Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Windbag Texture Experimentation

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Spent today working on the windbag model again. After preparing the face for the blend shape process, I decided to unwrap the head, and begin painting in some preliminary  textures, to get a feeling for the overall aesthetic of Windbag’s mug.

I’m tempted to give him the amber orange glowing eyes of a pigeon, since it’s such a cool colour. Makes him look a little scary though? Whaddya think?

Image found at Alberta Classic.

Discussing with Neil the possible choices for rendering – how to achieve the right kind of look for the final film.

His comments were:

1 - fairly flat textures and let the geometry and lighting take care of the shading (this will have least effect on how expressions will read but things like eyebrow placement will still have a big effect)
2 - more dynamic shader setup e.g. mental ray shaders like SSS with normal maps  to give you more  detailed reaction to lighting conditions and give you a more "high-end" look
3 - paint (or bake) some of the lighting into the textures (balance between ambient and dynamic light) . That way will give you quite immediate control over the final look of the model but leaves you with quite a fixed lit look to the model

I’m leaning more toward option 3 since I’m more familiar with painting in lighting by hand, from my concept paintings in 2D etc. However this would limit the models to occupying one manner of lighting environment per texture.

Option 2 – while providing the benefit of using Zbrush (or otherwise) to create normal maps – thus incorporating additional levels of detail. I don’t want to push to far into the realms of realism. This is due to the subjective nature of the content of the film, believability over realism. If I can maintain a stylistic approach it should win out. I’ll need to use Zbrush to convey the cloth, for the Hatavar’s scarf anyway, and I would like to add some tarnishes to Windbag’s armour.

However all of this is post-type work, which can be carried out after the initial preparations have been made for animation. ie. UV unwrapping before Rigging.