Preview only show first 10 pages with watermark. For full document please download

3d World - January 2018 Uk

Descripción: reviste noi noiembrie 2017




 3  D W  O R  L  D FREE! 500 CREDITS FOR MATTE COM CO M MASTER VR USE OCULUS MEDIUM TO I    S   S   U E  2  2   8   C  H R  I    S  T  M A  S  2   0  1  7  ”  N  O A M  O  U N T   O F  T  E   C  H N  O L   O  G Y  I    S   G  O I   N  G T   O  S  A V  E  A B  A D  S  T   O R  Y  ”  – P  A  G E  2  4   3  D W  O R  L  D  .  C  R  E  A T  I   V  E  B  L   O Q  .  C   O M SCULPT YOUR IDEAS 45 3dworld.creativebloq.c Christmas 2017 #228 PAGES OF TRAINING SET UP LIGHTS IN UNREAL ENGINE MOTION GRAPHICS USING REALFLOW LAND JOB M A E R D tips from D-Neogr,eA XIS, GET TO GRIPS WITH THE KNIFE TOOL F R  RE  E  E  E  !  !    6 G  GB     B Top tore, and m Frames CLAS R E T S MA R E D N BLE E E SP F E  EA   T  HE  H     R  E RS     C r  S re  e  a  a  t  t  e  e   r e  e   a a   i i s  l l    s   t t    f e  i i  ea  c    c  a  t   th  h  e  e  r  r  s  s   u s  si i n    g  n   t h  g   he     h a  e ai i r  r   e n  ng    i i n  g   e  n    e O F  F R E  ES    O  S   U  O   R  U   C  R   E  C E  S     S & V I  ID    E  D E  O     O ut a c i P k c to Pierri w o h u o shows y eatures in r create c f ast , Blender ! S U LRETS FROM P SEC MS A E R D C I ELECTeRxplore motion y Territor of the future s graphic X-PARTICLES MATTE PAINTING SUBSTANCE SCAN Get started with this all round particle plugin Use photo elements for world building backdrops Build custom substances, using your smart phone ISSUE 228 PRINTED IN THE UK £6.99 EDITOR’S WELCOME What’s hot this issue SAVE UP TO 49% EDITOR’S When you sign up to a print subscription – turn to page 26. WELCOME This issue, get into VR Although not new, the resurgence in virtual reality is increasing and looks set to stay. We take a look at how it’s used as a narrative tool on page 18, then on page 48 you can learn how to create creatures within VR itself. We also give you top advice on landing your dream job, on page 28. Rob Redman, Editor [email protected] SPOTLIGHT ON OUR CONTRIBUTORS Steve Jarratt Glen Southern Oscar Juárez Steve is a freelance journalist and CG artist, with an unhealthy addiction to 3D apps and plug-ins. Check out his Octane Texture Pack review on page 96. Glen’s work covers everything from concept art to motion graphics, and on page 48 you’ll find his tutorial on working in Oculus Medium to create characters. Oscar is an archviz specialist, creating in many apps, but has a keen interest in Unreal. He shares some of his secrets with us on page 80. Pierrick Picaut Dhamindra Jeevan Mike Griggs Blender expert and 3D artist Pierrick brings this month’s cover art, and the tutorial to accompany it, which starts on page 34. Dhamindra’s artistic journey has lead to an interest in art therapy; read his matte painting tutorial on page 42 based on a concept from his studies. Mike Griggs is a 3D and visual effects artist with vast experience across the industry. On page 72 he delves into the knife tool. EMAIL WEBSITE FACEBOOK TWITTER [email protected] @3DWorldMag 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 3 CONTENTS SHOWCASE FEATURES ISSUE 228 CHRISTMAS 2017   FREE Pluralsight Unity Particle System Fundamentals course See page 92 Discover the best new digital art from the CG community, starting on page 8 Exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the latest CG technology, film VFX and video game art 18 VR: CHANGING THE STORY 28 GET YOUR DREAM JOB IN 3D We hear from Jan Pinkava, Google ATAP director, about the innovative Google Spotlight Stories and how they offer a new, unique way of telling an engaging narrative Heed advice from a range of recruiters from top studios and find out how to land your dream 3D job 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 4 TUTORIALS Pra ical tips and tutorials from pro artists to improve your CG skills TUTORIALS 42 HIGH-RES MATTE PAINTING Discover a technical approach to digital matte painting 64 YOUR SMARTPHONE IS A MATERIAL SCANNER Create 3D scanned materials with a DIY lightbox 72 BASICS: UTILISE THE KNIFE Tips for using the knife tool 74 BOOTCAMP: X-PARTICLES Explore this Cinema 4D plugin 34 SPEED CONCEPTING 48 SCULPT A CHARACTER IN VIRTUAL REALITY Using Blender’s sculpting tools, Pierrick Picaut guides us through creating this adorable bird image Glen Southern gives us his tips for sculpting a character in VR using the Oculus Medium software ARTIST Q&A 76 YOUR CG PROBLEMS SOLVED Pro artists solve your queries INSIGHT 88 SIGGRAPH ASIA Find out what’s in store at this year’s eastern CG conference REVIEWS 90 MARVELOUS DESIGNER 7 How does this release fare? 93 KITBASH We discover if this model pack is as good as suggested 56 CREATE A LIQUID TRAIL ALONG A SPLINE Javier Santaella gives us a step-by-step guide to creating an image with a realistic flowing liquid trail along a spline using the RealFlow plugin for Cinema 4D INSIGHT News and views from around the international CG industry 94 FUSION 9 Is it a worthwhile upgrade? 96 OCTANE PACK We take a look to see how useful this material library is 97 PXL + DIRT RIG Does this grunge-making tool offer any use to C4D artists? REGULARS 26 SUBSCRIPTIONS Take advantage of the latest deals and offers 92 FREE PLURALSIGHT COURSE Learn of Unity particles 84 SCREEN DREAMS We talk to Territory Studios, designers of on-set interfaces, about their exciting recent work on the Philip K. Dick television series Electric Dreams  3D WORLD Christmas 2017 5 98 FREE DOWNLOADS Images and videos from our tutorials and Q&A section ISSUE 229 NEXT MONTH CONTACT US 3D World magazine Future Publishing Ltd Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ +44 (0) 1202 586200 Learn how to create epic VR environments EDITORIAL EDITOR Rob Redman [email protected] DESIGNER Ryan Wells SENIOR ART EDITOR Will Shum EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Amy Hennessey CONTRIBUTORS Cirstyn Bech-Yagher, Pietro Chiovaro, Tanya Combrinck, Chris Eames, Simon Edwards, Mike Griggs, Trevor Hogg, Steve Jarratt, Dhamindra Jeevan, Oscar Juarez, Kate Marsh, Tom May, Pierrick Picaut, Nikole Robinson, Anthony Salvi, Javier Santaella, Glen Southern , Ant Ward and Steve Wright COVER IMAGES  The Bird © Pierrick Picaut ADVERTISING Media packs are available on request COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Clare Dove [email protected] ADVERTISINGMANAGER Mike Pyatt 01225 788204 [email protected] ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Chris Mitchell 01225 687832 [email protected] INTERNATIONAL 3D World is available for licensing. Contact t he International department to discuss partnership opportunities INTERNATIONAL LICENSING DIRECTOR Matt Ellis [email protected] [email protected] @3DWorldMag SUBSCRIPTIONS EMAIL ENQUIRIES [email protected] UK ORDERLINE & ENQUIRIES 0344 848 2852 INTERNATIONAL +44 (0) 344 848 2852 ONLINE ORDERS HEAD OF SUBSCRIPTIONS Sharon Todd CIRCULATION HEAD OF NEWSTRADE Tim Mathers [email protected] PRODUCTION HEAD OF PRODUCTION US & UK Mark Constance PRODUCTION PROJECT MANAGER Clare Scott ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER Joanne Crosby DIGITAL EDITIONS CONTROLLER Jason Hudson PRODUCTION MANAGER Nola Cokely MANAGEMENT MANAGING DIRECTOR Aaron Asadi EDITORIALDIRECTOR Paul Newman ART & DESIGN DIRECTOR Ross Andrews HEAD OF ART & DESIGN Greg Whittaker COMMERCIAL FINANCE DIRECTOR Dan Jotcham PRINTED IN THE UK BY William Gibbons & Sons Ltd on behalf of Future. DISTRIBUTED BY Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU Tel: 0203 787 9001 All contents © 2017 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered ofce: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not afliated in any way wit h the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. ISSN 1470-4382 We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill holds full FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and accreditation ON SALE 29 NOVEMBER SUBSCRIBE TODAY: WWW.BIT.LY/3DWORLD-SUBS 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 6 SHOWCASE The best digital art from the CG community 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 8 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire MEDITERRANEAN TOWER RUINS ARTIST Elias Tsirides SOFTWARE Unreal Engine 4, Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Substance Designer, Substance Painter Environment artist Elias Tsirides has  been dedicating his time to a Byzantine ruins environment creation over these past few months, and this image is only part of their la rger project. “I love the process of gradually fleshing out something out of nothing in the proverbial blank canvas,” he explains. Elias utilised a range of 3D software to create the various materials; the individual rock pieces were sculpted in ZBrush, which were then grouped and textured in Substance Painter. After  bringing this into Maya, a square wall unit was built in a tileable manner. Elias begins h is work on a project by seeking out relevant references while listening to music of a similar mood to get him inspired. “What I enjoyed most about this image is that I could have that feeling of immersion on a far-away and secluded environment to be explored,” Elias explains of their mysterious ruins. The artist advises on the importance of pausing and stepping back when  you feel that your work isn’t quite progressing as you had planned: “Whatever I am working on I keep in mind not to overdo pushing on if it seems it doesn’t work. I try to take a step back, and if things need to be redone it’s okay.” 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 9 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire CREEPY DOLL ARTIST Alvin Shih SOFTWARE ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter, Marmoset Toolbag, Photoshop  Alvin works for a game company, making 3D models for animation. “I’ve always loved game and animation,” he states. “I am fascinated with all kinds of characters who have a charming story.” This is also something he feels is very important when making his own un ique characters, including this ‘Creepy Doll’ project – making sure that the personality of the character comes through, so t hat the  viewer can enjoy inferring and imagining the character’s story.  Alvin states that “the biggest challenge was making hair and f ur look convincing” – an important consideration for ensuring that the character and their details look realistic. The same applies to the wrinkles of the clothing. “I used Marvelous Designer to simulate the cloth. In Mar velous Designer, I used some materials such as leather, wool and cotton to make the cloth look convincing.”  Alvin used ZBrush to create and pose the character, which he states is a convenient piece of sof tware that’s good for adding details to your work quickly and easily. He explains that he used Marvelous Designer to simulate the cloth, painted the texture in Substance Painter and rendered the character in Marmoset Toolbag. He then used Photoshop for compositing. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 10 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire ABOVE AND BELOW ARTIST Matthew Trevelyan Johns SOFTWARE A screenshot capture from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy  by  by Naughty Dog, in virtual camera mode Matthew Johns has worked in the  videogame industry industry for eight years. Now working as a texture and shader artist at Naughty Dog, Matthew Johns had the ability to capture this screenshot from the action-adv action-adventure enture  videogame Uncharted: The Lost Legacy .  Although the entire environment environment was created by a huge team, Matthew’s role was in the texturing and shaders. “The most notable technique that I used, that made the entire texturing process easier from my point of  view, was the application application of certain procedural procedur al shading options,” explains Matthew,, talki ng about time-saving Matthew methods that were used in t he creation of this environment. “For example, I employed heavy use of a slope blend technique to add details like grass, moss, lichen and erosion damage to t he rocks. In simple terms, the shader is able to determine the slope value for a pixel and its relation to the world. With this type of control, I was able to instruct the shader to apply, say, grass to the top side of the rocks, moss and lichen just around the edges of the grass and the damage and erosion to the underside undersides. s. “From a composition point of view, I loved the idea of being able to show  both the environment environment above above and below below the water line. To show that not only is there a beautiful world ready to be explored in full v iew iew,, but that there is also another realm of possibility h idden  just below the water’s water’s surface.” 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 12 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 14 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire THE OBSERVER ARTIST Julien Crochet SOFTWARE 3ds Max, V-Ray “I tried reproducing the mood of an early morning in Japan,” says 3D generalist Julien about lighting this unique image. “So with artist Yoii’s character and rooftops as a focus point, I used a low sun to get soft shadows and also mostly diffuse reflections and a shallow depth of field to keep a smooth atmosphere. I also used light coming f rom down the street to break the shadows.” 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 15 SHOWCASE CG art to inspire SILENT ARTIST Reza Abedi SOFTWARE Marvelous Designer, ZBrush, Mari, Substance Painter, Maya, Arnold, Photoshop Reza works full-time as a 3D character artist in Kua la Lumpur, Malaysia, and also freelances for game companies. When creating this image, he paid close attention to the details of the image, stating that “photorealistic projects need lots of details and we need to pay attention to them. [The] real eye can capture details very quickly, so when we are working on a realistic project we should always compare the details with realworld details. For instance, if the human skin doesn't have as much detail as real skin, our eyes can recognise it as a CG object very quickly,” he advises. For further realism, Reza used Marvelous Designer for the clothes, which he feels is the best sof tware for simulating realistic clothing. When it comes to looking for inspiration for his work. Reza says that “almost everything in this world inspires me; when I'm walking I'm looking at everything. I'm thinking about all natural colours and lighting around us and how to make it in 3D software. If you just go outside and look at around, you can find tons of references. Sometimes we  just need to change the way that we are thinking.” 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 16 FEATURE VR: changing the story the business of making shows. Now your audience is inside the story world and what that means is that they suddenly own the camera. If you’re interested in telling a structured narrative you have to  “VR OFFERS A SENSE OF PRESENCE, THE IDEA THAT YOU’RE TRANSPORTED TO SOMEWHERE ELSE” Jan Pinkava, Google ATAP director work harder to make sure that the audience gets the story you’re trying to tell in t he right sequence in order for it to make sense.” Technology can a ssist with the audience distraction factor so that important story points are not missed. “You can have a ‘look at trigger’ at a point where the action pauses until you’re actually looking in that direction, and carr ies on so that we can guarantee you have witnessed that important story event,” explains Pinkava. “Then you can hope to structure more stories that make sense to the audience [whether] they are paying attention or distracted… The Sonaria project was co-directed by Scot Stafford and animation studio Chromosphere. The beautiful world of Sonaria  features a mix of creatures, and the story is made more immersive by being largely sound-driven. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 20  You try to cope with everybody’s different ways of experiencing the space that they’re in. But of course, the same old rules apply. If you have a compelling idea that is well-presented your audience is going to pay attention. It’s like if  you’re a street magician or doing street theatre you’re gathering the attention of the audience and then presenting something that they want to watch. That’s a challenge for any kind of fi lmmaker, and also in VR.” Storytelling in VR is more like a stage play than filmmaking. “It turns out that people from live theatre take quickly to VR because FE UR E VR: changing e story they understand the business of presenting a show in a space to an audience,” notes Pinkava. “One thing that VR seems to of fer is this sense of presence, the idea that  you’re transported to somewhere else and it’s tempting to say, ‘What if you are part of a story? What if  you are not just an observer but an actor in this story?’ That also comes from gaming, from having a sense of autonomy in a scene and actively doing something. If you are given a first-person perspective of being there then the experience has to be delivered in such a way that it feels authentic. You can do everything that the experience suggests that  you can do. You expect to be able to touch things, pick things up and look around; that means a whole other level of interactivity. It is then a question of, ‘Is that part of the story or a ga me? When do those things crossover?’ Because it is a new kind of thing it challenges all of these categories. People start having to push on the edge of that. When is a game a story and when is story a game? It makes it an interesting exploration.” Google Spotlight Stories tend to be told from the third-person perspective. “What you get is a different sense of when you are in a VR situation, even a stylised one,” observes Pinkava. “For our show  Pearl, we put you in the passenger’s seat of this car and ta ke  you on a journey with the father and daughter for 20 years of their life. In the mobile version of that story we have you very much as a third-person camera in a space and  you’re hovering above this stick shift in t his old 1980s sedan. But when you’re in virtua l reality and 360 degrees of f reedom and you’re able to look around and move around a little bit, we found that was too constraining. Your sense of presence meant much more and it felt uncomfortable to be hovering above the gearshift. We had to  SPOTLIGHT ON TECHNOLOGY  HOW GOOGLE INNOVATES WITH STORY ALWAYS FIRMLY IN MIND Filmmakers producing Google Spotlight Stories need tools to support their creative visions and Google provides them with the technical expertise. Along with producing plugins for Maya and Pro Tools, Google has developed a proprietary software program that helps with the end-toend production of VR stories. “Story Editor is a custom visual tool to create and edit non-linear stories starting from animation clips or videos,” explains Google Spotlight Stories technical project lead Rachid El Guerrab. “This also includes tools to edit and control object-based or Ambisonic audio and its interaction with the viewer.” A rendering and animation engine was created because none of the offthe-shelf solutions provided the right amount of flexibility or performance. “This enabled us to shrink it to almost the size of a video codec, which a llowed us to integrate into the YouTube app,” explains El Guerrab. “But even then, we had to make it as close to playing a video as possible, even though it’s a full real-time game. This meant sub-second startup, continuous nonlinear streaming based on how you’re watching, instant shutdown if you switch to something else, and many other similar challenges.” The Sonaria and Son of Jaguar  Stories carry on the tradition of each new title for Google Spotlight Stories, resulting in technical innovation. “Sonaria started as a technical showcase experiment for our audio technology,” states El Guerrab. “So naturally we used various aspects of the audio engine, including but not limited to: occlusion and real-time filtering of audio, reverb and similar effects, and mixing 360 soundscapes in a way that allows six degrees of freedom movement. Son of Jaguar , on the other hand, was our first show designed from the ground up as a room-scale VR experience. We evolved many of our interactive tools to deal with the viewer moving around the scene and the story reacting properly to it. The show also pushed our rendering tech to handle the high-detailed characters and 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 21 animation, and still downscale properly for mobile. “As GSS transitioned from interactive 360 content for mobile, to stereo VR and then room-scale VR,” notes El Guerrab, “we’ve been evolving the same storytelling concepts throughout, and will be moving the same way into the new realities of AR and MR. That said, with each format, we have to work hard on how to expose the possibilities to artists and directors as creative elements they can take advantage of. We also have to constantly think about how the same story plays out in all these different outlets, which is the crux of our R&D effort at Google.” FEATURE VR: changing the story Justin Lin, best known for highoctane action franchise The Fast and the Furious , directs Help , the first live-action title produced by Google Spotlight Stories where a young woman encounters an alien in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. put you in a seat of the car so that  you could feel that your being there had a reason, a rational.”  