This semester we involved four different 3D based subjects, Rigging, Animation, Texturing and Rendering. Rigging and Animation kind of stand alone where as Texturing and Rendering can often go hand in hand. For Texturing class we started off by going back to basics, observing real world textures and how to bring the to life in a traditional was as well as digital. We were also reintroduced to Adobe Photoshop and shown new techniques and tools that may be used to recreate a real world texture. We also had a very interesting class with Barry Dean, an ex Disney artist. He showed us how amazing good textures can be and how to create basic textures such a rust in Photoshop. The Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011 Guide book explains the use and importance of texturing, “The use of two-dimensional images to add color and detail to three-dimensional objects has been a big part of computer modeling and animation from the very start. This is known as texture mapping, and it is practically an art of its own.”
The first term of Rendering class Vince showed us a new world of Mia materials, Mental Ray and all its sampling wonders! Mia materials puts away most of the Blins and Lamberts Maya has to offer. We were shown how simple it could be to create a simple glass bottle or object or even make the same object have a flawless chrome look. Love the mis materials! Also with Mental Ray being explained so we can understand how The Global Illumination, Final Gather and Costics work so we can then put them into practice and bring our renders to life. The importance of Mental Ray is covered in a whole chapter in the . The introduction to the chapter reads “To achieve professional-quality, realistic renders in Maya, you need to master the mental ray render plug-in that comes with maya. Mental ray is a complex rendering system that is incorporated through the maya interface. Learing how to use it properly and efficiently takes time, study and practice.”
The second half of the texturing class was all about 3D, 3D painting, sculpting and UV mapping. UV Layout was used for making the UV maps insted of Maya and we were shown how in Mudbox to paint and sculpt objects directly onto a 3D surface. This was very use full and a massive time saver. We also covered pipelines back into Maya from both Mudbox and UV Layout but also into Photoshop if there were any touch ups or changes to be made. UV Layout was something of a surprise for me, where maya is an amazing program that makes sence and does seem user-friendly considering how complicated it is, UV Layout come out and makes things a little easier, isn’t that nice! A bit of an idea of UV Layout from www.uvlayout.com “UVLayout is a stand-alone application for the creation and editing of UV coordinates for 3D polymeshes and subdivision surfaces. Used by professionals in the games and visual effects industries, by hobbyists of all types and by students, UVLayout’s unique approach gives texture artists the tools they need to produce high quality low distortion UVs in significantly less time than they would by traditional methods.”
Lighting systems and making this looks amazing was all what the second term of the Render studio 1 was about. physical suns, portal lights, soft shadows were things that could make a simple scene look real if done correctly. We were shown many different examples of lighting systems and ways to make a scene look real. Mental ray isn’t just about high samples in GI or Final Gathering. With more amazing materials like miss_fast_skin_maya1 with is subsurface scattering layers or things like the bokeh lens to give a depth of field with real ease. The MIA materials were something I loved, The Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011 Guide explains “The MIA material is the Swiss Arm knife of the mental ray shaders. It is a monolithic material, meaning that it has all the functionality needed for creating a variety of materials built into a single interface. You don’t need to connect additional shader nodes into a specific network to create glossy reflections, transparency, and the like.” Maya and Mental ray were made for each other and I look forward to better getting to know the couple.
In both out 3D texturing class and Render Studio 1 we were given the combined assessment task of texturing and rendering a photo real fruit bowl. The models were already created for us, a basic bowl, two apples, bananas, an orange, pears and grapes. All sitting on a kitchen looking bench top with tiles behind. Through out the semester we would be learning different tools, programs and techniques to help us creat our fruity images. Programs like Adobe Photoshop and Auto Desk Mudbox would be used for texturing the fruits and bowl while NVIDIA Mental Ray plugged into Auto Desk Maya would handle the rendering and lighting. The task was simple enough with making to different lighting set ups and having two different shots from each set up. The hard part would be of course making realistic textures from scratch and lighting system to simulate a photo real image of a fruit bowl.
The end result of my fruit bowl was something I was very pleased with. Even though I know it’s not perfect or the best in the glass it was something I didn’t think I would have been able to creat at the beginning of the year. Not even close!! The shadows need work as im still getting my head around Mental Ray and some of my textures do look painted, except my bananas, very happy there! The texturing, lighting and rendering (except the long render times) were fun for me, I really enjoyed the challenge even if it stressed me out at times. I’m looking forward to applying the knowledge from the fruit bowl to my own original scenes!
headus (metamorphosis) Pty Ltd, accessed 21/06/2012 at http://http://www.uvlayout.com/
Eric Keller, 2011, p527, p557, p573, Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011, Autodesy Official Training Guide.
