Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lighting Challenge: New Composition

I've rearranged my composition again.  I decided to try and emphasize a center grouping, so the vase, plate, frame, and lit candle are positioned more together.  The other candles will be unlit.  This will clarify my light direction/source.  Later, I can light the other candles if there is time.  Here's the new composition.

Shader Update:

Candle- Feeling pretty good about it.  Will need to duplicate and make an unlit candle one without the incandescence on the wick.

Plate- Pretty good.

Vase- I'm happy with the ceramic feel to it, and I like the pattern around the center.  Will refine if necessary... dirt map?

Wood- Probably needs a second pass of dirt, grunge, fingerprints, etc, just to break up the wood texture.  Seams in table would be good too.

Shoji Screen Paper- Pretty happy with it, but the small bits of darker fibers need to be smaller- little too blotchy.

Metal- Still in progress.  I'm actually reworking some RSL code to get it where I want.  Need to hook up reflections.

Frame- Haven't started yet, since I just recently added it back in.

Incense- Haven't tackled yet, but should be similar to the wick on the candle.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lighting Challenge: Light Key and Palette

For the initial shot, I really liked the original gallery image I found in the lighting challenge, so I'm going to harness some of those colors for my version.  The fact that there are 2 definite light sources- a warm glow offscreen to the left, and the blue moonlight from the right- will create a nice shift when the candles are blown out.  If I have time for the final lighting setup, it will be strongly directional from the left, almost monotone in the blue colors from my palette.

Lighting Challenge: Lighting Reference

Some lighting reference... I'm looking for early evening colors- reds, oranges, golds, light purples, blues.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shader Update

Added shaders for the candle wick and vase.  I played with the metal shader, but I don't like where its at right now.

 So I have added an environment light to the scene, and it helps the candles immensely.  I've also added shaders for the shoji screen, plate, and desk.

Candles- still need to handle the wick, and I think the light from the flame could travel a little further into the wax.

Shoji- I'm pretty happy with the paper part of the screen, though it might be a little too noisy.  I may need to bring the colors back a little, and possibly add a noise/dirt map to break it up more.  The wood is the PRMAN oak grain shader, just darker.

Desk- I used the PRMAN oak grain shader again, but I did break up the top of the desk with a checkerboard so I could create planks of different wood.  Its subtle, but I think it helps.  It might need a little more displacement in the inbetween plank cracks.

Plate- Pretty happy with the porcelain feel of the plate.  Maybe a little too reflective?  I'd like to add a pattern in the blue rim, but only if there's time.

Frame- still need to handle this...

Vase- still need to handle...

Incense- still need to handle...

Pewter- still need to handle, but I'm hoping I can steal from someone else's scene, at least to start. 

Environment Map- Currently an office scene, so I need to find an image that will work better for my scene.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Candle Shader

Progress on the candle shader.  I'm having trouble getting the light to travel through the candle smoothly.  I tried faking it with a ramp on the incandescence and a volume light within the candle, but so far, not sure if that works.  WIP images below:

With incandescence and volume light:

With Volume light only:

With only translucence/SSS:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lighting Challenge: Camera Angles

Here is my main camera angle.  I pushed the frame slightly off the center mark- I don't want it to be the focal point of the piece.  I'm going to blur out the background slightly to help create depth.

In case my FX works great, here's another camera angle focusing on a candle.  The background will be significantly blurred out here.  If I have time, I'd like to add an animated wax drip- I think the wax going from hot to cold will present an interesting shading challenge. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lighting Challenge Reference

Started looking for some image reference of candles, Asian ceramics, shoji screens, candle flames, and smoke.  Also looking for general feel images too. 

Overall, I want a warm feeling for all of the materials, so I can offset that with the cooler night-time light from offscreen.  I want to bring in some violets and blues with my night colors, which will play off the yellows, oranges, and reds, nicely.

I also want to play up the geometric patterns in the image- shoji screen grid, porcelain plate, vase, picture frame. 

Shoji:  For the shoji screen, I was mainly looking for how light passes through the paper areas.  I'm going to keep it traditional colors- darker wood and off-white/cream paper.  I like how the 2nd image has blue sky light filling it at the bottom and slowly fades to warmer tones.

Candle: I think I need to bring an actual candle in for this material.  I want to keep its color pretty neutral, but warmer. 

Candle Holder:  I wanted a silver material for the candle holders, but still warm in tone.  Pewter seems to be the best option for this.  I want a wear level between this images.

Porcelain:  For the small dish in the foreground, I want to do a blue/white porcelain, but less detailed than the examples below.  I think I want a simple blue stripe around the edge or center flat area, possibly a patterned stripe.  I'm looking at the images below for circular pattern examples. 

Ceramic Vase: I really want something a little older in feel for the vase.  I like the geometric rough texture of the second image, but with more subtle warm tones. 

Incense Sticks: I wanted to make sure I had a few images of what incense sticks look like post-burning.  I may need to deform the stick on the plate and apply a second shader to it.

Frame: I'm going for gilt-wood + pattern for the frame.  Nothing ornate, but I like the warm sheen I'm going to get from it.

Picture: I want something older in style for the picture frame, a painting or a print.  If I can't come up with something that works in the scene, then I'm just going to leave it empty.

Candle Flame/Smoke Motion:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Racquet Ball Assignment

Iteration #5:  Really trying to nail down the shadow a little better.  Other than that, not too many more tweaks.  I did add a little bump texture to the ball to make it look a little more like the original.

Iteration #4:  Small tweaks.  Key light brought down and the right side wall is less sourcey.  Now the key light might need to fall off a little more gradually...

Iteration #3:
Fixed the back wall, but it seemed to dark.  Brought it up with a really low ambient, don't know if I like it or not.  Both images are below.

with ambient
without ambient

Iteration #2:
Solved the black edge problem.  Starting to get closer!  The back wall seems to be slightly too light in the corner, possibly along the entire bottom edge.  The foreground walls could probably come up a little too.

Original Image vs. Current Image:
The background is too dark, and the ball shadows are too light.  The bounce should be reduced.  The shadow is more intense underneath the ball, and it fades off faster.  The overall color of the light could be bluer/cooler too.

Here is a breakdown of my lights and where I'm at so far.



BG Fill, Cool
BG Fill, Warm
Overall Fill
Bounce onto ball and floor
Intensified Shadow
Overall, I think its looking pretty good.  I thin there's something weird with the shader- it seems like there's a black line around the outside of the ball.  I think the right side wall is a little sourcy too.

Setup:  For the racquet ball assignment, I decided to use a spare box with the inside covered in white card stock as the stage for my racquet ball.  This way, it would be portable and the primary light source more controllable.  I got a clip-on reading light with a flexible neck so that I could position it wherever I wanted.  In order to soften up the shadow, I use a make-shift lampshade and a piece of paper towel to diffuse the light.  The reading lamp has an LED, so the overall light is bluish.