Fagmario Rodrigues worked with Jonathan Post and Warner Bros to create visual effects for a Brilux commercial. Here, he gives us an insight into the texture, shading, lighting, rendering and compositing processes he used in this project.
My goal here was to create a seamless integration of Rosie into the commercial footage. To achieve that, I tried to recreate all the physical light conditions of the scene shoot. A great HDR was taken, and we used Nodal Ninja Panorama so we could get an accurate reflection.
I then made a low poly version of the scene and used the Camera Map Modifier to project the footage as textures, setting up Rosie's physical reflections and shadows. Finally, I used some area lights, and added some final tweaks for a better look. The entire project was made in 3ds Max
Modeling and concept
We tried to make Rosie as simple as the original 2D animation by Nacho. Fabricio Torres used the box modeling process to add all the functional parts, such as the opening belly and stretching arm, for the base of the model.
The sculpted model
Before we started the production of the model, we created a test scene to develop the look of the model with different shaders. I did some basic shading with VRayCarPaint to create the basic metal material of Rosie, and then threw on other shader basics, such as plastics, rubbers and chrome, just to see what looked good.
At the beginning there were many more chrome parts, but we thought it was too shiny, so we went more discreet.
For the lighting, I used an old HDRI that was made for other projects.
The basic shader here was done with VRayCarPaint
The client wanted Rosie to look clean, and in that way represent his product, so I couldn't make any damaged or dirty textures. I just did simple textures just to break a bit of the reflection.
In some chrome parts, I noticed that there were too many dark areas so I had to increase the Fresnel levels to almost white, to make the reflection look cleaner.
V-Ray has a powerful material that, with a little adjustment, allowed me to achieve nice, physically-correct results.
Some of the simple shaders used on the model
Controller Bezier Float
One of the most useful and powerful tools I used here is the Controller Bezier Float. This node has a number and you can apply it to several functions. For example, you can change the value of the offset tile and this value then applies to all other connected nodes. You will see several controllers when using 3ds Max, as seen here in this image.
The Controller Bezier Float in use