Rendering

The rendering stage is most crucial and might require a complete transfer of ALL resources to the render system just to make sure that all of it is available when it is needed. This will prevent render errors (ie lost textures, models or shaders) but will also be quite the drive space hog. While the Layout process is more for the scene setup itself, the need to begin the shading and lighting happens here as well since a lot of the actual lighting design is based on where the camera is located, what is in frame, what the subject matter is, color and how all of this will either make or break a shot.

Lighting

Renderman Light Shaders can be extremely versatile tools to achieve unique lighting solutions and setups.

Since this is quite a large environment in Blender, there will be some cheating in order to optimize the renders as much as possible. One of these solutions are light blockers, or image maps that block or permit light based on the values in the image itself.

One such use for this will be the light beam that streams from the shaft, it will be much easier to use a light to simulate the bars or grill than it would to render a shadow map itself. The same could be said for lighting that is setup in the distance, where detail is not needed as much as lighting near the camera.

Shaders

Paul and Chris are the Aqsis developers and should be contacted for any bugs or issues related to Aqsis itself, or shader bugs. Use the forums for shader bugs if you do find any.
Eric is the primary Mosaic developer and thus should be contacted with issues concerning that plugin, though I can provide some help, Eric knows exactly what to do with that.

Any shader that is developed by myself will be tested in Aqsis before it is used for anything in this production. If there are issues with this shader any of us can debug it, do not attempt to debug or modify the production shader code yourself unless you are certain it will work and are experienced with RSL, and make note of changes in the commented out part of the shader source code itself.

If shaders cause cracking in renders, well it's my fault (haha). I will be testing shaders as they are designed but for the most part since those involved with Aqsis and RenderMan in general do know of this, we will be making efforts to avoid this from the start. This is mainly an issue with displacement shaders, or in certain cases, geometry. Keep an eye out for it on all parts of the pipeline because it can happen at any point in time. Texture displacements can cause this too.

There is now a 'Project Shaders' directory, these are a collection of shaders that have been circulating the internet, written by Project Widow members or are found with RenderMan software. Some are purely for diagnostic use (such as the ShowN shader), others are STILL not functional. Please use at your own discretion and please do not change them (unless you fix them). If any changes are changed or created for whatever reason they are placed in the R+D directory so that they can be fully tested before being placed in production folder.
Also keep in mind that the 'Project Shaders' directory is a "TEST" to see if it can serve a purpose on the DropBox service (it only occupies less than 10 MB space). IF the test proves to be useful it will remain, otherwise it will be reduced in size (such as only having Project Widow and Mosaic related shaders in it).

Shaderman

I will be using Shaderman for building my shaders and then fixing them afterwards in a code editor to "clean it up" so that it is readable. This way the SL code can be presented to others in a formal readable format that programmers are used to seeing (tabs for instance). While I am using Shaderman 0.7 (original program) for the majority of the shader building, simply because I have been using this program for 5 years and am used to it, I will also be working on Shaderman.Next and mostly with adding bricks to the collection. Since Shaderman 0.7 is a Windows only software it doesn't run on Linux unless you do some configuring in WINE. With Shaderman.Next, the code is completely open source, thus expandable. Recently this program has been included on some Linux distros and I have been called on to "fix" it so it can run, thus began my interest in working with it for this particular project.

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