Eon (3D Scene) Entry: Vikram K. Mulligan


You’re back !!!

doing a terrific job a must say … i like a lot what u do with displacements, i probably borrow that later when i need more detail not that havent done it before :rolleyes: i use procedurals … i wonder do use UVs to set things up or how do u line up d textures?



Thanks, LJ. The model mainly consists of subdivision surfaces, and I spent a while setting up the UVs for the texture and displacement maps. I then added a layer of procedural noise on top, which uses the XYZ coordinates of the objects. I find that this tends to hide the texture seams pretty well.

If you’re interested in the way I do my displacements, I’m willing to share some of my shaders. I just ask that you credit me if you use them for anything.


It doesn’t look like much in the image, but I’ve written the shader for the running lights. The shader takes a time value to allow them to blink, and also outputs a glare channel to allow me to add glow in postproduction:

//Running lights shader for the OTV model.

float Ks = 1;
float Kd = 1;
float Ka = 1;
float roughness = .05;
color glasscolor = color(0.2, 0.21, 0.24);
color specularcolor = 1;
color dimincolor = 0.5;
color dimrimcolor = 0;
color flashincolor = 1;
color flashrimcolor = 0.75;
float inputtime = 0;
float timeoffset = 0.132;
float flashfreq = 0.5;
float timeon = 0.1;
float glaremin = 0.25;
float glaremax = 1;
output varying color diff = 0, spec = 0, glare = 0;)
normal Nf = faceforward( normalize(N), I );
vector V = - normalize( I );

 float timey = inputtime + timeoffset;
 color incolor = dimincolor;
 color rimcolor = dimrimcolor;
 glare = glaremin;
 if (mod(timey, 1/flashfreq) < timeon)
     incolor = flashincolor;
     rimcolor = flashrimcolor;
     glare = glaremax;

 color srfcolor = mix(rimcolor,incolor,V.Nf);
 glare *= srfcolor;

 Oi = Os;
 diff = glasscolor*Kd*diffuse(Nf);
 spec = specularcolor*Ks*specular(Nf,V,roughness);
 Ci = diff + spec + glare;

 Ci *= Oi;



 I've finished the shading on the dock, now, and I'm working on getting it lit in the borehole setting.  The idea is that the dock rotates around the borehole wall on a track that I have yet to model.  This compensates for the spin of the stone, allowing ships to dock safely.


The more I look at it, the less I like the sunlight coming in from the borehole entrance. I think I’ll position the docks farther into the borehole, and light everything with the bluish artificial lights attached to the dock and other surfaces.


The dock lighting took me some time to work out, but I think I’ve got it down, now. I’ve used a number of omnidirectional lights to fake radiosity, plus some negative-intensity lights to minimize my need to generate shadow maps. Things are finally starting to come together, methinks.



Its looks realistic. I think using renderman also brings in some realism. Can you recommend me some renderman shader writing books. I will be posting my concept sketch tonight check it out.

Thank you,


Thanks for the compliment, Hari. There are a few books that I’ve found useful. If you’re just starting out with renderman, Ian Stephenson’s Essential Renderman Fast is a good starting point. As you start getting into more advanced Renderman techniques, though, you’ll find that that book leaves you hanging – it’s really just an introduction. There’s a second edition coming which might be more complete, but if I were you, I’d try to track down Anthony Apodaca’s Advanced Renderman: Creating CGI for Motion Pictures. I think it’s out of print, but The University of Toronto Engineering Library has a copy, and 90% of the time, I’ve got it checked out and sitting on my desk next to my computer. It’s very useful.

There are also some decent web resources out there. The RManNotes website (http://accad.osu.edu/~smay/RManNotes/rmannotes.html) is quite handy, and the Renderman Academy (http://www.rendermanacademy.com) is also worth cheking out. There’s also a terrific website with lots of information about shader writing at http://www.fundza.com/index.html.



Thank you. I would get the Advanced Renderman book as rendering backbone is mostly same for all render programs.

Thank you again,


hey vikram looking good :slight_smile: i think u need to add more lights in there or maybe get more sunlight … come on update :twisted:

now i want to give my thoughs about renderman … i love renderman :scream: our friend vikram here has a lot of skill in shading and writing shader using the shading language if u have a programming background thats great but if u dont i found that way of developing to much work for an artist or so i recommend Renderman for Maya plugin for artist … even toug i have programming background i found it really dificult to start that way … those books are great buy them if u can … u can also develop shader with maya shading nodes but u got more control writing ur own … i dont have that much experience in 3d but starting with RfM make it kinda easy im hoping the tools get more integrationg with maya in the future that way u can control them both ways



I’ve rendered out the borehole layers, now, and am working on compositing them. I’ll render the ship as a separate pass and layer it on top of this. I’ll also add the far wall of the first chamber, visible at the end of the borehole.


Hey, Leotril:

Thanks for the comments. Yup, I needed more light, but the sunlight just wasn’t working out for me. I think the internally-lit borehole shown in the composite will work out, though. I might play with the contrast a bit to make the lighting a bit more dramatic, but it’s essentially the way it will be in the final animation, methinks.

As for Renderman, it is true that writing your own shaders isn’t always the fastest or most intuitive thing for an artist to do. Nevertheless, it can yield some pretty neat results that would be hard to acheive in any other way. I think anyone who’s serious about CGI should sit down and give it a try at least once. Once you get the hang of Renderman shaders, you realize that they’re not that hard to write, and the ability to write them is a very handy skill to have.



Feels like little bit empty in the hold. Can you put another ship undocking or entering space from the hole. It would be interesting. Probably a space ship of different kind.



I don’t think I’ll have time to model a second spacecraft. I haven’t added the OTV into the scene yet, though. Hopefully, the borehole will look full enough once that’s in there.


I’ve been working on the animation, and I’m finding that the borehole rotation is very subtle at the rate mentioned in the book. I’m going to refrain from moving the camera at all during the animation for fear that the borehole rotation will become completely unnoticable. That’s fine, though. Too many computer-generated animations feature extreme, video-game-like camera movements (just think of that horrible opening shot of Revenge of the Sith), so I’d rather keep all the motions subtle in this animation.


The first of two shots for the final animation is now done!


I’ve finally finished the animation. I’ll upload it as soon as I figure out how to convert it to the necessary format.

The sequence consists of two shots. I start with a close-up of the OTV nestling slowly into the dock, with the rotating borehole wall visible in the upper-left corner. I then fade to a long shot, showing the OTV finishing its manoeuvre and the whole of the borehole. The far wall of the first chamber is visible at the end of the borehole.

The whole sequence is 8 seconds long.


Grr… Anyone else having trouble with the CGUploader? I keep getting “Connection timed out” errors.


Software: Darktree,Maya,Photoshop,Renderman

This is my final animation for the Eon Modelling contest. The animation shows an OTV docking at one of the rotating docks, with the Stone slowly rotating around it. I decided to avoid the video-game style of many space animations, going instead for slow, serene movements.

Programs used:
Wings 3D (polygonal modelling)
DarkTree Textures (textures)
Adobe Photoshop (textures)
Windows Notepad (shader writing)
Maya 7.0 (polygonal and NURBS modelling, scene setup, lighting)
Aqsis (shader previsualization)
3Delight (rendering)

Play Video >>


Okay, so the animation is done and uploaded, now. I’ll post the finished high-res image soon.