XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
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View Full Version : Lighting Challenge #10: Flying Spaghetti Monster

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03-23-2007, 07:35 AM
This is an old challenge now, this thread is archived. If you scroll down to the Challenge #10 section of the downloads page, you'll see that the models can still be downloaded for your tests, and also that a gallery has been made of top entries. Feel free to browse this thread to see what others have posted, even though you can no longer post here.

You Will Believe That Pasta Can Fly.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Lighting Challenge is open! You can download the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his world from this location:


BLENDER (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_BLEND.rar)
C4D (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_C4D.rar)
FBX (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_FBX.rar)
LWO (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_LWO.rar)
MAX (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_MAX.rar)
MB (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_MB.rar)
OBJ (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_OBJ.rar)
XSI (http://forumleaders.s3.amazonaws.com/challenges/lighting/10-FlyingSpaghettiMonster_XSI.rar)
This is an original interpretation of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, as modeled and donated to the challenge by Ted Channing. The monster comes in an original 3D environment featuring a canyon, a river, and a volcano.


Please credit the modeling by Ted Channing if you put renderings of this scene into your webpage or your portfolio. We’re grateful to anyone who donates nice-looking character models for a challenge, please give credit where credit is due!

The main challenge here is one of believability: You need to convince people that pasta can fly. What can you do to make this bizarre looking creature appear enlightened and powerful, instead of merely looking like someone’s dinner? How you light the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be the key to making moving, inspirational images.

Light and render this scene in any 3D software. Use any texturing, shading, lighting, rendering and compositing techniques of your choice. Use any particle, fluid, or volumetric rendering techniques you want in rendering clouds, lava, and smoke from the volcano. You can change the models or repose the character as needed. For the environment, you can render any parts of the set that you want, or composite the character into the environment of any background image you want.


The contest is active right now if you're just getting started this weekend. Here are some of the entries that have been posted in this thread already:

Posted by bungatron71100 on Page 6

posted by jeremybirn on Page 11

Posted by Fex on Page 11

posted by jsilver on Page 11


03-23-2007, 09:22 AM
This is different, can't wait to see people express there ideas. Do we need to submit a still or an animation or ether?

03-23-2007, 09:51 AM
whooohoooo....:thumbsup: Now this is what i called a different lighting challenge. Lighting a character like goblins, superman, a woman or other character is basically the same like we're watching a movie, but lighting a "flying spaghetti"?? That's going to be a real challenge man!!

Great idea for the lighting challenge and thanks a lot Ted for the model, can't wait to try it..


03-23-2007, 12:28 PM
The mountain is there, but as a devout Pastafarian myself, I must ask...

where's the midgit?




03-23-2007, 01:57 PM
I'm really serious about the posting rules this time. This challenge will be a lot of fun, but I actually had to think about whether this was appropriate for a challenge or not. My friends at work said "do it," and I decided this wasn't the most offensive cartoon charcter in the world (it won't cause international riots or get blown up by the Boston Police or anything) but still I'm ready with my forum leader 'delete' button if anyone makes a post that isn't about computer graphics or any off-topic debates start.

This is different, can't wait to see people express there ideas. Do we need to submit a still or an animation or ether?

Yes, very different. The pasta looks a little like one of the themes you see a lot in the artwork of Meats Meier (http://www.3dartspace.com/), but only a little. We haven't done many characters yet, and certainly nothing surreal. I'm already thinking of things to do with this project myself...

Animation or stills are fine, but please post stills (just as .jpg or .png) when you're first developing it. And when you post animation, post a still frame above the animation file link, too.

This character looks very difficult to rig, I guess it wouldn't take long to make the pasta wave in a few lattices though -- or maybe it's more about softbody dynamics??

I expect anyone who sets up effects for the volcano and likes their results would want to get an animation out of the project somehow. I'm not even worrying about the volcano now, I'm doing tests on occlusion on the charcter in the valley...


03-23-2007, 02:30 PM
No jokes? And I planned to put Doc Hudson into my entry. ;)


03-23-2007, 02:53 PM
MasterZap -

Great first image!

There's no ban on adding cars or podracers or whatever else to the canyon. :thumbsup:


03-23-2007, 04:55 PM
Podracers! ROFLMAO! ;)

Yeah, I guess podracers are more readily available as a model (I can't model worth nutti'n).

But I was going for a bit of Radiator Springs look. I'm shameless like that ;)

(Btw, do you need more of that Swedish Car candy (http://www.ahlgrensbilar.com/)? I should send you a crate ;) )


03-23-2007, 05:09 PM
I think this challenge will be a lot of fun , a nice departure from the previous in a more relax kinda way and fun too.. thres room for dynamics in here as u say.. i was thinking more of parmesan cheese flying aroung j/k :D .. ill be fun :scream: .. i wonder if we have a couple of weeks more to finish the neon challenge ? i found that challenge kinda hard on me and my pc but i like it :wise:


03-23-2007, 08:53 PM
MasterZap - We already have enough candy over here. ("The Land of Chocolate" may be in Europe, but you can at least call my country "The Land of High Fructose Corn Syrup.") I'd think the truck from the last lighting challenge could be stuck into this scene like a Pizza Planet truck if you want.

Leotril - I probably won't be getting the gallery together for the last challenge for another week or so, and even after that it'll still be an on-going challenge.


03-24-2007, 03:18 PM
Big thanks for Rob-O for the Lightwave conversion of the scene, and jojo1975 for the Max version. They are both on the download page.

I'd be happy to host more formats if someone has some other software they'd like to help support.

This terrain really is a challenge to get going. For today I'm just going to get lazy and post a mash-up:

(I knew my Challenge #8 scene was missing something, now I know what it was!)


03-24-2007, 03:43 PM
Hi Jeremy.

Thanks for the new interesting challenge.

I've prepared the scene for Cinema4D 9.6.
How do I provide that file? Do I have to find a file hoster and load it up there?
Or do I send an e-mail, if so... to whom?


03-25-2007, 01:54 AM
Thanks Mesut -

Your Cinema 4D file is on the download page.


03-25-2007, 02:53 PM
Thanks ShadowM8 -

Your XSI file is on the download page.


03-25-2007, 03:55 PM
Here is my first try at this cool scene, still a lot of work to do, anyway, I hope you can get an idea!
Cheers to everyone,
all the best


03-25-2007, 04:34 PM
60WE - Great start! If I were you I'd work on the sky/environment next. The sky is a big part of the image, it probably needs clouds, and the sky will be a big part of the reflections in making nice metalic looking forks. Your terrain on the cliff walls looks terrific! The ground looks very dry now, so right next to the water you might want it to get darker and wetter looking near the water line. The water surface itself is very regularly textured. I'm looking forwards to seeing your next version.


03-25-2007, 08:32 PM
Love the gauntlet of forks idea, 60We !
Here's a preliminary render to establish the camera angle, sunlight direction etc. I've used the Mental Ray Physical Sky environment shader with a single infinite light and final gather. You're supposed to be able to use Physical Sky with a Physical Sun shader on the light but whatever the settings this seems to come out far too bright, like the poor old spag monster's drifted into an H-bomb test range. The textures on the ground are a quick fix up to see how it's looking from bits of images of the Martian surface downloaded from the European Space Agency website. (Many useful textures free for non-commercial use).

03-25-2007, 10:08 PM
Hahaha, that is brilliant! :thumbsup:

03-25-2007, 10:36 PM
The Lightwave file and link available for download is actually a .MAX file and thus rather useless for Lightwave...

03-25-2007, 10:51 PM
My bad - cut/paste error in the HTML - I fixed the download page if you shift-reload you'll see a working link to http://www.3drender.com/challenges/FlyingSpaghettiMonster/FlyingSpaghettiMonster_LWO.rar


03-25-2007, 11:56 PM
andystopps - Great start! I love the texture on the horizontal parts of the terrain. See if you can get softer lighting on the FSM, right now it looks as if all the light from above comes from just one angle, and parts that are in shadow from that don't look top-lit at all.


03-26-2007, 01:31 AM
Jeremy, thank you very much for your comment, I'm working on the sky/environment and for sure it will take some time to make it look decent. Regarding the textures I think that I'll start to work on them later on, right now the ground is just a flat color with a bit of bump just to check how the terrain is unwrapped.

@ andystopps...glad you like the idea, I agree with Jeremy about the texture on the horizontal parts it gives a sense of a "big" space.


03-26-2007, 02:50 AM
Wow. Im speechless. This challenge's going to be by far the coolest one yet hahahaha. It's more towards comedy than anything.

03-26-2007, 04:55 AM
60WE - I know what you mean, I'm trying this too and it is a real challenge, a lot of work!

All I got done today was some textures for the meatballs and the eyes. Here's a test render of the textures:


I already had some eye textures sitting around, but for the meatballs I had to buy a Whopper at Burger King, photograph it, and make it tile...


03-26-2007, 08:16 AM
Darn, Jeremy. that meatball texture makes me hungry.

Your noodly appendages, though, needs some work. ;)


03-26-2007, 02:32 PM
Darn, Jeremy. that meatball texture makes me hungry.

Your noodly appendages, though, needs some work. ;)

It's funny, after working with the macro shots of the Whopper surface, I didn't feel hungry anymore myself, and ended up throwing away the patty and using the whopper toppings (onion, pickle, etc.) on a veggie burger. Here's a full-res crop from my Burger King Whopper texture:

But I agree, I need to work on the pasta. I've started some tests on shaders.


03-26-2007, 03:53 PM
thanks for ruining the appetite for the rest of us - some of us are on different global times and were ready to have dinner..........:rolleyes:



03-26-2007, 07:25 PM

This is my very first render and post in this society. Though this is the result what I achieved in my first render, apart from test renders. Hope you like it and would love if you criticise the mistakes. Looking forward for your C&Cs.

-M.Junaid Baig.

BTW: How do I post/insert my image? It is stored in my local HDD.

03-26-2007, 09:09 PM
One of the simplest ways of posting an image is to upload it to a site such as


which hosts images and provides you with URL's linking directly to it. You then drop that URL into this forum.

There are plenty of similar sites, Imageshack is the one that comes to mind first. Try a search for "image hosting" and you should get a bunch of results.


03-26-2007, 10:59 PM
I'm really going to try and animate this one :)

I want a deep cloud cover, perhaps having a waterfall off the edge of the cliff in the bottom right of this pic, with all the haze and mist that creates.

Obviously need to shade the char too ;)

03-27-2007, 05:54 AM
[/url]Diabolos - Sorry about your dinner! Your scene is off to a great start, I like the idea of different colored stripes on the canyon walls. I guess the volcano should be some other texture, not horizontal stripes though, since it is a volcano not layers of sediment. [url="http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=55564"] (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=147082)

lotusexige - Great start! I love the clouds and mist, they are really terrific looking already! What software/technique are you using for those clouds?


03-27-2007, 08:35 AM
It's funny, after working with the macro shots of the Whopper surface, I didn't feel hungry anymore myself, and ended up throwing away the patty and using the whopper toppings (onion, pickle, etc.) on a veggie burger. Here's a full-res crop from my Burger King Whopper texture:


That looks vaugely like the sheep intestines they used for the face hugger shots in the original "Alien" movie.



03-27-2007, 03:39 PM
Ok this my try I hope you like it

03-27-2007, 04:21 PM
Whoah, that one makes me go "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"


03-27-2007, 04:45 PM
Thankyou. I'll surely give it a try.


03-27-2007, 05:13 PM
LOL :D last one was pretty good nice mood alien looking no more pasta.,.
mine is looking very cartoon right now and im afraid ill end up puttin the truck in the scene ..

03-27-2007, 06:18 PM
i tried this as well ... hehehe . stylized

here it is


03-27-2007, 10:19 PM
I've recovered enough now from the image of Jeremy's burger to do a bit more to this, with some texturing on the vertical parts of the terrain (though I'm putting off sorting out the smeary bits), adding the Physical Sun light shader (needs very low intensity values, helps fix some of the uneven lighting on the monster) and messing about a bit with the water, though I think I'm going to have to have a rethink about how to approach that.
Lotusexige - Hey ! Nice clouds !
Kain-Hazem - One of the great things about these challenges is the way that people come up with really different approaches to the same scene. Creepily atmospheric...I'll go along with Master Zap on this one...


03-27-2007, 11:00 PM
Hey Jeremy,

I am glad you decided to go for the Flying Spaghetti lighting Challenge. I will be posting my entry later on this week. Looks like a lot of people like it so far. late


03-28-2007, 02:20 AM
[/url]Kain-Hazem - Wow! That's terrific! Great job! It's great when an environment and a color scheme expresses a feeling. It's even more powerful when characters are a part of the environment, and you can feel for them. If there's anything important that you might work on in other images, it would be thinking about how the creatures can be made sympathetic, so you know if they are sad or relaxed, resting or dieing, or whatever they are feeling at the moment. Sometimes little things like angle and pose help with that, other times a little facial expression in the eye area. On the technical side it looks terrific. You might do some polygon smoothing on the creatures, especially the one in the foreground, to make them more organic, and maybe the one in the foreground could be darkeneed down with less reflection?

weng888 - Stylized or not, if you work harder on believable lighting, then you could better sell the scene to the viewer.
[url="http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=84876"] (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=248699)
andystopps - Great! First you got the horozontal, now you're getting the cliffs looking good. I think you need some more polygon smoothing to smooth the transition between them, too. (either that or some edge mapping on the top surface to get it to react to the shape of the drop-off?)


03-28-2007, 03:01 AM
weng888 - Stylized or not, if you work harder on believable lighting, then you could better sell the scene to the viewer.


i was just trying a stylized look ...:sad: will make something else then ...


