Thursday, January 8, 2009

Trek is done!

Finished in the Filmic Sense anyways. Now months of marketing and whatnot will occur rapidly!
I've attached my favorite out of date poster in celebration.
(I know that I'm a few weeks behind in the news but ah well)

My Render View Nuke Tree

Just a quick few screencaps of how I've setup my render tree in Nuke to make a slap comp preview for my renders.

I have to render the body, the head, and the hair separately due to some technical issues.
This means that I need some way to see the image as a whole and get an idea of the "look" of the character.

Enter: My nuke quick comp. Everything is setup in maya and it renders via a quick script to the directories and file naming so that I can just launch Nuke and view!

Annoyed wth the Use Background Shader in Mental Ray? Use the MIP_MATTESHADOW!!!!

I hate sometimes how the useBackground shader in maya just doesn't translate my depth maps the way I like in Mental Ray.

Because of this I sought long and hard for a solution.
Turns out that there is one with the advent of the lovely "hidden" mip_matteshadow.

As part of the mip shader collection that is included with Maya 2008 onward, these hidden Production shaders can be lifesavers.

They're hidden mostly due to not yet being fully supported but its easy enough to create.

Just type
createNode mip_matteshadow;
and you'll have a pretty new node to work with!

Give it a go.

I've included images of the output and the commands with this post.

Things to Remember when connecting SSS to other Mental Ray nodes

Some people tend to forget that when you use the fast sss material with other shaders (ie: Nexus, mia_material_x, etc) that you NEED TO HOOK UP THE LIGHTMAP NODE to the other shader.

Here I've detailed 2 easy ways to hook the lightmap into the nodes.

After the connection is made you can visibly see the shader swatch update with the effects of the sss kicking in. (or just render and see)

Hope this helps!!

Batching Rendering the Luma Nexus Shader

If you're looking to export your frames using the Nexus shader to something usable (batch render) then you may notice that sometimes NOTHING comes out.

As the build of the shader that I'm using is a little buggy, there are some settings you need to turn on to get the frames to render output.

Make sure the Contact sheet option is disabled (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't).

Start your batch and if you have settings that match mine on the left it should work.

Then have fun comping!
(maybe I'll show my shading network for Nuke soon)

Pose Test

Quick pre-skin test.
No real pre-multing on the edges
but its only my own "render view" type
image anyways.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hair Update

Grey Background: Comp Test
Black Background: Straight Render

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hunter Facial Reconstruction

There wasn't enough base topology for the model to be used in close shots.
I'd decided I'd have to split her head off and figured I'd resculpt it while I did.
Now I've got to find a way to reduce the render times from 30 mins a frame.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Facial Rigging (Extreme Expressions)

I've begun to setup the facial rig for the Hunter character as well as added detail to her face in order to really push a bit more specular and overall realism.
I'll be mixing this with a 32 bit displacment, bump, and normal combiner network from maya to create blending in the rig that retains the stretching in pores and whatnot as the rig animates.

I've included a few examples in this post of some of the expressions the mesh is currently hitting.

EDIT: Added new render with re-generated maps for the new mix network.

EDIT: Newer shapes added in newer post.