I have NEVER heard of Redshift before. But once I started using it I was impressed.
What is Redshift?
Redshift is a GPU based render. Most renders are CPU based but not this one. Requirements for Redshift favor Nvidia based graphics cards, so it won't work with AMD. You can see full specs here.
After having to learn and teach Redshift, I really like it. I see why many people prefer it. It is fast and creates great results.
In this tutorial series, I will share the complete tutorial guide to getting started with Redshift for Maya.
Enabling Redshift Plugin
If you don't see Redshift drop down menu and a Redshift Toolshelf after installing Redshift, you may need to enable the plugin.
Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plugin Manager and enable Loaded and Auto-Loaded:
Everything you need to use Redshift will be found under the Redshift Tool Shelf but you also have a drop down menu for Redshift:
Render Your First Frame
First four red icons are:
Click on Render View and click on Render Frame:
You can use Maya Render View instead of Redshift Render View. Just make sure to use the drop down menu to select Redshift as your renderer. However, I find it easier to use Redshift Render.
To render you need some lights in the scene. Otherwise it will use default Maya lighting. Only use Redshift lights if rendering with Redshift.
Redshift lights are found in the 5 yellow icons:
If you right-click on the first icon, it will give you access to 4 standard Redshift lights:
Click on Render to render your first frame. It will render from the current point of view you have active. Later on I'll show you how to insert a camera to render from. For now just render using the current viewport view.
Setting Screenshot Sizes
Render Settings controls the quality and size of your render as well as how Redshift Render is being used. There are many settings here. For now we are only focused on Screenshot Resolution.
To render at a specific resolution go to Render Settings and under Common tab go to Resolution > Presets and choose one of the presets you want to use such as 1080HD or other:
Navigation in Redshift Render
Navigate within the Render view:
Bucket Rendering and IPR Rendering
Bucket Rendering will render your current frame at the quality you have set in the Render Settings. This will be your final rendered frame when you are ready to save the screenshot.
IPR stands for Interactive Photorealistic Render. It renders everything in real-time and updates as you move the camera, change lights or update materials.
Taking and Saving Screenshots
Take work-in-progress screenshot of your renders. This is great for checking your work with before and after. Click on the Take Screenshot icon and all images will appear below:
To delete, select a screenshot below and hit Delete.
Click on the Screenshots icon to toggle the Screenshot panel view:
To save a screenshot go to File > Save Image As then choose format, name it and Save:
Using a Camera
Common method of rendering is to set up a camera to rendering from instead of using your perspective viewport. To do this you need a camera.
Go to Create > Cameras > Camera:
I usually scale the camera so I can see it in the viewport and find it easier.
To view from the camera to set it up in the viewport, go to Panels > Perspective > Camera1:
Make sure you are rendering from the Camera and not Perspective, you may need to select your camera from the drop-down menu in the Redshift Render View:
Position your shot then exit by going to Panels > Perspective > Persp:
There are 4 standard lights in Redshift. These are very common across many renders and software. You'll probably be familiar with them.
Many of these lights have similar properties between each other such as Intensity, Color, Temperature, Shadow etc.
In Redshift Tab right click on this icon and choose a light to insert:
Go to Attribute Editor to adjust each light's properties.
Applies to All Lights
General notes that apply to all 4 standard lights:
Light properties that apply to all 4 standard lights:
Light shadow properties that apply to all 4 standard lights:
Directional Light properties to note:
Point Light properties to note:
Spot Light properties to note:
Area light has a shape and a light source:
Area Light properties to note:
Assign a Mesh to Area Lights
Assign a mesh to an Area light so it becomes the light source.
HDRI stands for High Dynamic Range Image. Many software allow you to use HDR images to light environments with. Maya with Redshift is one of them.
These images are usually HDR or EXR format. You use these images within a Dome Light in Redshift. Then once rendered, that image is used to light the scene.
Websites for HDR Images
How to Use HDR Images
To use HDR images in Redshift is easy. You need a Dome Light.
Go to Redshift Tab and insert a Dome Light:
With light selected, go to Attribute Editor and under Image click on the folder icon:
Select an HDR image you want to use. Your scene will use that image as its light source. You can rotate the Dome Light to adjust the direction of the light.
You can disable the Background visibility under Visible Background. This will simply turn on or off the image itself but not the light from it:
You can adjust Exposure making the light intensity brighter or darker:
PBR stands for Physically Based Rendering and it simulates how real light works but in 3d.
PBR uses two different workflow types. You will use one or the other depending on the software.
Redshift uses metallic roughness workflow and here is how to set it up to make it work. This method resembles the one used in UE4.
If you are using Redshift Renderer then you should use Redshift Materials.
In Hypershade you will find various Redshift materials to choose from. The one you want to use for most of your standard material types is Redshift Material:
Change the following settings for the Redshift Material before using it:
The Roughness input controls how rough or shiny a Material's surface is. You may use any value between 0 and 1.
Redshift Roughness Constant Values:
Redshift Metallic Constant Values:
Metallic should be set to 0 or 1. Not anywhere in between. Unless you are using Metallic texture which will control where the metals and non-metals of that surface will be. More on this later.
Simple Standard Material Setup (Non-Metallic)
Simple Standard Material Setup (Metallic)
Material setup with textures for Metalness PBR workflow requires a bit of setup, especially for Roughness and Normal Maps.
Albedo is simple to do and requires no additional setups:
Roughness Map requires the following:
Normal Map requires the following:
If setting up a Metallic Material with a texture instead of Metalness Constant value use the following setup (similar to Roughness):
Redshift Roughness Constant Values:
Roughness Gray Scale Values:
Redshift Metallic Constant Values:
Redshift Metallic Values:
Creating glass in Redshift is simple to do. It requires you to create a separate material and adjust few properties for how you want the glass to look.
Create a Redshift Material and change the following:
In previous tutorials and materials I've shown you, I've changed Fresnel Type to Metalness. For glass, I keep it at IOR.
"IOR stands for Index Of Refraction and controls how much light is deviated when bouncing off a reflective material. A value of 1 causes no change in direction, meaning that it has the same density as air."
Change the following properties to start rendering glass:
Adjust all these values back and forth depending on what glass effect you want to get.
There is more to glass materials than this basic setup, but what I've shown you is enough to get you started creating glass surfaces.
Displacement texture uses a grayscale image and displaces or modifies object geometry based on black/white values.
You can use displacement textures to quickly create detailed geometry without having to model or sculpt. Here is a very quick example I created and it took me less than 10 minutes:
You can create your own displacement (heightmap) textures with various software or you can get some PBR textures from many online sources such as these:
To set up displacements in Redshift you need the following:
Create a Redshift Material and in Hypershade Graph View, hit Tab to begin searching for a material node. Search for RedshiftDisplacement:
Connect the Displacement node into your Material Shader Group:
Then do the following:
Controlling displacement on geometry is done at the object level. Select your object and go into Attribute Editor. In my case I have a simple plane with default subdivisions applied.
Displacement Texture Grayscale Values:
Custom Heightmaps/Displacement in PS:
Further Resource on Redshift Displacement and Tessellation.
Emissive material will make the surface glow regardless of the lighting in the scene. This is great to use for phone screens, phone screens, computer monitors or any other light sources.
You can have a separate material for Emissive or you can apply this material to selected set of faces.
Here is how to make Emission (Emissive) work:
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