I'm going to start by saying that I do not consider myself and expert on this subject, but I'm going to write about how I have adapted my methods to deal with the "linear workflow" thing in my day-to-day work.
If you have never heard the term "linear workflow" then you must have been really busy doing something else for the past year, because it has been discussed over and over in forums and blogs. I've done a lot of reading and managed to confuse my thinking on numerous occasions, but lately it all seems to be falling into place and I feel like some kind of born again "linear workflow" convert. And like most new converts, I feel compelled to spread the word.
I read a thread on cgTalk, which was started by Filip Orrby, in which he asked "How to make object not block FG rays?". He went on to answer his own question and since it is similar to a technique I use, I decided to elaborate.
I'm going to write about a shader and lighting setup I use a fair bit for product shots, where the background is very simple, often white and the product is to be brightly lit. For my final renders I usually break things into render layers, but I like to be able to quickly render everything in one pass to evaluate my animation and to show my progress to the client.
Here is a typical example of the end result.
To see a step-by-step breakdown of the setup, click here (more...)