When using lighting within Maya I had to make sure to specifically use Arnold lighting as the default Maya lighting would not show up in rendering. Arnold uses PBR rendering (Physical based rendering) which uses more modern texture maps for a more realistic look, Arnold lighting will most likely be specifically coded to interact with PBR textures meaning it is important that it is used over Maya’s default lighting.
When deciding how to light my environment my first concept was to go with flaming torches attached to the side of the many pillars in the basement. To do this I was going to use nParticles to simulate fire but through research I ended up just going with Arnold lighting as it wouldn’t need to be simulated and would save a lot of time.
As I wanted my environment to be dark I only used a few light fixtures on high intensity and fairly high exposure so that the full room would just be illuminated while still being really dark. Unfortunately in the dark areas of the room it was extremely dark to the point where you couldn’t see a thing. As this assignment is about the design and movement of my character it is important that it can be seen so to solve my issue I created one big light on the ceiling that passively lights up the room without making it too bright, and although it is less dynamic my character can be seen much better now.
To make up for it being a lot bright I key framed the intensity of the room light to be lower when my character was in the other light sources so the environment seems darker.