Content with my past efforts in 3D, I was aware of their somewhat simplistic presentation. Attempting to expound upon prior techniques, I have started to explore topics such as color theory, light exposure, and real-time rendering. From this, I hope to gain a better understanding of lighting and overall presentation in order to create more believable and even photo-realistic works.
Originally developed as a project resembling CG Tuts+’s Abandoned Lobby, this project introduced me to more advanced aspects of Maya’s lighting system such as manipulating portal lights and adjusting the decay rates of light sources. To demonstrate the effects of the lighting across a variety of surfaces, I chose to furnish the and texture the room, paying attention to reflection, refraction, color, and depth.
Building on my understanding of lighting and its effects on various surfaces, I took a break from more expansive renders and instead decided to focus my attention on macro objects. Working in a linear colour space, I worked intensively with gamma correction in order to ensure proper representation of both textured and coloured objects. To reinforce the image’s sense of depth, I employed the use of render layers to create Ambient Oclusion, Color, and Depth layers, which I later reconstituted in After Effects.
HDR Lighting – AT-AT Walker
Taking a step back, I decided to focus my attention outdoors. Right from the start, I knew that I wanted to bring back my (retouched) AT-AT walker and have it roam about a portion of Jacksonville University‘s campus. However, before I could begin, I needed to re-create the environment lighting. After taking over 200 HDR images and stitching them together with Hugin, I was able to create a simple light sphere. From there, I used the data captured from the sun and clouds to re-cast light into the scene and create the illusion of being outdoors.
With the lighting taken care of, I simply re-modeled, rigged, animated, and re-textured the walker. Finally, I motion-tracked the rendered footage with the background sequence in After Effects to produce what you see before you.
Unreal Engine – Frog-Cycle
Venturing into more interactive experiences I decided to explore the game engine asset pipeline. After exploring several of its features, I set to work, migrating one of my past works into Unreal Engine 4. Along the way, I explored several topics such as multiresolutional modeling and shader creation.