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).

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Rose

Well, the rose is coming along. I've started over several times, and am working on another one that I think will be "final." Here is one of the variations I ended up with, obviously, it's not textured or lit yet.

I've been changing around the model because I can't decide on a composition. I've decided to get really close to the model, so that I can show extreme detail in the texturing. The one I'm working on now is much more detailed, and I think more realistic. Renders to come.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A rose is a rose is a....

So for my first project for Photo-realistic rendering, I decided to do a rose. It's not super-creative, but hey, it'll be cool, right?

Anyway, here's how it's coming. I started modeling it today and it proved to be a lot more complicated than I originally thought. Here's how it's looking as of right now. Obviously it is still a work in progress.

This is the first "organic" model I've done, so I know it's going to be a huge learning experience. I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt, but it's going to take a lot of tweaking to get it where I want it. A huge part of this project is the lighting and texturing, so I don't want to spend too much time focusing on modeling. We'll see how it goes. Back to work!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tomorrow Marks...

.. My last first day of Winter quarter! This is the homestretch of my SCAD career! It's bittersweet - I'm excited to get into the industry, but I'm going to be sad to leave college behind me. But more about that later.

Tomorrow I pitch my idea for VSFX Studio II to the class. I've started a blog specifically for that, which you can find here. It's still in the works, but I will be posting updates there regularly, and I will post large landmarks here to let both of my readers know how it's going. Right now the project is still in it's concept stage, and I've got my good friend Arielle working on some concept art for me. This project is going to present a lot of challenges for me, and I'm excited to get it started.

I am also taking Photorealistic Rendering, which I know is going to be TOUGH, but I am excited to take it head-on. It's going to be a great quarter!