Log inBy CategoryBy Instructor

Look Development with V-Ray for Maya

with Stephen Delalla


Look development is the art of giving emotion to a model via textures, shaders, lighting, and even compositing. It is a very exciting time as you get to see your model take shape, and the story you are telling begins to fall into place. In this lecture, Stephen DeLalla will be covering his entire look development process with V-Ray for Maya. He begins with a newly modeled asset to discuss proper preparation. Since there is a need for consistency among shading work, Stephen explains how to create a look dev scene to use for all render tests. This same scene is used during our asset work, and also during an in-depth look at creating realistic shaders for cloth, metal, wood, glass, concrete, stone, and leather. After applying a set of base shaders to the asset, we take a render into Photoshop for a quick paint over to design the color palette of the asset.

Look development is an exploratory process, where there needs to be room for change as the artist is working. Substance Painter gives a lot of freedom in this sense, and will be used for creating our textures for the asset. During the texturing process there is discussion of the thought process behind the choices being made that leads us to our result. You will also be able to see how Photoshop (or any other painting package) can be used in combination with Substance Painter to get even better control. Once the asset is fully textured, the shaders are built in Maya with the exported files from Substance. Lastly, Stephen brings the completed asset into a small lighting scene, and finishes the lecture with the explanation of the lighting/rendering workflow and compositing in Nuke to really finalize our look. By the end of this lesson, artists should have a clear understanding of how to approach their own look development tasks both at home and in production.

Duration: 627 minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080

Stephen Delalla

Lighting Artist & CG Supervisor

Stephen DeLalla is a 3D artist specializing in lighting and look development. After graduating from Gnomon in 2008, he started his career as a generalist in commercial production. In 2010 he joined the team at Psyop where he is currently working as a CG Supervisor. His professional work can be seen in many commercials, most notably in over 20 spots for Supercell's hit game "Clash of Clans," as well as commercials for the Criket Wireless ad campaign. Stephen also has a passion for education and finds it one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. He has been teaching at Gnomon since 2011 where he has helped integrate V-Ray into the curriculum.

  • "Stephen's talent in Lighting and Compositing is matched by his natural predilection for teaching, working with, and leading fellow artists."

    - David Chontos
    Head of CG & Creative Director at Psyop