03-28-2007, 03:17 AM

Just wanted to have some fun with this interesting scene.
Sorry for it being quite grainy... didn't let it cook too long...
If I'd be able to generate a pot full of spaghetti ingredients, I'd head towards this kitchen scene, I think... to see what I could I get out of it, when shaders, lights and details are being paid attention to... help in form of crits/comments would help a lot... Thx.



03-28-2007, 03:25 AM
hi all! lots of great images so far.. nice going guys, going to post mine soon.

@kain-hazem : wow!! i didn't know that spagghetti can look so crystal. anyway nice image man, more touch ups on the environment to make the monsters blend with the environments and your image will look great. nice job

03-28-2007, 05:19 AM
mesutcapkin - Nice scene! I like the appearance of the eyes, they have a lot of depth to them. So, that's like meat or spaghetti sauce in the pan? I guess for working on anything that looks like a really extreme close-up, I recommend finding or shooting some really good visual reference so you know exactly what it looks like and possibly can turn some of the photos into textures.

weng888 - Don't be :( no harm intended. There's nothing wrong with doing a stylized scene, keep the composition and models, just don't use "stylized" as an excuse not to work hard on believable lighting. What you posted was all flatly lit, mostly overexposed, looked like you just threw a few lights in there thinking it didn't matter how well lit it was just because it was a cartoon, and that's where you shouldn't cut corners in a lighting challenge. That's all I was saying.


03-28-2007, 06:59 AM
Hey this is what I've rendered.

03-28-2007, 01:21 PM
mJunaidb -

Nice start! The rock is looking good. The clouds in the sky seem to be lit from the right and above. In your 3D objects, I only see light from the left. Maybe you could add some rim light on the FSMs from the right and above? Also, the sky could probably be brighter than the shadow areas of the cliffs, you could brighten the sky and also put a little glow around it to make the scene look more back-lit.


03-28-2007, 01:58 PM
Thank you everyone for this sweet talk


That's good I want to see your wonderful works and one another thing do you speak Arabic..hahahahaha


Thanks man and I want to see your work


Thank man for this kind of talk

And your work is good


Thank you Mr.jeremy you are very sweet man

And I will make that


Thanks man .....in my world every thing possible even the spaghetti hahahaha......

03-28-2007, 02:04 PM
Thankyou, Cool observations, I didn't focus on my clouds part ;)

I'll rather make the FSM's material a SSS one, that may solve the rim light purpose a bit. Even then, I'll surely give those lighting advises a try.

See u soon.

03-29-2007, 01:09 AM
This looks like so much fun, but the only 3d package I have is Bryce 4, and I lost the serial! Could I download Maya PLE and just deal with the watermarking?

03-29-2007, 01:45 AM
This looks like so much fun, but the only 3d package I have is Bryce 4, and I lost the serial! Could I download Maya PLE and just deal with the watermarking?

Yes, you can use Maya PLE. You don't even need to retouch out the watermarking, just post what you create, and we'll only look at the lighting and rendering. Some people here are even using free programs like Blender, and a lot of people have student-discount copies of Maya as well.


03-29-2007, 12:02 PM
That's my SpaghettiMonster! I can't imagine spaghetti without tomato sauce (or maybe blood??). I think adding some drop of tomato on river could be nice. Environment from scratch, tomato and caustics in photoshop.

http://img485.imageshack.us/img485/3016/spaghettimonsterpk9.jpg (http://imageshack.us/)

03-29-2007, 12:41 PM
ok my first post on the FSM challenge.so far really nice and creative stuff being done here...
I really like Mesut Capkin's entry...quite different. is it maxwell rendering?

her's my first post..

I m thinking of adding a couple of rocket boosters AKA starwarsy stuff.
C&C welcome..

03-29-2007, 12:45 PM
suchoparek -

Great start! I love the water texture, it really feels like water. Adding some tomato sauce is a great idea! I think you could do more to bring out the depth and gleam and highlights in his eyes. It looks as if the FSM is casting a light gray but very hard-edged shadow onto the water, you could probably get rid of that and just make more of his reflection visible instead. The FSM is casting a very dark shadow on the wall, maybe it could be filled in with more bluish light from the sky instead of going black? The canyon walls are looking good, some of them could use some polygon smoothing or extra subdivision, especially on the right where you see the triangles. The blue in the sky isn't very bright, so I'd think you could put in a cloud with real shading in it, or else go with a lighter blue for the sky as if the whole sky were overexposed.


03-29-2007, 12:56 PM
tuffmutt1 -

That's great! I love the textures on his eyes, it's like they are turned into extra meatballs or some kind of deep-fried treat or something. The canyon walls and sense of motion blur are great, maybe there's one area, the texture on the ground right below him, that could use more motion blur. Part of the left fork looks like metal, but then it reflects the wall that should be behind it. The right fork looks like it almost isn't there or is transparent the way it mostly reflects sky. Maybe you just need more work on the metal material. The FSM could use more polygon subdivision, some of the spaghetti in the foreground looks as if it is faceted with polygons and not as smooth as it could be. The very wide-angle view is nice, but maybe you could add some fisheye or barrel distortion - you can do this in Photoshop if it is hard to do in a lens shader in your software. I'm just talking about something like this: http://www.3drender.com/light/lens.htm


03-29-2007, 01:07 PM
Hi tuffmutt1.

Thanks a lot for your words.
Yes, it's done with c4d9.6 and Maxwell1.1.


03-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Earendil - if you're looking for free pro-quality software for this you might consider Side Effects' Houdini. The demo version ( which they call "The Apprentice Edition" is fully featured, save works, etc, it's render resolution limited but the max res. is quite generous, and although the output is watermarked, the watermark is much more discrete than Maya PLE's. You don't get the 3rd party renderers ( Mental Ray and Renderman ) but I'm sure the built-in one will blow the socks off the one you're used to with Bryce. I have to admit I've no idea what it's like to use, I haven't had the time to try out my own copy (I'm a sucker for freebie downloads). Unfortunately the Softimage XSI demo is time limited, which is a shame, 'cos I find XSI the best all-rounder I've tried.
Tuffmutt1 - Great Stuff, puts me in mind of the Roadrunner.
Here's my most recent iteration of this. I've tried to sort out the canyon edges, as per your suggestion Jeremy, and done a bit of work on the volcano texture - I can see this is going to need a displacement map to make the lip of the crater work.
I gave the FSM a new, greener, sort of pasta verde look to complement the reds of the landscape. He's only got a Lambert shader at the moment, but maybe some specularity would be good...

03-30-2007, 12:11 AM
Thanks Andy, I really want to post my idea, but it's slow goin's on this Geforce2. My ATI 1600 died. This monster will...live!

03-30-2007, 02:40 AM
Earendil - Welcome! I don't know what a graphics card has to do with your rendering, unless you are doing some kind of realtime thing? I guess we'll see when you post it...

andystopps - Great! Your landscape keeps getting better and better. I like the Pesto Sauce idea. Maybe his balls shouldn't be green, though, some contrast in color would show-off the greenness of the pasta even more.


03-30-2007, 04:48 AM
Well, Maya specifically stated that Geforce 2 had trouble with certain types of renderings. And I tried rendering a scene, and it only showed the spaghetti monster, and the bushes, not the terrain. I figured it was because of the card...

I'm going to try using Houdini as andy suggested.

EDIT: Won't import, going back to Maya PLE...Ok, Maya keeps resetting the objects! Argh!

03-30-2007, 07:43 AM
Progress! Albeit ..very very slow. I discovered that editing vertices was similar to using the Photoshop pen tool, just in 3d space! So I took the liberty of making the mountain...more ridiculous I suppose. :D Even managed to make the spaghetti (hopefully) more menacing!

Lighting...texturing...I cannot figure my way around this program, so this is a challenge indeed! Muahaha!:)

I've attached what I have. So far only composition has been established, edited the mountain, and got the backlighting to where I wanted it.

I'm going for a "Flying Monkey/Mordor" look if you know what I mean, with just the spagetti monster as a silhouette with eeeevil eyes. Going to try and at least drop some clouds in the background, but the big thing I'm trying to do is have the monster cast volumetric shadows, and have glowing red eyes! Oh and I suppose some textures would be nice...

Now, if I could just find the right button... :rolleyes: *rummage...GoogleFu...reload...*

03-30-2007, 08:12 AM
hi all, this is what i've came up so far. Just a rough rendering, not shaded yet and currently still trying to find out what kind of theme that can suit the monster.


Any comment and suggestion are welcome..



03-30-2007, 11:58 AM
Hi there,

looks funny the new challange.
Ok, I make a first setup for my scene.
To make the monster looks flying I add some motionblur to it.
Image was rendered with fr2 and cinema4d.


03-30-2007, 04:42 PM
Some progress on texture and the sky, still a lot of things to fix and maybe I'm going to change the forks with some other stuff.
Here is the pic after eating out the FSM.


03-30-2007, 11:21 PM
Fantastic! I plan to delve right into this challenge as my first official inclusion to the CGSociety Community. And what a no better way than to light the spaghetti diety himself.

Now, I seam to be lacking some textures. jeremybirn, you wouldn't mind if I use your Whopper texture?

03-31-2007, 09:47 AM
Earendil - You've started something, now keep going! Back-lighting the FSM is a good idea. Try to make the landscape look smooth and organic, not making polygons obvious.

neonbulbs - Keep going!

holle - Great start! See if you can get more depth to the eyes, you have inner eye surfaces that could have the iris mapped on if the outer layer was just transparent with reflections and refraction. I like the motion blur. See if you can get softer shadows, right now the shadows really cut-up the pasta. You also need to do some subdivision to the mesh to smooth it out, the pasta and the meatballs are suffering from looking too low-poly.

60WE - Nice solid rocks....

Forgott3n - Welcome! Yes, feel free to grab the portion of the texture that I posted if you want it.


03-31-2007, 09:49 AM
OK, this is cheesy, but I've just been playing with the scene and I've noticed how easy it is to cross that fine line between reverential and cheesy. I'll try to do better over the next few days:



03-31-2007, 11:48 AM
i've done a bit of a mash-up as well. if that's not ok jeremybirn, please shun and ostrasize me as necessary:thumbsup:

flying spaghetti monster as art:

(couple of area lights for key and fill, g.i. for fill, and one last spec only) (good, fun! challenge this time around too)


oh, and the text:

Jackson Pollock (1/28/12-8/11/56)
Flying Spaghetti Monster c. 1945
(Titanium, Obsidian, Glass)

An engagingly rare work from the American Master, Flying Spaghetti Monster
represents Pollock's unique foray into the culinary arts. Hand-formed in his Manhattan studio prior to moving to Springs, NY, this piece is known to signal Pollock's emerging "drip" or "pour" technique.

Art critic Hudson Huffington Morgan IV, writing in The New Yorker in 1947, describes this work as a "disgustingly sensuous homage to the various women of his life, redulent of garlic, fresh basil, screaming El trains and hot summer nights. Desparing of the confines of the City, Pollock was bursting with energy, sodden with new ideas, in love with himself and pasta."

03-31-2007, 03:58 PM
Hi Jeremy,

This was a really fun piece to work on. I'd never make 3D spaghetti before..and it's tough to make it look like actual spaghetti...but I guess since the model is very cartoony there's more than you can get away with. (Phew)

I wanted the volcano active in the scene..so I looked up a few reference pictures and found 2 that I really liked. One set at night with the lava glowing and another one that was all red lit up in fire with red smoke and all. So I decided to give both of them a try.

I used 3 different colors on the monsters "tentacles" if you will...'cuz I wanted it to be tricolor pasta, you know, the yellow, green and red one...but it doesn't show all that much, especially on the second scene. The first one ended up looking more like an alien monster but I'm still pretty happy with the result...but that's just me.

I would appreciate any feedback you could give me on my work. Thank you very much for your help.

Juan Carlos


03-31-2007, 04:22 PM
hello there,

I thought such thing would only come out at night. so my first try is to show the FSM in a night scenario.


03-31-2007, 04:54 PM
Ok, I faked (?) the shadow using a spotlight projection, blurrin and adding a blueish color. I don't know if caustics cover the shadow (like this) or viceversa :shrug: . Little overexposing the sky, now looks better to me. I don't like the tomato-blood trail, any suggest how to make it in photoshop is welcome. The eyes and the canyon will fix soon, as well as adding DOF.

@Moosedog and Jcsilvar: great ideas!

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5866/spaghettimonster2kd2.jpg (http://imageshack.us/)

03-31-2007, 06:01 PM
MooseDog - That's great! The concept is wonderful. I think with a few tweaks mostly to the materials, you could get the whole thing looking 100% realistic, and that would add to it. You have it looks like 3 different shades of plastic in it, maybe if you made something a little lighter than the pasta, but darker than the other tones, you could make it all out of the same material. The highlights as if there were a low-angle spotlight on it aren't very realistic, maybe a toned-down highlight coming from a higher angle would fit the scene better. The pedistal is great, the text could probably slide a bit to the right for a more natural margin.

jcsilvar - Wow!! This thread is getting really, really good all of a sudden! I love both those images. The volcano is fabulous. It has a real sense of energy about it, even the more stylized aspects like the way there are stripes of clouds radiating away like shockwaves instead of just a cloud of smoke coming out of the top, make for an interesting eye-catching scene. In terms of color, they both work. Maybe the cool blue tone in the top one helps the warm tones pop out better, I love what the deep blue does for the glow from the lava flow in the foreground. If the monster could have some red kick or rim light to make it look like it was lit by all of this, it could tie it together better. In terms of composition, it seems like having the monster heading off-screen to the right sortof puts the balance of the shot with where he's heading, instead of directing us back into the scene. If he could turn to the left instead, maybe just enough to face the camera, I think it would be a much stronger image - with everything you have set-up, I hope it wouldn't take long to try that yourself and see if you agree with me or not.

suchoparek - Nice! The red in the water is confusing, is it supposed to be pasta sauce dripping down? In terms of shadow tones, look at the cliff in the center right of the scene. There are brighter tones and shadow tones on the cliff where parts of it self-shadow. The shadow tones aren't very dark, they are just darker than the direct sun. The same is true with the shadow color that fills most of the cliff walls on the left, they are in shadow but they don't go black. Where you add the shadow of the monster, maybe a much, much lighter tone that matched the shadow tone on the other cliffs would fit with your scene better?