Almost finished! Below are two renders which will be the two shots used in my final hand in. The quality still needs to be beefed up, lighting needs fixing and shadows need softening. The apple I think looks a little wooden and I will be looking into that. My pears don’t have the same realism as they did in Mudbox for some reason, im hopping to fix that. My orange looks a little dry like the grapes as well but the banana im really happy with it. Still need to change the bananas so they aren’t all identical. The glass bottle looks really good, there will be some nice costics on the wall behind it. Overall it could be better, im happy with it as far as my skills and experience goes. Does it look real? No, it doesn’t. There is still working to be done and time left so we will see but I will still be proud of the work maybe just not impressed.
This is the same lighting in both renders, its funny how different things look in different light. I need to fix the shadows, I think that’s whats taking the ‘real’ out of it. Still more work to be done so we will see!
At this stage I was having a lot of problems with my fruit maps and colours. However hopefully it all came good. Below are some of my colour maps and normal maps I ended up using. At the very bottom there is a render of my fruit bowl also at this stage of the process including a description.
This map was created in Mudbox first then brought into Photoshop and plugged into my banana in Maya. This allowed me to adjust my colours as see the results straight away in Maya. I’m very happy with the end resulting banana.
This is the Normal Map I made in Mudbox to then use as a bump. The bumps might not seem to be anything too deep or bumpy but bananas bruise easily so the more bumps the more black spots. I wanted a healthy looking banana.
This was the end result of the banana in Mudbox, there will still but some touching up in Photoshop.
My apple texture made in Mudbox.
This is the pear texture Ive made in Mudbox, im really happy with it but at this stage when its brought into Maya it looks a little dull and you can’t see the effort that went into it. This is something I really hope to fix by the end!
At this stage there is still much to do. Im really happy with the banana, the apple is a little too red, the orange is yet too be touched and pears are a work in progress. Lighting is all there but quality turned down to speed up renders. I’m happy with the way things are turning out, although with pipe lines from Maya to Mudbox, Mudbox to Photoshop, Photoshop back into Maya I find things get lost in transit and look different. It’s all a learing curve and im still happy with how its going so far.
The first stage for me was lighting. Seeing how the shapes and shadows worked, finding lighting systems I liked and the feel of the image. This was helped along by Vince in rendering class, exploring different ways to light a room from the inside and out. Creating a Physical sun and bringing the light into a room with a Portal light really had an awesome effect. This was something I would later use with costics from a additional spotlight. The image below in only at the first stage, so there are no costics or much quality, but I was exploring the time of day I wanted it to be as well as where reflections and shadows would fall.
Internal lighting is all different. I feel its kind of no rules lighting because who’s to say where lights are. The Sun is always in the sky but inside lights can be anywhere! Figuring this is a fruit bowl in a kitchen there would most likely be some kind of over head light. Kitchens don’t often have lamps or anything too out there. So this was made to explore two spotlights above. I really like the shadows and intensity of it.
Below are some photos taken by me of the fruits we need to texture. I took my own photos so I could see and feel the different fruits, I felt Google images weren’t good or real enough. I did use Google as well but these were my main inspiration.
These are some yummy Bananas I bought to eat and research. Studying the bumps, colours and imperfections was very important to my final textures.
This Red Delicious apple was interesting to find how many other colours are really here. Shades of green and yellow were used when making my final texture. As well as the obvious shades of red.
In the risk of sounding stupid I didn’t know there were other Pears other than this kind. When looking at other class mates textures there were some pears that were new to me. This I feel is the classic Pear!
The following are some texture swatches I created to help give my fruit that randomness of nature. Being honest I am writing this blog after ive finished my fruit textures and will admit that I really didn’t use these in the end. The reasons for this may be my lack of knowledge and skill in Photoshop or my techniques in Mudbox, but whenever I ued them I did not get the desired effect and ended up using the Photoshop brushes and Mudbox Stamps and Stencils. Here they are and a brief reasoning why I made them to begin with.
The first swatch I took a photo from an apple and brought it into Photoshop. Finding an interesting area on the apple I then cropped out a square and started to tinker with different filters. This was to create a stencil to use in Mudbox for the random dots on an apple. It looked terrible so it wasnt used for the final apple texture.
Second is a up close photo of a Orange skin, same idea of cropping a part of it to show up close the dents and spots on an Orange. This would have then be used as a stamp or even a stencil in Mudbox. Again no luck and Mudbox’s default ones worked a lot better.
The last one I had high hopes for, it’s from a Pear. Up close I loved the scratches in the skin and the imperfections. This didn’t come through as much as id liked and filters in Photoshop didn’t help. This was going to help make a bumps for both my apples and pears but it didn’t make the final cut.