Under Raytracing Quality
Check  Raytracing
Input Reflections 1
Input Refractions 6
Input Shadows 2

Render an image, click on the  renderbutton.jpg   render in new window button located at the top of the screen.



Reflections for Maya Arnold

The Skydome light has a texturable color slot where you can add an HDR image map.
Click on the map icon map_button.jpg across from color.
Under the Render Node Window, click on File
Select an image (you can save the image above)
In the Attribute Editor, set Exposure to 1. In the Render Settings, change the Camera (AA) to 7.

Render without Environment Background

You will still have the ambient light affecting your scene.
Select the aiSkydome Light in the Outliner menu
In the Attribute Editor under Visibility, change the Camera value to 0