04-01-2007, 12:54 AM
Hi Jeremy,

thanks so much for your feedback! You're right...the rim light on the model is too subtle...I didn't add that much intensity to it 'cuz I didn't want the model to look too orange...but I went too low instead...I will fix that for sure. Oh, and I'll turn the monster slightly towards the camera like you suggested...as soon as I read your comment on it, I looked at the picture and it was like "THAT's what was wrong with this thing". I knew there was some issue composition wise...I just couldn't quite point out what it was.

Luckily I rendered everything in passes,so it shouldn't take too long to fix the image.

Thanks again, Jeremy!! You da' man!

04-01-2007, 01:16 AM

Meanwhile... trying to find a different perspective and minor shader tweaks here and there...



04-01-2007, 06:48 AM
bohlrocka - Welcome! That's a really good "night" feeling, the light colors and the sky backdrop give just the right tone. You might do more polygon smoothing and work on the rocks. The composition is almost there, it seems as if the camera should move further ahead of him, so we see more of his front and there's more extra space in front of him for him to travel into.

mesutcapkin - That's great! The composition, and the expression on the character's face as he sees the meatsauce, are really spot-on! I wonder if the inside of the pan looks enough like the inside of a pan, though, because people need to understand what they are looking at - maybe the highlight should just be a tall vertical highlight, and there could be more reflections or shadows from the side to define the roundness? These are just ideas, but really getting the materials including the cookware and sauces to look great is the key, probably more reflectivity would help the sauce too.


04-01-2007, 03:13 PM
MooseDog - That's great! The concept is wonderful. I think with a few tweaks mostly to the materials, you could get the whole thing looking 100% realistic, and that would add to it. You have it looks like 3 different shades of plastic in it, maybe if you made something a little lighter than the pasta, but darker than the other tones, you could make it all out of the same material. The highlights as if there were a low-angle spotlight on it aren't very realistic, maybe a toned-down highlight coming from a higher angle would fit the scene better. The pedistal is great, the text could probably slide a bit to the right for a more natural margin.

much appreciated jeremy. thorough and adept critiques are pretty rare, your efforts stand out.

digesting this and working on it as i type :).

04-01-2007, 09:17 PM
Mesutcapkin - what nice eyes you've got ! I like the glistening texture on the pasta too; maybe the metal could do with having the kind of finely frosted, slightly anisotropic effect you see on aluminium pots and pans in commercial kitchens, like it's being cleaned hard several times a day ?
MooseDog - HaHaHa ! D'you reckon they'll loan it to the Tate Modern gallery, so we can see it here in the UK ?
Jeremy - thanks for your comments, it's really great to have this stuff critiqued, I had a think about your suggestion of changing the colour of the meatballs to contrast with the pasta and thought, how about turning them into a couple of nice tomatoes ?
I've increased the area of transparency at the far edge of the terrain to try to imply aerial perspective (perhaps a little too much, looking at the preview here) - when I tried doing it with volumetric fog it desaturated the sky too much - ditto for using the aerial perspective control in the MRay Physical Sky shader. It'd be nice if you could adjust the colour used by the latter (maybe you can and I just haven't figured out how...). And I've added a couple of biplanes (models came from TurboSquid I think) to inject some action and hopefully give a sense of the scale I visualise for the FSM.

04-01-2007, 10:16 PM
Having some trouble making some decent meatballs, so I've spent my time on that so far. Just to help myself out I made the pasta oily and threw in an HDR IBL to see how well the meatball looks.

This is what I came up with:

I still need to find / make the appropriate texture, but I believe I have all the settings on the materials tweaked to my liking. For now I used raw hamburger meat that I made brown in photoshop... For some reason every attempt I made with jeremybirn's texture it made it look like organ tissue.

Network Graph:

I applied the "Wet Shader" method illustrated on Highend3D to make the meat look moist and use bump and displacements nodes to give the meatball its meat-like qualities. The surfaceLuminance and blendColors nodes were to remove the shadow on the first blinn but keep it's specular.

04-02-2007, 01:26 AM
andystopps - Nice! The biplanes look really bright compared to his eyes, maybe a compromise is possible? Also they look really big compared to the trees down there. As for replacing his meatballs with tomatoes, I don't really like what that does for him/her now - although I'm glad you mentioned they were supposed to be tomotoes, I would have thought otherwise that you just hadn't work much on the meat texture yet. Landscape is better and better, the volcano especially around its mouth just needs the same kind of attention you're giving to the cliff edges I guess, and maybe some displacement.

Forgott3n - The meatballs look dry to me, but if you're going to frame a wider shot anyway they might look different from a distance. Keep going!


04-02-2007, 04:13 AM
There's a lot of good ideas in this thread.

Here's my first crack at it. C&C are welcome.

04-02-2007, 04:22 AM
@bungatron71100: A really cool angle and concept! And I like how its coming along but the shadows seem to be lacking somehow. Perhaps making the shadow a tad sharper by the noodles along the wall, but thats about it.

04-02-2007, 02:00 PM
Thanks Forgott3n. Here are a few minor changes, I moved the noodles closer to the wall so the AO would be stronger and make them pop out a litlle more.


04-02-2007, 03:19 PM
bungatron71100 - Those are great! You've got a really solid concept, well executed. It seems as if you have some selective use of lighting in the shot, which is good, but the character isn't a part of it yet. From where he is, I wonder if we couldhave some rim or kick of the sunlight hitting him, maybe accentuating his eyebrows. Maybe he could also could use some more reflections and highlights in his eyes, giving him some eye highlights on the right side and iris gleam on the left for added depth? When I first looked at the image I was interpreting the bright bar on the right as an incoming wave, and looking at it more I guess now that it's a sand dune sitting out in the ocean, but if that could be made more clear it would be better. The monster also needs some more polygon subdivision especially on the parts that are close to camera.


04-02-2007, 06:07 PM
Oh boy, as someone who was Pastafarian before this challenge, I like this one a lot!

It's a diversion from the rules of the challenge, but as I see others have done this and it was acceptable, I hope mine will be.

With deep and sincere apologies to Mr Staney Kubrick, I present:


The FSM is lit independantly by a spotlight that only illuminates him, with heavily softened shadows. Rendered in LW 9.0

(Now I need to work on the eyes and meatball texture a bit).

04-03-2007, 04:12 PM
starbase1 -

Welcome! I love it! That's a great image, nice composition, clean concept.

The lighting needs a lot of work. THe low-angle light you've got, you could tone that way down so it's just a very soft blue-green bounce light. You really need some rim light highlighting the top edges of him near the light that's above and behind him. Right now he has frontal highlights on him that aren't really motivated at all, you could tone that down. There should be a certain mystery to his back-lit presence in the scene.

I agree the eyes need work as well, nice highlights, iris gleam, reflections, depth. But before you worry too much about the meatball shader, work on the lighting, because you'd be amazed how good a simple shader can look when you have the right lighting on something that doesn't really need to be that frontally lit.


PS - Note to everyone: It's 100% OK to do any composite you want! I said it in the rules, "For the environment, you can render any parts of the set that you want, or composite the character into any environment or any background image you want." Especially since we haven't had a purely compositing-based challenge yet, you don't need to apoligize for comping this character into any environment. He really could be anywhere.

04-03-2007, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the critique Jeremy, you hit on stuff I was looking at and some things that I hadn't thought of at all. Here I've worked on the eyes, added a bump to the cliff and meatballs, adjusted some lighting and the angle of the shot, and modeled detail into the cliffs. I'm still working on getting a nice rim light on the monster, but I haven't been satisfied with any of the results. Any suggestions on how to achieve this anyone?


04-03-2007, 09:05 PM
Hi Jeremy, and thanks VERY much for the words of encouragement. I have a lot to learn about lighting, and I guess this is a good place to start!

I'll go away and do more work on it,

04-03-2007, 09:59 PM
Hey people, I just now became aware of this challenge, and maybe my question is already answered, but i couldn't find one here....Is it possible just to use the spaghetti monster and create a totally different scene...like a resturant or a kitchen...? Cause that would be just great :)
And how long is each challenge?

04-03-2007, 11:20 PM
hey!, this was such a nice break from the architectural stuff i have been working on latey!
hope you like it =)

Mental ray sky/sun in Max, with post in fusion 5.

it might need some more work on the eyes but this was just a couple of hours job tribute to the pastafarian movement hehe.

good luck!

04-04-2007, 01:51 AM
3db2 - Great start! You have a nice style there and I like the vertical format. Maybe the red on the pasta is too saturated, and you could turn that down?

ArvidSchneider - Welcome! Yes, do what you want, take as long as you want.

bungatron71100 - Your scene just makes me smile every time I see it. I guess you turned the character into a classic "killroy was here" type figure. The white thing on the right is distracting, it's so much brighter than the sand on the other side of the water, and doesn't appear to go down into the water at all. Could you just hide the whole white thing and continue the water out to the edge of the frame? I think the occlusion is a little too dark and black right now.

To aim a rim light: Start with a spotlight that casts shadows. You might need to link it to the character, but in this case I think just aiming it well can prevent it from lighting the set. Position it off behind the character, so the character is between the light and the camera. Now look at the light from the camera's perspective window. The rim light should be visible in the camera view. If you want a rim light on the top of the character, move the rim light so that it is a little above the character in the camera's view. When the light is all the way behind the character you might not see any rim light, but the more you slide it away from the character, the broader and brighter the rim gets. You can hide all your other lights while working on this for clarity.


04-04-2007, 03:52 PM
andystopps - The ground textures look great. I agree with Jeremy on the volcano needing the same amount of attention. I like the biplanes as well. A few things: The sense of scale might be more apparent if you place one of the biplanes in between the monster and the camera. Just overlapping a noodle or two should do it. Also the river looks too blue to me. Maybe the tone should be more similar to that of the sky. As for the monster he looks like he was lit in a different scene than the background, one with blue lights. Warm colors tend to pop out while cool colors recede, maybe use a warmer tone for the noodle's colors.

Starbase1 - Nice concept. I think the monster will look great backlit.

3db2 - That's a spicy meatball! They look good enough to eat. My first question is why do the noodles look like they are going through the cliff, and the other is why the one red noodle?

Thanks again for the C & C Jeremy. I think Flying Spaghetti Monster Was Here is an appropriate title. I didn't want to get rid of the bank on the right side because it added color via final gather, so I made a plane with the same texture and placed it just off camera. The problem with the dark blacks wasn't AO but instead I had pushed the pedestal on the exposure node too far into the negative. I'd call this my final entry, but I still want to try to replace the noodle material with a SSS shader. I may also try to add some chunky marinara, but that is just a minor curiosity at this point.


Not to insult any Pastafarians, but I think it would be fun to add a Rolling Mostaccolli Monster and a Swimming Rotini Monster to the scene.

04-04-2007, 09:26 PM
Hi Jeremy,
I tried to act on your recommendations. I removed the front fill light entirely.

I put a bluish soft spotlight with no specular behind the Earth, to fake light from it.

As the sun light was not adding a rim, I excluded the FSM from it, and added a spotlight well above it, to try and give a bright rim to the top edges, but this seems to have had minimal effect, and I am reluctant to move it any further from the Sun light source.

It's not really the effect I was hoping for, and I'm not sure what I should try to fix it, except maybe some radiosity?) Anyway, suggestions are welcome from all quarters.

Incidentally, I decided that this thread was clear evidence I had neglected my lighting skills and ordered a copy of your book from Amazon UK today.


04-05-2007, 01:54 AM
[/url]starbase1 - For the rim, don't worry about where the sun is, just worry about where you want the rim light to appear. Right now it seems to be too much top-down light hitting the center of the pasta, not enough rim light just creating a bright line along the top. For his left shoulder (screen right) the pasta looks like it has a rim on the bottom, you want it on the top. It might take several rim lights to get it all done, but you've got the motivation for it. Thanks for your support on the book.[url="http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=74289"] (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=166394)

bungatron71100 - I love it! If you get the rim light on him working as a separate pass, you can just add or screen that right over your existing image, no need to re-render for that. The upper area could use a little more fill or translucency too, there's no reason those eyebrows to go so dark. The eyes would be stronger if there weren't so much reflection right in the center over the pupil.


04-06-2007, 01:07 AM
Some work on clouds and I'm trying to achieve a good blast for the volcano, I still have to paint a more detailed map to break the volcano in smaller parts, anyway, you can get the idea. Also started to working on FSM, trying to give him some expression, here has been squeezed a little but I had to cut off part of the character because he was too much close to the camera.
Any suggestion is more then welcome.


