Friday, 31 March 2017

Space Pug - Pre-Viz progress 1#

Genghis_Pre_Viz from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

The first segment of pre-viz for Space Pug, I focused on Genghis's facial expressions for this set.

The next task will be continuing the pre-viz and also coming up with a walk cycle for Genghis.

Space Pug - Outer space

A quick example on the "outer space" environment for my project, the planet was a polygon sphere with a directional light, a texture and a glow achieved via volume primitive. The stars were a simple particle effect achieved by having a large polygon sphere emitting particles from the surface. Quite a easy task really but this is good because it should cut down on rendering time a bit and also add a bit of colour to outer space.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Space Pug - Genghis and the Space Station

Some Pre-Viz work that focused on seeing how the lighting between the Genghis model and the Space Station would interact. I ended up having to change quite a few of Genghis' texture nodes in order to make his body in tune with the lighting of the Space Station. These modifications mostly focused on the ambient occlusion and rim lighting nodes. So far its come out nicely with a few exceptions; the eyes are too dark and the shadows beneath Genghis' body look unnatural.

Colour managed image of Genghis.

Colour managed image of Genghis. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Space Pug - Genghis MEL Box

Spent today creating an MEL box for Genghis while waiting for some feedback from Alan. Turned out nicely and wasn't hard to put together. Should make the Pre-Viz easier to do.

Feels good to have made this :) scripting was quite fun.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Space Pug - Space Station Lighting 3#

Space Station exterior with background made in Photoshop.
More lighting work, this time on the exterior of the Space Station capsule. I haven't spent as much time on the exterior lighting due to the fact that the outside of the Space Station is due to have minimal screen time, this is more of a vanity shot and to showcase how it would look in outer space.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Space Pug - Prop boxes

Prop boxes for the Space Station, the first models of these were lost due to data corruption on my hard drive so these are just some quick replacements. Pretty basic but they add a bit of colour to the scene.

Two atomic boxes and one radioactive box.

Space Station - Lighting 2#

More refining of the lighting inside the Space Station, I toned down the ambient occlusion and even removed it from some surfaces, the result is a darker and brings out the bump maps a bit more. At the same time the render times are also a bit faster. I will probably stick with this kind of lighting for the Space Station.

Green lighting that might need to be toned down more.

Lighting effects on the "ceiling" of the Space Station.

A weird purple light that comes from the trash disposal.

Still a bit dark inside but close to getting it right.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Space Station - Lighting 1#

Today, I tried out some lighting on the interior of the Space Station, fortunately after some input from Alan the render times have diminished to around 3-4 minutes and the lighting is coming along nicely. I also tried out improving the sampling and changing/removing some of the rim lights from objects.

Space Station interior with low key lighting. This is a bit bland, doesn't really feel sci-fi/space like.

Space Station interior with red ambient lighting. I quite like the red, makes it look a bit more industrial and sci-fi like but contrasts quite harshly with the green.

Space Station interior with green ambient lighting. This looks a bit too strong to be used.

Space Station interior with low key lighting. The screens stand out nicely, this was closer to my original idea of having the screens as the only light source but it is too faint to illuminate the whole area completely.

Lighting on the computer screens, these have come out quite nicely. I still wanted to use mia_light_surface but the render times were still far too long.

Space Station interior with softer green lighting. I like this, not too harsh, might need more refining.

Space Pug - Updated Chew Toy

Nebula Chew Version 2.0 from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

An updated version of the chew toy with newer better particle effects and some more glow.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Space Pug - Chew Toy

Genghis' Chew Toy, floating so close to a Black Hole it has absorbed some of its strange Dark Matter particles. This is a simple model with a rim light and basic bump map. The flying atoms were achieved via a simple NURBS circle with a particle emitter and atom model attached as motion paths. 
Will take it back into After Effects to see if I can make the Chew Toy glow a bit more as it looks a bit boring here.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Space Pug - Asteroid

With Space Pug nearing completion I decided to focus on other aspects of production such as the props which have until now been neglected. Todays work focused on producing an asteroid hidden in the Black Hole's shadow that Genghis bashes head first into.

The asteroid consists of a simple mesh with a displacement map attached, I haven't used or practiced displacement maps before so this took a few attempts to get right and even now it has some unwanted sharp edges.

The asteroid also has a bump ramp and rim light, I originally had the colour grey but chose green because it seemed more in line with the strange and odd colours that are often depicted in outer space

Friday, 3 March 2017

Space Pug - Texturing Progress 5#

 Today was spent adding rim lighting effects to the Space Station with mixed results, on the one hand it produces some nice looks on the pipes and cables but inside the dimly lit Space Station it adds some unecessary light. Such as in the image on the right.

Add captioNot all of the Space Station's objects have rim lights and some may not end up not having any. I also tweaked the bump mapping for the Space Station's hexagonal interior.n

The computer monitors use mia_surface_shaders to produce light, this is a nice effect, but with everything else in the scene its bumping up the render times to easily 10-15 minutes per frame, to much for a smooth render. I'll need to modify these. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Space Pug - Black Hole Experiments 5

Blue Black Hole from Max Ashby on Vimeo.
Purple Black Hole from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

In the void of space lurk enigmatic black holes with different colours according to each black hole's personality. Actually, this is another black hole experiment that has worked out very well. The black hole consists of a simple cone with a fully dark Lambert shader and the large, colourful disks around the hole are particles that have a texture attached to them. This was all possible thanks to this useful tutorial:
The purple galaxy is just an image from Google, having a centralised white source was important. I also created a copy of this image and using Photoshop created a gradient map version that simulated height and depth in the particles. These particles were emitted from a flat, cylindrical plane and it is important to set out the UVs correctly before attaching particle emitters. The twirling was created using an emitter.

This blue galaxy was made entirerly in photoshop and was meant to mimick the purple galaxy design. 
 Corresponding black and white image.

Rendering out this work required both Mental ray and the Hardware renderers and thus required some learning about render layers. I still need to work out Maya's Extension 2 render layers so I used the legacy settings and this quick tutorial for the render layers with Maya:

The "warping" effect behind the black holes was a simple starry background from Google that was placed into After Effects and utilised a "warp" effect nod, pretty cheap and nasty, it needs some refining.The glow from the particles was also done in After Effects, which also needs work.

This is a big improvement over my earlier experiments and I am very pleased with the results, making these did not take longand that's good becuase it still needs some tweaking but overall it looks much more closer to what I had envisioned originally.