Behind the Scenes: Avatar of A Man

2020-04-16

V-Ray for Maya

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

2020-03-13

V-Ray for Maya

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

2019-12-05

V-Ray for Maya

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


3D Works Mouse! Mouse!  Production Analysis

3D Works Mouse! Mouse! Production Analysis

2019-06-14

Maya render farm

This work is the result of whim. The mouse is a relatively common animal at home. When you see it, you want to shoot it on the bricks. The mechanical characters of science fiction and the ordinary environment can have a certain association. From the visual performance, through the stop of the instantaneous action, the viewer has a kind of front and back association effect, let's share the production process with you.

Software used: 3ds Max, V-Ray, PS

First, the composition

Firstly, you only need to set up a simple scene. The object is just a basic form instead. The focus is on the choice of the position and the layout of the object. Since the CG single frame rendering is performed, the object layout can be performed according to the camera view after the camera is positioned, and the layout and positioning map are as follows:

Second, modeling and UV

  1. The production of the hand

Modeling begins after the composition and general object layout are completed. This is a time-consuming basic work, but it is also the key to determining the final quality of the work. It requires basic modeling ability and patience. First select the opponent model, followed by the arm, because the movement of the whole hand determines the "pose" of the work, so I chose to make the first. Then carry out UV deployment and splitting. Specifically as shown below:

  1. The production of clothing

Because the character has a large movement, the clothes must be matched to have a real dynamic performance. The clothing was first modeled in 3ds Max and then imported into Mudbox for engraving. After engraving, it was imported into 3ds Max. Again, the model finishes splitting the UV for the next mapping. Figure:

  1. The production of the head and expression

With the correct posture and the appropriate expression, the character of the work can be more vivid and interesting. In the head of the character, I made some settings in advance, and the hat of the character was also carved in Mudbox, and the number of faces was reduced after completion. Level import 3ds Max to split the UV.

  1. The production of mouse

The mouse must conform to the appearance of the mouse and mechanize it. It is necessary to make some set-ups in advance. Here, only the modeling process and the UV split map are shared.

Since the mouse is a mechanical model, there is no need to rig the bones, and only the "father-child association" can be used to put POSE. The links are as follows:

  1. Model production of small objects

The model of small objects is relatively simple to make, and some of them can be completed by referring to the network search image. Here, I only share the partially completed production pictures.

Third, the material and texture

Some of the main models of this work were UV-split and mapped in Mudbox. The rest of the small objects are just attached to the map in 3ds Max and a UV Maping modifier is added. It only takes some time to split the UV, which saves a lot of time.

  1. Arm texture

After splitting the UV in 3ds Max, you can import the model into Mudbox for texture mapping. Mudbox is very powerful in drawing textures. What I use here is the "projection" function in Mudbox. Map rust or dirt directly onto the imported model and map the model in real time.

Character clothing and head can be drawn in this way. What is needed is the splicing of texture.

  1. Clothing and head texture

It is similar to the method of making an arm.

  1. Mouse texture and chair back texture performance

  1. Complete the texture of all objects

After the texture is drawn in Mudbox, the texture is exported to the PS, and the adjustment in the PS can be added to the corresponding object channel in 3ds Max.

Fourth, lighting and rendering

  1. Lighting layout

Once you've finished making all the textures, you can start designing and laying out the lights. This is indoors, and at night, the light from the computer is dark. The main light source comes from:

A. The dimly lit front wall lamp (the wall lamp is not visible here, so only the light is used to express his presence).

B. The computer screen light.

C. The weak light outside the window.

The specific layout is as follows:

  1. Rendering settings

After the lighting layout, the rendering parameters can be adjusted and tested. The screenshots of the V-Ray rendering settings are shown in the figure:

3.Output the rendering

When outputting, in addition to the output of the rendered image itself, only the output of the Z channel is made.

Fifth, the adjustment of post-production

I chose to add depth-of-field effects with DFusion and color correction in post-production, and imported the file into DFusion to add depth-of-field effects with Depth Blur.

The final rendering is as below:

Author: Liang Xi


Interview with Iavor Trifonov from Chaosgroup for the Future Cooperation

Interview with Iavor Trifonov from Chaosgroup for the Future Cooperation

2018-04-17

V-Ray for Maya

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.)


