Interview with Iavor Trifonov from Chaosgroup for the Future Cooperation

2018 must be a big year for Fox Renderfarm, we sincerely hope to cooperate with more 3d software and renderer companines as much as we can, that's why we communicate with them so positively and discuss about the future cooperations and benefits for both parties. Here is the detail interview with Iavor Trifonov from Chaos Group as below:

Iavor Trifonov,

Vice-President Cloud & Integrations

Chaos Group

Fox Renderfarm:  Since the establishment of V-Ray in 1997, the growth and global presence of V-Ray has gained attention from various industries, especially CG industry. Tell us more about V-Ray's global influence and users usage worldwide.

Chaos Group: From the very beginning, our goal has been to help people visualize anything and everything. And this means more than just pushing the technology. V-Ray is a result of listening to and working with artists and designers directly. It’s important to really understand the daily challenges creatives face and see what we can do with our development to help, and move rendering forward. Today, V-Ray is prominent in multiple industries worldwide. V-Ray’s Academy Award-winning rendering technology is still developed with the same goal of helping artists and designers.

Fox Renderfarm: Share with us about V-Ray's current brand awareness and situation in China.

Chaos Group: V-Ray is very popular in the architectural visualization industry in China, but people probably aren’t as familiar with our company name — Chaos Group. There are many resources online for learning V-Ray, and the V-Ray community is very supportive. Our main developers are also very involved online since we take feedback very seriously. The new V-Ray Next for 3ds Max beta is the latest example of how we listen to our customers, and work to provide features that save time and hopefully make your life a little easier.

Fox Renderfarm:  Share with us regarding the product development strategy and promotion in the near future?

Chaos Group: At the moment, our key development revolves around the completely upgraded and optimized rendering inside of V-Ray Next. We’ve already got a few blog posts actually that highlight some of the new features of V-Ray Next and there are more articles in the works. You’ll also see us at events worldwide and this year we’re excited to host our very own special event dedicated to artists and developers - Total Chaos.

Fox Renderfarm:  How about your thoughts on cloud rendering service and how it can benefit CG artists?

Chaos Group: Cloud rendering is something that gives the smallest studios the same firepower that big studios have enjoyed for some time now. Anyone’s computer can be a supercomputer, thanks to the ease and power of cloud computing. Deadlines are inescapable in a studio environment, and having access to rendering in the cloud can take a lot of pressure off. Plus you don’t have to worry about large hardware expenses, not to mention maintenance. This also frees up computers for design work, and costs related to cloud rendering are easily tracked and can be billed by the job.

Fox Renderfarm:  How can Chaos Group work with Fox Renderfarm and what are the benefits that Chaos Group can offer to Fox Renderfarm's customers?

Chaosgroup: Fox Renderfarm is one of Chaos Group’s main render farm partners in China as well as in Asia. As an authorized partner, Fox Renderfarm receives dedicated support from Chaos Group both in terms of account management and technical optimization expertise. This allows Fox to react quickly when helping customers and resolve even the most complex workflow issues with the help of Chaos Group’s developers. Moreover, Chaos Group and Fox are also looking to partner on initiatives related to the educational institutions in China which will lead to opening excellent opportunities to thousands of Chinese students interested in becoming V-Ray professionals. Boosting the awareness of V-Ray among Chinese users from as early stage in their professional careers as possible together with expanding the availability of Chaos Group’s products across China is at the very core of the partnership between both companies. We’re excited to have such a strong partner in China and we look forward to helping the CG industry in China with Fox Renderfarm.

Fox Renderfarm:  Originally started as Atmos Blender, then the first release of V-Ray for 3ds Max in 2002. Up to date, various mainstream 3D software is well-supported by V-Ray. V-Ray has been around with us for almost 21 years! Tell us about the new features and highlights of V-Ray that we can look forward to in 2018?

Chaosgroup: We don’t want to reveal too much yet, but we’re very excited about the V-Ray for Unreal beta which just recently started. We’ll have more big news in regards to other V-Ray Next products in the near future to share with you as well!

