Jared E. Bendis

Creating Chromadepth Image From Maya

This is a text supplement to a video you can find here:

 

1) Turn on Maya Render Layers – This is ONLY done one time. Once this is done your Maya will stay this way.

  • Windows > Settings/Preferences > Preferences
  • Rendering – Preferred Render Setup System – Legacy Render Layers
  • Restart Maya (Again you only need to do this once).

2) Load your file!

3) Make sure your file is lit properly.  Lighting is needed for the composited image.

3) Adjust the zoom and rotation of your camera until you are happy.

4) In your render settings, set the resolution to something high (such as 3000×3000) also make sure that Alpha Channel (mask) is checked!

5) Render your camera.  Make sure the image looks good. This is the base image you will be colorizing later so repeat until you are happy.

6) Save the image as a PNG file. We need to use PNG so that the non-image area is transparent and not black (even though it looks black on the screen).

7) Go back to the render settings and set to something low (such as 600×600) this makes the next steps go faster.

8) Choose the Channel Box / Layer Editor Tab on the right side of the screen.

9) Choose the Render Tab (Which you have because of step 1) (At the bottom on the right)

10) Select all of your objects. Select > All

11) Create New Layer from Selected Objects (this is the last icon when the Render Tab is selected)

12) Rename it something nice that you will remember.

13) Right click the new layer and select Attributes

14) In the Attributes Panel, click the Tab of the layer you just made.

15) Click the Presets button and choose Luminance Depth

16) Look for the slider marked Out Color. Click the little arrow button thingy at the far right end of it.

17) Right click on the Old Min and choose Break Connection

18) Right click on the Old Max and choose Break Connection

19) Render to see what you have. Keep the Render window open.

20) Adjust the Old Max number until you the image starts to get clipped (in the far) with black.

21) Repeat until there is no black in the rendered part of the image.

22) Adjust the Old Min number until you the image starts to get clipped (in the near) with white.

23) Repeat until there is only a touch of pure white in the rendered part of the image.

24) Set the resolution back to 3000×3000

25) Render the image

26) Save the new image as a PNG

27) You now have the original rendered image and the z-map image, both as PNG files.

28) Leave Maya

29) Download Palette file from here.

30) Launch Photoshop.

31) For the nuances of what happens next.. watch the video!

32) Open the Z Map file.

33) Image > Adjustments > Levels – Frame the data with the Black and White Point without clipping any data.

34) Create a new layer

35) Fill new layer with black

36) Move layer under the Z-map layer

37) Layer > Flatten Image

38) Image > Mode > Grayscale

39) Image > Mode > Indexed Color

40) Image > Mode > Color Table

41) You should now see a grayscale color table. Click Load… and load the Chromadepth palette you saved in step 29.

42) Image > Mode > RGB Color

43) Leave this image there for a minute.

44) Load the rendered file in a new tab.

45) Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (to get rid of any color)

46) Image > Adjustments > Levels (adjust as needed for a good contrast)

47) Select > All

48) Edit > Copy

49) Return to Z-map Image

50) Edit > Paste Special > Paste in Place

51) In the Layers menu. Set the Layer Blend to Multiple

52) Layer > Flatten Image

53) View, Save, and Enjoy!

Note> After step 33 you can go back into layers to distribute the graypoint to choose if the image has more warm or cool colors.