The Creation Analysis of A Sci-Fi Scene

The Creation Analysis of A Sci-Fi Scene

2019-06-06

V-Ray for Maya




Share the creati**v**e process of this piece of "Airport". The general idea is that the idea - modeling - lighting - material - rendering - synthesis, this is the production process that e**v**eryone is used to. Softwre used: 3ds Max, Zbrush, **V**-**ray**. 

Scene points:

First of all, these are very important, scene work, especially for large scenes. Several key points are very important. Space, light and shadow, scale, composition, and color are all issues to be considered in large-scale operations. Difficult place. The "space" relationship can be roughly understood as the far and near reality. "Light and shadow" is the most important part of the big scene operation. The reason why the scene is true or not depends on the light and shadow. The "proportion" and "composition" are the framework of the scene. . "Color" is only the color.

  1. The idea

The formal process of doing things should be the first-in-the-concept design, and then the production of different precision models in front, middle and far according to the composition. The idea of this work comes from a CG animation of science fiction. The original idea was to build on the ground and make a block, as shown below:

A large number of abandoned cities and vehicles, the architecture is more traditional, are contemporary architecture, adding some science fiction spaceships, but later found that this atmosphere is not enough. It’s a disaster scene to get rid of the spaceship. So I made changes. The building still retains the contemporary taste, adding more military feelings and some iron shelves, as shown below:

But this work doesn't look like science fiction, so it's all pushed off and new. (However, these pictures are kept as other types of works)

  1. Modeling

That is to want a retro, sci-fi feeling, then collect a lot of reference pictures, Transformers, war machines and so on. Later I thought about it. The building does not have to be built on the ground. It can be created directly in the sky with a ship.

The aircraft carrier fits the vintage taste you want. Because this scenario is large, but the total number of models is high, the optimization of the model is crucial.

The model is divided into far, medium, near, and three levels in the scene composition. When doing the model, the different levels of the model have different precision and number of faces.

The aircraft carrier deck is here. It belongs to the level of the medium and long-distance. The model details are relatively simple. Only the accurate proportion and shape can be used. In order to make the smooth flow, it is best not to have too many model objects and perform the same material. The model material is the same as the model. All the models are attached together, and then converted to Eesh, so the smoothness of the operation will be greatly improved. The aircraft carrier model is finished, because it is not the aircraft carrier to do the sci-fi scene, so only the reference element of the aircraft carrier is used. The lower part of the ship does not need to be done. The deck is ready to start the initial composition, as shown below:

The original composition of the building is too high, there will be a feeling of looking up, in order to highlight the scene, the vision can be expressed, raise the camera, and make it into a slightly overlooked composition.

After the composition is completed, the model begins to expand to the surrounding model based on the aerospace building, and the model of the different levels is also based on the near three scenes.

The aircraft carrier deck is very empty when it is not on the plane, adding rails, train guns, and some racks to make the model richer and fuller.

In addition to enriching the model of the current main building of the aircraft carrier, the distant model and the phase sequence of the sub-deck model are used to enhance the sense of space and highlight the level. Figure:

As seen in the above figure, the basic main body model architecture has come out, mainly divided into three layers, the number of models near the camera is slightly higher, the farther the model is, the lower the model, and so on. The final main model is completed, and the most common mistake in large-scenario operations is the random heap model. The model is too dense and has too many details. Therefore, the combination of “whole” and “tight” is especially important, including the character design. Try to use a large overall design to make a piecemeal and intensive design, so that the scene has emotions and will be breathable. (Now many big scenes are all full of details covering the whole picture, or all of them are big details without any details) as shown below:

The main building is completed, the number of faces is already high, and the computer is running very slowly. This is inevitable. The big scene is very demanding on the machine. Therefore, it can only be selected by sub-project files. The works are mainly divided into two project documents. After the main building is finished, it is rendered into a PNG image, or as a proxy object. Create a new software window, directly render the PNG image, or add it to the new software window by proxy. It is recommended to use the method of rendering the PNG image for reference. Because the number of faces is too high, the proxy mode is easy to report. Figure:

This not only saves the number of faces, but also is very stable, and can also be a good reference for composition. Then we started making the model of the second project file. The following is intended to be made into a mountain, the building above and below the mountain, the mountain model because it belongs to a far-reaching scene, the requirements are not so high, directly in the PS made a black and white displacement map to replace the general mountain structure, and then enter ZBrush for some subtle Debugging.

