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Gummy Bear Dragon Shader Integration


Maya 2019 (Arnold), Nuke 12.


In this project, my goal was to use the Stanford dragon model and create a shader from scratch that would make it look like my inspiration object: a yellow gummy bear. 

In order to do this, I created 10 different render layers in Maya and used them inside of Nuke to both mask and grade different areas of the dragon to get the desired effect. My two main shader components from Maya included a transmission and a SSS material that were used to achieve the light and dark areas of the dragon, respectively. 


One of the most challenging parts of this project was getting the backlit area of the shader where the gummy gets extremely bright on the opposite side of the keylight. In the end, this was achieved using a couple different render layers, including a "light mask", where I applied an aistandard material with no specularity to the object to create an alpha where the light hits the object. I also found that using aiocclusion was very helpful for getting some of the bright areas, especially toward the tail/feet. 

Another difficult area was the caustic, which was achieved by turning caustics on in Maya and using an aiStandard surface on the ground with the HDRI dome intensity turned up for increased falloff. 


Lastly, for believability, I used XDistort in Nuke to distort the edges of the shadow to look more like they're on the rough concrete in the backplate. 



Shadow Distortion, Chrome Ball, Reference, and some of the main render layers from Maya.

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