Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Trey Cook


Trey Cook is entered in the “Uplift Universe Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Toddler vs. Aliens


This is the first at least 2, probably more aliens who are frightened to death of a human baby. More to come later…


Here is another scared alien. These creatures are going to be scaled down to be pretty small compared to the infant. I’ve got a nice baby room scene in mind for the image’s setting.


Hey Trey, cool concept, I like a lot your idea and the concept of “micro aliens” hahaha really nice! :smiley: The design on the aliens looks great !! and looking forward for more updates! Cheers mate :beer:


I’m just playing around with some colors and textures. Notice the purple lipped alien has a more toonish look to the lips and eye lid. Whereas the blue lipped alien has a leathery textured lip. I’d like some opinions and input on this.


Thanks Ferx! I appreciate your comments and kind words. I liked the idea of the smaller scaled aliens; I thought it might be a little different than most other entries. The scene is intended to be unique but also funny. The expression on the faces of the aliens and the baby’s face is crucial to my image. These aliens are going to be scared to death of an innocent harmless babr. I’m now working on background elements like toys, stuffed animals, balls, etc… I’ll be posting those soon.

I hope to either use photomanipulation techniques with my youngest boy for the image, or I might try to go ahead and model him with the right pose. Anyway, thanks for your interest with my humble work. I’ll take any critiques/suggestions if you have any to offer, if you don’t mind. Thanks again.


Here are some background elements for the baby vs. alien scene. There will be more toys and a kiddie table where the aliens will discover the diapered beast! I’d love to get some feedback on the aliens from some folks. Until next post…


Here is a rough composite of the renders that I have so far. I still have a few more things to put in the scene; some little things like a sippie cup, maybe another toy or two, and some crucial things like the laughing baby and possibly some kind of space craft from whence the aliens came. I’d love to have some feedback. I’m also going to redo the table; especially the legs. I did these in a hurry today to go ahead and get the compositing done on this WIP. I had to upsample the table b/c I underestimated the size that it should be. How I’m approaching this image is not a single render in the 3D interface (XSI in my case), but rather, render each element as a targa, and then 2D compositing is used in After Effects for the final render.

By the way, if anyone has any advice on rendering out a 2657x3636 image from After Effects please help. My comp is the right size and everything, I just got an error message when I tried to render out the huge 300 dpi image. The message referred to my computer memory, which is funny considering that I have a pretty beefy computer; with 4 GB of RAM! It’s an editing machine; Avid qualified! I don’t know what I’ll do if it refuses to render. Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading my posts, and your interest in my humble work. I’d love some feedback on how I can make anything better!

Until next post.


hey trey! i just found your thread! you should really put a link in your signature :scream:
your image is looking good so far exept for the alens, they’are all right but looks like they are floating to much from the table and that might be because of the shadows which contradict your light source according to the rest of your scene, also i really recomend just rendering the whole image at once, i don’t see a reason to composite in after efects unless you want to add some especial effecs but that can be also done in photoshop :smiley: anyways man keep it up :wavey: deadline is almost here



Serge, thanks for the comments. I think I’m going to take your advice and render it all out from XSI with mental ray. I know it will be more accurate lighting. And it will probably feel more natural as well. I just saw your lit scene at the space diner! It’s awesome, great work. Again, thanks for the feedback. I’ll be posting an updated render hopefully today.


Hello Trey,
Great concept. The only thing that sticks out to me is the shadow on the aliens, and the texture around the sides of the table.I agree with other posts concerning compositing, you should’nt need it if it’s all done in XSI.You’ll get more cohesive lighting and shadows being lit under one scene, especially using Global Illumination. Great job man.


Hey Sasquatch! Thanks for the reply. I’m definately going to go ahead and merge all of my models together into one scene and light it and render it out that way. I think that your advice is definately good on that one. I wasn’t finished with this composition anyway, but I didn’t like the shadows either. I just hope my XSI 4.0 mental ray can do it justice! I’m going to go ahead and get the free 6.5, but I have to wait to get my home computer up and running b/c I don’t want to put it on my work computer. Anyway, thanks for the feedback, and I have already began to merge my scenes together. I should have a test render posted by the end of today(hopefully)! Thanks for the advice.