Virtual reality experiences can  vary when it comes to runtimes. “If  you’re experiencing a show entirely with a VR headset on then you can  be in that space and look around, and depending on the quality of the show and how compelling it is maybe 20 minutes is g reat,” remarks Pinkava. “If you’re holding up a mobile phone board to your face or just looking through the window of the phone, you can’t hold something to your face that long so it makes sense to think of a shorter format. We’re dealing with a new film-like format; the early days of cinema short films were the dominant form back in the day, and this is tr ue again now. As people are exploring how to present “SON OF JAGUAR WAS DESIGNED AS A ROOMSCALE VR EXPERIENCE” RACHID EL GUERRAB, technical project lead, GSS 3D WORLD stories in this form it makes sense to keep things short, sweet and easy to get from beginning to end without a huge investment of time. It fits better with our busy mobile lifestyle these days. Everyone is distracted. Everyone’s time is cut into shorter and shorter chunks. We want to present shows that are  bite-size and can be experienced almost on the fly wherever you have time to be. A story that is two to five minutes long makes sense in so many different circumstances. It’s a good idea to try to go in that direction.” Sound has a major role to play in telling virtual reality stories. “We say in filmmaking that sound is half the show but it’s more than half in VR,” remarks Pinkava. “From the perspective of putting you in a scene emotionally and g uiding your attention, sound is indispensable.  Ambisonic binaural rendering provides a true sur round-sound environment.” Sounds are heard in correlation to where the audio source is relative to the viewer. “The sonic landscape that you’re in is richly realistic and natural. We can use it not only to inform you as to where to look and what’s going Christmas 2017 22 on, but also put you in the scene with all of the ot her traditional ways of music. You have a whole layered set of possibilities with sound that come into their own in surround sound with VR. The next challenge for full-on VR where you are able not just to look around but also move around the scene is to create sound designs that retain that authentic sense of space. “Every show we have published has been new in some way,” states Pinkava. “We can’t rest on our laurels and experience and don’t want to say, ‘We’ve done one of these before.’ The idea is to do something we don’t know how to do each time. That means it is correspondingly difficult and [there are] all kinds of problems we hadn’t anticipated, which is a point to push the technology forward. What we are doing is developing the tools and techniques and ideas of how to tell stories in VR . Each show that we choose is slightly different and has some new demand, either in the way it looks or sounds, the way the story is structu red or how interactive it is. We’re constantly expanding the territory bit by  bit of what kind of stories our FEATURE VR: changing the story  SPOTLIGHT ON SOUND HOW SOUND PLAYED A HUGE PART IN SHAPING SONARIA’S NARRATIVE Ever since the release of Windy Day , Pollen Music Group co-founder Scot Stafford has served as the creative director of music and sound for Google Spotlight Stories. The release of Sonaria marks the co-directorial debut of Stafford who was also the composer and sound supervisor. “Towards the end of 2016 [GSS technical project lead] Rachid El Guerrab asked me to pitch an idea for a show that was sound-driven from the start: an idea from within the internal team that would focus on pushing our audio tech forward,” recalls Scot Stafford. “My first thought was to focus on 6DoF sound. [In 6DoF viewers can get closer to things, and look around and behind objects]. My second thought was, ‘No way is this going to feel like a tech demo!’” A key inspiration was modular synth sounds of Weddell seals. “I imagined a nearby Antarctic ice shelf separating the world of ‘above’ [wind, airy lightness, ocean spray, ice cracking] and ‘below’ [immersive seal song, krill crackling, submerged darkness],” remarks Stafford. “And most importantly, the ability to move between these worlds just by sitting or standing. In order to make the experience more sound-driven, we’d chase a dozen creatures through as many acoustic environments, all of which could be identified by sound alone. Stafford had drawn a teardrop shape in one of his earliest treatments which intrigued co-director Kevin Dart who founded animation and design studio Chromosphere. “Kevin wanted to build every creature, and world, out of this one shape,” states Stafford. “I loved the idea, and encouraged him to embrace the shape’s 2D simplicity, even if it didn’t work from a traditional CG animation standpoint.” The sound design was primarily achieved through a mixture of Ambisonic sound fields and individual sound objects for the environments and creatures. A day was spent using several boutique microphones (including a hydrophone), a water tank and plastic tubing to capture swishes, 3D WORLD Scot Stafford co-directed and also composed the sound for the project “THE BEST SOUND CAME FROM AN OLD RUSSIAN CONDENSER WRAPPED IN A CONDOM AND A YARD OF DUCT TAPE” Scot Stafford, creative director of music and sound for Google Spotlight Stories swirls and bubbles that follow motion on screen. “The best sound came from an old Russian condenser wrapped in a condom and a yard of duct tape. Ah, what we do for film!” laughs Stafford. “Typically, we record non-diegetic score in stereo, but for Sonaria I wanted to arrange the ensemble in a circle around a double M/S mic array, with cellos evenly distributed between violins and viola. This created a radial symmetry in the mix that, as you rotate in 360, always has an even balance. I wanted this mix to focus according to viewer orientation, so we built specialised quad emitters that turn each virtual speaker up and down based on gaze angle. “Our biggest challenge was definitely the seal scene in the Antarctic,” reveals Stafford. “In order Christmas 2017 23 to create a convincing experience of crossing the threshold between above and below the ocean, we built new audio features that allow us to: • Mix between multiple sound fields according to camera position – the worlds above and below have totally unique spatialised soundscapes. • Roll off high frequencies of occluded sound sources, to sound ‘above’ or ‘below’ the ocean surface. • Trigger sounds of submerging or surfacing our heads as we break through the ocean surface. Unique sounds play at various volume levels depending on the direction we approach the surface as well as the speed of our head movement. • Move between acoustic zones. Underwater is highly reverberant; above is totally ‘dry.’” FEATURE VR: changing the story The delivery of a special set of sunglasses results in Ella dampening everyone’s spirits whenever she puts them on in Rain or Shine  directed by Felix Massie. technology and VR storytelling as a conceptual form can support.”  Along with working with  Special  Aardman Animation (   Delivery ), Mark Oftedal (  Buggy  Night ), Shannon Tindle ( On Ice ), Patrick Osborne (  Pearl ), Justin  Rain Lin (  Help ) and Felix Massie (  or Shine ), Google Spotlight Stories has an upcoming new title called  Son of Jaguar by Jorge Gutierrez who previously directed The Book of Life. “Jorge has a very Mexican story set in the world of lucha libre Mexican wrestling,” states Pinkava. “We also have some more internal experiments which includes a  beautiful show called Sonaria which is designed by Scot Stafford, our creative director of sound, and Kevin Dart’s Chromosphere in Los Angeles. It’s a fantasy journey of various creatures in a stylised world that a lmost looks like stained glass. You’re going from scene to scene with a sound design that is taking full advantage of t he space around you in terms of the music, the sound effects and the sense of atmosphere. It’s a rich experience and exploration of how much we can do with virtual realit y sound. There’s another one which I am working on with my old friend Mark Oftedal from Pixar days, which is an exploration of how far we can go w ith interactivity before something turns from being a story into a game.” Each new show is a big challenge. “Somehow if you do something for a long period of time you feel like you get better and better at it,” observes Pinkava. “Because we keep pushing on the edges of what we can do it doesn’t feel that way in this process. The thing to take away from all of this is that a s this impressive and amazing technology is used and develops it’s important for us all to hold on to what telling a story really is. Whatever the technology or medium, we as audiences still Google Spotlight Stories cover a range of media, from the Cardboard to mobile devices 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 24 want story. We want people who put their time, energy and ta lent into a show to present us with something delightful and engag ing that usually has a beginning, middle, end and a point to it. I don’t think story is going away any time soon. It’s a fixed point in human experience.” Stories need to be driving t he technology, not the other way around. “No amount of amazing technology is going to save a bad story or undo a poorly structured story. The story itself is the core of everything a nd if you hold onto that you’ll be going in the right direction.” • FEATURE VR: changing the story Pearl   directed by Patrick Osborne enables audience members to sit inside a hatchback as a travelling musician and his daughter journey across the country over a 20-year period. 10 TIPS FOR SCULPTING IN VR WORKING IN VR COMES WITH MANY ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS, SO HERE ARE SOME KEY TIPS FOR REALLY MAKING THE MOST OF IT 01 STAY COMFORTABLE WHEN WORKING Be sure to adjust the headset straps, tilt it up and down and adjust the lens slider until the image is as clear as possible. Don’t expect to be standing up for hours on end in long sessions. 02 CHANGE THE SCALE 03 SHARE YOUR WORKSPACE 04 PROXIMITY 05 TAKE YOUR WORK ANYWHERE 06 EXPERIMENT WITH THE MOVE TOOL 07 TRY OUT DIFFERENT SOFTWARE 08 SPEED UP YOUR WORKFLOW 09 USE YOURSELF AS A SCALE Remember that you can work on pieces that are tiny in your hands or a gigantic piece that dwarves you when you need extreme details. With VR sculpting we are a ble to invite others into our workspace, so we can instantly show and explain our ideas to others visually a nd audibly. When sculpting you are in front of your model, making the experience much more realistic. Not only can you pick the model up and rotate it, but you can put it down and walk all around it. An unwanted skating partner overshadows an ice dancer’s debut in On Ice  by Shannon Tindle. It is quite liberating to simply put on a hea dset and work in a quiet, relaxed workspace anywhere. Compared to move tools in traditional 3D software, you have the full free dom of movement from your hands, so make the most of it. Get to know different software options’ pros and cons. Some recommended tools are Oculus Medium, MasterpieceVR, Quill and AnimVR. Using hand controllers means no pen, mouse or keyboard shortcuts. For concepts it is an amazingly fast way to get your ideas down. You are in the scene you’re creating, enabling you to build the scene with human scale i n mind. Wondering if the door you’re making is tall enough? No problem, just see if you can walk through! 10 COMBINE WITH TRADITIONAL TOOLS Use your traditional 3D rendering packages for presentation of your VR sculpts. As of now, there’s still no rendering solutions in VR, so use some of the tools you already know to make your work shine. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 25 myfavouritemagazines Official Magazine Subscription Store SAVE UP TO 49% ON  A SUBSCRIPTION THIS * CHRISTMAS FROM  JUST £12.75 FROM £12.75 EVERY 3 MONTHS (€104 / $137 PER YR)  Biggest savings when you buy direct Choose from a huge range of titles  Delivery included  in the price ORDER HOTLINE: 0344 848 2852 PLEASE QUOTE XMAS17 WHEN ORDERING BY PHONE LINES ARE OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 8AM TO 7PM AND SATURDAY 10AM TO 2PM (GMT) 3   1  D  O   F    F    E    E    C  E    M  R  E    B  E   N    R   D  S   2  0   1   7    You might also like... FROM £13.75 EVERY 3 MONTHS (€73.40 / $92.88 PER YR) FROM £12.65 EVERY 3 MONTHS (€104 / $137 PER YR) FROM £12.70 EVERY 3 MONTHS (€104 / $137 PER YR) FROM £11.60 EVERY 3 MONTHS FROM £12.65 EVERY 3 MONTHS (€103 / $105 PER YR) (€73.40 / $92.88 PER YR) THE PERFECT PRESENT FOR EVERYONE SEE THE FULL RANGE AND ORDER ONLINE *Terms and conditions: Savings calculated against the full RRP (single issue price x frequency). Dollar prices quoted are for the United States, other global territory dollar pricing may vary. This offer is for new subscriber s only. You can write to use or call us to cancel your subscription with in 14 days of purchase. Your subscription is for the minimum ter m specified and will expire at the end of the current term. Payment is non-refundab le after the 14 day cancellat ion period unless exceptional circumstances apply. All gift subscriptions will start with the first issue in January 2018. Your statutory rights are not affected. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change. Full details of the Direct Debit guarantee are available on request. For full term and conditions please visit: Offer ends 31st December 2017. CONTRIBUTORS Amy Smith, Head of Talent, Film, Framestore | Emma Audain, Recruitment, AXIS | Mario Aquaro, Head of Rigging, AXIS | Sarah Tanner, Director of HR, Jellyfish Pictures | Natalie Tidey, Head of Talent Acquisition, Double Negative | Ian Kirby, Founder and Creative Director, The Sequence Group | Jon Neill, Head of Lighting and Compositing, AXIS | Bruce Sutherland, Head of Animation, AXIS | Ewan Wright, Head of Assets, AXIS | Dave Cook, CG Supervisor and Joint Head of 3D, Jellyfish Pictures | Jorge Formigós, Generalist TD at Double Negative | Milen Piskuliyski, Lead Texture Artist at Framestore     S     I     X     A     ©     i     k    s    y     i     l    u     k    s     i     P    n    e     l     i     M     © Staff at work in the AXIS studios Elf Archer, a project by Milen Piskuliyski, Lead Texture Artist at Framestore ou’ve got the talent to land a top job in 3D, but so do a lot of people. Sometimes the deciding factor in who gets the most exciting jobs isn’t what you can do, but how good  you are at at telling people people about it. This month, we grilled the very people who look at your showreel and read your CV to find out what  you need to do to make a killer application and get the job of  your dreams. Y STARTING YOUR SEARCH When it comes to finding opportunities, one thing is clear:  you need to put a lot of effort into LinkedIn. Framestore, Jellyfish and Double Negative all mentioned it when asked how to find out about available roles, and Jellyfish said that most of their applications come from LinkedIn. Double Negative told us that despite receiving a large  volume  volume of direct applicatio applications, ns, they still often need to approach people  via LinkedIn if they they are hiring in high numbers, so you need to make sure that your profile is up to date so that recruiters can find you in searches. It’s good to state when  you’re  you’re available, available, too. Studios post vacancies and details of events they are attending on LinkedIn and other social media, so make sure you’re following them. It’s also worth keeping an eye on sites such as CreativeHeads, CreativeHeads, A nimatedJobs and CG Meetup. Framestore get just under half of their hires from their online careers fairs and industry events so you can make contact in person, and connect with talent acquisition teams on LinkedIn. FIRST CONTACT There are two key pieces of advice for putting your application together: it should be closely tailored to both the studio and the particular role in question, and  you should should try to find a way to Above: A still from Halo: The Fall of Reach, an animated short produced by The Sequence Group that’s part of Halo 5: Guardians “SOMEONE WHO WORKS AT A COMPANY COMPANY YOU’RE INTERESTED IN COULD GET YOU IN THE DOOR” Amy Smith, head of talent, Framestore application process, around 20 per cent from referrals, and the rest through either in-person or online networking, so it’s vital t hat you work to expand your network and keep in touch with the people you already know. Studios regularly ask their employees for referrals, so  just knowing someone who who works works at a company you’re interested in could get you in the door. Go to the 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 30 make yourself stand out. Natalie at Double Negative recommends finding out interesting facts about the company you’re applying to, including them in your cover letter and explaining why you want to work for them in particular. This will make you stand out from the rest: “It shows us that you’ve done your research, and that your application is thoughtful,” she says. Right: The Sequence Group Discussing work in the video room Far right: A still from a short produced by The Sequence Group for Concord Pacific FEATURE Get your dream job in 3D DANGER! DON’T MAKE THESE MISTAKES TIME AND AGAIN, RECRUITERS SEE PEOPLE MAKING THE SAME OLD GAFFES. THE TOP BLUNDER WAS PEOPLE FORGETTING TO CHANGE THE COMPANY NAME ON THEIR COVER LETTER, SO WATCH OUT FOR THAT! HERE ARE SOME OTHER BIG NO-NOS: X OFFENSIVE CONTENT X BREAKING AN NDA X A SILLY EMAIL ADDRESS X AN INACCESSIBLE REEL X CAUSING INCONVENIENCE “We quite regularly get questionable imagery and music with offensive lyrics. Be careful and sensible – this is a professional environment, and your reel should reflect that.” Amy Smith, Hea d of Talent, Film, Framestore    p    u    o    r     G    e    c    n    e    u    q    e     S    e     h     T  ,     h    c    a    e     R     f    o     l     l    a     F     © For your CV, “clear, concise, focused” is the mantra to keep in mind. Unless you’re just starting out, don’t put everything you’ve ever done on there – just include the things t hat are relevant for this part icular job. The recruiter is scanning a lot of CVs for key criteria and they’re busy – help them do their job; let your CV be the one that gives t hem just what they’re looking for. It’s time-consuming, but you should even be tailoring your showreel to the company and role. Framestore, for example, specialises mostly in photoreal work, “So a reel full of CG animation and a cover letter that doesn’t talk about why you are looking to make the move into more photo-realistic work is unlikely to  be successful,” says Amy. MAKING A GREAT REEL “Generally, when I watch reels, I am very pushed for time – the first ten seconds counts for a lot!” says Dave Cook, CG Supervisor at Jellyfish. Studios don’t have time to watch long reels, so get t he action underway quickly, put your best “Never show work under NDA – always check you have permission. This is a single point of rejection for us. We will need to trust you with our clients’ work too!” Emma Audain, Recruitment, Axis “Have a credible email address, something professional. This should be a simple name-based email that can’t be mistyped easily.” Sarah Tanner, Director of HR, Jellyfish “If you provide us with a link to your personal website, make sure it ’s quick to find your reel, and if it’s password protected, ensure this is included.” Natalie Tidey, Head of Talent Acquisition, Double Negative “Other common mistakes are