Fall of Spartacus: Final Images
After compositing my renders, I decided to create two final images. One basic beauty shot, with just a plain black background and no blurring or grain filters, intended to display the model and textures without any distractions.
The second final image is the composition I was working towards according to my concept. It features the background from earlier, as well as more stylized saturated colours and a film grain filter.
I am pretty satisfied with my image and the work I put in. I think it turned out relatively well, and that I improved upon many aspects of 3D work that I would consider weaknesses of mine. Like texturing, lighting and rendering.
Texturing is really mostly a matter of putting in the time to work on it, as opposed to trying to get it done as quickly and painlessly as possible. I’d say the texturing I did on this project isn’t great(the character is decent, the environment and the demonic arms aren’t so good), but quite a bit better than I have done previously. It’s definitely something for me to build on.
I’ve always thought that texturing is all about photo-manipulation, which I have had no trouble with in regards to environments, but I am still not sure how to effectively work that into characters, as their UV’s are too complicated to just slap a sampled image on them.
I spent quite some time researching lighting and rendering. I read Essential Lighting Techniques With 3DS Max by Darren Brooker, which helped me out a lot. I think my understanding of light and shadow improved immensely during this project.
I am particularly happy about learning more about render passes and compositing. I really love the amount of control I have over my final images with this approach, and it’s definitely something I’m going to use in my workflow from now on.
The UVW issue I ran into was quite regrettable. Fortunately I was able to resolve it and move on, but I was stuck for over 3 weeks on that one, trying to work around it as best I could while looking for a solution. As much as I love Zbrush, I find that in my pipeline, the transition back and forth between Max and Zbrush is the place I most often run into problems that destroy both my schedule and my momentum. It seems every time I feel like I am aware of, and taking care to avoid, all potential problems, a new one pops up to get me.
That said, aside from the UVW issue, I think my workflow was pretty effective this project. I managed that time well and had no trouble with the deadline.
I got off to a good start by spending some time properly visualising the image with my concepts and mockups before starting 3D work proper. It was nice to work with a clear objective in mind rather than making it up as I went along. The modeling was quick and painless, and I had it done by the beginning of December, leaving me plenty of time to work on my textures and read about lighting and rendering.
I’m happy with the resulting image. I believe I got a decent result, considering I decided to go for low poly with normal maps, as opposed to high poly with displacement maps. That is a character that could conceivably be put directly into a game engine.