(Check our interview with MAXON and Isotropix if you are interested.)

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Behind the Scenes: Avatar of A Man
Behind the Scenes: Avatar of A Man
Fox Renderfarm, your TPN-Accredited render farm, bring you a production process sharing from the 3D artist Lee Guagua about the use of V-Ray for Maya to make the film and television model "Avatar of An Old Man". This is a realistic character production process, I hope that some skills and methods in this production process can help everyone. Inspiration Before making a production, you must choose a reference and get inspiration, whether it is a CG artwork of another person or a real person. In the process of the overall shape of the character, you must choose a reference. This is very important. You can get inspiration or you can refer to the process of making your own. Head blocking The base of the head is the basic model used in ZBrush, and using the existing head model as a starting point can save a lot of time. Head carving effect Head sculpting requires a long accumulation of experience. Facial dissection is a very important basic knowledge. Only on this basic knowledge can there be good works. After the overall shape is sculpted, next are some secondary shapes, continue to adjust the transition, add a richer sense of muscle to the model, make the character look more natural, and finally add pore details. Costume carving Regarding the production of clothing, I want the character to look like a gentleman, so I found a lot of middle-aged European and American men as a reference basis for reference, and then made a little clothing matching, which is more retro in style. My plan is to put on a sweater with a shirt and jacket. Clothing renderings Some textures on the clothing can be properly added using Noise and texture brushes, and then the carved head and the reduced subdivision surface number of the clothing can be imported into Maya for integration. After importing Maya, you can first change the perspective of the camera, and then change the Film Gate to 35 mm full aperture, and the middle distance portrait Film Gate is about 35 mm. Then split the UV of the model, and then enter Mari to draw a color map and XYZ replacement. In fact, the number of faces of the model does not need to be as much as it is used now, because the renderer will have a subdivision agent when rendering, and then there will be replacements, as long as the model does not have obvious edges or corners, otherwise it is not good to add node shape changes. Mari XYZ displacement drawing Before Mari draws the texture, subdivide the model, otherwise, the model imported into Mari will have hard edges, which is not conducive to observation. Mari supports models with very high surface counts. If you want to draw more delicate textures, you can also export a model with a higher subdivision level to Mari in ZBrush. Then import the XYZ replacement material at hand into Mari's Image Manager for texture drawing. The next step is to create a 16-bit channel because the XYZ material is 16-bit, the size is modified, and then start drawing XYZ texture. It is actually very simple to draw XYZ texture. Just place it in a good position, and then project with Wrap, Clone Stamp, Blur and other tools. The most difficult thing is to position in the mouth. Here, you need to project with UV mode, and then use the Wrap deformation tool to fine-tune it. One is the projection of large areas of texture in the ears and the back of the head, which is to use Tile continuous texture to stack up. Convenient and fast, pay attention to the value of Tile, and the size is reasonable. (If the XYZ material is too large, it can also be cropped in Photoshop, which relatively reduces the burden on the computer) Color map drawing In the same way, create a new 8-bit channel to draw a color map. Because it is a middle-aged male, I used a group of matte images with relatively matching ages to map. The details of the face of middle-aged men vary a lot, so it is recommended to find corresponding materials to map. For young women, you can use small The Dull Picture of the child. After drawing the basic color texture, it is necessary to adjust the hue and color distribution of the wave. First of all, the human face is divided into three colors, the forehead part is yellow, the cheekbone part is reddish, the jaw and the masseter are both Cyan side. During the adjustment process, make full use of Mari's mask and adjustment layer functions. Now I have to draw the highlight map together. This step can be done after the test because I don’t know the performance of the XYZ and the matte map in the renderer. Of course, some excellent artists can draw directly. Here you need to use the previously drawn XYZ replacement, give it a Copy Channel, select the green channel display, and one is to add a one-level adjustment layer to strengthen the green channel XYZ contrast so that you can draw rich highlight details. Several highlights on the face require obvious highlights. The first is the forehead, brow arch, and then the nose and cheekbones. The most important thing is the mouth. It might look Sexy like