Interview with Olisoda, First Place of RenderHub Sexy Robot Contest
The Sexy Robot Contest was organized by RenderHub, from January 25 to March 31, 2023. And its winners were announced on April 14! Olisoda won First Place with the work “Cyber Geisha”. Congratulations!
Image via RenderHub
Fox Renderfarm, as a world-leading render farm and the best cloud rendering services provider, is glad to sponsor this competition and witnessed the birth of many excellent and beautiful artworks. We were honored to have the opportunity to interview Olisoda, talking about his award-winning work and his CG journey.
Olisoda's Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/studio_aberration
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Olisoda, it’s our honor to have you here. First of all, please introduce yourself.
Olisoda: I am a 3D generalist working in southern California, with the hopes to make a movie one day! I’ll try my best to sound intelligent here. Hi Mom!
Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning First Place in The Renderhub Sexy Robot Contest! How do you feel about it?
Olisoda: Feeling absolutely ecstatic about it! I got to really stretch my legs in this one. The extra time allotment from the contest allowed me to flesh out some more details and try out some new methods for making characters. I don’t get to often work with characters that are more “hard-surface”, so experimenting with the different materials that aren't skins was a nice change of pace.
There were some really really good entries to compete against as well. A couple of them were just stunning in concept and execution. I’m happy that there was that pressure to push me to make something that I thought was truly exceptional. That being said, with some time to think about the piece, there is a lot I would change. The knees down are a sore point, and the clothing could have used some more detail, just to name a couple.
Cyber Geisha © Olisoda
Fox Renderfarm: There are some Japanese elements in your work, what was the inspiration for this work? Are there any references?
Olisoda: In my WIP images for the contest, I had said: “I didn't have an explicit plan going into the project. I did know a couple of key things going in. It was going to be a female character, Japanese inspired, and contain cherry blossoms.” Even without a plan, the initial Japanese inspiration probably stems from my love of anime. Many shows that I watch have scenes with gorgeous cherry blossoms. I just think they are pretty, and wanted to replicate them in my work.
There are a lot of scenes with cherry blossoms from one of my favorite anime movies, “A Silent Voice”. I still can’t really get my own cherry blossoms to look as pretty as they did there.
A scene from one of my favorite anime movies, “A Silent Voice”. I still can’t really get my own cherry blossoms to look as pretty as they did there. (image via the internet)
As for the look of the character, I didn’t want to do something that was considered attractive or sexy now in modern times. The feudal look with sci-fi bits. Interesting right? Really just fun to work around.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you please describe your workflow/pipeline for this project? And how long did it take you?
Olisoda: The character came first as she was the subject of the scene. I used only Blender when it came to modeling the character. Since the character was still very humanoid I used the sculpt mode for most of the work. For parts that were more mechanical, I jumped into the edit mode to build. When everything was modeled, UV Unwrapped, and rigged. I exported it to Substance Painter for texturing. The colors just came from the reference images of the pale makeup with red flourishes.
Image via BYRDIE
When texturing was done. I exported the textures back into the scene and applied them to the character. Several poses were tried, and with one selected, the rest of the scene was to be built around it, with composition lines to guide the placement of assets. While building the scene, I kept the colors in mind. Making sure that there weren’t so many colors to overstimulate the eye. Originally I was going to have flowers in the grass but it would add pink to the scene which didn’t really match:
I used the camera's depth of field to blur out the background, and volumetrics to desaturate the colors of objects further back. All of that with the main objective of drawing the eye to the character as they are supposed to be the focus!
Blender: Modeling, Retopology, UV-unwrapping, and Rigging → Substance Painter: Texturing→ Blender: Posing, Scene setup, lighting, and Rendering→ Affinity Photo: Post work→Done.
The project was maybe 1 month and 10 days of work.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your considerations on lighting and texture to give the robot appearance and photorealistic?
