Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jake: Hi-Res Renders

Before I go any further with my new workflow, I would first post the final textures version of Jake. They have been with me since three weeks!

These all are without the physical camera settings. 

Surely I was working on the environment production, but I'll keep the details with me.
Put it this way: I have to break more polygons to get more details :D

Proxies are good when you have a scene size of 400MB, which reduced to 9MB!

I love those legs!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jake: Material Creation Workflow

I won't say it was easy,
neither I would say its tough
As I wrote the previous blog entry about integrating Mari and Vray in my workflow, I asked myself, why I didn't uploaded my progress!? I completely rant about UVlayout and Vray being so cozy but I forgot to add pics related to that subject.

So here are some.

What I'm trying is realism. Ofcourse practically he's impossible to exist but I really love giving my dude a tint of realism, atleast I try and work upon reaching that extent :) That's my passion which won't let me give up.

In accordance with the style of steampunk, there are two- four basic metal material I found in my research: brass, copper, iron, steel (probably) and there derivative like wrought iron, stainless steel, painted metals and the list goes on.

First of all breakdown your materials! That's one important thing I learnt while I was working on Slave project, but I was not successful as I'm currently on this project. You need to find references, go out and click pictures of the objects you find interesting, research on internet. See how the material reacts to light, what is its color, what are the specific details like corrosion, brushed texture, etc.

What you're seeing are the
basic materials I created
In my research, Metals can be brushed, polished, distressed or corroded, but not completely chrome in the act of reflective. If you just keep it completely reflective, you loose realism. You really need to bump up your reflections to destroy those good looking reflections on the object. If you won't succeed in finding the right texture for the bumps, the material won't succeed to support the diffuse texture.

What I did, first created the base metals, brass, copper, silver, I didn't really went for gold, brushed steel, scratched dark looking iron. I added respective bump, texture and spec maps to the material group. Gave them specific texture like corrosion, wrought painted texture, specific bump details, and some extra features.

Next time I would talk more about my rendering and lightening workflow. I've started working on the environment and hoping to complete in next two days.

Jake himself
I love the way those exhausts are coming out

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jake, Just Jake

Well the story is not completed yet. As I'm writing this blog, a high resolution render is being processed.
In my last update I was stuck on the feets. I've completed the character and moving on to material creation and texturing. Using Vray, rather than MentalRay this time. I should say it's way more comfortable than MentalRay (Although Maxwell render is way too comfortable, but it's unbaised). I'm also finding excuses to use Mari this time. Breaking those hard bends by painting bump maps would be cool and would loose him some edge!

I think two weeks back I completed modelling.
About 7 million poly before decimation.
Too good features to get you the right render quality with less effort. Linear workflow is very manageable, you don't have to be busy adding gamma correction nodes all the time. Memory efficient. Distributed rendering was pretty easy to setup. It has lot of pros over MentalRay.

For now I'm having trouble setting up RealTime engine of Vray (for some reason I'm getting "scene is empty" error in the console).

One silly thing I got to learn about my workflow: UVs!
I never bothered myself to learn to create them. Although I'm pretty much aware of their existence, but ZBrush really handled that part pretty well! In my earlier projects, I never really bothered myself in painting textures. But this time, as I would be, I had to read the 'how to' manual.

UVlayout is good if you want to create UVs manually and in a controlled manner, but not good for complex geometry. In that case you spent almost all your time cutting and re-cutting edges to find the right unwrap. ZBrush's UV master helped me in this process. select the geometry, GoZ it, Unwrap it, and then GoZ back to Maya! That it.

Anyways, Here are some more renders:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Small update.
Few more renders I got out of ZBrush.:

The presentation material I created and
the render filters I used for these renders

From top left


Almost side view

From rear



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jake, WIP II

Things have been going pretty well, (hopefully, :) that's one problem you face when you make vague concept).

Following the concept I created in ZBrush, I've managed to move to the torso and arms of Jake.

Rear, without head mask
By now, I've created like 50 different insert meshes enclosing the theme of steampunk.

 One thing I realized while using so many insert meshes, I haven't added hard surfaces. That's a big withdrawal. The ones I've added I'm not so convinced by them. Additionally high resolution detailing! Where did I loose that thought! Baroque ornaments! Oh yes! That's one thing I want to put into Jake.

Side face, without head mask

Side face

Full view
 I guess I didn't like what I did with his head mask. Got to spend more time on conception. That's one choas I'm facing for now.
Full view with head mask

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jake, WIP I

For the sake of challenge, I glided to work on a genre. Somehow my usual theme is Cyberpunk or bio-mechanical.

So time for something new! Steampunk!
Searched for references for four days, never really felt content with it, if i speak personally. Started creating low poly assets in Maya cause I knew it will get complex and expensive in the end, which actually took a week in total.

Rear view, this is the mechanism inside the head.

Artistically, sure I can go beyond and get the job done in a week more, but I guess I'm looking for something more. The hardest part is the defining and applying the mechanism (to some extend if you lack vision). To support my research, check this video:

Yeah I wish I found this video early before in production, found it two days ago!
Anyway, I'll update more about my assets and research in next update, Jake is surely going to take a while :)

P.S. I made some illustrations out of these WIPs. Check them out: Jake on dArt
I put all three illustrations in a deviant art package.


Ah! Floating gears! So surreal!

That the Jake's left eye in front.

You're so nerd!

Concepted armor over the mech.

Three box view of the face.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shining Star

I had a great opportunity to create an album art for a single by Smigonaut and Andrea. I went so crazy with their music that I create a short video as a trailer for the single.

You can checkout the artist(s) over here:

ZBrush played a major role in development. I started by creating a star fish shaped mesh over which I snapped the custom insert meshes trail. I created three different custom insert brushes.

The material itself is a MatCap captured out of LightCap. That's one feature I love about ZBrush! creating abstract materials.

For the movie, I imported the song in ZBrush and created Beat Markers. That helped in syncing the animation with audio. Next phase was to setup the BPR settings with appropriate filters. I also extracted a mask for the animation by using flat render mode. The mask helped me creating a little motion blur in After Effects using The Foundry's Kronos.

Here's the final video:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Handy, I

I started out building concept sketches
with proper attributes in mind.

The idea was to create a mechanical character
with just hands and a hovercraft. 

This is the final concept accepted by my teacher.
After complete 7 hours of ZBrushing, this was
the final draft I created for my teacher.
Showing off the various features just to make it more understandable.

After the draft was accepted, I went further
and added the 'hover device'.

After creating the final character, I went further
and took out renders from ZBrush.

The intention was to show the scale of the character and
to get a better idea for look development.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Here's are some raw renders I got out from Maya. Used MentalRay. I would still say I got a lot of things in my mind and won't stop yet. 

Tweaked a lot for getting the catch light.

I really wanted something different with the metal material.
Not the usual specular highlights or chrome material.
I used mia material on every asset.

My intentions were to get photo realistic effect.

getting the right material for the cloth was real choas.
Using PUV tiles is a choas!

Next stop: rigging.