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Quick Tip: Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya


Hey guys, today I'm going to show you how you can create realistic Motion Blur in Maya. This quick tip is a follow up to my previous Generating Motion Blur in 3d Studio Max tutorial. As you know when an object moves very fast and is seen through a camera with certain settings, we get a motion blur effect on the moving objects. Motion blur depends upon several factors like light intensity, as well as a camera's shutter speed and aperture settings. So let’s see how we can generate a realistic motion blur effect on a moving object inside Maya.

Step 1

I have created a very simple windmill model in Maya which I'll use to show the motion blur effect on it's moving blades.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 2

Before we apply motion blur, we need to give motion to the windmill blades. Hence we have to animate the rotation of the blades, because the motion blur won’t work unless the fan blades have motion.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 3

Now select the blades and set an initial key at frame 1 by pressing the ‘S’ key on your keyboard. Then go to the 47th frame and Rotate the blades on the Z-Axis as many times as you can. The more you rotate the blades, the more motion blur you'll get. And after that, press the S key again.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 4

Now you can check the animation. When you slide the time slider, the blades of the windmill will rotate automatically. The fans now have motion, but when you render the frame they come out without any motion blur. Move the time slider from left to right and see if the propellers are rotating correctly on the Z-Axis.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 5

Now click on the Render button to render the frame.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 6

The blades have motion, but the image is rendered without any motion blur. Now let’s enable motion blur in the Render settings.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 7

Now first open the Render Settings window by clicking on the button show in the image below.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 8

Now click on the Maya Software tab and you'll see a ‘Motion Blur’ option. Click on it to expand the rollout and you'll see two options: 2D and 3D.  With the 3D option selected, check the ‘Motion Blur’ option and then hit the Render button.

Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya
Tutorial Rendering with Motion Blur in Maya

Step 9

The motion blur looks quite jagged. There are two options to increase the sharpness and quality. The first method is ‘Blur by frame’. The higher the value, the more the blades will be blurred. I set the value to 5.000, so the result will be much better.

Step 9 Image

Now hit the Render button.

Step 9 Image

Step 10

The second way to control the motion blur is to use the "Use Shutter Open\Close" option. The motion blur’s amount and quality depends upon the duration the camera's shutter is open or closed for a particular frame. The longer the shutter remains open, the more motion blur you will get. By default, the values of the Shutter Open and Shutter Close option are - 0.500 and 0.500 respectively. So now I'll change them to -1.000 and 1.000 respectively.

Step 10 Image

Step 11

We can show the motion blur effect in the Mental Ray renderer also. For this, go to the Render Settings and change the renderer from Maya Software to Mental Ray.

Step 11 Image

Step 12

Click on Quality tab and then go to the Motion Blur rollout. In the Motion Blur pull-down menu, change the setting to: Full.

Step 12 Image

Step 13

Change the Shutter Open and Shutter Close values as shown in the image below. You can increase the Motion Steps value, as it will give the render more motion blur.

Step 13 Image

Step 14

Now hit the Render button and check the render quality. The motion blur quality looks very low.

Step 14 Image

Step 15

So to fix this problem, we have to increase the render quality. Go to the Quality Presets pull-down menu and change the render quality to: "Production: Motion Blur".

Step 15 Image

Now hit the Render button to check the quality. This time it looks much better. The more you increase the Shutter Speed and Samples values, the better the quality of your Motion blur will be.

Step 15 Image

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