04-06-2007, 04:46 AM
60WE - Wow, there's a lot to like: your color scheme is looking good. I like the simple re-use of the same earth tones in several of the surfaces, it really helps tie the volcano and its effects elements together especially. The pasta is looking good, although still a bit faceted in one place on the left. I like your meatball texture. The sky and clouds look good, a nice complement for the pasta and earth tones. The eyes need work, they don't seem to have shadows from the lashes, the irises gleam brighter on the top instead of the bottom, and the colors seem to be borrowed from different places, one matching the river that we only see through gaps in his body. I guess you'll have to work out where you want the camera and the character and get a composition that works without squashing, but overall it looks like the elements of a great scene.


04-06-2007, 09:22 AM
Just a quick note as work continues... I found that in the lightwave model, one of the spaghetti strands had the polygons facing the wrong way, and they needed flipping. It's probably something I managed to do myself, (I did not go back and check the original), but worth checking if (for example!), you rim light picks up the wrong side of the strand!

I'm also working on a convincing alternative to a big flare for the sun in space...


04-06-2007, 12:29 PM
OK, extensive reworking - MANY thanks for the advice! I think it's a lot better and I hope people here agree. I'm aiting to hear what I can do to improve it further! In case it helps others, here's how I went about improving it...

Trying to fix the rim effect I moved stuff around - were surfaces odd? Was specular making it weird?
Turned off all lights except 1 at a time. This made things much clearer.
Turned off radiosity - this was confusing things.
Replaced spag surface with a very simple surface - was it reflections or specular causing problems?
Radiosity was definitely messing things up.

Then with my rim light ONLY active I positioned it for good rims with simple surfaces.
increased terminator contrast to extend rim lights a little.
Turned on the sun, compared a bit of real pasta from the cupboard with the colour of the FSM appendages.
Added a pale blue area light to fill fsm, insteafd of the soft spotlight.
Set ambient to zero, as I liked the way it was going...
Kept reducing the area light intensity - until I finally realised the big flare was brightening the core of the FSM.
Started looking closely at the model, cleaned up lash and eyeballs, (which needed slightly shrinking), tripled all polygons, Began to suspect some errors in the model...
Also started to think that big lens flare was not so reat, and tried to think of an alternative...
Ah! One strand has the polygons facing the wrong way, I flipped it, much better. That explains the rim light appearing in weird places.

I adjusted the eye position, so he is looking at the Earth. These need a whole new image map...
replaced the Earth with a much more complex version, with cloud and atmosphere layers.
Replaced the eyes texture map with something better.
Finally got rid of the lens flare completely, and replaced the Sun with a simple sphere with an added glow effect. It does not look so bright, but it's less cliched I think, and does not interfere with the rest of the image.
I now have three lights in the scene, one over the sun pointing just below the camera, one slightly further away than overhead, to highlight the top edges, and an area light tucked behind the Earth, to fake light coming up from the planet.

I attach a screen grab of the lighting layout, and the current version of the image. What do people think? Is that better? What next?


04-06-2007, 02:00 PM
Hello Guys, there is a lot a good works here !

Jeremy, I always love your challenges and I've tried
a lot of them. Unfortunately I cannot work
this time because of a lot of work...

I'm desappointed, but I can say good luck to all.

For the next challenge, I'll be there...

04-06-2007, 02:16 PM
starbase1 -

It looks like you're in mid-process on a lot of things now.

I don't know if replacing the big cheesy flare with the small sun really would help you. I thought big, cheesy, centered light sources were a staple of devotional art. The sun looks weird the way it blocks out the stars around it, but really unless you have something better I'd put back what you had.

The moon looks like it got some extra bump mapping or more edgy light or something making it look more contrasty than it did in your previous version, that's also something I'd try to bring back where it was.

Regarding the shading on the pasta, do you know why there's a black outline around a lot of the strands? That's a strange artifact you should try to fix. For the rim lighting, all you want is a bright line along the top of the upper pasta. You have a lot of light coming from the top, lighting an area in the center between the eyes. (I see it in your screenshot too, not positioned like a rim but filling in the top of the character, slide that back into more of a rim positon and fine-tune it.) I'm glad you're working on the normals or the light direction or whatever's reversing things, but right now a lot of the pasta is bright on the bottom, not on the top. Breaking things down one light at a time, aiming rim lights from the camera's perspective, and making sure your rim lights are shadowing correctly, are the main ideas for this.

Overall, the more things you can bring back towards the last version the better, and then really focus on what's going on with the rim lighting.


04-06-2007, 05:31 PM
Thanks Jeremy.

The sun is DEFINITELY just a placeholder for now. I'd like to find something other than a flare that looks good, but for now I just want the flare to stop interfering with the rest!

The wrong rim made me think - sure enough MOST of the spaghetti was inside out, (by which I mean the inside of the tubes is surfaced). This probably was not helping with black rim type effects. Pretty sure this came in with the supplied model, so anyone else using it in Lightwave may want to check.

The moon was an increase in normal map srength, now toned back.

Working on the other stuff, thanks.

04-06-2007, 09:31 PM
Thanks for your comments Jeremy, I've made some adjustments to the volcano mouth, for some reason I just couldn't get displacement to work properly - something to do with the size of the scene I think, though a test plane of the same size worked fine. After a good deal of messing around (and a goodly number of crashes) I gave up and just increased the number of subdivisions locally, and then pulled a few vertices around to give the mouth a bit more shape - not quite as good perhaps, but it certainly renders faster. I added eye- and meatball lights and rendered these as a seperate pass to stop them messing up the final gathering on the pasta. I tried using the EnhanceXSI procedural shaders for the meatballs - you can certainly generate some truly disgusting effects with these, but I actually went with something a bit more restrained, though I fear they look a bit like christmas puddings now. I also changed the plant models for simple polygon cards with transparency maps, which I felt worked better at this scale (and cutting down the poly count does no harm anyway...)
Bungatron - thanks for your comments, the colour of the river is kind of an interesting one; I used the MRay Physical Sky environment shader which in principle should give a realistic reflection, and in fact reference photos of similar scenes do often show very intensely blue water. However, I agree, it looked too blue to me too, so I've toned it down a bit by increasing the transparency.
I like the way your scene's shaping up, my only criticism really is that I think the plants should be growing more in clumps, rather than spaced out along the canyon. Your pasta is obviously cooked just right to stick to the wall like that !
Starburst1 - like the idea, it's one of those things which seem simple to do until you actually start working on it, and then you find it takes endless tweaking to get the rim lights right etc. I agree with Jeremy about the flare - I think it really suits the scene.
3db2 - Good colours, like a children's storybook. I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

04-07-2007, 01:27 AM
andystopps - That's great! The meatballs look really good. I think the monster still looks too dark, if the airplanes are an example of something in direct sunlight, then in comparison to the planes he looks like he's as bright as he would be in the shade. Also, is it my imagination, or does the right side of the top of the volcano look transparent?


04-07-2007, 07:53 PM
Thanks Jeremy, I've done a quick cheat to brighten the monster a bit. I rendered his spaghetti parts in a seperate pass and additive composited them on top. The transparent effect is due, I think, to patterns in the texture coinciding. I've altered it a bit to reduce this (hopefully).
I've really enjoyed this challenge, I'm going to put it aside now for the time being, and tackle the Hairy Hare. I have minimal experience at hair/fur so that should be interesting. Something tells me the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys will be getting a workout...

04-07-2007, 08:21 PM
andystopps -

That's great! It gets better and better! I guess part of the transparency look is coming from that dark edge that runs diagonally up to the right near the upper right edge of the volcano, it looks sortof like we're seeing through to the inside edge of the surface. The whites of his eyes still don't look as bright as the airplanes, so he has a bit to go on getting the sunlit look, but maybe he needs more fill to balance out and fill in his dark tones in the shadows. The meatballs could use some more fill just to shape them and convey their roundness.

I'm looking forwards to seeing your rabbit, that's one of the really hard ones.


04-07-2007, 09:40 PM
hi all,
a quick try not even time for real motion blur, like to do a modelled kitchen enviroment.
Spaghettis a rigged in XSI with a dynamic setup..
hf fex

04-08-2007, 04:46 AM
Fex -

Welcome! That's great! I really like the wet look and the highlights on the sauce, and on the pasta. Maybe the eyes could use a little work, if you look into what eyeballs look like from the side.


04-08-2007, 11:07 AM
OK, I hope that now the spaghetti is corrected, I have a fighting chance of getting it right! Attached is an image which only has the rim light, it is positioned very close to the lens flare, slightly above it. (The lens flare is back, much revised). There is also a little luminosity on the eyes, which is how you can see them.

Is this about right for the rim light?

Not showing in this shot, but I had strengthened the normal mapping on the Moon, that has been toned down again.

The Earth and moon I think are now pretty much OK. But I realise I don't have a very clear idea of what I am trying to acheive with the light for the monster - I want people to be able to see it, but I'm not sure of the best way to do this. I have been experimenting with soft spotlights positioned behind the Earth, area lights in the same position, and radiosity.

Realism suggest I shold use radiosity, rendering speed one of the other options. Anyone got any thoughts on the best way forward?


04-09-2007, 01:13 PM
hi Jeremy,

I worked on your advices and here it is. Once again the FSM at night. Did some post effects like motion blur and grain.


04-09-2007, 02:50 PM
starbase1 - That's a good basic approach for rim light. Some of it looks like tight specular highlights instead of broad rims, and it looks very bright. Maybe just bringing the light down so it comes from a slightly lower angle would make it thinner and dimmer at the same time.

As for the rest of the scene, you really can go back to something like your first posts. You had a lot of things working there, and the closer you can get to the original (plus some rim light and bringing down the light on the front so it's just soft bounce from the foreground) the better.

I liked the original flare better, it was more of a design element.


04-09-2007, 04:41 PM
thx jeremy for the advice concerning the eyes
for now: a small amount of 3d motionblur
changed the eye setup
build some shape animation for the eye lids...
next step: fluid stuff like drippin sauce, steam...:)
hope u like it


04-11-2007, 05:37 PM
Here is an update, I've been able to blast the volcano in smaller parts and also worked on eyes where I have applied two diffrent colours for the irises. Some minor work on the background, which looks pretty good right now (at least... to me!) maybe I could have more fun with the character but this is the work so far...hope you like it.


@Fex: I really like the render, even if I would go for a different angle for the FSM...just a thought.

04-11-2007, 08:26 PM
Just thought I'd have a go at this one today. spent a couple hours on it.
maya's procedural textures, no hdri or ray tracing, just 4 directional lights. rendered in mental ray. took about 5 minutes 30 seconds, mainly cause of the resolution and the displacement on the meatballs. comped it into a blurred photo I found online and did a curves adjustment on it in photoshop.

04-12-2007, 02:38 AM
very nice. haha I love the idea of meatballs for eyes. very clever. Keep workin, i like where this is going!

04-12-2007, 08:15 AM
thx i try some different angles..if my workstation would be faster...
like ur composition a lot, light is very moody now..tought that a exploding volcano
cause more terror ur fsm and scene mood are quite peaceful but maybe this
contrast makes it intresting. More motion in the fsm would be cool...keep going:)

04-12-2007, 02:17 PM
DJSmackMackey - I like the basic shading on the pasta, probably it's a little overexposed in places but looking good. The eyes and meatballs look like, and I mean this literally, they look like human excrement. While filling his eye sockets with that stuff makes for an interesting test render, it certainly doesn't give him much of a feeling as a character. Since you've got this much set up already, I hope you can make an ernest attempt at character lighting as well.

60WE - That's great! You've got pretty good balance in your composition, with him looking away from the explosion it leads you to look around to see what he's looking at. Even if you can't see where he's looking, the birds are a nice touch. The sheets flying away from the explosion looks like paper or something, or maybe a little like the skin of a balloon being burst, so it does give the impression of some small thing with a thin membrane just having popped.

Fex - Nice image! The eyes and the glistening shaders are looking great. Maybe if you're going to use motion blur you could pan the camera along with the character, so the character and his eyes don't get any motion blur because the camera is panning with them, and the blur would mostly go onto the background, or the appendages that were moving rapidly.

bohlrocka - Welcome! That's a nice scene. I like the deep, saturated colors. Right now the character is looking somewhat dull. Maybe you could bring out the monster more with highlights and reflections in his eyes, and some kick or rims or highlights on the meatballs and pasta?


04-12-2007, 10:06 PM
ok, I made some changes to the shaders and lights. I think this might be the last bit of free time I'll have to work on this, but it was fun anyway.http://farm1.static.flickr.com/203/456987280_5af99fcbea_o.jpg

04-12-2007, 11:17 PM
looks good, my ownly suggestion would be to possibly add some "wettness" / specularity to the meatball eyes

04-13-2007, 05:03 AM
Ok I thought I would have a go at this but had problems rendering with the original file, so I have used my own background.

I intend to redo the image with a better quality background, just have to take a better resolution photo.

All comments welcome.


04-13-2007, 10:04 AM
SamuraiSimon - Nice! The scene already fits together pretty well. He doesn't look enourmously powerful in that scene, if you are compositing him into a setting I'd hope you could find ways to make him look soaring and impressive.

DJSmackMackey - Nice job making him look angry. The eyes made out of mud are an original look.


04-13-2007, 12:08 PM
I'm truly inspired by a lot of the work that I see here. Clearly Starbase1, jcsilvar and many others have already thrown themselves into this and know how to take a character seriously, and I'm loving what gets posted. Any scene you make starts with a real thought process about how you want to portray this character. I just want to quote the challenge from the first post:

The main challenge here is one of believability: You need to convince people that pasta can fly. What can you do to make this bizarre looking creature appear enlightened and powerful, instead of merely looking like someone’s dinner? How you light the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be the key to making moving, inspirational images.