Hey Trey, the scene looks nice! Like the green colour for the walls. Agree with the other comments. You need to put radiosity light on your scene for not only a more realistic look also for your objects popup a bit and looks with more volume. I know the render time for image like yours is really long :smiley: and with radiosity … ufffff :smiley: Perhaps you can put a back light for the aliens ( with no cast shadows properties) and use oclussion filters ( dont know if are oclussion on XSI :slight_smile: but I bet yes :D) Again, nice work mate! Cheers! :beer:


Hey man great work


i must say that i am very impressed…

Want to see more of this…


Sorry, I tried to render out a full version of my lit, now single, scene, but it takes over 24 hours to render!!! Ahh! I let my computer go overnight and stopped it at about 20 hours b/c I realized that I had made the image 300DPI portrait instead of 300DPI landscape…ouch! Thanks Sergio, and Brad for the suggestions. As you can see I’ve added a building block on the table so that it is easier to see the scaling of the aliens. I used global illumination for this lighting (one directional light for the whole scene, and one point light for the floor). I changed the texturing on the side of the table as was suggested also. I’ve got to get working now on the baby. I really appreciate all the feedback and critiques; they help a lot! Any other suggestions about lighting or anything else to fix?


DesignerGr: Michael it is good to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words and compliments. I have a long way to go, and I hope that I’m going to be able to finish! I’ve just been working on this project when I finish my regular editing/compositing/directing/do everything work! Thanks for the encouragement.

Ferx: I appreciate the suggestions. I don’t know a great deal about the 3D interfaces yet. I’ve heard of radiosity and occulsion, but I don’t really know what they are (showing my ignorance). I used global illumination for this scene. My inspiration for the room is my sons’ room, of which I just painted a very similar shade of green, haha! As of right now, I have no backlight for the aliens. Tell if you think they still need one.

Sasquatch70 and Octostatue: Brad, Sergio, I appreciate so much your suggestion for the one scene instead of compositing all the models afterwards. I think the image is going to be 10 times better just for that! Also thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

I’m going to be posting 2 or 3 rough models of the baby’s face in a little while. It’s just a start but I’d like some feedback and some suggestions on it. Also, let me know what you think of the shading and texturing. I wish I could post a rendered version but it takes FOREVER! So, hopefully I’ll posting that very soon, within the next few days.

Thanks again to everyone for comments and critiques.


This is just a previs/concept for the baby’s face. I’m kinda having some trouble with modeling the baby. I’m not exactly sure how to approach it. Here is a rough model I did pretty quickly. Any suggestions?


hey trey, now let me just say… WhAT??? 24 hours? :smiley: what 3d package are you using and also what renderer?, also global illumination and final gatter a little over rated trey, you dont have to use it for every thing :slight_smile: i suggest for your scene just standard lights with soft raytrace shadows (thats what im using :D) and for your baby modeling just look at some baby pictures, there is no better resource for a modeler than picture reference, you allready have a good start in the last model you posted :thumbsup:


Hey Trey, nice start on the baby. For your renders dont use now 300 dpi and not full size. Work on a 800 X 600 and 72 dpi, for a testing. When you finish make your final render on the size and resolution required. Maybe you can make your textures self iluminated to gain light on your objects (walls and floor included). If you have photoshop you can retouch your final render :slight_smile: Only a comment :slight_smile: For now, work on the baby and when you have all the actors and props for your scene, work on the lighting and camera position :slight_smile: Cheers mate!! :beer:


Here is a rough model (by no means finished) of the baby and his upper body. That’s all that’s going to be in the shot anyway. This has proven to be more difficult than I thought. I’m going to continue to work on it as soon as a digitize all this footage for my real job, haha. Hopefully I’ll have something further to post by end of day today. Thanks for the suggestions Sergio and Fernando. I’ll keep that in mind. I have to push on to try to finish this image in 7 days!