Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Side-Kick Project No.5(Lighting/Renderig)


So, here is the final images that I got for this project. I`m gonna write down what I did since last update, then also I`ll write down the whole process that I`ve taken for this project,plus what I`ve learned(or just what I thought I learned...) through different try and errors.

Hopefully some of you enjoy this my journey with digital media, and can share some info through my struggles : )

What I did since last update:

As I announced last time, I tried to use sss shader, but realized that I can`t use normal with this shader(or maybe I can? I don` know),,, plus I couldn't`t figure out the way to rewrite Maya RAYRC file registry in order to import custom shader(I wanted to use mix 20layer shader for fast skin sss shader). I`m not gonna write down every process of my struggles with sss shader, but I still wanna explore the use of this shader, at least for props in my next project.

For this project, I just used mental ray`s scatter setting in Maya`s blin shader. But just the use of texture and normal didn`t give me hyper realistic image. I do like the final image, but I wanna know how to achieve gollum type of hyper realistic creature/character skin in the future.
Yet it was fun attempt to achieve subsurface effect with poly painting with ZBrush too.

After that, I did lighting set up for each angles, and rendered out col map/occlusion map/wire image.

The process that I`ve taken for this project:

I thought it is important to be conscious of my overall process that I have at this point in my life. There are many different approaches out there, and each approach must have advantages and disadvantages. The stupid thing is just to watch famous artist`s tutorials out there, and believe that only those approaches are good way, or "right way." What`s hyper important for us is to evaluate those process by each, and incorporate what`s effective for each person`s work/project in various working environment.


2.manual UVmapping with Maya

3.Z sculpting for body

4.Texture Painting with ZBrush for body(poly painting)
*save ZBase Mesh before disable UV !!!!

5.Z sculpting/texture for cloth
apply disp/normal
trouble shooting for applying disp/normal map
file organize
*import setting has to be set to false. But still need to fix UV, by transferring UV of original base mesh that I made in Maya,or simply paste every edges except border.
*Once I used approximation editor to render displacement map in Mental Ray, it didn`t render. Error message was, invalid topology, Without using approximation editor, it did render, but the surface of the object looked very bulged. I really don`t know why... I decided to use level 3 mesh(63872faces) with normal for now.
*better not paint texture on the center of the object..... Unless UV is clean, it`s gonna distort alot.

6.texture and normal generation for the other props
normal /texture apply for props
fixing UV of the mesh that I imported from ZBrush
smoothing props
*right side of normal for Hair is flipped. lower part of normal seems have trouble too.

7.Texture fix
Normal Fix

8.Shader adjust
Lighting set up
Thick Wire map creation with Photoshop
Rendering Color/Wire/Occlusion map with 6 different angles
*couldn't`t figure out how to use simple sss shader.
*couldn't`t figure out how to import mix 20 layer.

intro to subsurface scattering(Gnomonology)
skin paint demo

Next step:

I`ve been planning to learn basic rigging/skinning, using this character. I have no idea how difficult it will be, but if I can put rig in him, I wanna have him pose the way my concept shows(surprised by watching small mouse: you can see the image at my blog for 2D).

or I may just cry for help in here, so please keep on visiting here !


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Side-Kick Project No.4 (Normal/Displacement, Texture)


It has been hyper struggling days for this process... Basically what I did was to generate Displacement/Normal map, then tried to apply them in Maya, plus made texture for the props and little snake(he is there, right under left hand..). I applied every maps that I made so far in Maya too. I`m gonna write down and record my struggle with this stage.

Looking at the project note that I`ve been making, it is obvious that I`m struggling with this stage the most, especially when I apply normal/disp map. I could solve some of the trouble, but I still couldn't`t solve some major issue(you see them in second image)

Import option:
You guys remember that I mentioned that when I exported obj to Maya to check UV, every faces got broken into tiny pieces, right? This was actually caused by the fact that I forgot to adjust the import setting in Maya. I was supposed to set file type to obj, then choose file type specification to false. Then everything was supposed to be OK, but then I found out that every UV got broken(or separated). So I had to fix these by pasting every edge except border edge( or I could transfer UV from original obj). This has been really bugging me, and I really appreciate if any of you let me know how to avoid this.

The trouble when I applied displacement in Maya :
I encountered serious trouble when I applied disp map in Maya. I converted 32 disp map into map file, then I made sure to use proper number for color balance(alpha gain2.2, alpha offset-1.1), and made sure to use approximation editor(create subdivision) for tessellation in Mental Ray. But every time I render, error message pooped up, saying invalid topology. Assuming that there might be trouble in faces, I checked normal of faces, vertices, UV. But everything looked OK. Plus, when I didn`t use approximation editor, it did render. But the result was .... you can see the image that I got at second image. The object got so bulged out that it almost looked about to explode. I haven`t resolve this issue, and have no idea right now. I decided to use only Normal for now...