this. Finally, Mari's work is completed. At this time, you must export the drawn texture. It should be noted that when exporting, if the texture drawn in Mari is Udim multi-quadrant, then pay attention to the named suffix in the export settings. Mari automatically recognizes Udim, so the $ Udim after the name cannot be deleted, otherwise, the exported pictures will be stacked together. Test rendering Test the performance of the texture. It should be noted that before the test, you need to go to ZBrush to export the normal map of the replacement and clothing, and then go to Substance Painter to make the clothing material. After completion, test to see the effect of displacement and color rendering. First, connect the material node and use the V-Ray renderer. The most important thing to note here is that after importing the texture into Maya, you need to change its color space, otherwise you will make mistakes. Then, add the replacement node of V-Ray and the subdivision node of the renderer. Start rendering Substance Paint makes clothing materials, Manufacture of specific materials for apparel jackets. First, create a new Layer layer and give it a basic intrinsic color. I am used to adding a noise-like generator to this layer. The normal strength of Matfinish Grainy can not be too strong, a little weak, it can make it a little basic sense. Secondly, I found two procedural textures for large details. The first one is to make the material have a large area of dark changes, and the second one is similar to the texture of leather. Then continue to give it a textured texture, the normal intensity is slightly higher, worn out, there can be only one texture, this is slightly monotonous, Finally, the processing of the leather edge is mainly to add a little wear and tear, as well as some miscellaneous points, although the rendering may not be seen. The roughness of the worn edge should not be too high, lower than the overall. Then you can add a layer of AO to make it feel bulkier. Of course, this sense of volume can also be achieved in the renderer. Games are more commonly used. Then export the texture into Maya rendering. XGEN hair articles Hair making When making hair beards and eyebrows, it is best to go to ZBrush to sculpt a rough shape that can be referenced, which helps to create curves. Or if you are familiar with ZBrush's Fibermesh, you can also brush the hair directly in ZBrush, and finally guide into Maya to directly generate the guideline. First, reduce the surface of the ZBrush model and import it into Maya, turn on the magnet adsorption, and then click the curve directly under Shelf to create the curve on the model. After the curve is created, because the curve is adsorbed on the surface of the model, you need to adjust it so that the root of the curve is slightly inserted into the scalp, otherwise, the rendering may be interspersed. Then use Select First CV and Last CV to select the root or top of the curve, and then open the soft selection to pull the root of the curve toward the scalp a little. After the curve part is adjusted, we can select the scalp model to create the Xgen project file. The next step is the process of adjusting the guideline. You need to find more references during production, and open and refresh the hair from time to time to see the adjustment effect. The first step is to draw a Density Mask to the hair to control the hair growth area. (Remember, reference is important!) After the Density Mask is painted, you can continue to add a Region Mask to divide the hair if you can. After these basic steps are completed, you can start making nodes and expressions. First, add a Clumping to it. This allows hair to have a basic clustering effect. Of course, this node should not be too much. It depends on the effect. Then, after adding the Clumping node, there may be hollowing out and other situations in some places. Here you need to go back to the front and continue to guide the relationship. When adding the Clumping node, pay attention to the hair at the ear position, it is easy to intersect with the ear, then you need to carefully adjust the direction of the guideline, and then cooperate with the Clumping Mask to process. Next, trim the hair to make the length of the tail of the hair change. Then add a few layers of Noise nodes to it, the look of two or three layers, the feeling of flowing hair is also made by this node. Production of sweat The production of sweat hair, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes are basically similar to hair, and hair will use another model of Xgen. First, copy one on the head, and then delete the invisible areas and the areas where the eyes and the mouth are not fluffy. After creating the Groom mode, Xgen will grow a large area of guidelines on the face. If you can't see the guidelines you created, it's because Groom mode is different from Splines to view the guidelines. Groom's view is to check Visibility under Grooming. Width and Length below this panel adjust the width and length of the guideline. Then look at how to adjust the tip and tail of the guidewire. After the adjustment of the foundation, these guidelines are given the direction of growth, and the fluff does not grow vertically like thorns. Use the tool Bend under Grooming to follow the direction of the facet joint to brush the direction of the guideline. In this way, the guideline is almost the same. Finally, add Modifiers. Also, trim the fluff and add a cut. Then add another Noise to make the hair stand up a bit. Finally, look at the effect. There is also a cardigan, which is also directly generated using the Groom mode. It is the same as the fluff, except that its Noise intensity needs to be increased. This completes all the hair. Because of the hair material, V-Ray is used for rendering. V-Ray has its own hair material. Then adjust the parameters, and add the appropriate node control. Finally, integrate and render the final effect.
