VSFX 319 - FALL 2021 PROCESS BLOG
Miranda Leighr

PROJECT 1:

Research/Inspiration Images:

These are some of the images I was inspired by for different areas of my pot: (going in order of spotted cactus leaves, pot, and rocks)

WIP Renders:

Model:

Although the original model was provided to me, I used 2 bend deformers in Maya to create the shape of the pot to match my reference. 

deformedPotModel.PNG

Material/Hypershade Breakdown:

General Overview:

When I first approached creating the cactus, I looked at what the main colors and patterns I would need to create are. In this case, it was the lines in the pot and the white spots/green gradient on the actual cactus leaves. Above, you can see the the first version of the noise pattern I created using billow noise. In the second 2 images, you see the ramp used for the pot displacement and the color ramp used for the leaf gradient. 

Succulent Leaf Material:

Project1_cactus_Breakdown_text.png

Original Node Graph:

Final Node Graph:
Between my original and final version of the leaf shader, I added more variation for where the white spots show up using a ramp and also used color jitter on the main cactus color ramp to vary it. This was plugged into subsurface color so that it would accurately show the variation in the subsurface as well. 

FinalCactusLeaf_Nodes.PNG

Succulent Pot: 

The cactus pot was achieved with a displacement shader and 3 different ramps to create the main pattern and vary it. The "Displacement Mask" ramp was used to cut off the displacement at the top and bottom of the pot's edges.

As I progressed through this project, I realized that the displacement pattern on my reference image was not achievable through procedural methods since it was so random. Therefore, following the professor's advice, I instead decreased the overall displacement to create a smoother, more aesthetic version of it in the end. 

FinalCactusPot_Nodes.PNG

Rocks:

The rock variation was created with aiColorjitter , noise for bump, and a fractal texture.

FinalRock_NodeGraph.PNG

When I was working on the rocks and comparing to my reference, I realized what I was lacking was subsurface. It made a huge difference so I made a comparison below.

RockSubsurfaceBefore_afterText.PNG

Overall Troubleshooting:

For this project overall, the biggest challenge I faced was learning the node names in the Hypershade. Since I'm used to using Nuke/compositing, I had to learn which nodes were similar to the ones I would typically use - for example, the blend colors node is similar to a merge node in Nuke with a mask input ("blender"). 

AOVs for Comp: 

AOVs.PNG

Final Beauty Renders: 

For the final beauty renders, I used Nuke to enhance the color and create a subtle white vignette that draws attention to the center of the frame. I also did one render with Nuke  depth of field and a basic marble counter surface.