Awhile back I posted a Lighting and Texturing Cheat for Animators but that write up was a slight cheat in itself as I took an already pre-existing shot and just recomposited it in the cheat method without specular, reflections, and GI. I now have a more detailed write up with more screenshots of where things are located and fuller explanations. Quick Lighting & Rendering for Animators
The tutorial can be found over on TeaTime Animation's forums. Come sign up! TeaTime isn't just limited to us club members but we are open to the entire animation industry community. We are rapidly growing and have people from all over joining in and posting, sharing their work, resources, and critiques.
This is a super fast way for animators to texture, light, and render shots to spruce up pieces to have a finished quality for reels. This is in essence what some short films such as Saga of Biorn, Mac'n'Cheese, and Meet Buck do but at a very basic level. What's great about the method is that it can be as simple as you want or as complex as you want; like baking a cake you can have plain yellow cake made from a mix out of the box or you can continue to add sprinkles, frosting, and rum to it.
In the tutorial I will be using Mental Ray and in Maya 2014 but it can be done with any render engine and across different platforms as long as you render out the necessary layers of at least the diffuse (color) and occlusion. This lovely scene and animation is byMendel Reis. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPN6aYrT8CE&hd=1]