The trouble when I rendered Normal map in Maya :

Can you take a look at the second image again? I encountered the situation that some portion of normal got rendered the opposite way, I mean some edges were supposed to be bumped in, but it actually got bumped out. I also haven`t been able to resolve this too. Fortunately after applying the texture, those bumped out edge almost were unnoticeable. But I really wanna know why this happened. The thing is I exported each hair things separately, then I imported them in ZBrush, using Subtool and I made normal/texture all togher. Three hairs at the left got rendered fine, but the other three at rigth side got rendered wrong way. So I guess I`m skipping important process when I use subtool for multiple objects, or could be just bug? I don`t know.

Next Step :

I`m gonna tweak texture, then generate bump(for the obj that I didn`t use normal), spec map after this. Then finally, I`m gonna try to use Subsurface Scattering shader !! I know little about sss shader at this point, but I can`t wait how it`s gonna turned out with all of those maps that I created.


Friday, August 8, 2008

More fun than the most !

I may need to take back what I said last time, I mean, Texturing is really fun too!! Since this project is my personal project, I could spend as much time as I want, and seriously I couldn`t sleep till I could finish this..., so fun and addictive.

Enabling UV in ZBrush

Though it was fun process, I encounter some trouble. One thing is that we need to disable UV before doing per poly painting in ZBrush, right? But after painting, I enable UV and created the 1k texture as test. But everytime I hit col>texture button, no texture was created. To see what`s going on with UV of the object that I have just enabled UV, I exported the obj to Maya. What I saw in UV texture editor was totally mess, and every UV was broken into tiny pieces and every faces too.

I could use UV mapping function in ZBrush, but I wanted to adjust the texture in Photoshop later. So my solution was to go back to older file, and exported the 1st level mesh whose UV hasn`t been diabeled. After doing texture work, I could just reimport that 1st level mesh, and this time, oh yeah, I could generate texture !!

I guess once we disable UV that we create in Maya, we may not be able to recover those UV in ZBrush, I don`t know, if anybody who read this know about this, please let me know!!

Texture Painting

My texture painting process is straight forward, Starting off by spraying red, yellow, and blue, I gradually overlay skin tone layer by layer, hours by hours in order to make it look organic. Though I have a plan to use subsurface scattering shader for this project(!!!), I still wanted to mimic semi trancelucent quality of skin. For this type of painting, I watched the tutorial below. Awesome clip!

next step

My next step would be to do the texture for the props, and ZBrush work for cloth and hair stuff. Also I will generate 32 bit displacement map, and hopefully I can show you guys the image that every map is applied all together.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The most fun stage !!

This stage is diffenitely the most fun part of 3D creation, ZBrush ! In this stage, really my effort to create solid base mesh in Maya has been paid off(coz surface is very smooth to sculpt), and all I needed to do was to sculpt muscle while giving more structure here and there.

Since I modeled primary form in Maya while establishing gesture throuout the body, I could dive into fun part. Below is the step that I took.

level 3 :52,965 : make primary form organic
level 4 : 200,000 : refine primary form, sculpting secondary form
level 5 : 1mil : further refine
level 6 : 4 mil sculpting details

I use Claytube brush alot, and it really gives a feeling of practical clay. But what I really noticed throughout this project is how much I forgot muscle !! My opinion is that the most important thing is to get the habit of using reference of muscle rather than trying to memorize each muscle, yet I really got surprized how much I forgot about them....

After creating Normal map, I realized that this is just for myself, not for the company, I decided to use displacement map instead(though I may use normal as support). My next step is texture, so please keep on visiting here!

Compare to my another blog for concept art, I will end up with writing alot (like this time), but my main purpose for this blog is to show my process and get the critique and advice, exchanging tips and tricks. So please be patient with my bad writing, and hopefuly you guys enjoy my digital journey !


Friday, August 1, 2008

first post for my 3D works !

So, finally I made Blog for my 3D works! I have already made another Blog for traditional stuff, but I`m going to post some 3D stuffs here, not just finished works, but mostly in progress images, so that I can share the process with people.

My recent project is from the design that I`ve done last month(you can see better images of original one at (

I have just finished modeling base mesh, and UV mapping, going to do ZBrush works from tomorrow.

Please stay in touch with me and keep on visiting here !!