sending us Dropbox or downloadable demo reels, applying for every single job we have open, not applying via our online application form, and turning up at our reception and hoping to speak to a recruiter uninvited!” Amy Smith, Head of Talent, Film, Framestore    p    u    o    r     G    e    c    n    e    u    q    e     S    e     h     T     © 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 31 FEATURE Get your dream job in 3D and most distinctive work first, a nd cut ruthlessly to keep the whole thing short; no longer than two minutes. If you still have a lot of work to show, make separate videos that focus on dif ferent skills. The structure should also be tailored to the company; if the studio has a specialism, prioritise that work. “If you don’t have it, make it,” says Mario Aquaro, head of rigging at AXIS. “If you want to work on a specific project style but you don’t have any work experience, spend time trying to build a personal project where you can show what you can do. Sometimes, an incomplete work tells more than a final production; it gives the person watching it an idea of your potential and real aspirations.” The final consideration when selecting work for your reel is to think about how you’re going to stand out from all the other applicants whose work is high quality and fitting for t he role. “It’s worth thinking about the concept of ‘flair’.” says Amy of Framestore. “We see a lot of reels from certain schools/training programmes t hat look very, very similar because everyone has worked on the same training pieces. If that is you then it’s really worth thinking about how you could personalise these pieces and add your own twist to  briefs you are given. You can also look at working on a personal piece or two outside of school if you feel  your reel could do with standing out more.” for lighting, a breakdown of passes; for rigging, a good range of motion and demonstration of any animation interface. Mario recommends adding space for a text description in which you should explain your role and what you have done, keeping the text short and clear. You can provide a separate breakdown that goes into more detail. MUSIC ON YOUR REEL Music is a debate that comes up a lot, but of the recru iters we spoke to, most said it wasn’t a priority. “Don’t worry about a ny clever edits to music,” says Amy. “Personally I don’t mind whether  you have music or not, but I do care if you have made a music video rather than a showcase for your work. If the cuts are too short and snappy because you’re trying to work with the music then we can’t see what you’ve done, and that’s  just frustrating!” Mario of AXIS agreed that it is a secondary concern: “Watching a BREAK IT DOWN “Always include a breakdown,” says Natalie of Double Negative. “[Do it] either in the reel itself by providing turntables for models and showing the mesh, or layering in the lighting passes; or if this isn’t possible, provide an accompanying document describing what you did on the asset or in the shot, and how  you achieved it.” The breakdown is vital for showing your working process, but Cook notes that it is also important to identify which elements of a shot  you actually did: “This is especially true if you have shots from big shows that will be on quite a few folks’ reels.” For models, Dave likes to see a wireframe and even a UV layout; Jellyfish Picture’s art director Ross Burt creating a character for Dennis and Gnasher    s    e    r    u     t    c     i     P     h    s     fi    y     l     l    e     J     © showreel that is well synchronised with the soundtrack sure is cool,  but don’t lose sight of your real goal: clearly presenting your work”. For The Sequence Group, however, the ability to sy nchronise  your reel with compelling music is a skill they value in itself: “If you can create a pulse to your work and keep us watching beyond the first 20 seconds, that shows us you have talent beyond the content you’ve created,” says Ian Kirby. When you’ve made all these tricky judgement calls and put  your reel together, get someone else to look at it with f resh eyes for you, and make sure the video itself is easily accessible by putting it on a streaming site such as  Vimeo or YouTube. Multiple people from each studio are going to look at it, so it should be easy to share and work on a ny platform.  You should also put a simple title card in the reel with your contact details so it’s easy for people to get in touch if t hey like what they see. Right: Stills from a showreel displayed at the offices of The Sequence Group Below: Production team at Jellyfish Pictures working on different elements of Dennis and Gnasher. FEATURE Get your dream job in 3D WHICH ROLE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? JON NEILL, BRUCE SUTHERLAND AND EWAN WRIGHT OF AXIS EXPLAIN THE MAIN JOB ROLES CHARACTER ARTIST You will be responsible for creating the main focus of any piece: the characters! You should have a thorough understanding of anatomy, and the appropriate technical skill and knowledge of relevant software. An ideal character artist is someone who can take a model from concept to fully realised CG character with realistic shading and grooming.    p    u    o    r     G    e    c    n    e    u    q    e     S    e     h     T ENVIRONMENT ARTIST This role requires a skilled artist with a broad background creating different types of assets using both hard surface and sculpted techniques. A thorough knowledge of modelling, sculpting, texturing and shading, as well as the ability to troubleshoot technical problems, is a must. There are more opportunities to begin your career with an entry-level position as an environment artist.     © THE INTERVIEW If your application and reel have done their job and got you an interview, you’ll need to prepare for three key things: talking in detail about your work process, demonstrating that you’re a good fit for the company, and asking thoughtful questions. “Really prepare carefully for how you want to present your work to us and what you would like to say about each piece,” says Amy from Framestore. “Interviews in this industry can be very informal, which often catches people out. Informal doesn’t mean that you or we shouldn’t or don’t care! All it means is that we want you to feel comfortable and not nervous and able to really talk us through the work on your reel; why you approached things the way you did, how you would do something differently next time, how you approached a challenge that came  your way, and so on.” Natalie from Double Negative recommends finding out what  you can about the company’s culture and what values are important to them. “At Dneg, we  value collaboration, teamwork and initiative, so ensure that you have examples of how you have demonstrated these values in the past.” Your company-fit is  being assessed as well as your technical and creative skill, so  you need to give this some careful consideration. Finally, you should have some questions ready to ask your interviewers: all the recruiters mentioned this, so don’t leave it out. “Thoughtful questions demonstrate genuine interest in the company and the person who is interviewing  you; perhaps ask them about their own experience at Dneg, and what they like about working at the company,” said Natalie. Getting your dream job is about timing, persistence and careful preparation, so spruce up your LinkedIn, follow every company  you’re interested in on social media, keep in touch with your network, and get out there and attend industry events. Once you have an opportunity in your sights, if you follow the advice we’ve laid out here and take care to avoid the common blunders, you’ll give  yourself the best possible chance of achieving your goals. Good luck! 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 33 RIGGER/ANIMATOR Riggers create the joints of a puppet, and animators control the strings that move them. Rigging relates most directly to the skeleton and musculature of a model, which animators can then use to bend, contort and direct movements. Riggers need a solid understanding of maths, while success as an animator depends more on achieving a sense of rhythm, flow and movement. LIGHTER Lighting artists do what you might expect – they light – but that means far more than simply adding fluorescent strip lights to a scene. It means working with highly complex render engines to give a sense of physicality and space to digital environments, replicating the real-world lighting that surrounds us every day. If you can grasp the complex physics of lightning, then a number of technical CG jobs will open up to you later down the line. COMPOSITOR Compositors are the artistic maestros at the end of the process that take the work of all the departments before them and layer them into one final beautiful shot. The challenge is in blending various stratums of work – such as FX and matte paintings onto plate photography – without the seams ever being visible to the audience. Compositors should have a robust understanding of colour, real-world photography and image composition. TUTORIALS Speed concepting FOLLOW THE VIDEO BLENDER 2.7X | PHOTOSHOP SPEED CONCEPTING Pierrick Picaut talks us through the process of how to rapidly visualise a bird character with Blender tools I AUTHOR Pierrick Picaut I'm a self-taught 3D artist and I now work as a freelancer. I'm also a Blender Foundation-certified trainer and I produce Blender tutorials and courses. made this project a while back after a week of tutoring with one of my students. We had a few free hours left and we started doodling some sculpts of birds. I felt pretty motivated about it and I found this amazing original concept by Svetlana Bukanova. I achieved this artwork in less than seven hours, which is pretty low for a 3D character output, thanks to Blender’s sculpting tools and hair system. Over the years Blender has become a competitive sculpting tool thanks to its dynamic topology system. It enables you to sculpt without thinking about topology, as Blender will generate geometry on the fly. Plus, Blender deals with heterogeneous mesh density, meaning that you can sculpt broad details and very thin ones on the same model without the 3D WORLD need to average polygon density on the whole mesh. It’s like using DynaMesh in ZBrush without needing to update and remesh your model every time you get stuck with polygon density. As we’ll see in this tutorial, Blender enables vertex painting, enabling us to avoid painful retopology and UV creation, which helps to make the project more fun. We’ll also go over the hair system and how to cheat to rapidly create feathers. We will spend some time lighting and shading our scene and then get to the final post-production in Photoshop. Christmas 2017 DOWNLOAD YOUR RESOURCES For all the assets you need go to 34 TUTORIALS Speed concepting REALISM ISN’T EVERYTHING Picaut explains that there is no need to follow all the rules of the real world when it comes to lighting and shading when it comes to creating a very cartoonish character like this bird. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 35 TUTORIALS Speed concepting 01 03 02 04 01 BLOCK THE BASE MESH I open the reference in the UV image editor and put it into the corner so I can always have an eye on it. In edit mode, I cut the base cube in half using Edge Loop (Ctrl+R) and remove the left half of it (X). I’ve then added a Mirror Modifier with clipping enabled and set a Subdivision Modifier with a level of 3 to get a very smooth geometry. Using simple extrusions (E) and Loop Cuts (Ctrl+R) I’ve tried to nail the base shape of the character. Using box modelling to create the base mesh, despite it not being my favourite method, is very handy to mix up large and thin parts of the body rapidly and set the basic shapes and gestures. It can be quite complicated to achieve such a result pulling clay in sculpt mode. Cheat with reality When working on a stylised character, don't feel forced to respect shading rules at all cost. To make things simple, none of the metallic shaders need to have a pure white reflectivity; this is what happens in real life, but, when I do a cartoonish character, I often put a bit of colour into the glossiness shader to boost saturation and vibrance. This makes it look less realistic, but more appealing for my final model. 02 ROUGH SCULPTING Once I have a decent base mesh, I can exit edit mode, apply the Mirror Modifier and then the Subdivision Modifier. This will provide me with a raw base mesh to star t sculpting on. I go into sculpting mode and enable dynamic topology using Subdivide 3D WORLD Collapse mode and the Constant Detail option. I prefer to use Constant Detail as you don't need to be concerned about whether you’re zooming in on your model or not. Relative Detail is distance based which I feel is really unnatural. Subdivide Collapse mode will prevent you from generating too much unnecessary geometry. Using the Grab brush and the Clay Strips brush I rapidly adjust the base proportions of my character and set landmarks such as the beak and eyes sockets. I keep the detail level as low as possible in this first s tage. 03 SHAPE THE HEAD I add a mirrored UV sphere and extrude inward some of the centre loops to create the iris and pupil landmarks. I can now sculpt around the eyes as I have a good landmark to work on, to slightly revise proportion and lay down eyebrows, eyelashes, reshape the beak and draw the edge of the mouth using the Crease and standard brush. I slightly increase the detail level in this stage. Note that the Detail Size option has changed in the latest Blender Christmas 2017 36 version and is now more intuitive, as higher polygon generation while it was inverted in the previous ver sion. Whenever you're struggling to set the right detail value, just use the eye dropper and click the area you want to work on. This will give you the current detail level of the clicked area. You can then easily figure out the detail level you will us e if, for example, you want polygon density to be doubled. 04 REFINE PROPORTIONS Using a very large Grab brush, I refine the general proportion of the character. Using 05 TUTORIALS Speed concepting a Smooth Falloff, and as my mesh density is still pretty low, I can easily change the gesture of the character without creating artefacts. 05 I can now work on the feet. SCULPT THE FEET We often smooth our mesh while sculpting (holding Shift) and tend to get very rounded shapes. Unfortunately, this may result in fingers that look like sausages. Whenever it comes to fingers or toes, I always try to work with very exaggerated articulation and tendons landmarks. I then add flesh and smooth the entire thing. Having a strong base sculpt before sculpting keeps your fingers believable with correctly defined articulation. Even if our reference has very rounded fingers, it's good to make them with this method as it will then be easier to adjust than trying to fix appearance problems. With the Crease bru sh I dig some lines on the fingers and define claws. I finally rework the general proportion with the Grab brush. 06 06 I can now increase Detail Size 07 and sculpt details around the eyes and the mouth. I'm only concerned by the feet and face area as the rest of the body will be covered with fur and feather s, so we won't see any sculpted details here and this enables me to keep a decent polycount. Once I've finished creating these details I like to use the Pinch brush to define hard edges and refine detail features like wrinkles of the toes. I'm mixing pinching with smoothing to get nicely defined lines and a smooth surface. The Pinch brush can be very handy for correcting curvature of large areas when used with a large brush size. You can disable dynamic topology when correcting curves in order to prevent vertices from collapsing and/or generating any unnecessary geometry. drastically reduce my polycount without losing details. I ended up with a mesh that had a 80% lower density. This enables me to work smoothly with ver tex painting and avoid artefacts. In vertex paint mode (V), I generate a first vertex colour layer using the Dirty Vertex option that will output me a black and white cavity layer. I then create a new layer and start working with the standard brush, painting my main colours. I've stored the colours I was using along the way using the painting palette available under your colour selector. COMPLETE SCULPTING 07 Before I start vertex painting, VERTEX PAINTING I set a rapid 4 position light set-up with a key light, 2 rim light, one green and one blue as on the reference image and a fill light to avoid too-dark areas. I've then used a couple of decimate modifiers to 08 08 Using the Jitter and Spacing FINISH PAINTING options of my brushes, I create variation in the painted colour to get a more natural result. I will also use this to get better colour transition on the feathery parts of the body and switch back to the regular and harder brush to clean the eyes, beak and brows area. 09 I create a new material for SHADE THE BODY my character and load the cavity 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 37 09 TUTORIALS Speed concepting 10 11 and vertex colour using a pair of Attribute nodes. Note that you can now load your vertex colour layer using Vertex Color nodes which make it more handy. Using a colour ramp, I can work on curvature contrast and overlay it onto my base colour using a Mix Color node. To achieve more variation in the colour I've overlayed a generated noise texture and revised my vertex colour painting, covering some of the spots generated before. I was able to control the noise influence by creating masks using a separate RGB node on my base colour coupled with a colour ramp. more shiny than the other parts. I've then modified the Fresnel effect using the colour ramp to get a doubled line on the very edge of the character. As it drives contrast and glossiness, it will really help the character to pop out of the picture. 12 12 FIRST LAYER OF FUR/FEATHERS I like to add a Fresnel effect on the colour whenever I work on a cartoony character. I use the Fresnel node using the facing option and colour ramp to control it. This enables me to drive a RGB Curves node and mix it with the base colour to make outward-pointing normals and edges, to have a lighter colour and give more depth to my character even with our simple diffuse shader. When I started this project I knew I would have to find a way to avoid creating and distributing real feathers on the body as this can be very complicated when you want to achieve a good result. It's very time consuming, so we will use fur instead and cheat a little later on. I first create a hair system in the Particle System tab, setting the length to 0.18 and 2,000 s trands. I start isolating the fur creating a vertex group that will drive fur density. Weight assigned to the group will tell Blender where to generate strands from our first particle system. I'll first remove big chunks of vertices from the group using selection tools in edit mode. I can then work more precisely using weight painting mode. 11 13 10 IMPROVE BASE COLOUR ADD REFLECTIVITY I add a glossy shader and mix 2 roughness values using a Fresnel node controlled with a colour ramp. I then isolate the toes using a separate RGB node to generate a mask and set a new glossy shader using the same method as the first one to control roughness. As I can't mask the beak and claws using a generated mask, I paint a mask using a new ver tex colour layer. I can now mix different glossiness values using these masks on my character to get the beak and claws 13 COMB AND SHAPE HAIRS I can now comb the hairs I've grown before. Be aware that as s oon as you start combing you won't have acess to the hair system base option like length and number. You can modify it using combing tools but it's better to start with a fairly correct base hair system. I advise you to save a copy of your model before going into comb mode if you need to recover these options. I just brush the character to get a nice flow with the Deflect Emitter set to the default value. 14 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 38 TUTORIALS Speed concepting 15 This is a cool feature that will prevent hairs from pointing inward and creating awful artefacts. I can then generate children strands with the interpolated option to give the fur way more densit y. Magic happens when we play with the clumping option and testing the clump (0.75) and profile factor (- 0.18) we easily achieve a nice featherlike fur system. I can now t weak my combing, smoothing everything out and adding some strands manually here and there to avoid holes. 