The lower-rise buildings are relatively dense and cumbersome. The work of one building and one building is very large, and the number of faces is not well controlled. Some small plug-ins can be used to achieve the desired effect. The plugins are the same, here are some of the previous tutorials, haha, the same effect. Intensive building with a building cluster plugin, Gerrble.

CUT cut command to cut the new line.

Go to the face object set and select Squeeze.

Complete the above operation and add the building group plugin command.

The building group plug-in can only do some simple building effects and some layouts. It is basically enough in the long-distance scene. After the urban building layout is completed, some whole-piece models are added, and the pavement elements break up the structure.

The substructure is basically completed, you can make some adjustments and add some elements according to your needs, but you must pay attention to the composition, so that the picture is full and not too tight.

Once the model is complete, start testing the lights.

  1. Lighting Because the scene is very large and there are too many models, I have omitted the material step directly. I intend to directly render it into a white mode through channel synthesis and post-overlay. The material representation in this scene is not so important. In the first place. The sci-fi scene is relatively tough, and the light selects the V**Ray sun light plus the V**rayligh's curved top mode.

The main light source selects V**Ray sun light, and V**Rayligh's curved top mode light is used as sky light.

  1. The material

After the lighting is debugged, the material is given a material ball. The material is V**Raymtl (VR standard material), the color is gray by default, and the inverse color channel is added to the Falloff program. The inv**erse color is set to 0.6. The attenuation black and white RGB is set to 0.0.0 57.57.57. As shown below:

  1. Rendering

The rendering test is shown below, the first is the main building rendering test, and the second is the foreground building rendering test.

Light and shadow projection information effects are quite satisfactory, and relatively realistic.

Rendering testing is a cumbersome process, repeatedly adjusting the position of the light until it is satisfactory (mainly because the rendering speed is too slow, and each test has to wait a long time). The following is the rendering of some channels, this scene mainly uses reflection, AO, color, Z, these channels. As shown below:

  1. Synthesis Enter the PS for primary synthesis.

Stack the AO and color channels in a superimposed manner, then collapse the layer to enhance contrast. Find a texture as a whole and add it to the texture.

This way the whole scene has some graininess and basic texture. Then there is the long work of painting textures. In fact, the method is very simple. Just use this image as a UV expansion, and add corresponding textures, pull, match, overlay, and paint on it.

Then add snow, dirty, light and other elements.

Adding the background in the process of adjustment makes the picture more complete. Of course, this is the initial background. Just for a simple look, the final effect still needs to be repeated and the material is finished.

So after the material is finished, enter the final stage of synthesis. Layer one

Layer two

The third layer is more full of the picture, the story is stronger, and some models of the spacecraft are made. The spacecraft model refers to the spacecraft in the ninth district.

The fourth layer joins the pigeons, the smoke, and the snow fluttering in the sky highlights the atmosphere of the scene.

The final overall color, enhance the light effect, and finish.

Of course, in the process of synthesis, I also tried a combination of various versions, watch the following picture:

Final renderings:

Author: Zhang Huanhuan


TOTAL CHAOS: Chaos Group Launched Its Second Annual Computer Graphics Conference

TOTAL CHAOS: Chaos Group Launched Its Second Annual Computer Graphics Conference

2019-06-04

V-Ray for 3ds Max




On May 17, Chaos Group launched its Total Chaos conference in Sofia, Bulgaria with a keynote from the minds behind **V**-**Ray** and Corona. The company rein**for**ced its dedication to research and inno**v**ation, its commitment to bringing **V**-**Ray** to di**v**erse creati**v**e industries and its continuing support **for** the creati**v**e community. 

After an energetic performance from Rio Dance Crew 360 and singers Torlashki Napevi, CCO Lon Grohs welcomed the 1,000-strong audience of Total Chaos attendees to the Sofia Tech Park. Next, Peter Mitev, Chaos Group’s co-founder and CEO, presented the highlights of a busy year for V-Ray and Corona including the launch of V-Ray Next for all major platforms, V-Ray for Unreal, Corona 2 and 3 for 3ds Max and Corona for Cinema 4D. The teams behind V-Ray and Corona have been collaborating closely on new technology. At Total Chaos, Corona’s Research and Development Partner Jaroslav Křivánek officially launched Chaos Research, a laboratory which will combine resources, experiment with new ideas and create the rendering technology of the future. Jaroslav handed over to Corona’s Founding Partner and Main Developer Ondřej Karlík, who celebrated the innovative renderer’s 10th birthday with a demonstration of recently introduced features of Corona, including its caustic effects, and gave a glimpse at how they’ll be refined in the future. No Total Chaos Keynote would be complete without a few words from Vlado Koylazov, Chaos Group’s co-founder and CTO. He introduced some of the exciting features users can expect in V-Ray Next updates for Maya, 3ds Max and Unreal, as well as the official release of V-Ray for Houdini. VP of Product Management Phil Miller joined Vlado on stage to wrap things up. Together, they introduced a brand new demo of Project Lavina, the incredible real-time iteration of the V-Ray engine. DAY ONE The day started with an incredible keynote from the most important people behind V-Ray and Corona. Then, the 1,000-strong crowd dispersed to check out a diverse array of presentations from professionals in the CG industry.