If you don't believe that the flying spaghetti monster is soaring and powerful and enlightened, your audience won't believe it either. I hope nobody looks at this and says "Oh, it's just a cartoon character, I won't take it seriously." or "Since it's a spaghetti monster I don't need to make it look enlightened and powerful, I'll just let it look like food." Imagine if just because a character was a sponge, all you saw was people washing dishes with him, or just because a character was a pull-string cowboy doll, all you saw was him laying on the floor until a kid happened to pick him up. You get the idea.

But, if you picture how amazing it would feel to see such a creature flying over you, and you capture that experience, you can make something that evokes that feeling with the audience. Obviously a lot of us are already feeling this - I love the way people are really giving an emotion to the character and the scene and thinking about making an evocative image.


04-14-2007, 11:07 AM
Hi Jeremy,
this is my first one......
& im thinkig to give up because of texturing of the ground...... :banghead: :cry:


day ---------- >


comments are welcome


04-14-2007, 06:43 PM
I made a port to Blender. (4,56MB)

and here it is: http://members.chello.at/geek87/spaghettimonster.zip

04-15-2007, 12:23 PM
Ok , I managed to get the scene to render prroperly this time. There is stiil some work to be done with it but I feel it is better than my last attempt.


All comments welcome.

Simon :)

04-15-2007, 03:56 PM
ashisa - Welcome. That's a nice start. I like the translucency of the pasta. I agree texturing a terrain is difficult, I was just working on that myself. You could also try compositing the FSM into another environment, maybe integrating him into a real scene.

austriangeek - Thanks for the Blender port. I put it on the main download page.

SamuraiSimon - Welcome. If your renders are going slowly try turning off DOF. The lighting for the monster and the environment doesn't look consistent. Maybe try lighting the monster and the set all with 1 light to establish a sun angle, test it that way to get shadows working, and only add a little fill or bounce light after you're sure the sun is working. If it's that bright outside, you'll need a sky backdrop too.


04-15-2007, 10:20 PM
hi all,
here is my first try cookin some kind of tomato sauce...

hf fex

04-15-2007, 10:26 PM
wow that looks really good! may i ask how you went about doing that?

04-16-2007, 02:04 AM
Jeremy - Thanks for the comment.

I have gone back and put a sky in, I had completely forgoten about that in the other image. I have also tried to get more even lighting in the scene, I have tried to get a warmer tone to this image to match the tone of the sky used as a background, not too sure if I have succeeded though. :D

Anyway here is the new image.



04-16-2007, 05:09 AM
Fex - That's looking great! The translucency, the water, the wet looking meatballs!

SamuraiSimon - I can't see the key light or the shadows. Maybe you can post a render lit by only 1 light, so we can see the sun and the shadows without any fill? The rocks look green and triangular, maybe some more smoothing and a warmer tone would help them?


04-16-2007, 01:30 PM
thanx Jeremy

steam is my next goal..

and thx NPuetz
this is done in XSI using no GI or FG, but Ctrl_occlussion and Mj_Fast3s shaders...
and a color corrected HDRI map as enviroment


04-16-2007, 02:18 PM
OK, this is what I'm working on.

I'm planning on taking it for a few more versions, so any feedback is appreciated.


Let me have it! You know I'm nitpicky with you!


04-16-2007, 02:37 PM
Jeremy, that's really cool! I love the sky and the shaders also, the camera angle is very nice the only thing that I notice is a strange light that comes from the volcano....looks like a streak, I don't know maybe it's just a matter of the falloff. Lava shader it is nice I would work a bit on how it comes out from the top, adding a bit of smoke could help.
Great Job!

04-16-2007, 03:41 PM
Hi Jeremy,

Looking goooood. Love the pasta shader...how did u get it to look wet like that? That was the one thing I couldn't work out before and I'd like to give it a shot.

Crits? um...maybe the lava...it looks very thick and a little blocky...especially right at the volcano's mouth. Also, there is something odd about the 3 bright stars...2 of them look like they are part of the background plate, but the other one looks like it's coming out of his tentacle. It's a little weird.

Nothing further :P

Juan Carlos

04-16-2007, 10:34 PM
Hi Jeremy,
I really like the pasta shader, especially on the foreground strand, tentacle, or whatever you call it. Also the overall colour palette. I agree with the previous two posts about the lava; I reckon where it overflows the lip of the volcano it would form a much thinner layer, and then maybe get thicker as the slope it was running down leveled off, perhaps also splitting up into lots of branches. Also, at the edge of the lava sea, the cliffs have a dark band as if they're floating on the surface, rather than emerging from it .
Is it my imagination, or is there a face in the reflection on the tentacle tip...

Cheers, Andy.

04-16-2007, 11:05 PM
Jeremy - It's amazing what a difference it makes when your remember to turn the shadows on !

The first image is of the key light with shadows on :


The second image is with the skylight turned on, acting as the fill. Also I have turned DOF on in this image.


In both images the sky is self illuminating. Atleast doing these challenges help me to learn and improve.


04-17-2007, 01:14 AM
Here's mine so far.... needs some work still.http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/7205/volcanobx6.jpg

04-17-2007, 01:10 PM
Taxman9 - Great volcano! It really looks explosive! The rock in front of it has a nice texture on it. The character itself seems to be missing self-shadowing on some of its lights, and also I think could look more back-lit with that whole volcano behind it.

SamuraiSimon - Great. If we think about the lighting on the cliffs, they would be getting that bright, warm sunlight from one direction. To match the sky, they would be getting fill light that's pink from the horizon and dark blue overhead from other directions. The cliffs and all the trees would be casting shadows in all of these lights.

60WE, jcsilvar, andystopps - Thanks for the replies. I'm going to do more work on the scene this week, as soon as I find time for it.


04-17-2007, 07:06 PM
Some comments from me...
Jeremy - I love it. About the only suggestions I have would be darker meatballs, and maybe wetter looking, and I am not sure about the way the lava comes over the volcano rim in a lump - maybe a crack for it to ooze through? The forward reaching noodley appendage is excellent compositionally.

Fex - Mean! Brilliant!

Samurai Simon - I don;t really like the pinky mauve dominant sky colour very much...

Taxman9 - spectacularly dramatic! I'm wondering what he is looking at out of shot though...


04-17-2007, 07:41 PM
starbase1 -

I'm glad you're here. You're not only working on one of the best entries to this challenge, but also providing useful feedback. Thanks!


04-17-2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks Jeremy. OK, I took a break and a step back, as it seemed I was going the wrong way, despite best intentions. After dithering a bit I remembered I was here to learn, so doing things I would not normally consider was a VERY good idea!

Anyway, I have reinstated the cheesy lens flare, and replaced the area light shining up from behind the Earth with a soft spotlight with no specular from above the camera, only affecting the FSM. Roughly as I started, but with the model fixes. I reduced the intensity of the rim light somewhat too.

To alleviate the lens flare brightening the FSM's meatball area, I moved the reflection elements around, so they were mostly clear of him.

I'm still completely in the dark (ha!) about why a soft spot from the front is a better way of filling in the FSM than an area light near the Earth though. I would have thought the latter would do the job just as well, and be more realistic.


04-17-2007, 10:58 PM
small update with smoke and more spooky look
hope u like ithttp://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t271/fexa/Spaghetti_06_sauce_cc.jpg

04-18-2007, 12:37 PM
I was wondering if you had any insight on how to render my scenes out using render layers in Renderman. I have looked through the notes on Renderman and other sites and have a slight clue as to how to use the secondary aov's, but Im not really sure how to implement it. Is there a way to do it like you do in maya or is it really complex to get?

04-18-2007, 03:08 PM
barryk50 - I don't know, maybe you can find a tutorial or some docs on whatever you are trying to do?

Fex - Nice. The lighting remains good, I wonder if some of the drops of liquid are going a little too dark. The environment looks as if you're using part of te HDR image as the backdrop, and maybe you can find another background that looks better and puts the monster into a more interesting context?

starbase1 - I'm glad you have the geometry working for rim light on the top side of the tubes! The lighting on the earth is great. On the monster maybe too much rim light gets into the center of the thing. Carefully aiming spot lights to create the rim on different parts of the character can usually fix problems like that. (I could probably add rim to the FSM in that scene with only 5 spotlights, one each for the top of the left and right eye/eyebrow areas, and then a left, center, and right rim along the top of the main body. Remember rims come from behind the character not above it.) It would be nice to see some more fill or bounce light bringing out a little bit of the meatballs and mid body. If you can make the meatballs, eyes, and pasta look a little reflective that could add to it. For the eyes it looks as if the iris color is mapped onto the outer sphere, so we don't get the depth or the iris shading that comes from having layers in the model.


04-18-2007, 09:45 PM
Barry50k - I presume you're not using RenderMan for Maya, since it's the same as the other Maya rendering options; are you using Maya with RenderMan Pro Server ? I thought that this was also seamless with "normal" Maya in this respect, but I'll have a look tomorrow. I just checked the (frankly pretty unhelpful) documentation on this and couldn't find any mention of passes, layers etc. I suppose when it comes down to it you could edit the .rib files to achieve what you're trying to do - Advanced RenderMan probably tells you what you need to know (I'm not very advanced, so I skim read all the difficult bits, i.e. about half of it).

04-19-2007, 03:52 AM
andystopps (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=84876)-your right, I am using Renderman Pro Server. I have gone through the docs and tried numerous places on line to find anything relating to layers but nothing. I have figured out a little bit by using the secondary channel when rendering out frames but it surely is not as easy as doing it inside maya. I can get to the point where I can do certain passes but I dont know how to put idividual objects on different layers so they dont render with the rest of the scene. As far as editing the .rib file, I can do most of the changes using slim so I dont have to worry about all that coding. I am like you in that Im not very advaced and sometime skip over the difficult parts.

04-19-2007, 05:40 AM
OK, this is what I'm working on.

I'm planning on taking it for a few more versions, so any feedback is appreciated.


Oooh, I'm being touched by his Noodly Appendage!!

Let me have it! You know I'm nitpicky with you!

You want nitpicky? Mkay, I can accomodate ;)

Well, it's pretty stylistic, and not terribly "photo real", but I don't think that was what you are going for. The "hubble footage" space stuff (painting?) in the background feels a bit random and desperate, and steals the eye a bit. Maybe just DOF it a hair, or replace with something slightly less "spectacular"?

With that nebula back there, I'd expect a blueish rim effect from that general direction (illuminating from about 1-o-clock in frame back).

The meatballs look more like italian Fricadelles (boiled balls of meat) than real swedish meatballs (fried, tends to have a slightly blackened lightly charred surface on the tip of each extrem protrusion). No Real Men(tm) eat Fricadelles.

The eyes look a bit "textured to a sphere" and lacks a bit of the highlight-kick or caustic effects of real eyes. From you, I'd expect perfect "pixar eyes". ;) (just kidding) Perhaps just add an extra specular-only kick light for the "spark of life"?

(Incidentally, I have this really cool technique for eyes that I should write up some day, or perhaps make an eye shader.... ah, some day, some day.... )

Well, that's about what I can nitpick. Now you can hit me over the head. :scream: :D

Which reminds me - are you coming to siggie'07? :bounce:


04-19-2007, 05:51 AM
small update with smoke and more spooky look
hope u like ithttp://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t271/fexa/Spaghetti_06_sauce_cc.jpg

LOL this one's pretty near perfect. I'd just add a fresnel-ish reflectivity to it, if there isn't one already, to make it read as "wetter". Also the sauce looks a bit thin and should probably be made a bit more "opaque".

Other than that, very nice. A tad on the grainy side, but I don't know if that is an artistic choice, or due to not "cooking" the pasta enough in the renderer ;)

I especially like the borderline maniacal look you've acheived in it's eyes! LOL ;) Killer Pasta!


04-19-2007, 09:35 PM
Barryk50 - I see what you mean, some of the docs hint at you being able to do this, but I kind of have the suspicion that you have to do some coding to actually get it to work. I suppose in a big studio they'd have rendering TDs to handle that sort of thing, but I can't help thinking that for an individual project it's probably easier just to render seperate iterations of the scene, turning the layers on and off inside Maya or whatever you're using. A bit of a pain compared with being able to do it all at once inside RMan, but not nearly as painful as all that geeky programing stuff ! Best of luck though, if you can sort it I'd be interested to know how.

04-19-2007, 11:29 PM
Great work here everyone....I've just gotten started in learning lighting with the fruitbowl, it'll be some time before I can take on this challenge...Sucks that I've been on a diet for the last four months, now I want some pasta,meat sauce and texas toast!

04-20-2007, 05:48 AM
I'm still going with mine...


Thanks MasterZap, yes I'll be at SIGGRAPH !


04-20-2007, 09:48 AM
Cant wait to start doing it.seeing many great work and ideas. I will start soon right after i finish with the neon and chrome first. This is first time i am commenting, hope it doesnot sound stupid, or offending anyone.

jeremybirn-- Very nice. I like the use of the colour, texture and lighting. On my opinion, i feel that the high light on the tail end of the sphagetti seem too strong, throughout the whole character, just dun find any highlight is that strong. I am not sure that the sparkling light effect that fall on top of the tail end of the sphagetti and vocano is it right, for me it should represent some source like shining star on the sky...

Fex-- i like the style and mood of the render. How did you did the source? Is it modeling or particle?
starbase1 - what a interesting idea. i just feel kind of too empty, just black on the space, may be some meteor rain or flying rock will even make it even better.

Taxman9 - nice camera angle and lighting. Just make me feel like the FSM is celebrating something, watching firework is on the air.

