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Digital Art Masters: V7 - Sample Making Of 'Qev'

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Date Added: 15th March 2013
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This process took several days on Qev as it was my first attempt at formulating my approach into a repeatable, production-ready technique. Once this was done we had a face and likeness around which we could start to build the character.
For his costume design we decided to develop the idea of sports leisure wear by clothing him in a tracksuit and incorporating a cybernetic exoskeleton used to augment running (presumably from the police while carrying a recently "discovered" HD TV). This contrast of cloth and hard surface structures would allow us to test out a pipeline for multiple high resolution texture tiles across both displaced and subdivided geometry, as each have their own specific requirements and foibles (Fig.03).

1684_tid_etienne jabbour_fig03.jpg
Fig.03


When sensible UVs had been assigned and we could apply a measured checkerboard map, it became clear that we'd need to spread the UVs over a number of pages to maintain the desired texel resolution, whilst keeping individual textures at a workable size in Photoshop.

Materials in 3ds Max can usually only take a single bitmap as a texture input, but we wanted to avoid duplicating our shader networks to handle the multiple source textures. Consequently, we laid out the UVs to cover multiple tiles (0-1, 1-2 etc in UV space) and used a Composite texture node, along with the Offset controls of each referenced bitmap node, to assemble the individual source textures (bitmapDisp_u4_v2 etc) into a single "mega texture" (bitmapDisp).

Instances of this mega texture could then be plugged into a material in the same way as a traditional single-map texture (Fig.04).

1684_tid_etienne jabbour_fig04.jpg
Fig.04

Once this was done we set up a fairly straight forward mental ray scene with area lights and Final Gathering. We ignored passes on this occasion and just rendered out a final render of Qev with an alpha channel in order to composite him into a fairly abstract photo of an urban environment taken in the area around our studio, which is in Old Street, London, England (Fig.05).

1684_tid_etienne jabbour_fig04.jpg
Fig.06

With some final color balancing, hand-painted environment effects and smoke rising up from his cigarette, as well as the addition of his favorite alcoholic beverage, Qev was complete and ready to cause trouble.

1684_tid_etienne jabbour_final.jpg



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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ET on Tue, 30 April 2013 6:21pm
How can you rig something that detailed? You probably just use a biped position it and apply it to hide until render right?
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