14 SHADE THE HAIRS It’s now time to add a new material slot to our charac ter, give it a relevant name and tell our hair system to use t his material. I source the vertex colour and really increase its brightness with a curve so that the hair shaders react correctly. I’m using two Hair BSDF nodes, one for reflection and the other for transmission. I use an Add node to mix them together and use a mix shader before the Add shader to reduce the reflection influence. I can then add these on top of a simple diffuse shader. I use the Hair Info node and connect the Intercept output to a colour r amp, enabling me to add contrast from the root to the tip of each strands by mixing it with the base colour. I then play 17 Don’t be shy You should spend some of your free time exploring websites such as ArtStation, Behance and whatever art forums and galleries you can find to search for inspiration and concepts. I'm not a good concept artist, so whenever I find a cool concept I would like to make in 3D, I just send a message to the artist and ask if I can use it. Most of them will be more than happy to let you do so and know that they are inspiring at least one person. So don't be shy and ask for permission. with the Fresnel to also increase the contrast based on Fresnel effect. eye mesh with a transparent shader mixed with a glossy shader to add overall reflectivity. I finally added a very light and sharp glossy shader to get crisp reflections. 15 COLOUR THE EYES As I couldn't succeed in generating the eye texture procedurally, I've created a rapid UV of the iris by projecting it from the front view and edited it in Photoshop. I use a generated fibre texture in the miscellaneous filters and then distort it to make it stretch towards the inside of th e iris. I painted the pupil with a black dot and then worked on my iris colour, masking it and playing with an orangy colour. I've also added a bit of blue tint on the middle ring of the iris to make it more interesting and resized the whole map so that it correctly fits the UVs. 16 17 FINISH THE EYES As the pupil is a bit too small, I create a shape key that will enable me to change pupil size based on the geometry in a non-destructive way (as with Blend Shapes in Maya), I can now update the right eyes using a Mirror Modifier. 18 MODEL THE FEATHERS As I'm lazy, I don't want to model feathers, unwrap them and paint maps. I figured that I can use a hair system on a basic shape instead. So I just extr ude a simple cube and make some Loop Cuts. I create a vertex group assigning only the vertices on the centre line of the feather root. I then create a hair system and set the vertex group to drive density and lengt h. This way, hairs are growing along the side of the feather root. You can now edit the hair strands in combing mode. Note that you can edit the hairs as a mesh instead of using the combing brush. I just enable the control point selection and size them on the Z axis to nearly zero so that they get a flat profile. I can then slightly brush SHADE THE EYES I mix a basic diffuse BSDF with a glossy shader using our stylised Fresnel effect. I've also generated a mask for the middle ring of the iris using a gradient texture to output a slightly emissive shader to make sure the eyes are bright and visible. This isn't realistic at all but I often use t his trick to keep the iris colourful even when in the shadow. Again the goal here is not to be realistic but to be efficient. I then added a UV sphere around my 16 18 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 39 TUTORIALS Speed concepting the top of it to get a better feather shape. I use the same shader as for the body feathers. 19 DISTRIBUTE THE FEATHERS I can now shape my feather root in edit mode and put duplicated feathers among the head, the wings and the tail. I also add a two-bone rig just to be able to rotate the head. I just parent my base mesh using automatic weight and then also parent the head feathers to the head bone. I can now slightly rotate the head towards the camera. Brush rapid selection You can access all sculpting brushes by using the number keys of your keyboard, 1,2,3… and also Shift+1, Shift+2… Just try it for a while and you'll rapidly know shortcuts for your favourite brush that will help you save time. 21 20 CREATE THE BRANCH This a straightforward step where we just need to roughly sculpt our branch with dynamic topology. I'm using the standard, Clay Strips and Crease brush to achieve this. I also check what is viewable by the camera so that I won't have to sculpt whatever won't be seen. I then create a vertex group that will enable us to distribute small leaf particles to create the foam lichen. I download a texture from and rapidly model and project a very basic mesh to create a leaf. 22 enable us to mimic the subsurface scattering effect we see on the back face of leaves in nature, while the side facing the sun is generally more reflective. I then distribute them using a hair system on the branch with some randomness. Finally, I will use a tileable texture on the branch and rapidly set a basic shader. 21 SHADE THE BRANCH I first shade the leaf, mixing a simple diffuse with a transparent shader using texture alpha as a factor. I then directly input the texture in a Bump node as we don't need to go crazy with bump precision at this detail level. I then mix it with a glossy shader u sing Fresnel as usual. The little plus here is to add a translucent shader on only one of the faces of the feather using the Backfacing node. This will AND POSTPRODUCTION 22 RENDER I launch a test render to check how the overall image looks and fix some problems with the vertex 19 20 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 40 colour under the eyes. I set the sampling level to 600, transparent background, pushed the rendering size to 200% on a base of 1,600 x 1,080. In the Render Layers tab I select a lot of render passes to be outputted (which is r eally not necessary, you could go with combined, AO, glossy direct and emission) and create a File Output node in the node editor to save all these passes as transparent PNGs. Hit the render but ton and load all the passes in Photoshop using Files>Scripts and load multiple image in the same document. I then combine the pictures using AO in overlay mode to increase contrast. I then set the Glossy Direct and Transmission pass to Screen or Add and set a black mask on it. With a very light white brush I can reveal and increase a little rim lighting and reflection. I've used a jungle picture taken from the internet and blurred it a lot to create t he background. I then make some colour corrections, create a vignette and duplicate the whole picture, flatten it, use the high pass on one copy and overlay it to get a crisper and sharper pict ure. And we're finished!. Discover another of our great bookazines From science and history to technology and crafts, there are dozens of Future bookazines to suit all tastes USE CODE 3DWORLD17 FOR 500 FREE CREDITS AT MATTEPAINT.COM TUTORIALS High-resolution matte painting FOLLOW THE VIDEO PHOTOSHOP CC | ACCOUNT WITH MATTEPAINT.COM HIGH-RESOLUTION MATTE PAINTING In this tutorial we will explore a technical approach to creating a digital matte painting using high-quality photo references from Dhamindra Jeevan AUTHOR My artistic journey stemmed from a passion for comic books as a kid, a 11+ year career in the film and visual effects industry and has now grown into a pursuit into the fascinating fields of art therapy, entheogens, transpersonal psychotherapy and family systems. T he approach that was taken with this piece of artwork is based on techniques used in the VFX industry for digital matte paintings. These images are usually then projected as layers onto 3D geometry in software packages such as Maya or composited together in Nuke. This particular piece is based around a personal project, an online journal and thesis that explores the paradox/parody of transformation (www.hanuman11. com). It relates specifically to the transition between mentors, and was created to be used as part of an interactive journaling experience in the hopes of sharing 3D WORLD some of the insights gained f rom entheogenic experiences. In this particular vision, I wanted to explore the concept in the highest resolution possible in order to exchange and move elements around, since I will be changing the elements in the middle ground to the background later on as the project unfolds. The only elements that were needed to sustain the story were:  Foreground stairs for a 3D character to be placed on (that will be released on the final version on my website).  Middle ground field area that looks inviting, rich, peaceful and holds a futuristic-looking home.  A background element with large mountains, rice fields and more of those homes. This step-by-step tu torial will explore the main tools and techniques I use, with the hopes of enabling the viewer to use their own concept/images (or the ones provided) in order to create their own version. The video included goes through the entire process. • • • Christmas 2017 43 DOWNLOAD YOUR RESOURCES For all the assets you need go to TUTORIALS High-resolution matte painting UP FILES, SKETCH AND PLAN CONCEPT 01SET The document is created portrait at 5,000px x 6,470px, at 300dpi. Sketches were created to establish the main elements, and a few thumbnail screenshots of mountain regions were used to paint in some values. When creating my own content, I find that allowing myself to drive the image, instead of following the photography that already exists, keeps things challenging enough to keep my interest. After getting thumbnails down, I tried a larger line sketch just to stay connected to my original vision. I then use this layer as a checker using an Invert adjustment layer. Alt-clicking between both layers clips this onto the line work. This will help to view t his in black or white. Use the least amount of sources in a non-destructive workflow The overall integration of different elements is always easier when all the sources are edited from the same photo or photo set. This also helps when re-using the last filter (Ctrl+F), such as the Camera Raw Filter to grade all elements evenly. WACOM TABLET PROPERTIES AND 02 PHOTOSHOP SETTINGS A specific tool I like using is the Intuos3, just because of that side slider tab! I have those set to brush size [bracket] and my Wacom set to Force Proportions in the Wacom tablet properties. I also have most of the buttons programmed to perform certain functions, like the ‘hand tool’ to move my document around, ‘undo/redo’ and ‘alt’ for the colour picker and other tools that I use often. I used because I needed many perspectives and photographic elements at a high resolution and also full exposure. I started by grabbing thumbnails and screenshots in order to block in the perspective of the main element. Using the Move Tool (shortcut V), I move and rotate the main middle ground image which will be the largest part of the painting. I also use the Show Bounding Box on my selected layers just because I find it easier to quickly grab the corners and rotate/scale/transform. And so I use the Lasso Tool to grab large selections of areas that I want to use and hit the ‘add mask’ button at the bottom of the Layer panel to quickly add masks. It is also helpful to use a hard solid brush (in this case I use the chalk brush) to help blocking in more tricky areas. This way I can keep everything non-destructive and switch images around and copy the mask if needed. It is also a useful habit to put the main elements in groups (shortcut Ctrl+G) and name them to keep things organised, working from background (sky) to foreground (closest to viewer). 04 CREATE FLOW/ LEAD THE EYE The main idea with this image is to lead viewers through the path 01 02 FINDING HIGHRESOLUTION CONTENT/ 03 BLOCKING-IN STAGE 03 04 05 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 44 of the painting as they go through design elements. Using scale and perspective the stairs in the foreground lead us down to a dark area that is then contrasted with a bright element (the house). We then have a walkway that leads us into another house, which is similar enough to have our eye searching for the next house further in the background. This then leads us to exit the image by the mountains by blocking off the top corner of the image with the foreground tree element. 05 CAMERA RAW FILTER When importing high-res RAW images, the Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop is excellent for grading and setting up a highquality baseline for the pictures before starting to cut and paint. I will often use this tool over the basic adjustments simply because it has more flexibility and options. This filter opens up another dialog box and takes a bit longer than adjustments on-the-fly, but the results are more suited to highquality pipelines such as in the visual effects industry, so it’s definitely recommended. (DISTORTION) TOOL 06 TRANSFORM The Transform tool within the Camera Raw Filter is extremely useful to re-align distorted images TUTORIALS High-resolution matte painting 06 07 by drawing two axis lines that follow the verticals of the image. Photoshop does a really good job of bringing photos back to their un-distorted states. I consequently use the Crop Tool (shortcut C) with the Delete Pixels button on (which you can find on the top panel of the tools section). You can see me doing this to several images to cut out excess data. 07 REMOVE CHROMATIC ABERRATION I find using the Camera Raw Filter tool to be the most effective way of removing chromatic aberration in an image. For this I usually zoom into the most glaring part of the image (which is usually at the borders), then open the tool (Ctrl+Shift+A) and go to the Lens Correct ion tab. Shifting the Purple Amount slider and the Green Amount slider usually gets rid of some of the chromatic aberration that we find Let the sky dictate the lighting and use visual checkers It is important to follow light direction and luminosity as accurately as possible, as well as the tone of the shadows (ex: a grey sky will not produce cool blue shadows).Visual checkers such as adjustment layers that can be turned on and off are very useful… 09 08 in the images. Adding this at the end of the image usually meshes everything back together. EXPOSURE 08 DEHAZE/BASIC I always start by lowering the exposure on elements that are blasted and playing with as many of the sliders as I can to bring out the most balanced amount of detail. I know that working with 16-bit files will enable me to work with much more range, so I take full advantage of the Camera Raw Filter capabilities. After getting something solid, I use the Dehaze tool to bring back some clarity and vibrance in some of the images that have too much atmospheric perspective. This tool should be used sparingly though, since it tends to overprocess the image and remove realism. In this case, since the matte painting won’t be hyper-realistic, I allow myself some freedom to bring in a range in lights and darks that would normally compete with each other. STAMP USING CUSTOM BRUSHES AND 09 CONTENT-AWARE FILL One tool that I use often is the Stamp Tool using a custom brush. The most common form of this would be stamping in vegetation using a scatter brush that emulates the vegetation. It can also be used for clouds and trees in the far background. I use this technique during the last phase of fine-tuning and when adding any tiny elements such as the trees on the very top of the large mountain in the background. Content-Aware Fill is also very useful (Shift+Backspace, set to Content-Aware) to quickly patch unwanted elements such as wires, houses and so on. 10 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 45 10 MATCH COLOR TOOL 11 USE CUSTOM ACTIONS/TOOLS The Match Color tool can often be used to grade elements that need similar colour ranges. I always duplicate the layer before using it since it is destructive, and then mask out the parts that don’t work or lower the opacity of the layer to blend it to the original. Tip: you can use the Las so Tool to select all the areas of the image that need to be emulated, and then copy-all and paste this into a new layer to use as a source. In order to streamline my workflow, I use actions that I have programmed and then bind them to keys on my Wacom or keyboard. In the video (at the 7:89min mark or vid 1) I use an action that creates a bunch of layers and adjustment layers that are all clipped and put in a group ready to be renamed properly. They are clipped in three categories: 1- The adjustment layers that I normally use: Curves, Hue/ Saturation, Color Balance, and Brightness/Contrast. 2- Hue/Saturation adjustment layers with masks generated by the automatic colour range selections of Highlights/Midtones/Shadows. 3- Copies of RGB channels that are pasted into masks. I use these different layers/masks 11 TUTORIALS High-resolution matte painting interchangeably to get the desired effect and often either delete the rest of the unwanted layers, or merge everything within the group. This tutorial should include the actions file. I also use the custom tools such as an oval soft brush set to Color Dodge and Burn to help me with extracting masks (further explored in the next step). WITH CHANNELS 12 EXTRACT I often use channels to extract out sky and other elements, preferring it to the Magic Wand Tool and the like. There is a lot more control in painting in the sections needed by using the Color Dodge and Burn tool after copying the channel that has the most contrast for the element that needs to be extracted. I also use tool presets such as soft brushes set to Color Dodge or Burn if I need more harsh painting. This is because the Color Dodge/ Burn tools have their own automatic ranges of Highlights, Midtones and Shadows that you must select before painting, but I personally prefer being able to paint with the Wacom pressure sensitivity. Once I have a mask that I am satisfied with, Ctrl-clicking on the thumbnail of the channel loads up the selection that can then be used to create an automatic mask. Let the sky dictate the lighting and use visual checkers (cont.) I tend to use a Hue/ Sat adjustment layer set all the way down to greyscale to check my values, as well as a Threshold adjustment layer to see if I have an accurate ‘explosion’ of light coming through the image with no dark/light values in the wrong areas. 14 15 16 13 USE QUICK MASKS FOR SELECTIONS 14 BLENDING MODES FOR LAYERS AND GROUPS Using the shortcut Q and entering Quick Mask Mode, I will often paint in the areas with a brush that I want. What is great about this is the a bility to use custom brushes, the Lasso Tool/Magic Wand Tool to help with painting, and a tap of the shortcut X to switch between painting/erasing. Note that I have everything I want selected painted in red by doubleclicking on the Quick Mask icon. I used this a lot to get selections of unwanted wires and then used the Content-Aware tool to stamp them out quickly. Some blending modes such as Darken/Lighten, Darker Color/ Lighter Color, are very useful for integrating elements such as trees over a sky from another layer without having to extract or mask. It should be noted that groups are normally created in Pass Through mode which allows any adjustment layers that aren’t clipped onto a layer to affect any layers below and outside of the group. I often put these groups back to Normal mode which keeps all effects contained within. There is only an overall colour correction folder that I leave in Pass Through mode for the final colour corrections and FX. 12 13 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 46 15 CLIPPING LAYERS/ TRANSPARENCY LOCK I use clipping layers as much as possible to keep things nondestructive and also editable with blending modes and opacity. I will often Alt-Click in-between layers to clip the top one to the bottom instead of using the drop-down menu from right-clicking. There is also the option to use the transparency lock on the layer which enables you to paint directly on the visible pixels. I have the shortcut ‘/’ mapped onto this and even have it as a button on my Wacom. 