04-20-2007, 03:32 PM
jeremybirn-- Very nice. I like the use of the colour, texture and lighting. On my opinion, i feel that the high light on the tail end of the sphagetti seem too strong, throughout the whole character, just dun find any highlight is that strong. I am not sure that the sparkling light effect that fall on top of the tail end of the sphagetti and vocano is it right, for me it should represent some source like shining star on the sky...

It's supposed to be that he's creating a new star and sprinkling them into the sky. I've been trying to make the Maya optical effects for the star look similar to some of the stars that already exist in the background image shot from the hubble, so people will see the connection there, but also tie it together with the appendage he's using to create it. I guess I can get better interactive lighting in the next version, and make it even bigger and brighter - that would probably be more physically correct, because stars can look very big and bright when they are close to camera.


04-20-2007, 05:06 PM
Hi Jeremy,

here's my reworked version of the spaghetti monster. I did as you suggested and turned him a little so that he would face the camera instead of just heading off the screen, and I also reworked the pasta shader 'cuz I was losing the colors in the other one, and it ended up looking way more green than I intended...so I think this is much better. At least, it does look like tri-color pasta. I couldn't get the "wet" look on the pasta to look as good as yours did...but I'm not giving up yet...I'll work it out someday.



04-20-2007, 11:17 PM
update for sauce shading and fresnel pass ... by the way the sauce are particels
background scene has matrialised in my mind now it needs to be modelled :)


thx 2 all for the comments

must get some sleep

04-21-2007, 04:56 AM
jcsilvar - That continues to be most awsome! (I'm noticing that everyone else's volcano is better looking than mine, I should really add some effects elements...)

Fex - Your pasta is great, I love the translucency! I think some of the sauce (especially the lower drops) could be brighter, at least reflecting some more. The eyes might have more depth to them, too, if you are tweaking them. Basically the character looks great, though, and that new background sounds terrific.


04-21-2007, 04:28 PM
Here's another version of the image "Flying Spaghetti Monster Creates a Star":



04-21-2007, 04:50 PM
I couldn't get the "wet" look on the pasta to look as good as yours did...but I'm not giving up yet...I'll work it out someday.

It looks like you already have some highlights on your pasta, maybe you need a little more reflection on the surfaces. I have uploaded my reflection pass here if you're interested:



04-21-2007, 08:12 PM

the eyes are looking waaay better. Looks like you are almost using the technique I was gonna write about. Great minds think alike and all that ;)

I do think you should perhaps turn down the occlusion a bit in the midst of all that bundle of pasta, since it gives it a very "non-translucent" feel, but Pasta is indeed very subsurface scattery, so I'd expect a "less occluded" look. Unless of course you are envisioning the monster as truly gigantic, where your look would work to make "scale".

But it's not the GIGANTIC flying spaghetti monster, is it? ;)


04-22-2007, 11:26 AM
Here's another version of the image "Flying Spaghetti Monster Creates a Star":


Lighting on the character is fantastic, but overally scene is just waaaay too tacky for my taste. Since the character itself looks very tacky-ish, adding such a colourfull scene is just over the top.

04-22-2007, 04:28 PM
Here's another version of the image "Flying Spaghetti Monster Creates a Star":



This looks like something on a Trapper Keeper from the mid 90s. Awesome!

04-22-2007, 05:31 PM
Wow, thanks for the feedback! It's great to wake up on a Sunday Morning and see a Flying Spaghetti Monster on the front page!

I've continued working on the eyes. Here's another comp:



04-22-2007, 05:43 PM

the eyes are looking waaay better. Looks like you are almost using the technique I was gonna write about. Great minds think alike and all that ;)

I do think you should perhaps turn down the occlusion a bit in the midst of all that bundle of pasta, since it gives it a very "non-translucent" feel, but Pasta is indeed very subsurface scattery, so I'd expect a "less occluded" look. Unless of course you are envisioning the monster as truly gigantic, where your look would work to make "scale".

I brightened the center part a bit, evening out the lighting.

I worked also more on the eyes. The main area to focus on with eyes is the bottom edge highlight. The linear highlight that appears between the lower lid and the eyeball is one of the key highlights that we respond to in judging human emotion, but it's usually missing altogether from eyes in computer graphics. My approach with displacing the clear outer eye surface was only partly working, I might take another pass at it but the whole approach is so wonky that I wouldn't really use it on a character that was going to be fully rigged and animated anyway. If some brilliant shader author could synthesize such a highlight by bending the surface normals based on the eyelid to eyeball occlusion and juicing up the specular color there it would be a great day indeed. What I have there now is better than the black line from the last version, anyway.


04-22-2007, 08:30 PM
first attempt. :)

no way. don't try to eat me.

http://img106.imagevenue.com/loc1156/th_74533_spaghetti4_122_1156lo.jpg (http://img106.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=74533_spaghetti4_122_1156lo.jpg)

04-22-2007, 10:07 PM
HAHHAHA Awesome, cant wait...

04-22-2007, 11:04 PM
FSM encounter in the desert! Beckoning you with his noodley appendages.



04-23-2007, 02:10 AM
hominid - Great start! The meatballs and desert could probably use more texture of some kind, and maybe those fog beams could be alittle softer?

chveti - Welcome! That looks like a fun scene to work on. I think it needs more work with shadows and reflections, and directionality for the light (right now I can't really see where the light is coming from.) Also some of the plates are a bit overexposed, if you could tone those down a bit.


04-23-2007, 04:43 AM
Just an idea for latteral thinking perhaps?

04-23-2007, 06:40 AM
Let's see, I added some distance fog and toned down the glow around the FSM. Added some saturation to the foreground. Maybe later I'll add some more detail to the foreground.



04-23-2007, 08:23 AM
Jeremy, any chance of getting a high res print version? You know, for the pastafarians among us ;)
And isn't the volcano supposed to be spewing beer?

04-23-2007, 10:58 AM
If some brilliant shader author could synthesize such a highlight by bending the surface normals based on the eyelid to eyeball occlusion and juicing up the specular color there it would be a great day indeed. What I have there now is better than the black line from the last version, anyway.


You are trying to say "I want to use mia_roundcorners on the eye-to-eyelid intersection". So why dontcha? ;)



04-23-2007, 01:06 PM
Hey guys!

Well this is more of an idea.. the graphics are pretty poor by now because.. well.. its just a concept ;)


04-23-2007, 01:29 PM
Jeremy. Thanks for sending me the link to the reflection pass!!
I really like the new background you are using on your image. It works so much better than the other one. I agree with the comment someone made about the pasta starting to look a bit too occluded. Also, I dunno if this would work or not, but it's an idea...I think if you had the monster looking at the star he's creating, it would look like he's more focused on his work...I think it could give more power to the action, but that's just me. You could just give it a quick try and see if it works.

Austriangeek. That's funny, man! I just had to laugh when I saw that image. The way the monster's just staring at the people while they chat unaware just cracks me up. I really like it. Although, not everyone has their back turned to the monster...so you'd expect the ones who are actually seeing him to be scared as hell...otherwise it looks more like the monster's their pet and they just brought him along...which works as well..I think that's why it looks so funny at first glance.

Cheers guys!

04-23-2007, 03:18 PM
You are trying to say "I want to use mia_roundcorners on the eye-to-eyelid intersection". So why dontcha? ;)

That's good to know, that kind of beveling works between different objects! When I get Maya 8.5 I'll test that and see how it works. The bevels in the docs looked more like a bevel for rigid structures than a curved fillet for organics, but you certainly make it look promising there.


04-23-2007, 03:26 PM
Jeremy, any chance of getting a high res print version? You know, for the pastafarians among us ;) And isn't the volcano supposed to be spewing beer?

That sounds like a good idea! Maybe some of us can render high-res, and share the higher resolution versions on flickr. I hope some of the other people who have put some effort into their scenes would do the same...


04-23-2007, 03:51 PM
bwtr- Good idea. Now lets see it with some lighting!

austriangeek - Nice concept! Maybe the pasta could go less green to start with. For a lighting match, you could give a nice warm sunlight, and then pick up that blue/hazy color to fill from all the other angles. Even the bounce from below should be almost as bright as some of the fill from the sides.

jcsilvar - That's a good point. But I guess my first thought was that he should always look as if he's facing you, for more impact. I don't want him to look cross-eyed or goofy or anything, and I like having the star reflection as an eye highlight on the edge of the iris.


04-23-2007, 04:17 PM
Lots of nice renderings here.
Well, this is my try.
I'm thinking adding more stuff to the sky and background to make it look more intersting,
also all kids look same right now. Maybe some variation?
Any comments are welcome.

04-23-2007, 05:39 PM
Jeremy I really love your scene especially the FSM, great expression! No crit (except that I would take care of the right side of the volcano) I think that you achieved the goal of this challenge making the SFM the "Star" of the scene!

@CGmm: Nice start. Good idea now... some work on textures and lighting is needed.


04-23-2007, 05:56 PM
Hi all, this is my try. Don´t know about pasta´s colour!... or may be it sohuld have some translucency?

Nice challenges by the way!


04-23-2007, 07:24 PM
@niEt0 very cool idea, find the colours good too... maybe u do something to give the
monster speed , like stretch the pasta behind in motion or a small amount of motion blur

have fun

04-23-2007, 11:09 PM
Hi all, this is my try. Don´t know about pasta´s colour!... or may be it sohuld have some translucency?

Nice challenges by the way!


Oh man that is a sweet idea. LOVE IT!!! :applause:


04-24-2007, 02:27 PM
niEt0 - Wonderful! If you can get translucency and a nice pasta shader that would be great, especially for a character that gets comped into a realistic location working on the realism always helps. It pasta looks too cool to me now, if the pasta were a warmer color, then the color balance between the lights might look more natural. The meatball color looks good. The eyes could use more depth, if you could get the iris gleam on the opposite side of the iris from the highlight.

CGmm - Yes, adding to the sky and terrain will help. Also, you might hide all the children and just work on the front one for a while. If you can get the meatball texture looking good, the shadowing, and the eyes, all looking great on one of them, then you could copy that to the others. I think it might add interest if some of them cast shadows onto the canyon floor and walls, and at least one were positioned so you saw its reflection in the water?


04-24-2007, 07:29 PM
Hey, Jeremy, I added the "roundcorner for eye edge" trick to my mentalraytips (http://mentalraytips.blogspot.com) blog.

You can almost set the "tearyness" of the eye by the radius ;)


More on eyes to follow some day when I have infinite time. And, to quote Aragorn, "that is not this day".


04-25-2007, 05:07 AM
Thanks 60WE and Jeremy.
I will focus and work on the textures more first.
I will try changing the camera angle too.

And good to see how "bottom of an eye" tips work MasterZap!

04-25-2007, 07:42 PM
A couple more comments from the shallow end!

Niet0, that is a brilliant idea! For me there is a bit too much blue in the light, but it's still awesome, (and makes me think of the Twillight Zone, which is a bit of an age giveaway!)

Jeremy, I did not realise he was creating the star until I saw the title - perhaps lining the star up more with the tip of the appendage would emphasize this, or making the star a bit more prominent?


04-28-2007, 06:20 PM
This is my first test… still testing the lights. But I intend to follow this way.
I am not delayed, I hope!



04-30-2007, 04:22 AM
Playing around with the ideas a bit more with Carrara5Pro.

Good FUN!

04-30-2007, 02:03 PM
I finally recover from the mangled boot sector on my LW computer, to find that the only thing that has not survived is apparently my textured flying spaghetti monster model! I'm really not sure I want to go back and start again on the model...

05-01-2007, 02:03 PM
lotaH - Glad to see you on-board with this, it's a fun project!

bwtr - Keep going!

starbase1 - Sorry to hear that. I wonder if you could just take whatever images you've got already and do a finishing pass for whatever tweaks still needed to be made in Photoshop?


05-01-2007, 03:59 PM
Thanks Jeremy - unfortunately the Lightwave model needed a lot of cleaning up, with many flipped polygons.I don't suppose anyone else has a cleaned up one they could share? I also checked the OBJ version here, but that imported with the same problems. Still everything else in the scene is intact, so I just might try again - I was planning on working on some of the surfaces as you suggested anyway, and with new stuff in the just released LW 9.2 I can do subsurface scattering spaghetti!

Cheers, Nick

05-01-2007, 06:07 PM
Just wanted to jump in here real quick and say great job everyone. I haven't had time to jump on this myself unfortunately, but I have enjoyed watching everyone else's progress, and seeing how creative some people have been able to be with this fairly unusual project.

Again, congrats, and keep up the good work!


05-02-2007, 04:27 AM
It's very easy to use up HUGE amounts of time having fun with the ideas of this thread.

This is a "developement" of my earlier effort---again in Carrara5Pro.

05-02-2007, 07:07 PM
OK, I decided it was worth the effort to try and rebuild the model - I as fairly pleasantly surpised, now I know what to look for, it was not as painful as I thought it would be.

If anyone else is having problems with the LWO version let me know, and I'll be happy to share my version - though I have been rather rough and ready, taking the lazy route to fixing the flipped plygons by going for double sided on the relevant surfaces. (I also tried importiong the OBJ version, but that came in with the same issues). I might clean it up properly by aligning a singled sided version a bit later.

Anyway, I know I am still catching up with where I was before, but this is where I am now. My immediate target is to make the eyes better, I have lost the slightly surprised look that I rather liked before.