V-Ray for Maya Tutorial: A 3D Cute Emoji Making Process
V-Ray for Maya Tutorial: A 3D Cute Emoji Making Process
This article is organized by Fox Renderfarm, a well-known render farm in the CG industry, and shares the process of making a 3D version of a cute emoji package from 3d artist Bao Xiaoge. The software used is Maya, V-Ray, etc. The inspiration for the creation comes from a mobile game, and the prototype is very cute, so I want to make it a 3D dynamic version. The overall is very simple, and there is no technical difficulty. Modeling The model production is not complicated. Because the surface of the prototype is smooth and the structure is few, it is more efficient to make directly from the simple basic block. So I chose to use the box as the base model to start making and then used the basic polygon modeling: starting from the points and lines to adjust the outline, we must pay attention to the line to be uniform. And remember to check the model more so that no obvious defects appear after smoothing. If you still feel dissatisfied with the model later, you can also use the moving brush in the Maya sculpting tool to make fine adjustments. Another thing to note is that in the model stage, you need to take into account the bone binding, such as the elbow needs to do bending movements, then the line segmentation of the elbow part should be sufficient. And the parts that need to be squeezed and deformed also need more segments to avoid problems such as model interpolation during animation. Rigging The rigging part is also very simple, without using deformers or the like, but using the most basic bones. Note that when you create a bone, remember to repair the bone axis. Generally, the X-axis points to the next bone, and the Z-axis is the rotation axis. The operation is as follows: Turn on axial display: Select all bones and click Display-Transform Display-Local Rotation Axes Repair the axial method: Select the bones, switch to the Rigging tab, and click Skeleton-Orient Joint. The final axis is shown below: And the hand bone part uses Spline IK because Spline IK is really simple to use, especially for novices. After adjusting the final binding effect: Animation The main difficulty of animation is to make the feeling of soft and cute Q bombs. In order to achieve this purpose, some very basic but useful techniques are used in the animation: Keep the same volume: Keep the same volume when squeezing and stretching the body. Simply put, squeezing becomes a cake, and pulling will become a bar. Follow and buffer the action: the body moves first, and the eyes move later (because the kinetic energy transmission of the fluid is different from that of a rigid body) The shape of the eyes also needs to be squeezed when squeezing (such as closing eyes) To sum up the above three points, a gif was drawn. Although it is very simple, you can basically see the effect of the above three points. What, too fast to see clearly? Here is the slow version. Pay attention to the volume change and eye movement. As long as you keep the three points above, the overall animation will be very flexible and cute, and you only need to add a little detail. Rendering The V-Ray renderer was selected for rendering. The part of the light is to weaken the ambient light as much as possible and let the light stick be a part of the light source. Because the character is waving a light stick in his hand, it will form a lighting effect at different angles during the movement, which is really suitable as a moving light source. Not only does this increase the atmosphere of the scene, but the changing colors will also make the whole picture more dynamic. The remaining lighting arrangements choose to use three rectangular lights, of which the light source above the head is the main light, and the other two light sources are the auxiliary light. The three lights are disconnected from the ground so that the lights will only illuminate the character itself without letting The scene becomes very bright, let the lighting of the scene be left to the light stick! The production of the material part is very simple. It is a mixture of Lambert material and luminous material. Since most of the body is covered by hair, a very simple Lambert gray-black material is used, while the cat's claws and eyes in the ear part are a blend of glowing materials. To make the color change dynamically, here we choose to directly control the color to