Here is the update for this character I’ve been doing at work. The current project is really for next year, but I have yet to make a 20 minute pilot, practically on my own within the next 3 months. Which is gonna be killer…. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. This character is finally finished.
He just needs shapes and a good rig. I am not sure how I am going to transfer the shapes from each mesh detail yet, but I think Softimage has a good GATOR plugin that transfers the like quite accurately. I’ll experiment.
I made 3 meshes, one is a Low poly count with a lower texture quality. The other two are close up and and extreme closup versions so we can do shots of bugs crawling on him.. as they are his friends. The high detail mesh contains texture maps of 8192 pixels square with a level 3 or 4 mesh subdivision extraction.
Concerning render times.. it does worry me, that is why i made a lower mesh detailed character, and we kept the leaf count low. I also plan to create all the scenery as seperate renders to recycle of the television series to then only have to render the characters over shadow catchers and clever composition.
The leaves and eyes and twigs were done in TS, even UV’s in TS. I found out how to import *.X which preserve other programs UV’s (softimage’s) and used the Free OBJ importer/exporter to export the *.obj, which also preserves the UV’s very nicely. Concerning importing *.obj’s and *.x’s, use the Modelside, Workspace side is lacking on it’s import features…….
i like TS’s previews, it aids on the whole texture process, visualization and planning of the production. Instead of putting up with great old OpenGL’s lovely grey lightless schemes…. TS beats it.
I tried to simulate Parva’s leaf effect in Softimage, but using SSS or transluceny made the leaves a bit heavier to render, so I had to sacrifice that feature and used different ambient settings. The ball was an inspiring texture i did simulate in Softimage and Mental Ray.
Also realized TS does go slow when you work with texture maps of 4096x4096 pixels or larger (works fine after it loads all the maps, but can take a while between camera moves or object selection). Good to keep that in mind and just work with 2048x2048 as higher textures.. unless I work with skies. Good to know. Need a dual card…..
I did all the textures in Mudbox. Mudbox certainly is a good leanway between Sculptris and Z-brush, and it is Autodesk compatible all ways.
I tried Octane and Thea recently also. With Octane, I had trouble with Softimage’s plugin for Octane, so I could not test it… but other than that, I like Octane. Thea is more feature heavy than Octane, thus much more complex. Octane is easy (very easy) to pickup.
Concerning animation.. BOTH are lacking, tho Octane beats Thea for sure. Thea only does basic transform/rotate/scale animations. Octane can, technically freeze each frame from your parent program, exports it, then renders it, obviously after configuring the first frame’s lighting/textures. It is not Batch render friendly tho….. Which sucks, as I usually put up multiple shots overnight sometimes…. Thea was also not batch render friendly… I guess in this regard learning to script in their language would help.
I need to try other render engines. I hear ARNOLD for softimage will be a semi hybrid render system, streamlined for speed and MentalRay like un biased quality. It is bloooooody fast. But it is only beta….. As far as I know, Rainy with a Chance of Meatballs and Monster House used ARNOLD in some shots to render near realtime unbiased renders with cinema quality. It looks promising. Can’t wait till it’s released! I found a Beta version lurking round in the internet, gave it a shot, but there is no documentation, no tutorials, nothing.. so no idea how to get it running properly, but it is much faster than Mental Ray. From sneek previews of 4 trillion polygon faces rendered in seconds with GI and raytracing, I DO like the sounds of it!! and it will be also fully integrated into Softimage, a program that is up to par with 3Dmax and Maya.
I’m giving up on the Render aspect of production for now and focussing on getting this Pilot done produced, let the render wrangling hassle me later….
Enjoy the pics!