16 ADJUSTMENT LAYERS Adjustment layers are almost mandatory for non-destructive and efficient work. They greatly reduce file size instead of copying a layer and making adjustments, and are very useful for painting in shadows and light. To do this, I will often grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select a box over the area I want to adjust. Then, I will create a Curves adjustment layer which will automatically put that box in the mask. I then proceed to lower/raise the values in RGB, and the n go into the other colours and either add cool values for shadows or warm values for light. Once I feel like it matches or fits the desired look, I then delete the mask and paint in what I need with a brush. TUTORIALS High-resolution matte painting 17 17 18 FIX MASKS AND MATCH BLURS Check alphas Using an fx layer set to Stroke with a bright colour such as red is a great way to erase out extra pixels that would normally ‘float’ during projected camera movements. The main reason for using highquality images from mattepaint. com is to avoid resolution/quality issues from web images. Once we have everything at high res, it is much easier to blur things down to emulate depth of field (such as in the foreground). Before doing this though, I usually go through my layers and clean up any excess pixels using the fx-stroke tip. 18 3D PASSES For this part which isn’t covered in the tutorial, I used models for the homes that I set up in Maya with simple shaders and rendered out a few passes to help with integration. The main passes I used were one wit h a key light and one without, a normal pass (which I use with channels to extract selections), a depth pass (for distance and haze) , an occlusion pass (for dirt and contact points), and an ID pass which enables me to make quick selections. I brought all of these layers into a group, but also edited them as my composition changed slightly. 23 19 OCCLUSION Contact points between the buildings and the land were very important for integration. Breaking this up by taking out areas using a layer mask always helps, but using the occlusion pass either in Multiply blending mode (which I find sometimes distorts values), or making a selection of it with channels and then using that with an adjustment layer, has often been the best way to have an element sit properly in a scene. I will also quickly paint in occlusion in certain areas manually using a soft brush and eye-dropping the darkest value around that area. 20 BOUNCE LIGHT When it comes to painting in bounce light I will use the normal pass and cycle through the RGB channels to find the right angle/ selection that I need. With this selection, I will then create a mask on a blank layer and then eye-drop the brightest value that s hould be bouncing back. You can see this when I bounce the green light from the grass and tree s to bounce back into the shadows. 22 21 19 REFRACTIONS 21 REFLECTIONS/ This part is really important to distinguish different material properties. I often simply select large chunks of the image which I copy and paste back onto an empty layer. I then flip/distort the image to get the overall reflection, and then proceed to mask it into the needed areas. For the window in the cg home, I ended up grabbing an image with enough foliage to emulate a tree line. I then screen this back on at a low opacity. For the bridge, I also used a Motion Blur filter before reflecting it back onto the surface. 24 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 47 20 22 FINAL EFFECTS PART 1 23 FINAL EFFECTS PART 2 24 FINAL EFFECTS PART 3 To finalise the image, I of ten do a duplicate/merge all. The shortcut for this is Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E. I then create a 50 % grey layer and apply the Noise filter. I then set this layer to overlay at 10% opacity and merge it down with my original merged image. This gives a first pass that ‘congeals’ the pixels well with uniform noise. Next I play around with overall colour corrections using Color Balance, Exposure and Color Lookup. I find that working with high-res images leaves as much range as possible for me to crunch through in this phase. Raising the exposure for example can make the image seem more photorealistic even if we blast out the w hites. I also tend to give the image a warmer tone in the highlights and a cooler one in the shadows using the Color Balance adjustment layer. And finally I like to use the Color Lookup adjustment layer to emulate the various film stocks but leave the opacity very low around 10-15%. For the finishing effects, I will often copy-merge the whole image again with the previous steps all included. I then use the Lens Correction tool to add chromatic aberration and distortions to the image. This also adds a photographic quality to the whole piece. It is also possible to copy all this into a new document and nudge the different channels left and right to get a similar effect. I often use this in areas that need more fine-tuning like the foreground elements. Once all this is ready, I use an extra layer of noise at 10% with a slightly larger scale and finally sharpen the entire image. • TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality FOLLOW THE VIDEO OCULUS RIFT HEADSET WITH OCULUS TOUCH CONTROLLERS | OCULUS MEDIUM SCULPT A CHARACTER IN VIRTUAL REALITY  Glen Southern describes how to use virtual reality technology in a 3D character concept pipeline Glen Southern AUTHOR  Y  Glen runs SouthernGFX, a small Cheshire-based studio specialising in character and creature design. He’s been using and training ZBrush for over 15 years and is a Wacom Ambassador for the UK and Ireland. ou may be forgiven for thinking that the Oculus Rift VR headset was created solely for use as a gaming device. That is no longer the case, as there are now lots of creation tools springing up, including VR sculpting and painting apps. This project will show you how virtual reality can be used in a charac ter concept pipeline. We will explain how to sculpt and paint a character model, in this case a robot from a mining colony. We will be using a few concept sketches and paintings that are imported as reference planes. The final model and scene is ‘photographed’ in  VR with a number of different lighting scenarios. These are then taken into Photoshop for compositing into a final render. The software we will be using is Oculus Medium, which is an immersive virtual reality experience that lets you sculpt, model, paint and create objects in a VR environment. The software enables you to create expressive works of art, whether you’re a total beginner, an aspiring creative or a 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 48 professional artist. Using Oculus’ Touch controllers enables the user to employ intuitive hand gestures and movement for a natural, tactile experience. The final sculpt will be a character that can be posed and exported with painted colour detail, for use in another app or for 3D printing. DOWNLOAD YOUR RESOURCES For all the assets you need go to TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality VR SCENE Our final robot creation, sculpted using the power of the Oculus Touch controllers 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 49 TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality 01 GETTING STARTED The video to accompany this tutorial is recorded in  VR and the experience that you will see on screen is not representative of the full experience. Once you have your Oculus Rift and sensor s all set up it would be beneficial to spend some time understanding how to hold and use the controllers. Open up Oculus Medium. The firs t video starts as we enter the Oculus Medium scene. 02 IMPORT REFERENCE IMAGES On your computer look for the default Medium folder and look for a folder called _Import. In there you w ill find a folder for images and a folder for meshes. For this tutorial we bring in some robot charac ter concept art to use as a guide in the scene. Pull back on the Support hand thumbs tick and click the reference button at th e bottom of the panel, which resembles a book. This will bring up the References panel. Click Import to add any images that have been saved to the _Import folder. They are now available to use as reference. 03 ADD THE REFERENCE IMAGERY TO THE SCENE After selecting the images you imported, they should appear in the VR scene. Pull back on the Support hand thumbstick to exit the reference panel. To move an image, click on one and it will display a green outline to show it is selected. Pressing the green button on your Tool hand will bring up options for the reference image. Now hit the green gear button and select 'Move with sculpt'. Move the reference image to a position that works for you and enables you to model in front of it, and repeat this for each of the reference images. You can also delete images from the scene using this options panel. If you don't select 'Move with sculpt' the image will lock to a position in the scene. This can be useful for adding signs and graphics to your VR scene. 04 BLOCK OUT THE BASE OF THE ROBOT We will do a very rough layout model. Push forward on your Support hand thumbstick to bring up the tool radial menu and make sure you have the Clay tool selected. Pressing the trigger on th e Tool hand adds clay to the scene. As the robot is symmet rical, we need to enable the mirror function by clicking the yellow control panel button on the Support hand and selecting Mirror. 3D WORLD 05 CHANGE DEFAULT STAMPS We started sculpting with t he Clay tool and with a default sphere shape. Although this is the most basic sculpting tool in Medium, it can be customised with a variety of different brush shapes. To change brush shape, press the green gear but ton on the Tool hand controller and at the top of t he panel you will find the default brush shapes. Selec t one to make it the active shape at t he end of your sculpting tool. Medium comes with a large catalogue of stamps which are located in the menu below the default brush shapes. Christmas 2 017 50 TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality 06 SPLIT MODEL INTO PARTS Use the Cut tool and slice up the model, which automatically creates a new layer for each part. Push forward with the Support hand thumbstick and select the Cut tool on the radial menu. Remove the head first by moving the line through the neck while pressing the Tool hand trigger down. If you have done it correctly the head will be in a separate layer. 08 07 NAVIGATE LAYERS Pull back the Support hand thumbstick and make sure you have the Layers panel selected, the fir st button on the row of icons at the bottom. From here you can rename, delete and merge your layers. For example you can use the eye icon next to the layer to hide individual layers as you work. If you point your Tool hand at a part and hit t he trigger, you will automatically select the relevant layer, indicated by the yellow highlight. To cut a particular layer, reselect the main layer and continue cut ting the model into individual parts. Basic tools: sculpting tool ENVIRONMENT SETTINGS The sculpting tool is used to add and subtract volume from the sculpt. The rate at which clay is added or subtracted is controlled using the triggers on the Oculus controllers. A range of shapes known as stamps are used to create complex shapes, especially when using these stamps alongside the single brush mode and line brush mode. So far we have been using the default environment settings.  You may want to configure your environment to suit your own style. To do this, pull back on the Support hand thumbstick and click the button that resembles the world. From here you can change the sun colour, adjust the sun brightne ss, turn off the Skybox and change the background colour. You can also turn off the ground plane and just see the background colour you have chosen. Configure the world to suit your st yle and play around with the settings until you are happy. 09 MATERIAL SETTINGS Seeing as though we are making a robot let's change the material to a metal shader. You can set a material for each model per layer so you will have to choose each layer and adjust it to suit. To do this make sure you are on the Layer menu again, then select t he part you wish to change the material of. With the layer selected, press t he green settings but ton on your Tool hand. On this menu change the material by clicking Metal at the top middle. Now you can change the roughness, diff use settings and th e occlusion of the material. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 51 10 COLOUR As we are about to star t working on each layer at a more accurate level, we might want to change the colour as we go along. Make sure you have t he Clay tool activated and click the colour palette but ton on the Tool hand. Use the picker from the top to select an exis ting colour from your sculpt, or select black or white. Any clay you add from now will be the colour you have selected. TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality 11 LAYER RESOLUTION For some areas of the model that carr y a lot of detail, you may notice that when adding clay, the resulting brush s troke is blocky and jagged. To solve this, it is wort h increasing the resolution of the layer. Go to the Layer menu. On the right-hand side, you can find the Increase Res option to increase the resolution of the selected layer. Every time this is done, the layer bounding box gets smaller, increasing the density of the voxel grid. Doing this in a physically large layer could result in it being cropped to fit inside the bounding box. 12 CLAY APPLICATION SETTINGS If you hold down the Tool hand trigger wit h the Clay tool selected and move your hand, this will create a continuous brush stroke. This can be changed by pressing the green gear icon on the Tool hand and selecting a single stamp at the top right of the panel. You can also enable line mode which will lock the brush stroke along a line that protrudes f rom the Tool hand. 13 DEFINE THE SHAPE OF THE TORSO To begin creating the detailed parts of the robot we will make a start wit h the torso. Looking at the reference start building up the shape using the library of stamps at your disposal. Make sure mirror is activated as shown earlier. Use a combination of the sphere and cube brushes to create the form of the chest and abdomen. To subtract parts of the model double-click the green gear button and the colour of the shape at the end of the tool will turn red. This will now remove clay from the sculpt and can be used to create shaped recesses in the sculpt surface. Basic tools: Move tool The Move tool can be used to create and adjust basic shapes out of existing clay. Adjusting the brush size and fall-off enables the artist to control how much the tool affects the sculpt. The Move tool can be used to explore form and pose during early stages of the sculpt. 14 USE THE LINE MODE TO ADD BARS At the bottom of the torso we want to add some protective bars. Use the cube s tamp for a hard edge and go into tool settings and select the line mode. Lay down the bars and make sure they intersect where needed. Edges can be neatened by using the subtract clay mode in conjunction with the line tool to remove clay from the sculpt and to add a chamfer to the edges of t hat layer. 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 52 15 UTILISE STAMPS Press the green gear but ton to bring up the Tool Options menu. There are a large range of s tamps available, arranged by category. For this project we will mainly be using the Mechanical stamps. When using a stamp, the shape added will reflect the res olution of the layer you stamp it on. Try a range of stamps in add and subtract modes to create interesting shapes. TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality 16 CREATE THE SHAPE OF THE HEAD Make sure you have the head layer selected and pick some stamps that give you a cy linder and the rim for the shape of the head. Mechanical stamps are a great place to start for st amps of this nature. For the top of the head layer we use the subtrac t mode to create the hollow in the top. Use basic square shapes to add the grids at the front. This is bes t done with the 'single' brush mode. 18 17 ADD SHOULDER PADS The shoulder pads can be created using some of the built-in stamps. Choose a shape that reflect s that curved shape and apply to a new layer. This means you can position the shoulders separately to t he arms. The shoulder pads on the concept appear to have a rough surface, so we can add the rough texture using a basic Clay tool with an organic stamp. Using the 'surface' mode found under the Brush Options menu, the br ush can be applied directly to the surface of the model. The s tamp will follow the surface normals. DEFINE THE SHAPE OF THE ARMS The arms are made up in the same way as the rest of the sculpt. The best stamps to use here are still the Mechanical ones. Start by creating some cylinders using the line brush method to create the basic arm structure. Remember you can push forward or pull back with the Tool hand thumbstick to increase and decrease the size. Add a lot of visual interest with really complex stamps and make sure that the layer resolution is set high enough before adding clay in order to avoid rough or  jagged edges. 19 ESTABLISH THE SHAPE OF THE HANDS The hands are made using a combination of stamps. Add a block of clay to represent the base of the hand. Add in lots of disk shapes to represent the knuckles and each finger joint, followed by small cylinders to represent each finger bone. Add a thumb on the side in t he same way. You can split the model down furt her if you like and use the Cut tool to separate the hand from the arm. We only need to make one arm and leg as we will be duplicating and mirroring the limbs across the world axis. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 53 20 DEFINE THE SHAPE OF THE LEGS The legs are comprised of very simple shapes, compared to the upper body. They are basically a group of cylinders with some complexit y to add detail. Make sure when you are building them that you get the pose correct from the side. Adding cogs and wheel shapes among other greeble to the back of the knee gives the sense of a functioning robot joint. TUTORIALS Sculpt a character in virtual reality 21 DETERMINE THE SHAPE OF THE FEET The feet of the robot are essentially a met al cage. Using a cube or square stamp, select the line brus h mode. Begin to create the base shape of the cage, remembering to adjust the layer resolution as needed to ensure t hat the edges are crisp. Keep adjusting the position of the sculpt’s feet to ensure that the pose maintains balance. To do this, select t he foot or leg layer you w ish to move, then using the inner grips of the controllers, you can move that layer around independently from the rest of the model. 22 ADD HIGH LEVELS OF DETAIL Once the shapes for all the layers have been defined, any additional details can be added, as well as sharpening any edges which are jagged due to low resolution. The Smooth tool can also be used to blend any seams together, where different brushes meet. Remember to make sure that layers don’t clip due to bounding boxes shrinking when increasing resolution. Basic tools: 23 Smooth tool The Smooth tool is used to soften the edges of jagged brush strokes and blend shapes together. The Smooth tool projects a circle onto the model which shows the tool’s area of influence. This circle grows the further away from the model it is. A typical use for this tool is to reduce the blockiness of a layer when increasing that layer’s resolution. 24 PHOTOGRAPHING INSIDE MEDIUM There are a few methods to capture images from inside Oculus Medium. You can capture stills, record video or record live scenes for playback in VR. These methods can be accessed by pressing the yellow control panel button on the Support hand. When capturing a photo or video, the camera can be locked to the sculptor’s hand, to follow the headset or free float in the scene. This last method is useful as you can take multiple exposures of the same scene using different materials or lighting setups in a way that is similar to multi-pass rendering. These 'passes' can be combined to create interesting effects in Photoshop. PAINT AND COMP In the Control Panel there is a Photo button. Lower the FOV to 0 to stop distortion. Lock the Photoframe to the world with the small Globe icon. Hit the Photo button to take a picture. Now move t he lighting and retake. Keep repeating until you are happy. These images were brought into Photoshop where I composited them using the VR Photographs and layer blend modes. 