achieve keyframe control. Of course, you can also use the time axis to control the Ramp UV sampling output color, as shown in the figure below. The advantage of this is that the color control is more convenient, color transition and playback speed and better control. As long as the production of hair is simple and quick, the function can be used. So choose to use V-Ray Fur. Just a few parameter adjustments can produce the effect. V-Ray Fur's basic functions are also very comprehensive, making small fluff without close-ups perfect. If you observe carefully, there is no hair in the eyes and ears of the character. I use the mask map to control the growth range of the hair. I can also use the map to control the color and other parameters. Of course, the model must be divided into UVs first. After doing this, you can render. And you will find that the above productions are all basic processes without using too many skills and operations. I believe you can.
Behind the Scenes: Demon Warrior Character
Behind the Scenes: Demon Warrior Character
Hey, I’m Dong Chao. I used to work at the Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Lucasfilm's VFX and animation studio in Singapore. Now I am a professional freelance artist and have long been involved in role-related work. This time I want to share some of the production process and experience of a 3D CG character produced in the project. I hope to help everyone. The software and plugins used in the production are Maya, ZBrush, Mari, UVLayout, Photoshop, shave and hair cut. 1. Material collection: Material collection is an important step. The more time you spend collecting material, the fewer mistakes you will make later. When creating the model of Demon Warrior, a large number of real materials and works references were collected using the Internet. In the design stage, I imagined that he was in ancient times, but did not have any obvious characteristics of the times, so I wanted to make some breakthroughs in the traditional dressing features of ancient China, and portray more mysterious patterns. I also tried brushes with different touches, and finally unified the whole character to make it feel complete. The following is part of the collected materials, put together for your reference. 2. Basic model The production of the model is based on a ready-made human basic model. After adjusting the proportion on it, the creation of all props and clothing is quickly performed. According to the size of the volume, start with the large-scale model parts first. The overall feeling of the character is shaped in the time, it is convenient to modify the proportion, and try to be as clean and even as possible on the wiring without having to portray too many details. But pay attention to the large turning and thickness of the armor, so that it is easy to sculpt later. If you need a large number of copies or later symmetrically sculpted objects, you can make them in the center first, and then copy and adjust the position to observe. Regarding the cloth elements on the character, you can directly model and sculpt according to personal habits, and also use Maya's cloth system to solve. The benefits of the solution are more natural and achieve better folds with a lower number of faces. effect. The disadvantage is that it can't control the details of the folds more accurately than ZBrush. Because the character's cloth shape is relatively simple, the cloth solution method was chosen. The hair of the character is made using Maya's nHair. In the early stage, the hair shape of the character needs to be built with polygons. The brush function built-in Maya can quickly convert the curve into the overall effect, and then copy the curve to create more rich changes. The second layer of thin curved surface will get more change and more natural hair effect in the later stage. 3.ZBrush high model production ZBrush sculpting has always been my favorite link. Especially for this kind of project that needs to design a lot of details, I can boldly sculpt in ZBrush. The early materials have helped a lot at this time. When sculpting, generally according to the importance of the character, starting from the whole, first make some parts that account for the largest proportion of the character. Each part is a SubTool to facilitate later modification. Using different brush settings, you can sculpt the desired The detailed effect, whether it is a prop or a character, first make a large structure, and then refine it. When creating some continuous sculpts in ZBrush, you can use Maya to make some elements first, and then convert them to alpha in ZBrush and map them directly to the model with UV. If the position is not perfect, you can import the model into Photoshop. Aligning alphas without sculpting one by one, it will take a lot of time. ZBrush sculpting is the most detailed link in the entire model. People who have been using ZBrush for a long time suggest to establish their own familiar UI interface environment and their own custom brushes, which can greatly improve the production efficiency and effect during the production process. When sculpting a character, the collected alpha channel was used to portray the details. 