Home Jack in the Box RIB Wrangling ST Coloration Maya Pattern Animation

Jack in the Box
by Dheeraj Varandani

This web page displays the results of modeling and rendering a scene using Maya and Pixar's RenderMan Studio in RIS mode. The theme portrayed by the scene is:
    What goes around comes around




My interpretation of the theme "What goes around comes around" is based upon the consequences of technology. So, I portray a thin, lean guy playing video game. The idea is to depict him as a video-game addict who is in front of the screen whole day enjoying the games, and as a consequence, he has a deteriorating eye sight and wears big huge glasses!



I did the complete modeling in Autodesk Maya and every mesh is a polygon. I used a bunch of references to create the setup and researched about how a passionate gamer's room looks like! It went fairly smoothly. I aimed to achieve fair amount of detail in as low poly count as possible.



I started texturing by unwraping the objects that I needed to give specific textures to. I did that using Maya's projection mapping. Then I added diffuse and displacement maps as needed using photoshop. I used Renderman's "PxrTexture" node to add map files, in which the Linearize option helped a lot to achieve good quality textures. All of my render maps are 2k in dimensions.

Diffuse Maps


Also, it took me some time to get the texture of the skin right. Here are the values and settings I used to create skin through PxrLMSubsurface shader followed by a render of the skin:

Skin with PxrLMSubsurface shader


Skin Render




Key Lights

Fill Light


To achieve the effect I wanted with lights was quite a task! The only light sources in my scene are the two TV screens. I mainly used emissive geometry, i.e. Renderman's Light Emission shader, as key light sources. So, I converted the TV screen mesh to emissive geometry. Then I added a fill light to slightly illuminate the extremely dark portions of the scene. Also, I added an Incandescence map to make the screens and the digital clock's numbers glow.



The only problem I faced throughout the proocess was with the emissive geometry. The problem was that when I added a texture map to the color node of the PxrLightEmission Shader, it would blur the image. I tried adding normal maya File node, PxrTexture and rmanImageFile as node, but neither of them worked.

Tired of trying getting a nice image with Light Emission Shader, I made a copy of the screen mesh and applied PxrLightEmission Shader to one of them. To the PxrLightEmission Shader's color node, I attached the texture map through rmanImageFile. That way, though the image appeared blur, it still emitted light according to the colors of the image. To the other copy, I applied PxrLMDiffuse shader and added the texture map to its color and incandescence node. Now, to avoid intersection, I turned off the visibility of the mesh with PxrLightEmission Shader.

So, with that, I had a screen mesh that displayed the image with a glow(due to incandescence map), and another mesh that emitted light in accordance with the map.


I enjoyed learning Pixar's Renderman. It is a great tool to achieve realistic renders with its physically plausible shading and lighting. I feel that its an immense world that one can explore. I would keep on exploring the photo realistic renderer!