I realized I never posted the finished version of the Mars still from a few posts back.
In this semester, I’ve been working with mapping coal mining data. As much of my work deals with materials, I’m playing with the combination of coal and mineral materials with human skin. I’m also referencing pictorial landscapes and trying to pair the aspirational feel of some of that style of photography with the visceral and emotional impact of familiar human skin.
This work has taken quite a bit of development time, as the technical aspects of subsurface scattering, map creation, render optimization, and rendering at print sizes has been a challenge.
One of the first problems to solve for print was optimizing map size and texture space. Even using 8k maps, printing at gallery sizes (30″, ~200dpi) means pixelation for the compositions I was choosing. So I developed a procedural skin bump/displacement map. Here’s a render, Maya lambert, one spotlight, depth map shadows.
As a flat render, it’s not going to wow – but when you put it on a modeled form – or use it as one part of a good skin shader, it works pretty well. It actually performs better with a bit of UV distortion, which for my current project was perfect.
This update shows some images I made last semester.
In these images, I was exploring some formal connections between modernist typography and Brutalist architecture.
I may return to this series later.
I don’t really think of myself as an animator, but I had a lot of fun working on this.
My ‘final’ rendered model with texture. Liked the fur. It’s pretty smooth when you use the software renderer.
Room for improvement:
- Some metal/damage/interface detail around the leg sockets would be nice
- I don’t love the head plastic texture – I was going for the old beige computer case look, but since the head is the only part with that material, it might look odd
- The wings aren’t nearly as subtle as I’d like. They’re transparent, and they have a nice rainbow reflection at the right angle….but the veins seem fuzzy to me.