Everyday Grind - Coffee Bean Spot - Assignement

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  04 April 2005
Everyday Grind - Coffee Bean Spot - Assignement

My final assignment for my intro to 3D (Maya) class is to create 30 second commercial for whatever product we’d like to make. I’ve come up with a fictional coffee bean brand with the theme ‘The Quality of a Coffee Shop…For Your Everyday Grind.’ The commercial is going to start with an elegant coffee mug on a standard white CG background. From there a whole coffee shop scene will spread outward from the coffee cup, the camera will move around presenting a nice, warm, somewhat Starbucks style shop. From there the scene will quickly pop back into the coffee mug with titling and logo presenting the slogan and brand.

In the long term I want to do environments professionally in 3D, so I wanted start trying to work towards photorealism. The only real animation will be the camera, which I’ll animate as if it’s on a real world camera rig. The scene emerging and zooming back into the mug will also be some animation, but will mainly be done as post work.

I really don’t have a strong traditional art background, so my prepro on this project is just some quick orthographic environment sketches and some animatics.

Here's the animatic: Quicktime - 320x240 - 19MB

I don't have the tools to compress it better here at school, but I'll try to get it smaller this weekend at home.

The top left square is the mug on the plane; the top right is the coffee shop; bottom left is the alpha; and bottom right is the composite. I accomplished the alpha by using vassg's expression driven distance shader. It's somewhat hard to see what's actually going on in the composite at a couple of points because everything just has the default Lambert on it. Camera shots will change a lot in the final version.

Screen shot of the previs scene shaded and with the distance ramp:

Chris White

Last edited by N2ChristTheKing : 04 April 2005 at 04:43 AM.
  04 April 2005
The workflow were using here at school is to finish each area before moving on to the next, for instance all of prepro, then we move on to all of modeling and so on. Here's the objects I have so far:

The frame is Nurbs and the seat itself is polys.

Same with this one, Nurbs frame, poly support and pad.

All Nurbs. For all three of these I'm going for a really nice designer type of look.

All polys on those two, I started with nurbs and converted them.

Finally, my main object, probably too high res, but I'll be extremely close to it on a couple of different spots.

Here's the overall scene right now:

Please feel free to rip into anything that doesn't work, I'd really appreciate it!
Chris White

Last edited by N2ChristTheKing : 04 April 2005 at 06:58 AM.
  04 April 2005
I really wasn't liking my coffee mug, I don't think it fits with the modern look of the furniture. Here's an update, not sure I'm done with it though, I'm not entirely happy so I may try some other designs.

Chris White

Last edited by N2ChristTheKing : 04 April 2005 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Would help to include the picture...
  04 April 2005
Here's the latest version, this one I think I'm happy with:

Chris White
  04 April 2005
i want the ice coffee you got going there, keep it up
Little Otto's Walk of Doom Animation:
  04 April 2005
Mystifyurmind, thanks for you encouragement!

Here's my next update, haven't had to much time to work on it, but I finished the counter and I'm reasonable happy with it. Also changed the basic colors to have a better preview of the warmer atmosphere I'm going for.

I'm also really struggling with proportions, if anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.

Chris White
  05 May 2005
Well I've been extremely busy with this and other finals, so it's taken me a while to get an update up.

Some more modeling:

I'm fairly happy with my modeling, I wish I had time to do more pieces for the project, but I think it's fairly good as is.

On to lighting:

No GI, Raytracing or anything special, in fact it's rendered in Maya's software renderer and render time is under a minute. I've got a ton of lights in here; first a far out bright spotlight for sun light. I have a large area light outside of the window to simulate sky light. There's a spot light from each orthographic angle to get bounced light. Then I have all the spotlights were the actual lights would go, no shadows though as that kicks the render time up to four or five minutes. I also have point lights at all those places that are illuminating anything, but are giving of a slight flair. Finally I have the large area light above the sealing to cast shadows.

