Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Melons - Complete

I changed the camera resolution and angle to get a better view. I also changed the dark green stripes to be even darker. I changed the orientation of some of the melons for a better composition. When I was satisfied, I rendered them in four layers:

I composited all the passes in Fusion. I felt I was loosing the contrasty feeling in the image, hence I color corrected it slightly to get that feel. Depth of field was also added to enhance composition and focal point. Image uploaded here. Comments are most welcome :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Melon Shader Update + Render

I decided to work more on my melon shader and expanded the network. Here's what it looks like:

Basically, I added more variation to the patterns and somemore overlays on the dark green stripes.

Next, I thought that since I was going to do a tutorial on how to make this shader, I figured it would be good if I did a nice render for the front page. Hence, I created a scene filled with water melons of shapes and different sizes and placed them on the floor. I adjusted the shader properties to get the look and feel of a melon surface.

Once I had my rough composition, I decided to light up the scene. This time, I used a HDRI dome as the key light rather than fill. I added another spot light to act as a fill from the front since the bottom half of the melons would fall under shadows. This helped, but it was still dark. Hence, I added another spotlight and light-linked it to only the melons and not the floor. I rendered in 3 passes and composited them in Photoshop. Here's the test:
3 Render Passes composited with a vignette - No other post-processing
I'm pretty satisfied with this image. I did not want to light it evenly as I wanted to maintain some contrast in the image. The floor was also procedurally textured. From feedback, I realised that I need to make my dark green stripes a little darker. Also, I was thinking if I should re-work on my composition and do a higher-res rendering.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Melon Shader

Been a long time since I updated this blog, due to internet access.

So anyway, my school requires me to create a tutorial on some advanced aspect of animation. So I was thinking if I could do a tutorial on creating a watermelon shader procedurally. I was very inspired from a book on RenderMan that I have and it shows how to write a watermelon shader from scratch using code. ( Name of the book is The RenderMan Shading Language Guide by Don Rudy Cortes and Saty Raghavachary)

Though I don't want to code, I thought it would be interesting to cover the importance of procedural textures and the Maya hypershade and shading networks. So I looked up for a few reference images and started to work on creating a shader right away. Here's the result:

And here's the shading network for the above melon:

The current layers I have in the shader are: (from bottom-most, a noise layer, veins, dark green stripes and some fractal bump-mapping which looks over-used) I also added a ramp to create the poles of the model dark and black.

This is not a complete shading network. I plan to add a lot more to the network to bring out the subtle details of a melon. I was also thinking of exploring subsurface scattering, but at a much later stage if time permits.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sci Fi Robot

Well, so I was having a pretty boring Sunday, so I decided to do something. I was searching online for some pre-modeled scenes to practice my lighting on when I came across

From here, I downloaded the sci-fi scene, modeled by Juan Carlos Silva. I tried a few lighting schemes, but I wasn't too happy with it. I planned a pre-visualised a camera move, but it wasn't turning out too good. Then I realised why everything wasn't working - I did not have any focus in mind. There's no point lighting a scene without a focus. And since a robot was included in the scene, I thought why not make that the main focus?

Thus, I planned a short animation sequence in my mind, for which I needed to rig the robot. I began. This was the first time I rigged something which was organic, non-organic and moved on wheels all at the same time. It was a very challenging procedure, especially because I wanted the robot to have a very cartoony appearance.

Robot in its default rest position

Robot with first pose test

Robot with second pose test

I paid a lot of attention to rigging the wheels because I felt that since it had no legs, the wheels would be very important in conveying emotions.

That's it for now. This took me pretty much half a day. I have yet to paint the skin weights.

Robot and rest of the sci-fi model: Juan Carlos Silva from