3D WORLD 25 EXPORT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS The options for export can be found by pres sing the yellow Control Panel button on the Support hand and selecting Export. The options include the ability to reduce polycount through a process called decimation, which involves setting a target polycount that the application will tr y to match. The formats you can export as are FBX and OBJ with the ability to export colours as a texture map or by ver tex colour. With these options you should be able to export the file in a format t hat most soft ware is able to read. Christmas 2 017 54 The number one destination for digital art news, views and how-tos Get Creative Bloq direct to your inbox with our weekly digital art newsletter Graphic design Art Web design 3D Digital art CINEMA 4D R17 | REALFLOW C4D PLUG-IN CREATE A LIQUID TRAIL ALONG A SPLINE describes how to create a realistic liquid flow along a path using Next Limit’s RealFlow plug-in for Cinema 4D Javier Santaella 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 56 Javier Santaella AUTHOR T his tutorial runs through the creation of a studio where a liquid will follow a path and end by filling a glass. With RealFlow you can create realistic fluid and physics simulations that can be lit and rendered directly inside Cinema 4D.  You will learn scene setup, how to model a glass using C4D tools, RealFlow scene setup and mesh creation, how to apply materials, how to create different cameras for macro and wide shots, lighting and the Cinema 4D Physical render setup Javier is a graphic designer, motion artist and flame operator with experience in reputable film companies and important brands for the European and American market over the last 15 years. Strongly influenced by the design world, he also teaches and gives conferences about motion graphics and branding. plus some tricks on how to grade the final render images. The DSpline daemon inside RealFlow is the perfect choice if you want to have a liquid solution following a given path. This daemon enables us to control a particle’s path using forces that can be mixed to control the rotation of the particles around a spline, plus the strength of the forces to attract the particles towards the path. The tutorial includes the RealFlow Cinema 4D plug-in workflow with dif ferent 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 57 daemons to achieve the final result inside Cinema 4D, without the need to go back and forth between 3D platforms. Along the tutorial you’ll learn the power of using RealFlow directly inside C4D. DOWNLOAD YOUR RESOURCES For all the assets you need go to TUTORIALS Create a liquid trail along a spline 01CREATE THE SHAPE OF A GLASS We are going to start modelling a glass that will later be used as the target object for the liquid simulation to finish in. We are going to utilise a technique of building it with the circle shape, which will shape our geometr y in the next step using the Loft tool. Start creating circles in the XZ plane from bottom to top. The ver y last circles will shape the interior of the glass. 02 MODEL THE GLASS GEOMETRY USING THE LATHE TOOL Now we need to group the created circles inside a Loft (Create> Generators>Loft) to shape the geometry of the glass. We can adjust the number of glass faces by adding subdivision to the mesh of the Lof t. Adjust Mesh subdivisions in U to around 57 and Mesh subdivisions in V to a value close to 32. Adding some extra subdivision will help the geometry of the glass look more realistic later on when we apply the glass material to it. Use your GPU device as solver If you have a GPUenabled card, take advantage of the GPU chipset to make faster calculations. Enable this option at Scene>Solver>GPU> Use GPU. This option is only available if your graphics card supports OpenCL-CPU. Speed up simulation by 3-8x compared to the CPU: The amount of VRAM determines the size of the simulation, and there is no fallback on the mainboard’s RAM. 03 DRAW A SPLINE TO DRIVE LIQUID FLOW Next we will draw a spline to drive the pathway of the liquid simulation. This spline will act as the path the simulation will follow. Use the Pen (Create>Spline>Pen) to create the spline. Using the top, side and front views to help us we can draw a spring shape that flows f rom the bottom to the top. The last part of t he spline must finish inside the glass so that the liquid simulation fills the glass. 05 CONFIGURE THE FLUID PARAMETERS The fluid simulation needs proper values to simulate the liquid. RealFlow works with values t hat simulate the real-world behaviour of the fluid. On the liquid object change the resolution to 5 and the external pressure from 0.1 to 1. Start with a low resolution value to test the behaviour of the par ticles and increase this value later to get a more complex simulation. 3D WORLD AN EMITTER AND APPLY 04 CREATE REALFLOW COLLIDER TO THE GLASS Head to RealFlow>Scene and then select a square emitter (RealFlow>Emitters>Square). Change the emitter to a rectangular shape and inside the object t ag set a value of 28 for the width and 90 for depth. We can add a Collider tag to the glass (Tags>RealFlow Tags>Collider) to make the particles interact with the glass geometry. 06 USE DSPLINE TO DRIVE THE LIQUID PATH ALONG A SPLINE Add a DSpline modifier (RealFlow>Daemons>DSpline) and drop the spline inside the Spline Object field. This daemon will drag the simulation through the spline. This is the first step to make the particles follow the path. The viewport gizmo has t he spline’s shape and red circles indicate the daemon’s control points. Circles around the control points repres ent the area where the daemon’s radial forces are active, helping the particles to be dragged along. Make your project timeline 40 0 frames long. Christmas 2 017 58 TUTORIALS Create a liquid trail along a spline DSPLINE NODE TO START THE LIQUID THE SCENE TIME SCALE AND PATH CREATION STEPPING STRICTNESS 07 EDIT 08 ADJUST More circles on the DSpline will bring enough control points on the pathway. Select a control point, go to Daemon Spline>Control and press +Add. A new control point appears after the selected point. Adjust Vortex Strength to -15, Axial Strength to -100 and Radial Strength to 600. Vortex adds twist to the particles. 09 Add a value of 2 on the Time Scale and 0.5 on the Stepping Strictnes s. Time Scale works as a fac tor: a value of 2 means that the fluid will be two times faster. Stepping Strictness calculates how fast t he fluid will move within a simulation step. Adjust the speed to stop emitt ing particles around frame 60. Adjust the speed to 40 0 on frame 59 and add a keyframe. Change the s peed to 0 on frame 60 and add a keyfr ame. Apply depth of field on your macro camera USE THE SCENE CACHE Use the RealFlow cache system to write the simulation data to disk (one file per fluid/mesh node and frame) and save it for later use. Cache calculates the particle system and the mesh generated, so we can speed up the workflow without having to calculate the solution and can play the animation without any calculations. Make changes to the fluid or the RealFlow daemons; you will also need to re-calculate the particles and cache them back along. Adding depth of field to your final render will highlight your simulation. The key value is the Aperture. Set up these values in the camera attributes: in Camera>Object adjust Focus Distance to object and use a longer lens, then adjust Sensor Size to resize the view; in Camera>Physical adjust F-Stop down to increase the depth of field. 10 APPLY SURFACE TENSION DAEMON Apply a Sur face Tension (RealFlow>Daemons>Surface Tension) to enhance the fluid’s tendency to accumulate and form drops. This will make the simulation more realistic and will keep the fluid more consistent and avoid it breaking apart. Adjust CP Vortex, Radial and Axial values at t his point to tweak the behaviour of the fluid along the spline. This behaviour will be different than before because the Sur face Tension daemon makes the simulation behave in a different way. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 59 11 ADD K VOLUME DAEMON Apply a k Volume daemon to the scene (RealFlow> Daemons>k Volume). This daemon will create a scalable box to delete particles f rom outside a bounding volume, and will limit the area of the simulation so any particle that reaches the limit of the box will be deleted. This will make our simulation even more stable, as particles will not be calculated outside this area. TUTORIALS Create a liquid trail along a spline 12 SET NOISE FIELD DAEMON The Noise daemon (RealFlow>Daemons>Noise Field) gives realism to the simulation by adding a random force field. This daemon can be us ed to randomly disturb part icles inside the fluid simulation, and consequently achieve a realistic simulation. Adjust Strength to 5 and Noise Space Scale to 2. This next step is optional, but additionally you can deactivate the V isible in Editor traffic light (turning it into a red colour) so that we can have a clean vision of the system. 13 APPLY GRAVITY DAEMON WITH FALLOFF Set up a Gravity daemon (RealFlow>Daemons> Gravity) to help the particles get inside the glass as the simulation ends, travelling along the spline. To restrict the influence of gravity, we activate the Falloff available in the last tab of the daemon. We have to change the shape from Infinite to Box and change the v alue of the Falloff to a value of around 20%. 14 ADD K SPEED DAEMON The k Speed daemon (RealFlow>Daemons>k Speed) can be used to delete particles, limit the particles’ velocity, decelerate pumping and sloshing fluids, or split particles in order to create spray effects. Use the k Speed daemon in our fluid simulation to control the speed of the particles along the spline. In the k Speed options, adjust the Min Speed value to 90 and the Max Speed value to 2,500. Optimise RF liquid solution On the Mesher, change values on Thinning, Relax, Smooth and Radius. Resolution determines the mesh’s level of quality. Radius is the size of the spheres created around the particles. Smooth controls how strong the individual spheres will be blended. Thinning and Relax determine the border of the mesh. Increase Relax Iterations to get better control. Thinning will shrink the mesh. 15 INCLUDE DRAG DAEMON The Drag daemon (RealFlow>Daemons>Drag) simulates external air drag forces that slow down the particles. Apply the daemon and change the daemon’s Drag Strength to a value of 0.01, as this will affect the speed of the liquid as it travels across the path, which will give the simulation a much more realistic appearance and behaviour. 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 60 K ISOLATED DAEMON TO REMOVE 16 APPLY STRAY PARTICLES Add a k Isolated daemon (Real Flow>Daemons>k Isolated) to the scene. This daemon will delete particles without neighbours, cleaning the particles that have left the main flow. This step will keep the fluid solution sticking to the main flow, which will in turn add further realism to the result. TUTORIALS Create a liquid trail along a spline 17 INCREASE FLUID RESOLUTION Boost the fluid resolution for more particles. More calculation will be needed to cache t he fluid simulation, as it will increase complexity. Try different values on the Resolution field from 20 to 100. A higher number will give a better result. Res olution depends on scene scale and emitter scale, but affects the fluid’s mass and depends on Density. High values can make the system un stable. 19 18 APPLY A MESHER TO GENERATE GEOMETRY The Mesher turns the particles into a solid polygon object that can be shaded and rendered. Add the Mesher to the RealFlow scene and set the Resolution to Low, Radius to 2. Press Build Mesh to build the geometr y. The better the qualit y and bigger values for the radius, the more polygons, and the longer the mesh creation time. Apply RF Volume to the glass and set it to Solid Inside to control how the glass will be filled. CREATE A GLASS MATERIAL Make a material for the glass, and let the particles be v isible while they are falling inside the glass. Create a new material by opening up the Create menu (Material Manager) and create a new basic material, or choose from the list of shaders. Create a new material and activate the Transparency channel. Add a value of 1.52 into the Refraction field (index of refraction). Test these two values on the refraction index and observe the result. 20 MAKE THE LIQUID MATERIAL 3D WORLD 21 STANDARD OBJECTS FROM CINEMA 4D CREATE STUDIO GEOMETRY USING In Transparency set Brightness at 10% , IOR 1.333, Blue colour for Transparency and Absorption, Fresnel for Texture, check Physical and Invert. In Reflectance add a Reflection channel and stack it between the Default Specular and *Transparency*. Set Specular Strength to 0 %. Apply a Fresnel. Check Physical and Inver t. In Bump, head to Texture>Surfaces>Water. Set Bump Strength to 14%. In Color, add a layer. Complete the content with a Distort and four different Noises. Christmas 2017 61 Create a geometry to host the liquid simulation and the glass. Use the cylinder object (Create>Object>Cylinder) with a Radius of 2,950cm and a Height of 3,000cm. The next step is to make this cylinder editable (press the C key). Select point mode and delete the cap of t he geometry to have a hole in the top of the geomet ry. TUTORIALS Create a liquid trail along a spline 22 CREATE THE STUDIO MATERIAL Create a geometry to hos t the simulation animation and the glass. Use the cylinder object (Create>Object>Cylinder). Set Radius to 2,950cm and Height at 3,000cm. Make this cylinder editable (C key). Select point mode and delete the cap of the geometr y to have a hole in the top of the studio geometry. Create the material for the st udio. In the Diffusion channel, add Ambient Occlusion. In the Reflectance channel, under Default Specular change Falloff to -1%. Adjust Specular Strength to 20%. 23 ADD A THREE-POINT LIGHT SETUP Make a three-point light setup with three A rea Lights placed on the right, left and back of the RealFlow simulation. Set the intensity of the lights to 50%-65% and activate the Raytraced (Hard) shadows. Additionally, you could add a Compositing tag to each of the three lights and then deac tivate the Seen by Camera option. Duplicate the RF setup to create more liquids along the scene 24 USE A STUDIO HDRI TO LIGHT YOUR SCENE 25 CREATE TWO CAMERAS IN THE SCENE Create a three-point light setup with three Area Lights. Set Intensity to 55% and activate the Raytraced (Hard) shadows. Add a Compositing tag to each light. Deactivate Seen by Camera. Add a Sk y object and create a new material. In the Luminance channel load an HDRI and push the luminosity to 150% . Add a Compositing tag to the sky object and deactivate Seen by Camera. WIDE and ZOOM cameras will render a detailed close-up. Create two cameras with different focal lengths and f-stops. For the WIDE camera, set a focal length of 35mm, 4.5 f-stop. For the ZOOM camera, a focal length of 150mm, 1.0 f-stop. The WIDE camera will have a higher f-stop for a sharper image. The ZOOM lens camera can be set up with a ver y low f-stop for a tight depth of field. THE PHYSICAL RENDER ENGINE WITH GLOBAL 26 CONFIGURE ILLUMINATION AND AMBIENT OCCLUSION Use the physical render and activ ate Global Illumination. Set up the physical render, activating the Depth of Field, and set the samples to Adaptive with the sampling quality set to Automatic. Select 40 % to 10% on the Shading Error Threshold for a less noisy render. Add Ambient Occlusion to take advantage of shadings. Global Illumination engine>Primary Method: Quasi-Monte Carlo, Secondary Method: Light Mapping, Maximum Depth: 16, Gamma: 2.2 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 62 Once you have finalised the simulation and you have the mesh with your final result, you can easily duplicate your RealFlow scene inside the same Cinema 4D project and change values like the scale, the rotation and the texture of the liquid, to get a different liquid solution on your scene. With this trick you can add complexity to your final render. YOUR FINAL RENDER USING THE 27GRADE PICTURE VIEWER FILTER Under the Filter tab of the picture viewer use the curves to colour grade over the three colour channels. Adjust highlights, crush blacks and increase contrast wit h a S-curve. Expand and compress the black and white points. Adjust the primary colour channels, creating a control point on the individual colour cur ve. SCAN AND ADAPT MATERIALS Here is our final result: a hybrid material based on our scans. The render is achieved in Substance Designer with Iray. SUBSTANCE DESIGNER 6 | LIGHTROOM (MOBILE APP) | PHOTOSHOP  YOUR SMARTPHONE IS  A MATERIAL SCANNER Anthony Salvi teaches you how to create scanned 3D materials using a DIY LightBox, a smartphone and Substance Designer 6 T he power of material scanning cannot be overstated. When done properly, it is the most accurate way to digitally reproduce a physical material available to us today. For a long time, however, the only way to access it was with a high-end scanner, which many people in the 3D community do not own. Allegorithmic couldn’t buy everyone a scanner, but we c ould open up the technology to more people. And the exciting thing is, the research has paid off. In February we launched Substance Designer 6, which included a complete scan processing workflow that finally enables anyone with a smartphone to scan physical materials. In this tutorial, I will describe each step of the scanning process, from the photoshoot to the final Substance, incorporating insights that we’ve learned over the last few years. We will start with the concept of material scanning. Next, we will move on and learn how to build a complete cardboard lighting setup. From there, I’ll describe how to capture the material with a smartphone and how to postprocess the result. 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 64 For our next step, I’ll go into the node-based scanning process inside Substance Designer. To finish, I will demonstrate how to convert this scanned material into a hybrid material with the help of Substance. I really hope you enjoy following this tutorial and have fun with your first smartphonepowered material scan! DOWNLOAD YOUR RESOURCES For all the assets you need go to AUTHOR Anthony Salvi Anthony works at Allegorithmic as a creative technologist. He is always looking for new technologies, new devices and new workflows for 3D artists. He has worked for a number of VR projects. TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner 01 THE CONCEPT OF SCANNING Think of your material at the scale of a mountain. If the sun turns around t he mountain, we can see the shape of the shadows cast in black. These shapes represent the indirect information about the relief of the m ountain itself. If we combine enough information, the algorithm can calculate the relief. We need to turn the light eight times at the same dis tance around our material. 03 02 GEAR To keep our experiment cost-ef fective, let’s use some cardboard, a stack of tracing paper sheets and a LED light for our lighting setup. My preferred LED light is made by Manfrotto. For the image capture, it’s important to attain the bes t process possible, so for our tutorial we used an iPhone 7 and the Adobe Lightroom mobile app. This app enables you to capture in the RAW (uncompressed) for mat on iOS and Android. Other apps like ProCam or Camera FV-5 will work as well. Finally, we need a colour chart from X-Rite. DIY A SCANBOX Our ScanBox, meaning the interior area where the scan will occur, is designed to capture a large amount of details from a material that measures up to 10cm x 10cm with opacity. We’ll also need a box to go around the interior, which in our case will be a 27cm x 22cm x 15.5cm cardboard box. It’s a good idea to cover the interior faces in white. To retain the ability to capture the opacity of a material, we will cut a square hole (10cm x 10cm) at the centre of the box and place a stack of six sheets of tracing paper on top of it to diffuse the light through the material. On top of the paper, we’ll add a Scanning Chart to help us during the c apture and in post. This chart is black to reduce the lighting bounces from our LED light onto our material sample. We’ll also add some shapes ( like a square, triangle, moon and star) at the eight angles. These shapes are used by the photomerge process in Photoshop to produce a fast and accurate merging of the scan components. 04 MAKE A LIGHTBOX The LightBox is designed specifically for our ScanBox. All faces inside the LightBox should be white, while the outside faces s hould be black. To build this DIY SoftBox, use four white foam boards (50cm x 50cm x 3mm), three black foam boards (50cm x 50cm x 5m m), two black paper sheets (42cm x 59.4cm) and a Scotch tape roll. Cut the ScanBox on six foam board elements, plus one paper tracer sheet. On t he back, cut a door to put the LED light inside. The diffuse part is created by a tracing paper sheet. