When using custom fisheye lens shader, when the camera reaches a certain distance of a textured model then a grey blurry line will appear on the surface. As the camera moves closer to the model, then the grey blurry line moves along the surface until it suddenly sweeps across the entire model and disappears.
Our 3D toolset of choice is Autodesk Maya. It is extremely powerful but it has a steep learning curve, with many workflows that are particular enough that they feel like design flaws. Regardless, we love it and have learned some specific ways of working in Maya to steer clear of these quirks and bugs.
Quick tangent: Most studios in the fulldome industry seem to use Autodesk 3DS Max. From what I understand this is partly because of its unlimited render nodes for render farms. Power to ya!
Bump Map: lighting falloff fix
This is a problem where you can see where the light reaches the end of the bump map and has a very sharp abrupt ending; not a smooth falloff. I see this most often on a sphere where I want the clouds shadows to have a smooth falloff. This is due to the fact that it’s not a displacement and is only affecting the lighting, not the poly. So it’s technically doing the right thing, but looks horrible since we want the bump map to has a nice fall off.
1. Go into your lightShape node > raytrace shadow attributes.
2. Change the Light Angle to 20 or whatever looks right.
3. Or change the Ray Depth Limit to 0, but this will make the falloff of the bump map extend to the near back of the planet and you will have no control over it.