·Art track Arch viz and interior design was the focus of the first two talks on Total Chaos’ biggest stage, with WeWork’s Gregory Rogers and Kengo Kuma Architect’s Tomohiro Matsunaga deconstructing workflows and delving into the role V-Ray plays in their visuals. Then, we switched lanes to a presentation from Sonja Christoph. Her inspirational and moving talk looked back on a varied career which has taken her from work on movies, including Tomorrowland and Doctor Strange, to her current role as an environment artist at Massive Entertainment for games such as The Division 2.

There are many ways of representing the human form, and a trio of presenters showed their approaches to digital characters. Victor Hugo charmed the crowd with his uniquely stylized characters, Ian Spriggs showed how he’s using traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology and anatomy expert Scott Eaton blew the audience's minds with his research in AI and human figures. In a hugely exciting announcement, Ian even debuted a new portrait of THU event founder Andre Luis. ·Women in tech panel

Total Chaos was host to a packed discussion on how women can forge successful careers in the worlds of tech and CG. Juice’s Natalia Lasota, Chaos Group’s Albena Ivanova, Avengers: Endgame’s Production Technology Manager Piya Wadia, Massive Entertainment’s Sonja Christoph and INK’s Ioanna Ivanova talked about their unique career paths and switching between industries, personal and workplace challenges, advice on time and stress management and communication in the workplace, and — above all — how to follow your heart and stay true to yourself.

The Code track area is all about delving into the nuts and bolts of the technology behind powerful CG software. The lineup included software developers Javor Kalojanov (Weta Digital), Steven Parker (NVIDIA), Adrian Graham (Google), Prof. Dr.‐Ing. Philipp Slusallek (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence), Attila Áfra and Jim Jeffers (Intel), and Asen Atanasov (Chaos Group).

This is where Chaos Group’s CTO and Co-founder Vlado Koylazov unveiled some supersmart new features coming to V-Ray Next for 3ds Max, including memory tracking, shader debugging, GPU advances and bump shadow improvements. He also shed light on a new Light Cache algorithm which even works with Project Lavina, Chaos Group’s real-time ray tracing technology.

·Craft track Volvo rev**ved up the Craft Track with a presentation on how it has developed a fully integrated pipeline for real-time and offline rendering and the knock-on effect this has had on the way its cars are built. Porsche’s Andre Matos was in swift pursuit with a look at how V-Ray GPU and VRscans have supercharged his workflow, and he was followed by fascinated and varied talks from Tobias Nientiedt (OTTO), Tarran Kundi (Woods Bagot), Adam Tunikowski and Natalia Lasota (Juice), and Anthony Christov** (IDEA Academy).

London’s INK Studio has made a name for itself in creating clean-but-playful images, animation and VR experiences for the likes of Honda and Audi, and in Ioanna Ivanova’s presentation she showed off some of the tricks of the trade. She demonstrated how Cinema 4D can be used for quick and easy previews, showed a head-spinning Escher ad — and revealed why you should never, ever try to work with cats. The Craft track finished with a journey into the (occasionally horrific) heart of Hellboy from Bulgarian VFX studios Nu Boyana and WorldWide FX. DAY TWO Total Chaos's second and final day was every bit as good as the first. The line-up of 34 presentations and discussions across four stages demonstrated the incredible diversity of the CG industry. The crowds were astonished by AI-powered world builder Promethean AI, inspired to create a mobile game with Gameloft Sofia, learning how Blur Studio coordinates artists around the world or discovering the inner workings of Chaos Cloud. Architecture and design was the theme of the Art track’s morning session. Gensler’s Scott de Woody was the first to grace the Total Chaos podium with his overview of the multinational architecture firm’s approach to creating buildings people want to work in — including an appropriately triangle-based HQ for chip firm NVIDIA.