Olisoda: I have been trying to mimic how an IRL sensor captures light for quite a while now and how imperfect they are. If you go out in the middle of the day, you won’t be able to make out the detail from something reflecting the light. But if you try and squint to block some light, the area in shadow will then lose the detail. Blender can output an image that lets you see everything, but it isn’t realistic. A lot of my early work has that issue of being much too flat in the lighting and low in contrast. You can see every detail, but it's just not realistic. In my recent projects, I have been trying to purposefully “lose” detail for realism.
Taking that into consideration. Lighting a subject is something I think of as, how I highlight the specific features that I think are important. Bright spots in an image draw attention from the audience.
Example of an early lighting attempt
The lighting from the cybernetic bits on the character is something that I wanted people to see, but the sun in some positions will absolutely drown out those lights. Especially in the eyes, the iris lights are almost gone. It becomes a balancing act of making sure that the audience can see the small cybernetic lights and making sure the character is properly lit.
The eye lighting is plainly more visible(and more dramatic) just from a little strategic placement of the sun. Using the “hair” and “pin” as shadow casters kept the sun out of the eyes. Angling the sun also brought out the detail like panel lines and other small Greeble-like bits. Lighting isn’t something that I have the best grasp on, so I can’t really give you all the things that I look for explicitly. A lot of it is getting to a point where I have a good gut feeling.
For her skin, I tried to copy the shiny porcelain look of some Japanese Hina dolls. Since it was shiny enough to be reflective, I had to make sure that there were objects in every direction. Even outside the frame, behind the camera, so that the skin had something to mirror. I was bound by hardware limitations though, so the reflections aren’t as populated with assets as I wanted them to be.
Fox Renderfarm: Did you have any difficulties in creating this work? How did you solve them?
Olisoda: I wouldn’t say I had much difficulty. Most of the processes that I used are something that I am well versed in. Most of my issues pertained mostly to managing the memory usage in the scene.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce some of your memorable 3D works? And why they are unforgettable?
Olisoda: Trying to make my own Thanos is a particularly bright spot in my memory. It's where I was hit by the Dunning-Kruger effect particularly hard, but it opened my eyes to how truly talented some people are.
I just like this one. My very own mascot.
Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and develop it as a career? Could you share your educational experience with us?
Olisoda: My first encounter with CG was with Google SketchUp in middle school. Maybe 13 years old at the time? I had fun building my own little worlds, low poly as they were, just fun. In high school, I enrolled in classes for rapid prototyping with Solidworks. Shout out to Mr. Ford. I had gotten good at it, but ultimately I fell in love with Blender after playing with the default cube and running physics sims! That was back in 2014 and this was my first creation!
Since then I primarily learned Blender from trial and error. Just exploring the program. I would look up videos on any hard topics like hair particles or cloth sims. A slow gradual buildup of knowledge for almost 10 years.
Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?
Olisoda: WLOP. Pure witchcraft. I still am trying to chase the aesthetics and lighting of their work. Their understanding of 3D space in a 2D medium. Breathtaking stuff.
Fox Renderfarm: Have you used Fox Renderfarm?
Olisoda: Cloud rendering isn’t something that I have had a need for yet. Most things that I would render out right now, are something that I could leave running overnight. As I get closer to making my own film, the use of a render farm looks to be inevitable. After winning the RenderHub Sexy Robot Contest and some render coupons from Fox Renderfarm as a prize. It’ll be fun to test it out!
Fox Renderfarm: As a CG artist, do you have any advice for people who are still new to the CG industry?
Olisoda: For every project, make it a habit to try 1 new thing. Maybe it’s a new modifier or a new compositing setup. Treat learning a 3d program like an adventure. It keeps it fun and there's a good chance that you will stumble onto a new favorite tool!
Thanks to Olisoda for accepting our interview! More interviews with other winners of the RenderHub Sexy Robot Contest will come soon! Stay tuned!
See all the winners and learn more on the RenderHub Sexy Robot Contest.
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