Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Light Ramp Fall-Off

As an exercise, I wrote a PyMel script that would require the user to select objects in the scene. The script would check object types, identifying lights and cameras - and would then create a node tree that would allow for a ramp with random color attributes to be attached to the selected light's fall off.

As a result, all lights in the scene would give off unique falloffs based.
I thought this was pretty cool. I was also rather proud of this exercise because Python and PyMel are starting to make much more sense to me.

Next up - Data Visualization! This will also lead into my final project. More to come later.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Jobs, Zebras, and Triangulation

It's been a while since I've updated, but I will try to make this brief. Tomorrow will mark the start of week 3 of my last quarter at SCAD. I got most of my hefty classes out of the way, and I'm taking this quarter to learn some things I don't "need" to graduate, but I think will help me in the long run.

The only required class I have left is VSFX 490 - or Portfolio. We're creating everything we need to successfully land a job, right down to a detailed budget of all expenses on a potential salary. Scary. This class also inspired me to get my recruiting packets together and head over to the SCAD Career Fair that took place this past Friday. I spoke with some great companies - RTT, Perception, The Mill, Click 3X, Method, and a few others. Hopefully I will hear back from someone. This whole "not knowing where I'll be living in 8 weeks" thing is a bit unnerving.

I'm also taking a class in Python, taught by the brilliant Ken Huff. I am certainly not a programmer, so it's been tough so far, but Ken is a spectacular teacher, and I'm much more focused than I was even a short time ago, so I know I will get something out of it. For now, we're working past "Hello World," and working in the Python Interpreter doing simple stand-alone scripts, like the one below.

For my final project, which I am working on a proposal for, I have decided to work with Data Visualization inside of Houdini (possibly implementing CHOP Networks). - But more about this later.

On top of Portfolio and Python, I am also taking the Visual Effects Supervision class, mostly because it sounded fun, but I figure I can use the opportunity to learn some things that would make me useful on set. This weekend I did an exercise in camera triangulation, which is actually insanely cool.

I shot a background plate.
Then I recorded data on the camera and it's placement according to an established baseline, which then dictated where this baseline would be in relation to an object I want to comp into the scene, in this case, my friend's car.

I could then composite the two shots together, and the perspective would be in tact, as you can see in my comp below. Cool, huh?

Here is a little diagram that shows the triangulation aspect a little clearer (maybe).

Our next assignment will be similar - only with a scaling element added. I'm pretty excited! It's nice to finally get away from the computer screen once in a while and actually get out to shoot something.

Anyway, that was my "quick" update! There should be more coming soon! Although, not many pretty pictures this quarter. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Rose: Jan 31st

Well, the rose project was due today, so this is what I ended up with, even though Youtube puts terrible compression on it.

I would still like to continue this project because I really think it has some potential. I still think it needs some variation in the model, but it was coming down to the wire and I had to just call it. I am however really happy with how the velvety feel is coming across. When I was setting priorities for this project, that was very high on the list for what I thought it needed for a level of believability.

I also need to increase the bump, but I was having issues with that because of my UVs. It could also benefit from some better occlusion, but I was worried about pushing it too far because I have a habit of under-lighting things and I think I over-compensated for it a bit too much. I'd also like to continue working on the texturing. I was having a lot of trouble getting it much redder, but my shading network goes so deep that there are so many different elements feeding in to the overall color. I did a higher-resolution still of a close-up of some of the petals, and you can see some of the veins through the subsurface. I'd like to embellish that to make it a lot more obvious.

Anyway, overall I'm happy and proud of how this turned out, even though it isn't as Photoreal as I would like. Hopefully I will have the time to continue it to really push it to the next level.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rose Update: Jan 30th

The rose has come a long way since last week, but it still has a long way to go. The sub-surface is working well. I used Steven J Tubbrit's velvet tutorial , which uses Facing Ratio with incandescence to mock the velvety highlights. I plugged this into the Diffuse layer of my sub-surface shader. It seems to be doing it's job, but I am still working on some tweaking. The following image is before Occlusion or any other kind of composting.

More updates coming soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Rose: Update #2

Well, the rose is coming along slowly. I've been experimenting with the Subsurface Scattering mental ray shader. I also experimented a bit with lenses, and I ended up with a 24mm. I'll start to add textures tonight and post another update soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Rose: Update

Well, I've completely remodeled, and I'm about to start texturing. I threw a matte red on it for sake of this render. Still texture and bump maps to worry about, as well as lighting. It is making progress though.

And a little bit of progress....

A little more progress... This image looks really dark, but hey - it happens to be what I'm looking at on the screen right now, so I'm postin' it. Trying out this Mental Ray Sub-Surface Scattering Shader nonsense (that was a mouth-full).