Gollum_ Hobbit, an unexpected journey_ Fan art

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  05 May 2013
hi. the mr render looks decent enough, although its still not there.

but the vray render doesnt do justice to its shader at all. it looks like the diffuse amount is set very high which is totally killing the sss. from the noise i assuming that the prepass rate is set fairly low... set it to something like 1

when it comes to realistic skin shading i recommend building a more advanced shading network, with multiple shaders blended together. im for example using the sss only for the scattering, no diffuse, no reflections, im using a set different shaders just for reflections, this also allows you to have a separated stronger normal map for the sss and softer for the reflections and outer skin diffuse components...etc. its all about having various aspects of the skin under control
  05 May 2013
Hey guys, I spent some time on Vray sss 2. turned spec,reflec and glossiness to zero and used a shellac matt to combine reflection and skin shader together. reflection got better. but the main problem now is that my normal map is even less visible now. i dont know why but in vray i dont get detailed normal map in sss. so in this test, we dont see those really fine details coming from normal map. I am working to solve the issue. then I am gonna develop my mr sss 2 more and find out which shader to go with.

  05 May 2013
Another update for vray shader. I tried to develop it more and kind of bring those fine details to skin and get more reddish color in different areas its needed and there we go, a better result from my previous post.
  05 May 2013
really good so far. do you plan on working in the hair?

I always saw gollum with a lot more fear/desperation wrinkles around his eye, (a youtube making-of vid someone posted dispelled that however) if and when you put him into a still/animation pose he would need the morph shape/targets though.

good work! better tinkering with the renderer than I can do =P I rely heavily on baked out textures and SSS never wants to work how I want it to, you have my envy for that achievement alone lol.
  05 May 2013
Thanks man, yes I will work on hair as soon as I'm done with the shading. Also will give it different facial expressions after that. The thing is right now , if i want to choose vray for my work, I don't know how to render hair in buffer or Mr prim setup. I should change it to geometry so that it casts shadows. I have to figure stuff like that after shading.
  05 May 2013
well, this really is a nice progress.

but i can see youre struggling with the normal map. i understand that you were losing details in your eye wrinkles (definitely use a solid 32bit displacement map for things like the eye wrinkles, should look a lot better than a flat normal map, and should keep the details). but now the normal map is clearly overpowered . when you look at your cheek (on the right hand side) there is too much noise in the sss caused by the normal map. noise that shouldnt really be there

check this image again :

the sss softens the whole volume and normal map details, but thats often a good thing, if you check the weta digital shader. youll notice the sss only in hard sharp crevices. in the areas like the cheeks under even smooth lighting you notice the normal details only in the reflections, not in the sss, cause in the skin it looks nice and smooth. thats the way it should look .

and the shader itself look still a bit diffuse and chalky for my taste. if you dont mind showing your shader settings, i could take a look and tell you if i see something wrong with it.

also reflections could help a lot, but thats another chapter, lets focus on the sss first

but really good job overall
  05 May 2013
Thanks man, below is my skin setup. As you see, i only have used glossiness because i cant control reflec and spec very well but glossines is really easy to control. the main struggle for me now is normal as you mentioned. i dont know how to bring it into my render as i do in mr. the funny thing is that when i add normal bump to bump and then add normal to it, it shows nothing at all but when i add vray comptex it shows bumpy and not in cool way. another thing is that my max doesnt show 32 bit dis maps. dont know that why neither.

Last edited by HosseinDiba : 05 May 2013 at 05:50 PM.
  05 May 2013
hmm, since im a maya user i cant help you with any max related problems.

so to your shader...
first major thing... the scatter GI check box, definitely turn that off, its a render time killer and you dont really need it at this stage, thats a parameter i turn on only when it comes to some final high rez images. so turn that off, you wont notice much of a difference and your renders will be done faster. single scatter subdivs - 8 , thats imho low, try something like 16. the ior of human skin (caucasian adult male to be exact) is somewhere around 1.458

other than that it looks ok to me. so problems with the colors need to be solved in textures.
in your sss color i would bring the whites a bit down and yellows up. the overall hue needs to shift towards the yellow and more vibrant i think

the next suprisingly important setting is the scatter color. i found that it can totally change the look of the color bleeding, depends on the brightness and saturation of that color.
tip : try this [R117 G41 B36] as your scatter color, we shall see what it does for you.
then its all about playing with your scatter radius.

try doing a render looking something like this :this so its more obvious whats actually going on with the sss.
  05 May 2013
Thanks, I will post some skin tests without maps for sure. Here are my maps. I thought they can help you see better what is not working well.
  05 May 2013
so heres a guick edit ive made.

sss color : i based this of the weta reference image ive made it darker and more yellowish. so the colors are bit more vibrant, richer and less washed out.

scatter color : is based of mine map, im not sure now how exactly are the colors working, its been a year since i was testing this sort o f stuff. but imho less saturated less contrasty and darker colors worked fine for me, for me it holds out pretty well and ive never had a reason to change it.

glossiness color: your glossines was imho completely wrong, since you literally had a pitch black areas in there, try to do a test on a material with 0% glossines, it just never happens, and skin is pretty oily so it needs to be much glossier, therefor much brighter. you can test it without a map just with values, and make notes on which value looks best in which area and base you map on that. i also added a bit noise in the texture for breakup.

reflection color: this should be the map that is more contrasty, the areas like forhead and nose need to look more reflective, since theyre almost always oily and greasy, and therefor more reflective than dry skin.

  05 May 2013
Thanks for the tips man, I applied them and took another render, but it became so darker and the blood effect is almost gone in the shadows and skin is more glossier now. and a render without textures is attached below. let me know what you think about the changed, thanks
  05 May 2013
looks fine... the forehead area is starting to look really cool.
the cheeks are now too wet. but thats just a matter of tweaking your maps (patience needed)

also, when making maps, youll need to think more about what affects what. for example, the major visible vains on your temples are reducing the reflections. which makes no sense if you think about it, the fact that the veins are there has no effect on the reflectivity of the skin on top of them, so i would exclude them from the reflection map. also the freckles arent totally non-reflective so add also some reflections to them.

to the sss. the blood effect is not gone imho. i can see it happening, now its just a matter of controlling the scatter radius. which is pretty hard to achieve with a single value, youll need to create a radius map. (this is a neat trick i used when creating such a map) it can help you achive a breakup in your skin, making certain areas look and feel more like a soft tissue. like the ears for example. regarding the ears, check also your geometry, it needs to be pretty thin (just like a real ear) to have that distinct scattering happening.
  05 May 2013
Looks amazing, though I think the skin on his nose should be smoother.
  05 May 2013
Thanks guys, just a quick question. Where should I add my reflection map? to specular color or specular weight. because other than this, there is only specular glossiness pallet. I didn't add my reflect in any of these renders in Vray. I just used glossiness map as I said before. When I add reflect to these 2 separate pallets, it makes reflectivity kind of off.
  05 May 2013
Hey guys, I played more with my shading, maps, model and lighting to get a more convincing result and I am really getting close, I may start working on his expressions now
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