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 65 05 CREATE A STAND To keep this project cost-ef fective, use a simple cardboard tube with a foam core plate to create a stand for your smar tphone. To maximize the final frame, calibrate the stand size to the size of the box. Next add a black paper sheet to remove all potential colour bounces coming from the cylinder. Finally, attach your smar tphone with four pieces of regular Scotch tape. TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner 07 06 PHOTOSHOOT In this tutorial, I’m going to focus on the capture process for a complex sportswear fabric from Tex-Ray, a material manufacturer. To do this, we need to make sure that the only light on our material is coming from the LightBox. If the shadow cast is wrong, you’ll have to deal with an erroneous computation during post-processing. So, just close the windows or curtains to darken the room and eliminate as much ambient light as possible. Then turn on your LED light and place it inside the LightBox. Next, place the fabric on the ScanBox. Be sure the material is not covering the little shapes in the Scanning Chart. The fabric needs to fit perfectly inside the 10cm x 10cm square. FINAL SETUP Here is our final setup with our smartphone, stand, ScanBox and LightBox. Note: this setup is a recipe – you can create your own and enhance it however you want. You can switch the smartphone to a DSLR, or switch t he LED light by using a wireless flash. It’s up to you and your budget. 08 Next, clean your sample, as dust or hair will often fall onto the material. The most important thing is to not move the material sample during the shoot. If the material is moved, the photomerge cannot be done correct ly. Once everything is set, it’s time to capture the material. Set the LED lighting power to maximum. Make sure you have enough battery power (smartphone and LED light) and that the LED light doesn’t become too hot. During the shoot, it’s important to keep the same framing as much as possible. However, don’t panic if your pictures are not perfectly aligned. It’s more important to keep all of the shapes (square, triangle, moon, star) present on the Scanning Chart visible in your images. MOBILE CAPTURE With Adobe Lightroom mobile, you have t wo options. You can use the PRO mode and manually set up your shot, or use the HDR mode. Both deliver good results. In the PRO mode, turn the flash off, activate the DNG format, set the ISO as low as possible (bet ween 25 to 100) and set t he White Balance to Daylight. To avoid motion blur, keep a speed around 1/50 sec and adjust your ISO to get a good exposure. It can be helpful to add the grid and the level on screen for framing the shot. You can also add a timer for five seconds to act as a remote trigger for capturing the image. This will provide a more stable result as manually touching the shut ter button on the camera can inadvertently add a shake, which may produce a blurrier image. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud account you can import your images into your Adobe Lightroom desktop library using your Wi-Fi or 4G connection. 09 SHOOT A GREY CARD During the capture, it’s always a good idea to neutralise the colour shift coming from the lighting. By nature, all lights have a colour tint with some tints stronger than others. For example, a candle is red, a tungsten bulb is orange, the sky is blue. To neutralise this colour and keep colour consistency, a ColorChecker is required. Basically, it’s a reference, with a greyscale printed and calibrated. In post-production we’ll adjust the captured grey colour with Lightroom’s White Balance tool. In this example we have only one light source, so one picture with the grey card is required. You can find a grey card easily in a photo supply store, or on the web. X-Rite, Datacolor, QP Card or WhiBal all produce great White Balance targets. 10 CAPTURE A MULTI-ANGLE LIGHT The next step is to take eight picture s, with the LightBox around the ScanBox (anticlockwise). We start with the SoftBox in the number 1 side of the Scanning Chart. The smartphone is in front of t he number 7. We then take a picture and check the exposure and sharpnes s. If every thing is okay, we move the LightBox to the number 2 of the Scanning Chart. We repeat this process up to the fifth picture. Now we invert our position with the smartphone in front of the number 3. Now that we’ve completed this process, this step is finished. 3D WORLD Christmas 2 017 66 TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner 11 CAPTURE THE OPACITY For opacity, open the curtains or turn the room lights on, and set up the LED light inside the ScanBox. With the LED light at a lower power, you’ll have enough backlight to capture the opacity. For a better light diffusion, you can also add white paper on the inside, with the light centred in the middle of the ScanBox. A foam core with a hole works well. 13 12 POST-PROCESS ALL IMAGES 15 SELECT A CROP Next, we import our images into the desktop version of Lightroom. Once loaded, select the ColorChecker image for the LED light and use the White Balance tool. Just click on the middle grey example. Next, set the Whites, Blacks and Clarity parameter s at 0. Then copy and paste the parameter value to the eight angle images. For the opacity image, use the gradient tool in Lightroom to reduce the vignette effect. For the last step, export all of the images as TIFF 16-bit using t he Adobe 1998 ICC profile. DO A PHOTOMERGE Using the photomerge feature in Adobe Photoshop, it’s possible to merge and align the scan images. Just load your nine pictures in photomerge and uncheck the Blend Images Together option. After that, add a solid black layer at the bottom of the layer st ack and crop your image on a square, resizing it to 4,096 pixels. Finally, export your layer stack in a new individual TIFF 16-bit file with the Remove Layers option. If you set up a stronger stand wit h additional accessories, this photomerge is not necessary, just crop your images in Lightroom in 4K. 14 CREATE AN AUTHORING MATERIAL It’s time to convert our images into a PBR material. Open Substance Designer 6 (a 30-day trial of the latest version is available at and start by creating a new Substance file using the Physically Based (Metallic/Roughness) tem plate set to 4,096 x 4,096. Right-click on the Substance name, then select Link menu>Bitmap to link the nine pictures to our project. 3D WORLD After a drag and drop from our resource images in the graph node window, hit the spacebar in the graph view and ty pe ‘Multi Crop’ to add the scanning node. With the procedural approach, you can easily test differe nt crops for a better tiling. In our case, just t arget the centre of the fabric and make sure you have enough space to cover at least a complete pattern. Set the Input Count to 8 and the Input Size to 4,096 on X and Y. To view and edit the crop, double-click on the last node output named Area on a flyover mouse. Christmas 2017 67 TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner 16 CREATE THE NORMAL In the same way, add the Multi-Angle to Normal node. Set the Normal Format to DirectX (if needed), then set the value of Sample Amount to 8, Intensity to 1, First Sample Light Angle to 0.5/180 and the Next Sample Light Angle to Counterclockwise. Next connect the first eight outputs from the Multi Crop to the Multi- Angle to Normal node. To remove the slightly normal variation, add a Color Equalizer node after your Multi-Angle to Normal node. 17 MAKE THE COLOUR MAP Once the Normal is set, we can work on t he colour map. For the Base Color, we have a node named MultiAngle to Albedo. Add it in the graph from the Librar y or with the spacebar shortcut. There are only two samples – the angle number 1 and 5. If you want to use les s than eight samples, just always select the opposite angles. 18 CREATE THE OPACITY MAP We have a specific image for this opacity map. After a drag and drop from our resources, copy-paste the Multi Crop node and reduce the Input Count to 1. In doing this, you’ll be synced with the other maps. After this node, add a Grayscale Conversion node, then a Histogram Scan node to push the contrast and produce a clean mask. Next, put a Blur HQ Grayscale node to add a little softness on the mask. To control the amount of opacity, use this mask in a Blend node with two Uniform Color nodes as the inputs. All of these nodes are quickly available through the spacebar shortcut. 19 MAKE IT TILE The Smart Auto Tile is a ne w node that can be found via Library>Material Filter s>Scan Processing. You can plug the Color map, Normal map and Opacity map into the three available inputs. One trick is to use the Height input for the Opacity map. As with the Multi Crop node, the last output is the pattern viewer/editor. 3D WORLD 20 ADD A HEIGHT MAP One map that’s missing is the height or displacement map. By adding a Normal to Height HQ node, we can convert our Normal map to a Height map. Connect the Normal output from the Smart Auto Tile node to this Normal to Height HQ node. Since we set up the Multi-Angle to Normal on Direct X format, do the same for the Normal to Height HQ node. Play with the Relief Balance and Height Intensity to find a good balance. Turn the Quality to High. Christmas 2 017 68 TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner Material tips 21 SET THE METALLIC MAP In the Disney PBR shader, we have to s et parameters for our materials, choosing which will be dielectric and which will be metallic. It’s really useful when only one texture set covers multiple materials, like you would find in a character. With this information the shader can apply a different behaviour. 22 ADD THE ROUGHNESS MAP The fabric is composed by the same base material. This textile has no aging either. In this case, we can suppose the Roughness is uniform. A s with the metallic, you will also use a uniform colour set to Grayscale, but here, the value depends on what you obser ve when you manipulate the fabric under the light. I set the value at 70. 23 ADD MORE OUTPUTS Like before, press spacebar in the graph view and write ‘Output ’. Then set one with the Opacit y Usage. The second will be used for the Specular Level. With the Metallic/Roughness definition, when the Metallic is set to 0, the material is understood to be a dielectr ic, and the reflectance value at the Fresnel zero angle or f0 is set to 4% reflec tive. The Specular Level can be used to override the default 4% value use d in the metallic/roughness definition. For this material, a Specular Level at 80 was perfect. 25 DIVE INTO THE HYBRID WORLD It might be nice to go further and change the colour of your material, or add a pattern on top of it. This is where hybrid materials come in. In the next ste ps, we’ll learn how to customise our scanned material using the hybrid technology within Substance Designer. 3D WORLD 26 Your pattern needs to fit at least in an 8cm x 8cm square to accommodate cropping and tiling. If the fabric is available without any printed pattern, it’s possible to scan it and add the pattern after in Substance Designer. Also, try to avoid all fully black or metallic materials. 24 CREATE A RUNTIME MATERIAL Our material is big, encapsulating nine 4K, 16-bit images. This is a huge amount of data if you want to export your Subst ance, use it in another 3D package, or even share it with your fr iends or team members as a downloadable file. One solution is simply to export the Base Color, Normal and Opacity maps. MATCH THE COLOUR One of the best nodes for t he hybridisation process is the Color Match node.  You can find this node in the Library, under Filters>Adjustments. This node enables us to replace a source colour w ith a target colour. With a lot of controls for the colour variation and the mask creation, it’s a very ef ficient node. As you can see in this example, you c an replace the yellow with a nice blue colour. This operation is clean without the los s of any fine details. Christmas 2017 69 TUTORIALS Your smartphone is a material scanner 27PROCEDURAL PATTERN CREATE A With the help of the Color Match node, the fabric now has two colours. Let’s combine them with a procedural pattern. In Library>Generators>Patterns you have a lot of basic components. In this example, we used the Polygon 1 node. Just drag and drop the node from the Library to the graph view to start. This node is interesting due to its special Explode parameter. You can play around for hours and create hundreds of different variations with an artistic look. For this tutorial, we have set up this node to create a double triangle pattern around a circle. 29 BLENDING 31 PUBLISH OUR SUBSTANCE 28 ADD REALISM A good material is often one that’s close to reality. In our case, that means close to the industrial process. We can imagine our pattern like a printed colour on top of a fabric. To create that effect, use the Normal map to create some var iations on the pattern. Under the Library>Filters>Effects we find the Vector Warp node for Grayscale input. Then plug in the node, the pattern and the Normal map. Set the intensity and put the Vector Format in DirectX. Next, add a Blur HQ Grayscale for a soft touch. A procedural approach fits well with the blending concept, as it enables us to create masks from nodes, and then keep a blend consistency throughout our work. Any pattern changes made during iterat ions will be reflected in the mask. To simulate a painted pattern on top of our fabric, we have to use our pattern as a mask. To finish our work and create a Substance with a hybrid material, we have to expose some of the parameters. In doing this, you keep the ability to modify the material without any access to the node gr aph. You can expose the Target Color in the Color Match node. To expose a node’s parameter, click on the sine graph icon at the right of the parameter name and choose E xpose. 3D WORLD 30 ADD MORE CONTROL 32 PLAY WITH YOUR MATERIAL Substance is incredible for controlling each aspect of a material. One of these aspect s is the Normal Intensity. We have the ability to fine-tune our Normal and Height intensity and adjust their force by using a Normal Blend node and a Normal Color node. The Normal Blend node is set with an Opacity at 1 and Use Mask at True. The Normal Color node is set at 0. To control the blending, a Uniform Color node set in Grayscale is required. It’s now time to use your material in a project! Here is an example of the material applied to a running shoe. Rendered in Substance Designer with Iray, this .SBSAR file can be loaded by 3ds Max, Maya, Modo, Cinema 4D, Adobe Fuse, iClone, Houdini, Unreal Engine 4, Unity and Lumber yard. If your application is not in this list, you can always expor t your texture set (BaseColor, Normal, Height, Roughness, Metallic, Opacity, Specular Level and so on) from any Substance tool and use it in your shader. Christmas 2 017 70 CREATE THE IMPOSSIBLE Available from all good ewsagents and supermarkets ON SALE NOW  Striking imagery  Step-by- • • PHOTO EDITING DIGITAL PAINTING PH  guides  Essential tutorials • TOOL GUIDES BEGINNER TIPS BUY YOUR ISSUE TODAY Print edition available at Digital edition available for iOS and Android Available on the following platforms TUTORIALS Utilise the knife 3D ESSENTIALS UTILISE THE KNIFE In our continuing series of CGI basics we look at using the knife tool I f you’re new to CGI you may feel that there are far too many tools to choose from in a dizzying array of soft ware. This series aims to break everything in CGI down to the very basics, so that every artist can be armed with the knowledge of which tool is best. This time we are looking at the knife function. It goes by many names: knife, slice or cut to name but a few, but effectively the implementation is the same – it cuts through polygons and edges to either split objects up or to create new boundaries within a mesh from which to create new geometry. A good slicing tool should enable an artist to cut either in a way that is sympathetic to the existing geometry or has the ability to slice through everything due to a creative decision. Alas not all implementations of a cutting tool are the same. Some applications give more options than others, most will enable free-form cutting along the face of a model, but only a few offer viewport-based cutting. Some cutting tools offer the ability to create gaps when slicing; this can be really useful for all kinds of modelling tasks, especially when the software can cap the open cuts. This is because in most 3D applications meshes are seen as shells rather than being solid; there are some applications that can see meshes as solid, but you’ll find that they 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 72 are usually limited to CAD and sculpting applications. Some applications offer the ability to create curved slices, which is useful for creating organic shapes, and if the application has the ability to place images in the viewport as a guide, using a curved knife tool is a great way to match reference. Even if the slice tool does not offer a curved tool, using a slice or knife tool on a single polygon c an be great way to start a model. The other area where a cutting tool can be useful is in defining polygon flow on meshes that are going to be animated, as well as for making sure that n-gons are divided into quads or triangles for model export. AUTHOR Mike Griggs Mike Griggs is a 3D and visual effects artist with vast experience across the industry, as both a creator and a technical writer. TUTORIALS Utilise the knife 01While it may seem easy to just use a slice or knife to cut 02 While a knife or slice tool simply cuts through an existing across a plain mesh, be wary of creating geometry that c an cause issues later in the modelling process. The classic example would be creating an n-gon (a polygon with more than four sides) which when subdivided creates a different shape than the one that was expected. The c ut tools can be used to divide any problem n-gons into quad or triangular polygons. geometry, there may be options in the software to suit your desired workflow. Some applications allow the object to not be directly split, which is useful if the model is being retopologised. Other options enable the choice of removing one of the cut elements, which is handy when creating new meshes as quickly as possible, without the need to delete unwanted elements. A SIMPLE CUT SPLIT OBJECTS BACKSIDE CUTTING When using any cutting or slicing tool, make sure that you are fully aware of what you are cutting. Most applications have the ability to define what is being cut. The most common example is if a cube is being sliced, that the cut affects (or not at the artist’s discretion) the polygons at the back of the cu be to make a volumetric cut. Most applications have the ability to only allow cuts to be applied to selected elements. This can be really handy when a mesh object has several parts of disconnected geometry within it and only one needs to be cut. 03 Some pieces of software come with the ability to c reate 04 While most knife or slice tools can offer cuts based on gaps when cut ting a line. This can be a huge time-saver, especially when ‘caps’ are added to fill the ends of the cut, creating new geometry. As ever, you need to be mindful with any technique for adding geometry – make sure it is creating polygons that are flowing correctly for the final use. The knife or slice tool can be used to ‘retopologise’ any potential problem areas back into the desired flow. points across a sur face, one of the most creative tools available in some applications is a curved slice tool. This function is especially useful in sculpting applications where it is analogous to using a real cutter when working with clay. Learning how to manipulate the curve is key as every application has a different way of adding intermediate points in the curve. CREATE GAPS 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 CURVED SLICES 73 • 3D BOOTCAMP MASTER X-PARTICLES Get to grips with one of the most compelling plug-ins for Cinema 4D P article systems are one of the main components of full-featured digital content creation software. While Cinema 4D does have a particle system, it is slow and does not have an intuitive workflow for anything other than basic simulations. This flies in the face of one of Cinema 4D’s greatest strengths, which is its shallow learning curve compared to many of its competitors on the market. Thankfully, Insydium came to the rescue with the X-Particles plug-in, which offers everything that the Cinema 4D particle system could be (and more). In fact, it can be argued that the reason there has not been much development of Cinema 4D’s own internal particle system is that there is no need, as X-Particles does such a stellar job. It is not just that X-Particles offers a fast and easy-to-use particle system which works in partnership with nearly every toolset within Cinema 4D, and has an easy-to-grasp question and answer system for c reating complex systems. It is the fact that X-Particles is becoming a full FX suite offering smoke, fire and fluid simulations with powerful mesh skinning capabilities. Many artists may actually find that the dynamic systems within X-Particles, especially when used with X-Particles constraints, provide an easier system to get the results they need than they 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 74 would with using Cinema 4D’s native dynamics toolset. X-Particles has a range of geometry creation tools, which can create anything from water to animated tendrils. It features particle systems that can be used as drivers and falloff deformers for other elements within a sce ne, along with a range of shaders, data mapping and visualisation textures. It may sound like a cliché, but the only limit to X-Particles is an artist’s imagination. There are still a few caveats, however: GPU acceleration would be good to see, as would a better liquid mesher. Despite these small complaints, X-Particles should be the first plug-in purchase for any new C4D artist. AUTHOR Mike Griggs Mike Griggs is a 3D and visual effects artist with vast experience across the industry, as both a creator and a technical writer. TUTORIALS Master X-Particles 01 TUTORIALS 03 USE CUSTOM GEOMETRY 05 FLUIDS AND GAS SIMULATIONS One of the main reasons that X-Particles has become so popular is that it comes with a huge ar ray of training content. The content is available through the X-Particles menu, or more handily a camera and question mark icon appears at the bottom of the Attributes palette of every X-Particles component; this gives either a written summary or an invaluable video tutorial of how to use that specific element. 