Master and Servant 3D Entry: Trey Harrell

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  04 April 2005
Lighting: Environment lighting and color treatment tests

Same treatments as the prior version, this time with 'props' added in and kicker lighting added for foreground elements.

Dirt on the floor is looking better now, although a tad procedural to my eye. I'll save that for my tweaking once all of the elements are in place, though.
  05 May 2005
Thumbs up

Hi Trey,
looking at the long queue in the local Starbucks every morning, I think that your concept reflects reality quite a lot!
You and Alan Daniels picked this interesting side of the theme, and that's how we are slaves to an unnatural pace of life.
Very interesting, and very good espresso machine!

Good luck!

3D modeler/3D generalist/texture artist

London UK


  05 May 2005

Thanks for the reply. Speaking of the UK, I was horrified last time I was on that side of the pond to see Starbucks taking over London and Edinburgh. I've got a soft spot in my heart for Pret -- crap coffee, but great sandwiches and yogurt. Hope they survive the onslaught. That big green chain hasn't been at all friendly to competition over here.

On to progress...

I've been experimenting with rigs and weight painting for the last few days. Definitely not my forte -- but luckily I've just gotta get the guy into a reasonable pose and I'll just sculpt fixes for deformation errors.

I've done a bit of tweaking to the mental ray performance tab, and I think that my 1.5 gigs of RAM is going to be enough to render out complete master shot passes at final resolution. Good thing, as the reflections in particular make me nervous about rendering elements in layers.

Should have an update or two by tomorrow night.
  05 May 2005
Modeling: Camera angles & composition

Four slightly different camera angles, with the slave in-scene.

My first and second choices right now are #2 and #1 respectively.

I think I need to prop the machine up a bit so the filter handles aren't competing with the slave's head space, because it's reading kinda strangely in #2.

I've lost a bit of mass on his right arm and shirt during the posing process, so I'll have to go back in and fix that.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get convincing wrinkles out of the shirt. If not, I'll have to remodel it.
  05 May 2005
Hi Harrrell!

Nice concept...It relates very well to myself since I've got this challenge...I think you right about your choice and machine placement...the light and shading of your scene are awesome ...Not much to say just keep it up and best wishes.

  05 May 2005
Rendering: Background Render

4000x3000 resolution render of the background plate.

I was hoping to render the entire image and then selectively adjust the pieces with alpha masks because of the amount of reflective items in my scene, however this has proved far too memory intensive and I'll be rendering plates and then compositing them.

This is the first of four master plates I will need to render.
  05 May 2005
Post Effects and Compositing: Background Plate Compositing

A pass diagram depicting how I'm achieving my final look.

I may run a reflection and specular pass for the tile, time permitting, after the rest of the elements are laid in.

Three of the six plates here were rendered (beauty, atmospherics and occlusion) and the rest were duplicated and adjusted layers with masks.
  05 May 2005
Post Effects and Compositing: Background Plate -- More Post

Rendered additional spec and reflection passes, faked depth of field with a Z-depth render.

Very, very subtle spec and reflect highlights on the tile reflection and window cast were added, and I used the Z-depth pass to slightly soften the image.

I'm not on my calibrated color machine at the moment, but I'm fairly happy with the tonal ranges now.
  05 May 2005
hmm,great job on lighting and poses,i liked it...keep it up
. . .
S c r a t c h-My scratch book
[ Convertion is what which is happening to me... ]
  05 May 2005
Red face

Madlight / Miyagi:

Thanks for the comments -- nice to see more people dropping by here.

Rendering is über slow at this point, so no updates tonight. I think I've gotten my mentalray satellites mostly stable now, so hopefully no more crashes. Once I'm done with the chair and mega-reflective machine, things should speed up a lot on the character, luckily.

I've been playing with some 2d fluid effects for steam out of the machine, and it's looking pretty nice. A lot nicer, in fact, than the 'real' steam photos I took to try my hand at sprite billboarding. Something about the unreality of the hyper-swirliness generated by the 2d cheat really matches the mood of the scene.

I've also started doing a little set dressing while waiting on renders -- power cords, a little more believable dirt on the floor, etc. Starting to shape up pretty nicely -- I should have a pretty major update tomorrow night, assuming that the satellite render doesn't crash this time!
  05 May 2005

hi..... excellent tone....great creepy feeling
  05 May 2005
Post Effects and Compositing: chair and machine layer added

I've finally managed to get the machine and chair to render at 3000x4000 resolution.

It seems that Maya 6.5 and the DGS shader have really serious bomb issues if you're rendering reflections on backfaces. Somehow a few of the normals on the machine got flipped -- causing renders to crash at 95% for the last week.

Anyhow, here's a quick snapshot of where I am at the moment.

Onto the slave and IV tubes now...

  05 May 2005
Trey, know exactly what you've been trough, I had to lower my setting so much.

Let's go back to your image, that chair is really nicely done, and I love the expression it almost has, can't wait to see the man on it finish, but what I love the most is our background it's amazing. Great work on the modeling and texturing.

Master & Servant

my site

  05 May 2005

Thanks for the encouragement. I've been staring at this thing for so long, I'm really having a hard time seeing it objectively any more.

I've become a die-hard render layers in multiple passes convert now, especially with all of the rendering trouble I've had. It's just a ton more efficient at this resolution to have multiple plates of each element and do the bulk of the fine tuning in post.

I'm thinking I'm going to render each final piece of my character out (shirt, head, arms, legs) separately as I'm done with them just to get the render times reasonable (hours vs. days). That way I'll have more flexibility to go back and rework parts after I've at least got the whole thing composed -- which is my major hurdle right now.

I've also turned to using the Maya software renderer for beauty passes instead of mental ray, for speed reasons alone. I'm still using MR for skin, occlusion and shadow passes, though. It seems like every major crash bug I've had my last few projects has been with reflective materials in mental ray, so I'm doing Maya reflections from this point on, now that the machine's done.


Originally Posted by arlutik: Trey, know exactly what you've been trough, I had to lower my setting so much.

Let's go back to your image, that chair is really nicely done, and I love the expression it almost has, can't wait to see the man on it finish, but what I love the most is our background it's amazing. Great work on the modeling and texturing.
  05 May 2005
Rendering: Slave - body & head plates

Rendering of the slave's body, shirt and jeans. Hair and arms are next, then IVs.
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