Sunday, January 29, 2012


When I was in college, Zbrush was getting pretty popular. I tried to use it here and there, it just wasn't for me then. My polygon modeling skills were solid and that was getting me through. Throughout the years I used it here and there for various projects and jobs but it never stuck with me. After using and loving Sculptris, I forced myself to understand and make Zbrush part of my workflow. I really enjoy it now. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Female Body Sculpt

A few weeks before starting the piece below this post, I started this female sculpt. It was sculpted in Sculptris and rendering with V-Ray in 3dsmax. I didn't retopoligize this figure due to not needing to animate her. You can see some of tessellation from Sculptris here and there which would have been fixed if retopoligized. 

The VRayFastSSS2 is a great shader. Very easy to use and nice results. Make sure you model your scene to scale!  You will get more realistic results in your renders. I didn't use any maps for this. Just wanted some simple sss. But for my next project......

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Alien Fun!

Last month I created a model of a design by Kenji Bliss's concept art of this creature carrying an egg. He does great, fun, stylized work. I had to do another one of his character. I wanted to create a piece that went all the way though from modeling,texturing,lighting and rendering since I've been doing just modeling and sculping lately. Here is Kenji's blog with all his great work.

This scene was modeled in 3dsmax and Sculptris. I used Sculptris to model the arms of the character and 3dsmax for everything else and TopoGun to retopologize the model. V-Ray was used to render the scene. The materials used consists of VRayMtls, VRayBlendMtls, VrayFastSSS2, and VRayLightMtls.
Final Render

Final render with wire frames 
The main light over the characters head, the light behind the character and the light behind the 
the window are the only lights besides mesh lights, emitting diffuse to the scene. All the other lights are for reflections and specular highlights. 
Lighting placement

There are four light meshs that are emitting diffuse as well. There are three on the wall and one on the container next to the character. These are used to create a neon light glow or a surface that needs to be emitting light. V-Ray handles mesh lights very well. In front of these mesh lights is the original object with cast shadows turned off. The object has a VrayLightMtl on them and in its color slot, it has textures of neon lights which can be seen below. These textures can be mapped to the mesh lights, but I wanted independent control from the intensity of the light and the intensity of the texture. VrayLightMtl does produce  indirect lighting except when using Photon Mapping since the VrayLightMtl does not create Photons. 
Mesh lights

Floor VrayLightMtl texture

Side VrayLightMtl texture

A V-Ray spherical light was use to  light the planet. Its much larger so the shadows casting from the clouds would be soft on the planet. Since V-Ray lights are physically based, the larger the light, the software the shadows. The planet has four spheres overlapping each other. One sphere with the planet texture, another for the clouds, one for a bit of reflection and the last sphere has a fall off map. The fall off map was used to get the atmosphere/glow around the edge of the planet. 
Sun placement

Planet breakdown