4. Model integration and UV Export the lowest level of all models in ZBrush, and then use UVLayout to get a good UV splitting effect quickly. You only need to adjust patiently here, place the seams where you can't see as much as possible, and minimize the screen. UV stretching of the main part. The model after splitting through UVLayout can be conveniently managed and laid out in Maya. All the models that need to be copied before sculpting and not sculpting are all arranged, because the number of final parts is relatively large, in order to bake the map faster For the convenience of drawing textures and adjusting materials, try to put objects of the same material in a UV unit. Import all the determined UV models one by one into ZBrush in the order of SubTool. It should be noted that models exported from ZBrush can no longer be merged, split, or changed in topology. Otherwise, the models in ZBrush cannot be replaced. Finally, you can set the baking texture in ZBrush. You can choose the texture you want to output. Here, only the displacement texture and the normal texture are baked. Because it is batch baking, the SubTool shows that you want to bake in one. Post the model on the map, ZBrush will automatically bake all and merge. The following are the parameter settings and the final results of the two posters for your reference. 5. Map drawing Next, start to create color maps for each part. First, a set of texture maps for men was selected for the body part. Using Mari's powerful texture mapping, a lot of details on the map are well retained. Then import all the drawn layers into Photoshop to change the skin, draw some exaggerated details such as pores, dark spots, dust, etc. When drawing details, try to use high-resolution maps for drawing. Finally, using some patterns made in PS, map Mari to the character's body according to his own design. In the end, it is still necessary to retain the transparent channel of this layer to facilitate later layer material adjustment. The metal part is first imported into a material, and then the wear, scratches, smudges and other details are drawn in the Mari with a brush or material. Use Mari for hierarchical management. In the process of drawing, you can create a new mair shader. Simple Adjusting the material parameters for observation, you can also create a normal channel, import the previously baked normal maps and observe them to describe the details more conveniently, and then import the PSD into Photoshop for detailed description and color processing. Because our map is finally rendered in V-Ray, we need to set up a simple shader and light at the mapping stage, modify it after rendering and observation. 6. Hair production Use the previously made hair model, convert it into a NUBRS model, copy the spline curve above, and then use the nHair system to create new hair. It is recommended that you create different hairs according to different parts. This is convenient for adjusting different parameters. Try to use fewer hairs when testing hair. White hair has always been a headache, in order to get better highlights and later sub-channel rendering, I used V-Ray hair shaders on the hair system, and created 3 shaders according to different parts. This can achieve more variety of controls, you can hide other objects for quick testing. The fuzz on the edge of the clothes is a stiff mane in my imagination, so I chose to create it with the Shave and Hair Cut plug-in. The comb function can quickly comb the approximate effect, and then test render. 7.Pose rendering composition The character itself is a humanoid, so the HumanIK built-in skeletal system, HumanIK, was used to quickly create standard bones. Then, using HumanIK's automatic binding function, a set of bindings with simple functions can be obtained. The final pose can be placed according to the desired effects and props. The rendering uses Maya's V-Ray for rendering. All the lights and shaders use V-Ray's shaders, which not only can get the desired effect faster, but also facilitate the subsequent sub-channel rendering. For lighting, one main light source, two backlights and one auxiliary light, and an additional sky light or metal reflected light can be added according to the effect. The overall material is mainly metal, skin and leather. V-Ray's 3S texture ball is used for the skin. Simple settings can achieve good results. For leather, due to its characteristics, it is necessary to make a more precise highlight map at the mapping stage, so that the smooth and rough different areas on the leather can be better distinguished by the rendering of V-Ray, and the characteristics of smudges on leather are the only way to Distinguish from metal highlights. In V-Ray, set all the channels needed to output the final composition. The synthesis phase is relatively simple, mainly using channels to make fine adjustments. In addition, adjustments are made to layers such as fog, dust, flames, clouds, noise, edge light, and depth of field. The color must be adjusted to make it cooler and lower Saturation makes the picture present a relatively quiet and mysterious atmosphere.

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