05-03-2007, 03:06 AM
More test



05-04-2007, 04:53 AM
bwtr - Hard to tell where you're going with that. If you want to work on the appearance of the FSM, you could hide all the copies for a while and just focus on one of them. Try blocking in some shaders and textures first, then turn your attention to lighting.

starbase1 - Great. I didn't know you had to rebuild anything I thought you were just flipping the normals on all the pasta and that was just one mouse-click. The rim light is looking great on that one appendage that sticks out to the right of his eye. In other places it is missing along his eyebrows and the other top parts, and leaking too much into the lower parts of his body and eye sockets. The eyes could use more depth, I hope you're using the different layers that were included with the original model, the inner iris layer slopes inwards to create the iris gleam on the opposite side of the eyeball from the highlight.


05-06-2007, 06:15 AM
Hi all this is my first post here and this is my tests hope u like it,
I picked two pics from MI 3 Movie And work on them, I started with 3Dmax and post In PS


The otherhttp://www.up.00op.com/data/visitors/2007/05/06/storm_1697655923_946032940.jpg

05-07-2007, 10:12 PM
one day in th laboratory of Doc Vermicelli, after having his favorite pasta for lunch,
somethink was gettin in contact with those new experimental substance...

first fast unfinished composite of the new bg...


hope u like it...

05-07-2007, 11:57 PM
Well, I finally got around to giving these challenges a try. Better late than never I guess :) Comments and critiques and welcome.


05-08-2007, 01:08 AM
Hi Roberto,

That's a good start. However, all your shaders need a bit more work. Right now they are all very simple and flat
Here's a few suggestions:

1. Try a Sub-Surface Scattering shader on the pasta.
2. Map a texture on the meatballs so that they actually look like meat, and try to get some highlights to get them to look wet.

3. You need to work out raytracing issues on the eyes, since we are seeing the iris recede deeper into the eyeball...so I think you are not using refractions. Also some subtle extra reflections would help give the eye more depth.

4. Maybe you could add a little steam coming out of the pan? I think it would work well with the bubbling, boiling water.

Hope this helps.

05-08-2007, 03:05 AM
Hey Juan,

Thanks for the tips. The meatballs are getting there though I don't have an updated image to show. They definitely need to look wetter. The eyes have been buggin me since the start. I think I need to try a different IOR. And definitely reflections!

SSS is a whole other issue. I'm digging into the docs for that one. I'm using Renderman for Maya. Maybe someone here can help me with this. The docs mention that if several objects (say a stack of grapes) need SSS that I should use a different material for each grape. Otherwise the SSS effect will blur between the different objects. I was starting to do this but then I noticed that when I add the SSS attribute to the shaders it creates a pass for each one. This made my render times go through the roof! I tried manuall connecting the shaders to the same pass but to no avail. If anyone has any insight on this it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again :)


05-08-2007, 08:58 AM
@ Fex- Wonderful work !

05-08-2007, 12:02 PM
Hola Roberto..

i dont quite understand why u have to use a diferent shader for each grape as u mention to SSS work with renderman.. i think in the case of the pasta shader use a blin for that the connect the SSS atributes u can bake SSS like GI in renderman click on the scattering map settink compute and then reuse.. Use a diferent color for teh scattering exit tint kinda reddish color .. i use this values for the skin in Eye challenge :

Scattering Strength :1
Scattering Free Path:1.20
Scattering Filter Scale:10

Hope this helps..

05-08-2007, 12:54 PM
ytse77 - Welcome! That's a nice clean render and a solid concept. The pasta looks good, probably it could use either some more translucency or more fill and bounce light from below. The pan gets a lot of light from the lower right, the pasta seems to go dark on the lower right of the tubes, especially above the left meatball. The eyes are simple but they have a nice sense of depth. Probably the meatballs could use a more meaty texture and maybe a little more displacement. I like how the water refracts him. I wonder if maybe some steam coming up behind him could frame him more and add some interest to the environment?

Fex - Great! I'm look at the composition, and I wonder if cropping the image to remove the right side would make it stronger, maybe cropping off the right window altogether so the pasta tails come all the way to hit the right edge? Or even adding showing a little more of what's underneath the current crop so you see more of the bottom of him? The pasta a sauce are still looking great. Maybe some of the smaller droplets of sauce falling off could use brighter fill or more reflections or more translucency, to make sure the sauce looks as translucent and as reflective as the pasta itself.

maxology - Welcome! That's a terrific start, you are attempting a very challenging scene there. In the top one, he could use some eye highlights and maybe he could be turning to look at us more. The shadows could be a little softer like the other shadows on the ground. Some shadows would help the lower one too. Maybe in one of them you could make part of him go behind part of the film plate, to integrate him more with his surroundings?


05-08-2007, 01:33 PM
maxology - Welcome! That's a terrific start, you are attempting a very challenging scene there. In the top one, he could use some eye highlights and maybe he could be turning to look at us more. The shadows could be a little softer like the other shadows on the ground. Some shadows would help the lower one too. Maybe in one of them you could make part of him go behind part of the film plate, to integrate him more with his surroundings?

Hi Jeremy
Thx alot for replying, I will try to fix up that scene maybe I will change the idea itself... so i will keep tuned with this challenge...:thumbsup:.

great result u got there...

05-09-2007, 11:08 AM
sorry-double post.

05-09-2007, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone,
This is my frst time taking the lighting challenge, and i'm seeing lots of good works here.
This is mine:http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f93/raylistic/CG%20challenges/CGtalk-lighting_flyingspaghetti.jpg

Took me around a month to shade, light, render and composite.
Everything is done using procedural shaders, except for adding the background image.
Some comments will be helpful.
Thanks everyone.

05-09-2007, 03:48 PM
raylistic - Welcome! Good start there. See if you can get his eyes so they really look like eyes, and you can see the white, the iris, the highlight, etc. It would be great if he could cast some more of a shadow as well, in the fog and the ground. I don't really know what kind of look you're going for - is he supposed to be swimming under water at night?


05-09-2007, 05:24 PM
Hi All, I'm having a problem with mi_sss shader.
Even I applied the shader to each tubes,
only 4 of them appears to have the sss effect when rendered.

Anyone had the same problem,
or am I doing something wrong?


05-10-2007, 01:34 AM
Thanks for your comments jeremybirn and Leotril.

Leotril: SSS works fine for me on single objects. What I mentioned is just something that is in the docs. I looked it up because I was having trouble getting the effect to show up. I even bumped up the strength all the way. But reusing the pass as you said will definitely help with render times.I'll keep poking at it :)

jeremybirn: Thanks for the pointers and comments. I'm still thinking about how i'm gonna do the steam. I'll probaby end up comping it in. Work has me a little busy but I'll post an update as soon as I can :)

Thanks again guys. Happy rendering!

05-10-2007, 01:39 AM
Jeremy- my concept is that the spaghetti monster on top of the volcano, looking at the red light that is shine at it. The fog is used to simulate that the volcano is high up the sky and the red light is maybe a representation of alien? About the eyes, it has some details on the iris and suppose to have eye white, but I made the outer eye reflecting the red light, so it appears all red now. Maybe I should reduce the reflection?
By the way, thanks for the comments!
I really need some third party's view!

CGmm- Hmm, maybe it is your lighting?
I think sss appearance is affected by lighting.

05-10-2007, 08:33 AM
thx for all c&c,

@ jeremy
this was an old rendering of the monster combined with the new bg using a different camera... had no time to reposition and rerender the fg elements... i will try to make it
a stronger compsoition, maybe by putting a shelf in front of the right window to get some
kind of dappled and weaker light effect
in my eyes theres alot to do to get this bg workin
it needs a reduced color scheme like sepia colors mixed with a few places of different colors
and much more furniture n stuff to fill the room.

05-12-2007, 06:57 PM
Wow, while I've been extremely busy the last couple weeks this thread has really grown! Lot's of great images everyone. A few comments:

Fex - Love the sauce.

Jeremy - Awesome. The one thing that still jumps out to me though is the lava flowing down the volcano. It looks great, but the shape of it's path doesn't look random enough.

Chveti - Funny concept. Maybe tone down or change the background color. It's a little too intense I think and is taking away from your character.

Juan - I really like the look of the explosion on top of the volcano. The little fires on the ground look a little too flat and orderly however.

Master Zap - Thanks for the tip on the MIA roundcorners. I'll try to use it if I do another render of the fsm (the eyes and pasta are already using MIA materials), and I am definately going to try using it on my characters at work. I look forward to seeing your eye technique as well. BTW, a couple of days ago I was sitting at work burning a DVD and thinking "I wonder how I can render the rainbow effect these things things?" Not one hour later I randomly peeked at your blog. It's like you were reading my mind!

I was also very honored when I saw my image on the front page of this thread! Thank you! I was able to find some time after work the other day to make some quick improvements. Feel free to tell me what you all think. One of the things that I really want to do is to make the edge of the cliff he's hugging a lot more rough so that it better matches the texture.


05-13-2007, 10:20 AM
bungatron71100 - Thanks for the feedback. Your image is top-notch, you might think about running something higher resolution if you have the time, just so prints could be made. I get your point about the fine displacement as a goal, but I think the rock looks pretty good already. The meatballs could use some texture work if you were tweaking things, especially with the blue light falling on them they look kindof dusty to me. The eye reflection is something I'm very fussy about, and it looks as if it might have too much reflection brightening the front-facing parts of the eye. You want the pupil to register as dark to keep the eyes from looking glazed-over, and he's got a reflection graying out most of his pupils now that I'd want to reduce. This is incredibly minor and you can just stop reading the sentance if you want to, but the waves in the water surface doesn't seem to be distorting the reflection as much as I'd expect them to. If they are a bump map they'd distort more I think, and I almost wonder if they are being done as a specular map or something else?


05-13-2007, 05:20 PM
hi jeremy i have started on lighting without tex i will be updating the tex ver soon pls give me the feed back http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x140/krishna_cglighter/nightlighting.jpghttp://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x140/krishna_cglighter/daylighting.jpg

05-13-2007, 05:23 PM
krishnaraju -

I don't see a Flying Spaghetti Monster in your post. As an on-going challenge I hope you have fun working on it.


05-13-2007, 11:56 PM
Jeremy - What size are you thinking for high-rez? This image is scaled down from a 1280 X 960 render. The biggest printer I have cheap access to can go up to 22" X 36". A 22" by 27.5" print at 150dpi would be 4125 X 3300. At 300dpi it would be 8250 X 6600, and would look nicer up close. My Boxx could probably handle that, although I've never tried to render anything that large. This current image took 5 minutes to render on that machine.

I agree that the meatballs need work, I'm really not happy with them. I'll work on both those and the eyes when I revisit this.

The water is actually a MIA material with a Maya water texture plugged into the reflection gloss and the bump. I don't think I have the bump set up correctly however. It didn't seem to have any effect until I added the texture to the ref gloss. I was already thinking that I need to do something about where the water meets the beach.

05-14-2007, 12:59 AM
For my needs, I usually think of something around 3k as being "print res." 3000x2400 gives you an 8"x10" print at 300 PPI, or of course larger prints at a lower resolutions. On the other hand, scenes from movies that are re-rendered for publicity stills go to 8k as their longer dimension, so that's what you'd get when a movie image appears on a magazine cover. I don't usually make prints myself, I have a color laser printer but that's just to print on paper, I get nicer prints from photo printing services like ofoto.com and the like.

Also, flickr.com lets you upload at high res and then gives visitors a choice of resolutions to view, so if someone wants to use it as wallpaper or print it they can get the higher resolutions. In the future we might add a "lighting challenge" flickr tag to images made for these challenges, and have people upload stills for themselves if they've come out well. (Not that you have to do any of this, just since noouch (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=201249) was asking about it a few pages back I've been thinking this is something I'll try myself with my own entry...)


05-21-2007, 04:02 PM
Sorry I'm so late to reply.

Yes. sss is affected by lighting.

This is what I got just applying a misss_fast_simple shader to the tubes.
(One spot light, FG on)
I can see sss effects on the darker tubes too.
Though I'm not sure why there's so much difference in brightness.

Thanks anyway.
I'll try a little more to figure out and finish this work.

I found it. Reverse the normals. That's it. :banghead:

05-22-2007, 04:50 AM
A little late to the party...

It's "Death of Spaghetti Monster". The water transparency is off and the depth of field is too strong, (and obviously the monster is untextured) but its getting there. The dof makes it hard to see, but its a tank back there.


05-22-2007, 12:07 PM
Avariant. That's a good idea for the shot...although, there are a few issues you should watch out for:

1. The ripple in the water looks really out of place, since it's so close to the shore.

2. I think you should get the monster to show "pain" as he's just been shot...because right now, in large part, due to the DOF, it looks like it's just squirting out ketchup. You could also try posing it as if it were falling; being shut down.

3. Also watch out for the hard edges on the model. Gotta add some smooth to it.

Well..that's my two cents in. Hope it helps.


05-23-2007, 03:34 AM
Thanks Juan, good comments. Here's an update. I incorporated some of the changes you suggested. Still needs a final smoothing and better AA, and the noodles are too metallic, but one step further.


05-23-2007, 12:44 PM
HI, sorry was busy with work for a while....here's my new entry...C&C welcome..

05-23-2007, 02:45 PM
Avariant. That's looking better. Here's a few suggestions:

1. Don't make the bullet so clean and bright...it leads the eye right to it, distracting from the rest of the image. I think you could also move it down just a bit.
Adding motion blur and maybe some smoke trail or something of the sort would make it look great.

2. Try making the blood droplets a little smaller. They look weird to me for some reason.

3. There's something very strange going on with the texture map you applied on the canyon. It looks sort of "swirly" as if it was melting or something.

