I’ve been a little busy pushing through the holidays and the end of the year. The past month I’ve also been adjusting to my new work life at Amazon. I took a bit of a sabbatical from C4D for about 3 weeks, but I’ve been able to make up time during the lull of Christmas to New Years.
During this time I’ve been playing a lot with clean camera animations in VRay, and of course getting these bad boys to run on our access to the EC2 render farm. :) I’d like to share a little knowledge over the following weekend about the above render.
Working on matching Lego material in VRay. 46sec preview render on quad core i7.
Digging further and further into VRay, it’s so easy to achieve the results that I’ve got mapped out in my head. Few lights and fewer renders.
A friend of mine passed a link around work a few days ago for a site called “Geo a Day”. The guys are kicking out throughful, but simple art pieces daily. I really got me thinking about mixing up my endeavors and producing more in and out work for myself.
Not being able to get their work off of my mind, I sat down this morning for about 20-30 minutes and started working to recreate their style. Pretty happy with the results.
Day job has been kicking my ass as of late. When I’ve got it in me, I’m chipping away at various personal projects in the wee hours of the morning. Still pushing my “House on the Seaside Cliff” piece further.
I’ve been ripping apart an unfinished project and relighting it in VRay. I’m working on rethinking the environment (being more extraordinary) and my approach for assembling the entire piece. I’m thinking overcast, rain and a little matte painting. Just wanted to share a little progress. Updates soon.
Close to wrapping up a Sim City looking project at work. I really hope to be able to share the final project in the near future. I’d like to talk more about a lot of the efficiencies I used in the project for dealing with a massive amount of structures and landscape fillers. Also used Indirect Illumination for the first time on a long animation render!
Here is some Heavy Industry in the meantime.
Cinema 4D Whiskey Bottle Studio Setup
FULL RESOLUTION RENDER
Two taste I’ve developed since relocating to Seattle are oysters and whiskey. I can’t say I had really eaten much of one and I never really wanted to “taste” the other. It was always just an act of “down the hatch”. Anyhow, one of the favorites I walked away from last year’s Whiskey Club at HA, was the often $29.99 bottle of Bulleit Rye Whiskey. The point of all of this is, I had a super rad bottle sitting around the house for the past few months, just waiting to get model in Cinema. So, without further ado…
DOWNLOAD THE SCENE FILE
I started working on this scene with a different approach than I’ve taken with studio-style glass renders in the past. My glass shader was almost devoid of any specularity, and I opted out of using any actual area lights around the bottle. Instead I setup a series of bounce cards one-by-one with Global Illumination on. The material applied was 100% in the luminance channel. This gave me a much cleaner reflection and with less glare.
The lights I did use the in the scene were restricted to illuminating the SSS shader on the whiskey and a visible light for the smokey haze behind the bottle.
For texture maps, I soaked the bottle in soapy water for about 20 minutes to remove the labels and laid everything out flat. My goal was to knock this project out quick, so I used my iPhone to shoot everything on the back patio. (It’s Seattle so the overcast makes for a great soft box.) Next a little cleanup in photoshop, I love using the puppet-warp tool to line-up elements straight for texture work. I also created normal and specularity maps for each of the labels.
To keep my render times low while “painting” highlights and adjusting shaders. I work with only one element at a time. I used standard render up until my final image and had Anti-Aliasing turned off and my GI settings as low as they would go. I always keep multiple render settings stored so I can quickly jump back and forth with optimal work speed and results at close hand. When It came time to create the final image, I switched over to the Physical Render, but opted to use the traditional GI method over indirect illumination in this case. It was just too much faster to ignore.
The scene was created from scratch along with texture work in about 6 hours. My render times on an i7 iMac was about 2 hours after about an hour of GI caching at 1800x1800. No ambient Occlusion was used.
I’ve been really excited to share a preview of a long running project I’ve been working on for my buddy Brad Campbell. Some time ago, he drew up some model sheets for me and I set to work bringing his prized creation to life. This was to be my initial study of anatomy, humaniod modeling, rigging and animating.
The model above is the 3rd iteration of the base mesh, and the 5th build of joint system. I studied from the R12 release through R13 and the addition of the new character rigging system and cmotion, finally settling on using the new integrated system over the old rig I had built. The new character system is an amazing tool, there is so much flexibility with in a few clicks, cmotion is so much deeper than walk cycles and I was easily able to add custom joints and controllers for a cartoon dog that the basic human didn’t have.
I can’t tell you how excited I am with the completion of this project looming. I’m trying to stay focused and clear this goal so I can apply the knowledge to bigger and better things. Character rigging has already paid off in spades in so many other avenues of my work.
Click here for full size image.
I wanted to mention that I had posted my workflow to the right of Roofus, you will notice that I have at least one hair generator per core of my iMac. Not only does this allow me to control the density of hair much easier, but it allows the cpu to compute the pre-process of building the hair tree quicker. If you didn’t know, hair is a single core process, UNLESS you have more than one generator. THEN, each core will start taking on a separate process at the same time! This allowed me to render a 1280 x 760 frame with 3 area lights on an i7 iMac in :25 seconds. (That is in standard render with no GI or AI, but who needs them in this case.)