04 CREATE TRAILS 06 THIRD-PARTY RENDER ENGINES Particles can create their own geometry using the tools that come with X-Particles. 3D trails are easy to create and can be meshed with the xpSplineMesher object to create intricate interwoven geometry. The xpTrail object can also create ‘Plexus’ geometry that can be integrated with any X-Particles s ystem to create a next level of motion graphics. The xpSkinner object can skin particles, but it can also be used to skin splines in Cinema 4D to create organic shapes. X-Particles has a built-in fluids system which, when combined with the xpSkinner object, can create realistic water. There is also the ability to create voxel-generated gases and fires. Both of these simulations work with the same logic that is applied throughout X-Particles, which makes creating unique simulations in X-Particles potentially easier than if an artist was using a range of third-party plug-ins or dedicated standalone FX software. Christmas 2017 CONTROL PARTICLES Every element of a particle can be controlled, either directly through the emitter or through the wide array of modifiers. There is also the Question and Act ion system that can create complex simulations quickly by modifying particles when t hey have ‘answered the question’. Modifiers can be used to make par ticles follow splines and surfaces, change colour, flock together or apart, and react dynamically to other objects in the scene. Using the xpGenerator object in X-Particles allows any mesh to become a particle. This can have many uses, such as creating abstract motion graphics elements, foliage placement and crowds to name but a few. Meshes can be used with the X-Particles dynamics sys tem. X-Particles also integrates tightly with Cinema 4D’s native MoGraph toolset, which enables stunning animations to be created that would be nearly impossible in any other piece of soft ware. 3D WORLD 02 X-Particles can really shine when coupled with t hirdparty rende r engines. Cycles 4D is a branch of the open-source Cycles render engine which is also developed by the X-Particles development team, Insydium. Cycles 4D integrates tightly with X-Particles and can leverage both the GPU and CPU on either Windows or Mac to create effects that would be difficult to emulate using any other render combination. • 75 ARTIST Q&A Practical tips and tutorials from pro artists to improve your CG skills Simon Edwards Simon works freelance at 3DArtvision. He has worked professionally both as an architectural visualiser and 3D artist for 20 years in Holland and the UK. Antony Ward Since the early Nineties Antony has worked for many of today’s top game and VFX studios, as well as written three technical manuals and many online tutorials. Oscar Juárez Oscar is a 3D generalist based in Mexico City. He has been running Fibrha Studio since 2010 and specialises in archviz rendering, animations and Unreal Engine. Pietro Chiovaro Pietro is an Italian 3D artist who creates 3D assets and environments, and is currently working on an open-source game. SOFTWARE: 3DS MAX | V-RAY HOW DO I PAINT AN EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE USING  VRAYDISTANCETEX? 3DArtvision, Northumberland, UK  Simon Edwards replies GET IN TOUCH EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO [email protected] As an architectural visualiser I have been asked to work on many images taken from an aerial viewpoint. Projects like these will likely include an entirely new proposed development being merged into an existing infrastructure. Traditionally images like this are often created by merging a virtual 3D model into an existing photograph. However, there may be many physical restrictions in obtaining a good photographic base shot, especially in the UK where the likelihood of a nice sunny day is pretty remote too. So, it isn’t always possible to obtain that perfect photograph into which your virtual model can be merged. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 76 For those reasons I find I can often get a better result by building the entire existing and proposed infrastructure inside my computer, and from that point set up the perfect standpoint and environmental settings for my image. Using Google and Street View, I start by building a library of the existing objects, such as road signs, litter bins, benche s, lamp posts and so on, all simply modelled as low-polygon objects and with textures applied from on-site photography and Google references. Once everything has been built and put into position, the entire scene ( both proposed and existing development) can then be set up under one single ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved EXPERT TIP KEEP YOUR SCENE ORGANISED Your scene can become quite a mess on screen with a mass of large, non-renderable blocks blocking your scene in the viewports. Best practice is to build all these blocks in their own layer and name it DTex. This layer can then be hidden, and even when Render Hidden Geometry is not selected, VRayDistanceTex objects will still render. STEP BY STEP PAINT AN EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE 01SUBTLE ROAD CAMBER 02 ROAD TEXT AND LANE LINES Using the Line tool, build closed splines around the areas you would like to define as a camber to the road and road edges. Edit the spline with the vertex, segment and spline selections under the modifier stack and create as many closed splines as necessar y for defined areas. Add an extrude modifier to this. Open Properties and untick Renderable. Name the object. In the Shapes panel choose Text, type the road text and add an extrude modifier. Using the Line tool draw dashed road lines, chevrons and parking spaces. Under the modifier list expand Rendering and click Enable in Renderer and Enable in Viewport, select Rectangular and set length at 1,000mm and width at 100mm. Open properties for both objects, untick Renderable and name both objects. 03 04 SET UP VRAYDISTANCETEX TEXTURE GENERATOR FOR A Commercial architectural visualisation work by 3DArtvision commissioned by Lidl UK for a new store in Hull environment, resulting (hopefully) in an overall convincing image. The new and existing infrastructure can often be a maze of complex winding roads, paths and grassed borders. At firs t this may seem a little daunting in the task ahead of creating and applying tricky mapping coordinates, but then there is a simpler way to approach this task.  V-Ray has a very useful texturing tool named VRayDistanceTex. This can be used to texture areas intersected by selected objects. This will produce a texture that will then fade away over a given distance from the intersecting object. I like to use composites of this texturing tool when it comes to painting in road surfaces and road lines, where some objects might cause a subtle smudge and others a hard-edged graphic. In this particular model here the road surface is a single-plane polygon object that has the new VRayDistanceTex composite applied. The intercepting objects are made non-renderable in their Object Properties dialogue such that their existence in the scene is purely as a texture generator with the VRayDistanceTex material. 3D WORLD POSITION THE TEXTURE GENERATORS Once all of the ‘non-renderable’ objects have been created they must be positioned correctly so that they intersect the road surface. In this case we have a planar polygon object. Move all the extruded lines and objects up or down such that they intersect t he road, and you can increase their extrusion values if necessary. Christmas 2017 77 Select a V-Ray material and choose Composite for Diffuse. Create two layers. For Layer 1 choose VRayDistanceTex. Click ‘inside separate’ and ‘ inside solid’. Choose a texture map for the ‘far’ slot. Add the road lines and extruded text. Type a distance of 50mm or smaller. Repeat with Layer 2 and make it an Overlay layer. Add the shader objects, change the inside and near colours and make the distance larger. ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved SOFTWARE: AUTODESK MAYA HOW DO I CREATE MY OWN CUSTOM PICK-WALK HIERARCHY? Isabelle Rose, Florida Antony Ward replies The best rigs are intuitive and simple to use. When building them you must remember that it’s possible it will be used by a whole team of animators, all of which will have their preferred approach to bringing things to life. Overload a rig with too many controls and you’re not only making it more complicated to use, but you’re adding to the amount of time it takes an animator to create the simplest of sequences. One element of rigging that can help is to build in the ability to pick-walk through the hierarchy. This enables the animator to quickly navigate the rig by using the arrow keys, rather than selecting c ontrols or digging through the Outliner. As an example, if you have the hand control selected you can quickly move up the chain to the elbow control, and then the shoulder control and so on. Whereas on a normal rig, pressing an arrow key likely selects a constraint node or some other area of the rig that shouldn’t be touched. The problem is that there hasn’t been a good solution to this inside Maya, not 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 78 without the help of external scripts or tools. Personally, when building rigs for clients I don’t like to add any external plugins. It can cause problems down the line when a whole studio then needs to make sure they have the same plug-ins installed, updated and working just so they can animate. Luckily this all changed with Maya 2017. With last year’s release came new controller options that gave you the ability to indicate which elements in the scene are controls. With them tagged you c an ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved EXPERT TIP SIMPLE TO SCRIPT If you’re a technical artist these controller nodes are also easy to add to your rigbuilding scripts. When you build a control into your scene simply use the ‘controller’ command to tag it. You could also run this command on a list of controls to quickly tag them all in a rig. STEP BY STEP SET UP THE CONTROLLER NODES 01 DEFINE YOUR CONTROLLERS 03 DICTATE THE HIERARCHY To get started all you ne ed to do is tag your icons as actual Controllers, so Maya knows what they are and when they are being used. To do this simply go to the Control menu under the Rigging menu set. Here you will find two options at the top: Tag As Controller and Parent Controller. You can t ag each control individually, or you can simply select them all and choose Tag As Controller. 02 THE CONTROLLER NODE 04 AUTOMATICALLY ADJUST VISIBILITY What this will do is add a new ‘tag’ node to the controller, taking the original name and adding ‘_tag’ to make them easy to identify and find in the out liner. This is where all the information is stored and it offers a few ex tra options for you when it comes to dictating how your pickwalking works. You will also notice that there currently isn’t a parent defined for each node, so nothing will happen yet. Autodesk Maya’s new controller tools can not only speed up the animator’s workflow, but the performance of the scene too as they interact with it. then dictate the pick-walk parent or child, regardless of where either of them lie in the hierarchy. That’s not all these controller tags do. Once specified that they are part of a rig, Maya will take advantage of any ex tra CPU or GPU power you have through parallel evaluation, dramatically improving the performance of the scene as it plays back or is interacted with; something you can test for yourself with the Profiler tool. What’s more, the controller tags are very simple to set up. 3D WORLD With the controllers defined you can now dictate the hierarchy so that Maya knows where to go when you use the arrow keys. If we use an arm as an example: first select the hand control, then the elbow and click Parent Controller. Now select the elbow control and then the shoulder, and click it again. You can now use the up and down arrow keys to quickly navigate the arm controls. Christmas 2017 79 If you’re lucky enough to have Maya 2018 you will also have the ability to change a control’s visibility based on the location of the mouse pointer. This can seem strange to begin with, as when loaded the character will appear to have no controls. To activate this feature simply go to the tag node and select ‘Show on mouse proximity’ from the Visibility dropdown. ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved FOLLOW THE VIDEO STEP BY STEP 01 MAKE AN INTERACTIVE LAMP CREATE LAMP AND BLUEPRINT The first thing we have to do is impor t the model of the lamp that we want to make interactive. For this exercise we are going to use a floor lamp – name it SM_INT_LAMP. Once we have it in Unreal in the same folder as the Content Browser, right-click and select Blueprint Class and then select Actor. Once it’s done we will have our new blueprint ready to be tweaked and for us to give it the right actions. Name it BP_LAMP. It is really important to name each element properly so that we can find it later in the World Outliner or the Content Browser. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 02 CREATE BASE MESH AND ELEMENTS Open the blueprint and click Add Component. Add Static Mesh, select it and in the right window select the imported lamp model, in this case SM _INT_LAMP. Now select Add Component, choose a Spot Light and move it to the appropriate position. Once it’s done, in the EventGraph we have to add an Enable Input. Next add a Get Player Controller so we can give the input, then add Input X so we can add the input in our keyboard when pres sing X. Finally select the Spot Light, right-click in the grid and selec t Call Function>Rendering>Toggle Visibility. Compile and then test it. 80 ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved SOFTWARE: UNREAL ENGINE 4.15 HOW DO I CREATE AN INTERACTIVE LAMP IN UNREAL ENGINE? Matthew Wind, Bristol, UK  Oscar Juárez replies Creating archviz in Unreal Engine 4 is getting a lot of attention these days. We have many options for this in the software, but here we’ll explore what we can achieve with blueprints. We will create an interactive blueprint to provide us with a light that we can turn off and on. 01 02 03 04 EXPERT TIP Adding interaction to our Unreal Engine levels gives our users a more immersive experience. KEEP THEM BOTH VISIBLE Try to have detached the Blueprint tab and place it so you can see the viewport of your blueprint and the viewport of the level. This way all changes you do are visible in real time and you can adjust light and text easier. 03 FULL INTERACTION Now in Add Component add a Box Collision and name it COLLIDER. Once selected move in so it can be around the static mesh. Now in the EventGraph we will add a control that triggers the interaction once we are close to the lamp, so erase Event Begin Play and right-click over COLLIDER, add event and select OnComponentBeginOverlap so the input can be activated once we are close. Repeat this, but this time select Component connected to a Disable Input and this one to the get player controller so once we are away the input can be turned off. Compile and test. 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 04 FINISHING DETAILS It would be useful to know when to press X to turn it on and turn it off, so in the viewpor t add a TextRender and, the same as before, move it to the lamp and change its position so it can be in the preferred place. Now in the EventGraph select the TextRender, rightclick in the grid and select Call Function>Rendering>Toggle Visibility. Connect Enable Input and Disable Input to it, and this way the text will only appear once we are near the Collision we created before. Finally select the TextRender, and in the right menu in Rendering uncheck  Visible. Compile and Save.. 81 ARTIST Q&A Your CG problems solved EXPERT TIP REFERENCES FOR EVERYTHING The main elements for the terrain creation are the references. These will be very useful during the sculpting and painting process, helping you to achieve the best result. FOLLOW THE VIDEO In the Node Editor panel, you can define the terrain material, combining some shaders, textures and other elements that will make the terrain more realistic. SOFTWARE: BLENDER HOW CAN I CREATE A REALISTIC TERRAIN? Magdalene Davis, New York  Pietro Chiovaro replies The creation process of a realistic terrain can be divided into two parts. In the first part, we need to search for relevant references for the terrain we are going to create, sketching a concept of the entire scene. In the second part we have to create all the models that compose the scene in order to create the terrain. For the creation of this particular scene I tried to imagine the terrain of Mars. To do that, after the concept creation, I created a little library of images that I could then use as references for the terrain. Following the concept, we have to create every model that is part of the scene, placing these in the space. After that we can start to model the terrain, adding a plane and editing the flat surface in Edit Mode. Here subdividing the plane, we have to define the main deformations of the terrain. Once all the models are in the scene and the basic terrain has been created, we can start to add some details, going into Sculpt Mode and starting to model the terrain. In this part of the work I suggest that you follow all the references you have found, trying to create many imperfections and being very meticulous in the details, because this makes the difference. During the sculpting process of the terrain for this particular scene, I imagined that the soil was composed principally of rocks and sand; so, considering that, I 3D WORLD Christmas 2017 82 modelled some stones with different dimensions, some sand dunes and some other deformations near to the sides of the main building and the other objects. Now that we have sculpted the terrain, the last part of the work consists of the creation of the material. To create the material of the terrain we have to map the model and create a texture. Now going into Texture Paint Mode, we can paint the new texture, trying to recreate an original material. During this process, it’s very important to follow the references, to achieve a realistic effect. Once we created the texture, we can open the Node Editor panel and add the texture to the main material, finishing the terrain creation.