Tuffmutt1. Nice. I like it overall, but I think the middle section of the pasta monster is too bright.

Hope that helps guys!


05-23-2007, 10:15 PM
Hi, with this space view I want to join the challange :)
http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/7070/04sw1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

05-24-2007, 03:51 PM
Hello from Ireland everybody!

Labad85 - Welcome! That is a nice entry. He is supposed to have meatballs (not eggs) so some shader/texture work is still needed. For the eyes, see if you can add some nice highlights and color to the irises to bring them to life.

tuffmutt1 - Nice composition overall. Maybe the eyeballs could be just made of pasta instead of the lumpy sauce texture. The eyes look dark, as though the irises aren't catching any light. See if you can get some highlights or reflections to make the eyes look nice. The center of the pasta body looks like it's glowing, as if it has a lot of light, maybe a "translucency" effect gone too far? It could probably use directionality and shading on each noodle instead of just the overall glow in the middle. The whole scene, even the landscape, looks like it has a noisy appearance, as if it doesn't have proper antialiasing maybe?

avariant - He looks really sick! What is the white 'pill' thing supposed to be?


05-24-2007, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the suggestions all. I made some changes to clarify what the scene was. I reoriented the tank and added a second. I reshaped the shell so it's more pointy. The shell motion blur and muzzle flash added in gimp. I also improved the normals on the landscape to make it more rough in appearance.


05-28-2007, 05:05 AM
Hey guys. I finally got some time to update. Here's the latest:

- added SSS to the noodles
- tweaked the eyes and the meatballs
- added steam

It's still not where I'd like it to be but it's getting there.


05-28-2007, 06:06 AM

Maya + Combustion + mental ray (an area light and spotlight, no HDR)

In the end I just decided to do a plain one because I'm a little late this time round. From what I've seen there are some great entries, as usual, and some quite original ideas.

Avariant, keep those updates coming! I love FSM's expression.

05-28-2007, 09:37 AM
my next image... I have to correct the pasta material.
http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/3213/06ku5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

05-28-2007, 02:32 PM
Labad85 - That's great! I'm so glad that we're still getting original entries! The "arora borealis" for his propulsion is a terrific idea, and the turning the meatballs into a sort of reactor core works really well with it. The eyes are the big area that needs work, right now they just look like painted billiard balls with the color on the outside - they need depth. If the light hits the eyes from above, then the bottom of the iris should be brighter, not the top. Also the sclera (white) should be translucent, so it doesn't have such a sharp terminator. Some highlights in the eyes wouldn't hurt either.

HamburgerTrain - Wonderful quality of rendering! The FSM has a real physical presense in your scene, and I like the shocked/afraid look. Technically it's almost flawless, except some of the pasta needs more smoothing in the upper right. It could be even stronger if you put him in some kind of a situation to show what he was reacting to.

ytse77 - Great! He looks terrific, his reaction to the pot is great, I like the way his eyes look. The water doesn't read quite as clearly as it could, at first I didn't notice it. Maybe raise the camera a bit so we see into the pot and can see the boiling water, that could make the pot and the water read more clearly. Just an idea but he could stick one of his noodly appendages into the water, like someone testing how hot his bath would be, that would be hillarious.

avariant - That's a very clever idea,and it's better tied together now than before. Maybe a streak of motion blur running all the way through from the tank to the bullet would add to it, it could really just be a transparency mapped cylinder but blurring what you see through it a little. The landscape texture looks almost like a swirly oil slick, that might be rethought a bit just so the land doesn't look as fluid as the river.


05-28-2007, 03:45 PM
yes it had low aa in the last post. thanks for the critics everyone...i corrected the dark eye problem and the pasta glow also.made it more darker mood . the smoke and dust is just afterburn presets and some photoshop work done on the lava flow by addi9ng some fire and debri in the background. max/mental ray/photoshop and aftereffects.

and heres with more dramatic effect....

and one with blue sky....:)


05-29-2007, 09:07 PM
Here I am to my first challenge in CGTalk!
This my last work it's ugly!! I post it the same because I want to share with you my ideas, and also as a good italian I can't throw away a plate of spaghetti!! :D
Sorry I have had no time to model a fork and a glass too, and I had a lot of problems with mental ray because I always have used V-Ray till now.
I don't know if this strange spaghetti monster is flying high enough... maybe it's raising yet.
Congratulations for the beautiful works I've already seen in this thread.
See you, dEDa


05-30-2007, 10:49 PM
Hello again, I tried to make a better render with V-Ray.
I hope you like it.

06-07-2007, 10:37 AM
share your comments please


06-08-2007, 10:04 PM
hi all,
found some time doing a bg and fg rendering and comp that, the lab is still very simple...
tryin to get more detail in the bg to make a more intresting composition and show more
of the lab

hope u like it :)

06-10-2007, 11:03 PM
(Hey everybody! I'm in Singapore now, no guarantees how often I'll be able to reply over the next two weeks, but here goes some...)

Fex - That's absolutely terrific! The only change you might make would be to make the transition from the screen-left window more natural, at least add more of a glow or bloom around it in Photoshop. I see there already is a little glow, but somehow the transition from the window to the wall still looks very harsh.

SAJIDIQBAL - Welcome! That's a good start on the monster and the snow. Maybe you could replace the sky with something digitized from a real photograph, or at least something a litle more natural?

dEDa - Nice! Especially good work with the sauce and pasta in the lower part on your latest one! I'm not sure I like having the character's eyes covered up, that kindof takes away the impession that it is a charcter at all -- you might go back to eyes like you had in the previous version, just make sure the iris isn't too much brighter than the white. Also, there's some black matte lines around the edges of the character that need to be fixed.

tuffmutt1 - Great work! I like the composition of the lower two (more close-up) but in those the bottom of the pasta is going black, so the pasta shading looks better in the top one. The smoke looks posterized (almost two-toned) and that gives it a sort of "movie poster" feeling that is kindof fun, but the smoke could be made more convincing if the darker tones weren't all the same uniform gray. Maybe the parts of the forks that are going black could be made more reflective instead?


06-11-2007, 07:53 PM
thx Jeremy,
i fixed the hard n jaggy edge... added a volume pass too.
FG passes need more anti-aliasing. Next i make a summary of all passes.
have a nice time in Singapore :)

06-12-2007, 03:56 AM
Here's a jab at it....


Newbie here so ummm....

06-12-2007, 08:30 PM
if somebody is intrested:

06-16-2007, 06:05 AM
Very impressive, my only question is did you hand create all those layers or is there some secret that I am missing as to figure out how to do a bunch of different layers. I saw with games such as Half Life 2 they used about 13 layers on Alex alone. Granet in the end she looks amazing. Anyways, very nice job, I think it's one of the best yet.

06-16-2007, 08:26 AM
Yes, I'm thinking that Fex are the best. You've got the best idea attached with the best workshop..Only what remined us to be as close you as it is possible.

06-16-2007, 11:28 AM
@ scizzer
creating layers or passes is quite easy (specially in xsi) the idea is changing lighting and shaders to produce only the information u need... for the reflection pass i overide the
pasta shader with a reflection-only shader (which uses a baked enviroment texture
of the lab, for faster rendering). like this


06-16-2007, 11:15 PM
So I am not going to lie because that would be bad. Anyways, I use Autodesk Maya, not so much XSI so trying to read that I can understand some of it such as the blinn texture and the baked texture pass but to be honest I am still a little confused as to what you started with on the original texture and then if you used photoshop or some imaging program to create those other textures. For example I can see taking some image and in photoshop selecting just specular as the layer type and making that a pass, but I don't see it reasonable to hand draw those passes. That was my main question, is specifically how do you create those passes. I am not trying to be a nucence but in my class in college with Maya our teacher never went over render layers and still to this day I regret not learning about them 'til after I was done with both classes. All the same, fantastic job and keep up the good work.

06-21-2007, 10:35 AM
Very impressive Fex, there seems to be a few anti-aliasing/matte issues with the edges of the pasta though, but I think you've already mentioned this. Great work otherwise!

06-22-2007, 01:26 PM
Lots of good stuff again in this challenge.

Ok this is my ifrst stage, need to texture a few things and then I'm set for refining the mo-blur effect, it's scruffy right now.

http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/9729/spaghettithreepk8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

06-22-2007, 06:31 PM
jmBoekestein. Nice Start. I think you should look for a different background image though. That one doesn't really seem to fit at all. Not to mention the proportion issues.

06-29-2007, 08:07 PM
So I am not going to lie because that would be bad. Anyways, I use Autodesk Maya, not so much XSI so trying to read that I can understand some of it such as the blinn texture and the baked texture pass but to be honest I am still a little confused as to what you started with on the original texture and then if you used photoshop or some imaging program to create those other textures. For example I can see taking some image and in photoshop selecting just specular as the layer type and making that a pass, but I don't see it reasonable to hand draw those passes. That was my main question, is specifically how do you create those passes. I am not trying to be a nucence but in my class in college with Maya our teacher never went over render layers and still to this day I regret not learning about them 'til after I was done with both classes. All the same, fantastic job and keep up the good work.

Hi! I'll see if I can help you a bit. I'm not sure what you know of render passes in Maya, but I'll go over all the basics for you just in case. :)
It really depends on what version of Maya you are using. Autodesk changed how you access render layers when Maya 7 came out. If you are using maya 6 let me know I and I can explain that way as well.
It's actually pretty simple how you get those individual passes in Maya. In the layers section of Maya, There are two little bubbles on in the layers box that say 'Display' and 'Render' You want the 'Render' bubble selected. After you select it it should hide all your current (if any) display layers. You need to go ahead and make a Render layer the same way you make a display layer. You just click the add layer button. It will make a 'master layer' which will keep everything in your scene in there. You can't delete that layer. Then, there is your new layer, 'layer 1.' This layer is blank just like a display layer would be. You just select all the geometry and lights that you want to render in your scene and add it to that layer. If you want everything, select everything and right-click on 'layer 1' and click 'add selected objects.' You may think that you could just as well use the 'master layer' if you were going to render everything. But the master layer can't give you those render passes that you want.
Once you get all the geometry that you want on a render layer, you right click on 'layer 1' and go to 'presets'. This will show you all the passes that you can do on that render layer. I'll use 'occulsion' as an example.
So, just right-click on 'layer 1, and go to 'presets' then click on 'occulsion.' All the geometry in your scene will go black. Sometimes they go green or red, but as long as they are all one color then you're good.
Maya will automatically put your render in mental ray settings. That is why these are called 'presets.' Maya has default settings for different kinds of passes. Usually, these defaults are never what you want to use. When you use the 'occulsion' preset, it makes a new node in your hypershade. It makes a surface shader node. You need to show all the inputs and outputs for that node. There should be a node that is all white that is connected to the black circle that is the surface shader node. You need to open up the attributes for that node. There should be settings that say 'max distance' and 'spread.' Just fiddle with those until your scene is white and black (Start with a 'max distance of 10 then work your way up in mulitples of 10). What you generally look for with occulsion, is a nice shadow line in areas where there are obvious pits. Like, in say a robot, your initial render may not have picked up a shadow edge along a socket that you wanted. The occulsion will pick that up. You just use the 'max distance' and 'spread' to adjust the sharpness of that shadow line. You want the 'max distance' to get the good contrast of black and white, and the 'spread' to get the softness of that line.
You can't see any of these adjustments in the perspective window. You have to render out each time you make an adjustment. I recommend just rendering a small portion of your scene because sometimes occulsion can take awhile to render.
Once you are satisfied with your occulsion, you bring your occulsion render along with your final color render into photoshop.
Put your final color render on one layer, and your occusion on another layer above it. Then you mess with the blending modes in photoshop. I usually use 'multiply' for my occulsion passes. If you had a good occusion render, then all the areas you wanted more shadow in will have more shadow. If some areas have too much shadow, you can just make a layer mask of your occulsion layer and just brush out the areas that have too much.

This is usually the process for all those passes. You can mess around with all the other presets in maya. They usually have the same process. It's really just messing with settings within certain nodes then bringing the file into photoshop and taking out of the render what you need to make a nicer image.

I hope this helped you. If you have any other problems or I was unclear with something just let me know. :)

06-30-2007, 06:15 PM
Wow Gattaca13. In reply to your post all I can say is thanks for putting into lame man terms so I could understand. The only thing I want Maya to do now is have the capabilities of photoshop. In other words, when you make render layers then you should be able to choose to render all of them at once together and it does the math as it does in Photoshop. Who knows maybe someday we will get that perk in Maya but for now I will just use PS. The nice thing is I have been using it for about 6 or 7 years now, all the way back to PS 6.0. So again, I thank you so much for making it easy for me and anyone else to understand. Very good post! :applause:

07-03-2007, 03:27 AM
I started the gallery for this challenge:


If anyone has any corrections to their names, etc. please PM me about it.

Thanks and congrats!


07-03-2007, 07:27 PM
is this means that the chalange has ended?

07-03-2007, 07:33 PM
is this means that the chalange has ended?

Nope, post away!

Also, even for the challenges whose initial threads are locked, all of these challenges continue in the consolidated "on-going challenge" thread.


07-09-2007, 08:12 AM
just trying to light here and in maya 8.5 there used to be a tab under mental under the light to set it to area light. I bring it up cause i read in your book any light can be made into an area light.

where in maya 8.5 is it? its just buggin me and i MUST know this! damn maya moving everything. grrr

07-09-2007, 02:32 PM
just trying to light here and in maya 8.5 there used to be a tab under mental under the light to set it to area light.

It's still there, it's on spot lights, make sure you have mental ray loaded as a plug-in.