Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adjusting lights on Fruit Bowl

I received feedback from a friend of mine about the shaders - banana texture looked too stretched and the cherry reflections looked too sharp. So I worked on these shaders and finished up the rest of the undone ones.

So now that I've got my shaders all set-up procedurally, I was changing and revising my light set-up. I made the shadows of my key light softer and reduced the intensity of my dome of fill lights. Here's the before and after comparison:



The shadow quality is still not there as you can see that they are noisy and jittery. Since this was going to be an outdoor scene, I was thinking of having the shadows of trees and leaves be cast on the scene - as if this bowl of fruits was laid on a picnic mat.

Hence, I plugged a noise texture into the light as a gobo to cast an irregular pattern on the fruits. Also, I removed my keylight, which was the directional light, and replaced it with a spot light. I made it emit photons for global illumination to work and here's the result for now:

The shaders definitely need some tweaking. There;s too much color bleeding from almost every fruit, especially the apple.

This is it for now. I plan to refine the lighting and shaders much more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fruit Bowl - All Procedural Textures

I decided to texture this entire scene procedurally to see how closely I can match the textures of the object to that of the real world. Hence, I removed the banana bitmap texture and created a procedural shader for it from scratch. Then, I made a shader for the cloth as well. Right now, it's pretty simple, but I blocked in the basic colors.

Here's the shading network for all the procedural shaders in the scene:

Also, I decided to change the lighting. I removed the HDRI globe. I created a directional light and adjusted the parameters so that the fruits can be take the best possible form with the shading and shadows.

After that,  I created a dome of about 45 spotlights covering the scene and set that to cast a soft blue fill light.

I then rendered the scene, which took me 8 min 50 sec to render, without any final gathering or global illumination. Here's the result:

The scene looks a little overexposed. Some of the shadows are still too harsh and some things in the scene have yet to be shaded.

I plan to work on adding indirect illumination through global illumination later on after I complete shading every single object in the scene.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shading Grapes using Subsurface Scattering

I made a shader for the grapes. Done procedurally with subsurface scattering.

To see the subsurface scattering in effect, I placed two spotlights, one at the back and one at the front of the bunch of grapes. It took me quite some time to get the look right as this is my first time doing subsurface scattering. But in the end, this result satisfied me for the time being. Here's the shading network:

And here's the scene update with the rest of the fruits and backdrop with the same lighting set-up of one spot and one HDRI dome:

Now that I've gotten the shader of the grapes somewhat there, I think I would be more confident on handling the shader for the cherry. A lot of the objects in this scene would be procedurally shaded, hence I was thinking if it would be a good idea to shade everything procedurally, including the bananas and highlight that on my reel.

More later. Feedback and critiques are welcome. Do email them to me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bowl of Fruit - Lighting Challenge from Jeremy Birn (

School work has finally finished and I'm having a short break, hence I'm working on my lighting reel.

I came across this website,, owned by Jeremy Birn, the author of the book, Digital Lighting and Rendering. He hosts lighting challenges on the site for people to download the scenes/models and practice their lighting on. So I decided to download the oldest challenge, the bowl of fruits.

Modeled by Dan Wade

I thought this scene would be a good start to practice my lighting and shading on. Hence, I started to shade the models. I first started with the bananas. They were NURBS, in fact, most of the scene is NURBS. So I converted them to polygons and started to do the UVs. After which, I went downstairs to eat a banana and take photographs of the banana skin for use as textures.

After I handled the banana, I moved on to shading the apple. This was done procedurally. I then did the pear, which was also done procedurally. The pear was a polygon, so I converted it into a NURBS surface and then started shading it. This made my texturing process a lot easier. Here's the shading network for the apple and the pear:

Just to see the kind of look I was getting, I plugged in a HDR, added a spotlight and rendered with mental ray. Here's the result:

If anyone has any feedback on this, please write to me so that I can try to improve the shaders. Also, the cloth texture is a placeholder.

More later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Warrior - School Assignment

This is what I did for my school assignment. Maya and mental Ray. Based on a character sketch I did. Took 25 mins to render. NO post-processing. I was supposed to use ZBrush to add some details to the armor, but I did not have time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Portfolio Site

I set up a new portfolio site:

This site will contain my best works. Of course this blog will still be in progress.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Melons - Edited

I received feedback that some of the melons were floating. And the shadows were a little too blotch due to final gathering. Hence, I fixed the floating melon and increased the final gathering quality and the point density. It took me 1 hr 15 min and 45 sec to render just the beauty image.