Neurobasis chinensis chinensis Test Render and the Final Model

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

I have run into a few rendering issues along the way that I intend to work through later but in the meantime I thought that it would be pertinent to post my progress thus far. I have learned a great deal along the way. More specifically:

1. Hardware is important. You can only go so far on a machine before you run up against it’s technical limitations. Creating Hollywood quality animation is still beyond the reach of the average one man studio. Unless of course that one man studio has a 12 core machine and an unlimited render farm at his or her disposal.

2. Iridescence is tricky but transparency and alpha are equally problematic. Layered textures appear to confuse Maya and you have to be prepared to plan for this when compiling your model. I would recommend the use of render passes, and render layers. This helps later in compositing effects such as depth of field and motion blur.

3. Effects are render expensive and you have to be prepared to let some things go if you do not have an unlimited budget or time for that matter. In a perfect world we would be able to render motion blur and depth of field within our 3D software package. Unfortunately we don’t all have the luxury of waiting 8 hours per frame. So plan accordingly.

4. Computers are extremely effective tools but they still have a long way to go. Many of the digital effects and animations that look so seamless and natural to our eyes on the big screen are completed largely in spite of the software and hardware that created them. In the end it is the animator, texturer, rigger, and renderers job to work around the current technical limitations. That said I realize that there is a wealth of new technology out there but for the average person just starting out, without an unlimited budget, it is important to keep in mind that it is not a level playing field.

5. I desperately need to try Z-brush. Moving around polygons is an extremely inefficient way to produce the types of detail that I would like to accomplish in my work.

With that said here are a few renders of the model:

Unused front view. I have temporarily abandoned this view due to render times that have stretched on way to far.

Test render showing the detail of the thorax, wing base and head. In subsequent renders I improved the texturing and coloration utilizing procedural bump and facing ratios to simulate iridescence.

Most up to date render of the insect. Still experiencing strange issues with the front wings transparency.

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