I'm not going to have time to do high quality texturing so I'm now going for a somewhat stylized look so I'm basically done with texturing. I'm going to add some texture to the floor and change the plastic on the chairs a bit, but otherwise I'm done. I'm going to stylize by adding some film grain and playing a lot with the colors to get a blown out film look. I'll be doing it in post, probably in Combustion or Boris RED.

Thanks for taking the time to look, comments or crits would be greatly appreciated.
Chris White
  05 May 2005
Forgot to mention that I know many of the objects don't seem very grounded without a harder shadow, but I'll be doing an ambient occlusion pass so that should help a lot.
Chris White
  05 May 2005
Looks like you are off to a decent start....but Some things like the chair covers, bench and cup handle have way to many isoparms...I dont know how the grading works, but you might consider rebuilding the surfaces. I think you should do more detailed textures (add posters with product names/prices on those lite up things on the wall) and not use the stylized excuse as an attempt to explain you not working on them. If the textures dont look good then they dont look good. If they are not part of grading or you are behind, then fine, keep going, but if you want photorealism you can't slack on textures. As for modelling, using the same duplicated light fixtures to hold up that big maroon thing on the cieling doesn't look right, try modelling some support beams instead. (maybe add some napkin holders too)

The lighting through the windows should be toned down to about half of what you have and perhaps given a light blue tint. Also mess with the dmap bias (should be called that in maya) in order to blur out the shadows from the windows so they aren't that sharp.

As for some minor things, you could rotate the bottles of stuff against the wall each a bit so they aren't all facing the same direction. Assuming the door opens inwards you may consider moving the bench away from the door so it wouldn't bang into the bench when opened...and if it opens outwards you should still move the bench as if anyone was actually sitting on it the people coming in would not have much room to get by.

Well that is about all I will say for now Good luck finishing it.
::Tyler Thornock
::Lead Character TD
  05 May 2005
Your shadows need a lot of work. I dont think an Ambient Occlusion pass is going to do enough. If you look at the values of the feet of the chairs when they intersect with the ground, your shadow values should be pretty close to those values on the chairs, then fade off. Because they aren't, the chairs feel like they are floating. Another reason why the shadows need to be darkened, is because that the lighting coming into the window from the outside is so intense.

Also, on the close up render of the square coffee cup and ice coffee cup on top of the orange circular counter, there is not enough of a contact shadow. You need to up the sharpness and darkness of the shadows a bit more to make those objects feel like they are planted on the counter.

You might also consider adding a slight fill light to the left side of the back of the couch....the detail values are flat. Also, the feet of the couch are not casting any shadows.

Finally, one thing thing that I saw is that there are these bright lines that outline the corners of the walls. Not sure what might be causing them.

I do like the style of furniture that you modeled.

  05 May 2005
Wow! Thanks so much for the crits, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

ShiroiOokami, I'm in complete agreement with you about the textures. I honestly don't have time to get it done by the due date (Tues), which is why I'm going to push stylized. I actually am going this direction at the suggestion of my professor, obviously it would be better to have the texturing done, but this is the best alternative for the moment. But as soon as finals are over I'm going to do the texturing and add some more modeling, like napkin holders, which were on my list. Really good points though. I will change the fixtures on the maroon hanging piece.

I will adjust the shadows for the sunlight. I do like the 'nuclear winter' out the window. I'll tone it down a bit, but I want it bright because I think it would be blown out if you were shooting this from a camera and for aesthetic value.

Bottles are rotated randomly (including the nozzles), but if it's hard to tell I'll go ahead and do them a bit more.

vrljc, I'll darken the shadows over all a bit, and I totally agree with you about the floating, that's specifically why I'm going to do an AO pass. The other alternative that I might do in the long run add negative lights at the base of the objects, but for now I think the AO is my best option.

I'll work on the contact shadows on the mug and counter area.

Good catch on the fill in the couch as well.

I'll work on those white lines, I actually have a slight bevel there, theoretically there's almost no perfectly sharp edges in the real world, but in this case I think it hurts me more than helps me. I'll get rid of them.

Thanks again guys, you've really helped a lot!
Chris White
  05 May 2005
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