jeudi 9 août 2012

Eleanore - final render and texture maps

Skin rendering is something of an obsession of mine. It comes as a close-second to modelling, and would be on a par if it weren't for the frustration of render times. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted Eleanore's skin to look like, how I wanted it to react to light and so on, but at the time of production, the Vray Fast SSS 2 shader, which I had decided to use since I wanted to be sure that I was not foregoing any interesting options by choosing the simpler Fast SSS, was fairly undocumented, so it was a matter of (a lot of) trial and error. I had already used it in another short I had produced in my 4th year, but the results, in hindsight, were unsatisfactory, and I knew there were quite a few things I had failed to grasp. It is still definitely not perfect, but I am getting there. At the top of my list of things I wanted to get right was translucency, and lots of it. This is the legacy of working in scanline and trying to get round the desperate plaster-like opacity of it's shaders. In keeping with her delicate features, and the contrast between her colorings and those of her surroundings, I wanted her skin to seem almost paper-thin at times, and not remotely suited to harsh sunlight. With that in mind I spent a lot of time fiddling around with the Scatter Radius and SSS Color Texture maps, and ended up painting a complete map of veins on Zbrush, with an anatomy book as reference for accuracy (in order to be able to go into deeper detail, I divided her uvs into 5 "plates", so these, naturally, are only the textures for her head and neck).

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