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Old 02-03-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
Jeremy Birn
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Jeremy Birn
Lighting Artist
Pixar Animation Studios
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Lighting Challenge #14: The Local Train

This is an old challenge now, this thread is archived. If you scroll down to the Challenge #14 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.

Trains run all over the world. The challenge here is to render this train so that it appears to run through your own home town.

Challenge #14 is on-line and active! You can download files from this page:



The Local Idea:

You are capturing the feeling of your local town. The train doesn't necessarily have to run in a location where there actually are train tracks at the moment, especially if you can think of a more scenic route where a train could run.

Any texture maps (particularly signs, lettering, or logos) that you map onto the train or signals should be based on what would appear in the city or town where you live. Try using a camera to photograph local trains for reference and texture maps, and also get some shots in your town for a background/environment.

An untextured view of the scene by Alvaro Luna Bautista.

The Scene:

This scene was modeled by Alvaro Luna Bautista. Please credit him for his work if you use images of this train on your webpage or showreel.

The scene includes a number of extra buildings, signals, and surrounding models. Try to use some of the buildings in your scene if you can find a place for them. To achieve a "local" look, you are free to change the geometry around as needed.

The ground and all the little stones on the ground were positioned to look good from one particular camera angle, as shown above in Alvaro's rendering of his own scene. You can match this camera angle if you want to use the stones as they are distributed, or else change the ground and ground-cover if you are rendering from a different camera angle.

Feel free to add whatever kind of grass, plants, or vegetation would be appropriate for your home town.


Post your work here by March 31, 2008 to be eligible for the initial gallery selection. The scenes will still be available after that date as an on-going challenge for people who wish to try this as a lighting and rendering excercise.

Jeremy Birn
Author, Digital Lighting & Rendering, 3rd Edition

Last edited by jojo1975 : 04-05-2015 at 04:55 PM.
Old 02-03-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
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Giorgio Luciano
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Great challenge ! I really like the idea I think I will partecipate
Old 02-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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Dan Konieczka
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Sounds fun! Can't wait to start this challenge. Good luck everyone =)
Old 02-04-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Francesco Rossi
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Great idea! I'll het on this one too, hopefully with more time than the last one.

Thanks again for the Christmas challenge...and for all your work in this forum.


PS: will a 3ds max file be available or do I have to use the objs? thx.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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Niko Conte
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ooh this should be fun...
Old 02-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Mustafa Matin
Sheffield, United Kingdom
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Thanks for this challenge I really like the idea, its the first time that im going to do these challenges, I did the christmas one but past the deadline, but im gonna start this one from tonight.

thanks Jeremy for all this, you are great.
Old 02-04-2008, 09:43 PM   #7
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Dimitar Tilev
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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Oh, this is going to be good...
Old 02-05-2008, 12:57 AM   #8
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Kyle VanGrol
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Sweeeet. This one is going to be a great one to test skill and imagination.

I am thinking freight train from hell
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:55 AM   #9
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Neha Kakkar
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Good one Jeremy!! I am excited to try my hands on this one
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
Pär Wahlund
3D Artist
Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 51
I should really try to get time to do this one seeing as how I spend 2½ hours per day going back and forth to my 3D job :P I'd have to change alot since the scene atm has alot of american trainyard feel to it, not really looking like sweden
But then again, Ive had plans to enter almost every challenge but just didnt find the time, so we'll see...
Old 02-05-2008, 09:45 AM   #11
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Leonidas Koufalis
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Hello Jeremy!

It is time for me to be an active part of these amazing challenges no matter what!

This is a fantastic scene to work with!

Lets rust the place up!
Old 02-05-2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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na, Sweden
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Wonderful! Thanks Jeremy and Alvaro
Old 02-05-2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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Mina Ragaie Zaky
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Thanks Jeremy for the heads up at the workshop.
Old 02-05-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
Jeremy Birn
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Jeremy Birn
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Pixar Animation Studios
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Originally Posted by Halford
PS: will a 3ds max file be available or do I have to use the objs? thx.

As always, more file formats are welcomed! If there are people who want to volunteer to make 3DS Max, Lightwave, Cinema 4D, and or other format versions, please contact me. I'll take your additional file versions and host them.

Usually we get more formats in the first week, depending on who does it, but until more versions are added I think the .fbx or .obj should import fine into Max. The .fbx might even preserve the object grouping.

Jeremy Birn
Author, Digital Lighting & Rendering, 3rd Edition
Old 02-05-2008, 09:00 PM   #15
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Martin La Land Romero
Sr. Visual Effects Artist
Warner Brothers Games
San Francisco, USA
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Thumbs up

Hello Jeremy,

This is really nice, wow. The whole enviroment has a lot of potencial to work with. Looking forward to it,

note: I have the 3ds Max 9.0 version of the "Local Train" file, let me know how do I make this available to you.

Martin Romero

Last edited by MartinRomero : 02-06-2008 at 07:46 AM.
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