Continuing the architecture theme was KPF’s Cobus Bothma, who detailed how the company built its cutting-edge pipeline with new V-Ray tools such as V-Ray for Unreal for creating Hololens scale models and easy, beautiful real-time walkthroughs in Project Lavina. The trip down the VR rabbit hole continued with Marko Margeta and Jose Pareja Gomez of Zaha Hadid Architects, and Factory Fifteen’s exhilarating Nissan Formula E experience. Madrid-based creative studio Beauty and The Bit has brought big-screen sensibilities to the arch viz movie with “Landmark.” In his presentation, art director Victor Bonafonte Morales explained his initial intentions and demonstrated how his sketches and previz fed into the final movie.

Meanwhile, in the Craft track, Ingenuity’s Grant Miller went procedural with a guide to how the company uses Houdini and V-Ray for Houdini to create environments populated with dense fauna, crowds of thousands for a Kelly Clarkson music video and piles of bodies for The Walking Dead. There are sure to be some audience members who will make use of Grant’s techniques to cut out the fiddly bits of their VFX pipelines.

Quickfire round! Back in the Art track, ILM’s David Wortley and Falk Boje showed how V-Ray for 3ds Max has been used seamlessly to create environments in big movies including Black Panther’s Wakanda, A Wrinkle in Time’sfloating mountains, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Isla Nublar, Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Skellig Island (with Phoenix FD for the sea) and Rogue One’s tropical battleground. Despite covering so many films, there was no shortage of tips and tricks here.

The Assassin’s Creed series takes pride in its accurate historical recreations — albeit with a dash of 21st-century parkour. In Yavor Yakovliev’s presentation, he showed how Ubisoft Sofia used procedural techniques to recreate Ancient Egypt for Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Next door, in the Craft track, Slashcube’s Thomas Vournazos flew us to “Moon Village.” Developed in conjunction with architect SOM, the European Space Agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this short film used Corona for Cinema 4D to visualize a human colony on Earth’s natural satellite.

How can VR help the architecture industry? And what happens when we create spaces in VR without the constraints of the real world? These are the questions Agile Lens’s Alex Coulombe answered with his dynamic and charming presentation. He looked at how VR has changed the way we plan and explore prospective theaters, and how it inspires new forms of architectural, artistic and theatrical expression.

The day came to an epic end with two major players in the visual effects industry. Digital Domain’s Deke Kincaid showed the evolution of the company’s digital humans and characters, culminating in a thorough breakdown of its spellbinding V-Ray rendered work on Avengers supervillain, Thanos. After DD’s analysis of the 750,000-year-old big bad, Method Studios showed the techniques it used to create a photorealistic baby with an adult voice for a commercial project. The wheels are already turning on Total Chaos 2020. Stay tuned, and we’ll see you in Sofia next year! Cr.Chaos Group website https://www.chaosgroup.com/news/total-chaos-the-keynote https://www.chaosgroup.com/blog/total-chaos-day-one-recap https://www.chaosgroup.com/blog/total-chaos-day-two-recap


V-Ray For Maya of Work “A Girl Under The Maple Tree”

V-Ray For Maya of Work “A Girl Under The Maple Tree”

2019-06-21

V-Ray for Maya

This work is inspired by the fact that I saw an original painting of a hand-painted artist named Sunmomo on the Internet. I really like the feeling of this painting, so I want to use MAYA to try to make it into three-dimensional, and make a model with maya. I will share my production process, hoping to bring some benefits to other 3d artists.

The software used: Maya, V-Ray, PS, ZBrush

This is the original painting by Sunmomo.

Basic model

The basic model of the character is modified with a woman's body of the previous project, as shown below. The original model body structure is also relatively simple and needs to be improved. It mainly perfected the structure of the shoulder, clavicle, sternocleidomastoid, chest and leg, and adjusted the curve of the waist and the ankle. Of course, the face is the main object of the modification.

AdvancedSkeleton

The role rigging is using the plugin of Maya's AdvancedSkeleton. I just plan to make a static frame, so I didn't carefully paint the skin weights.

Clothes model

Then I made the model of the clothes. I first made a rough dress, then turned the clothes model into Ncloth, and the body model was set as a passive rigid body to solve the dynamics of the clothes. The result of the solution is a bit awkward, you need to import it into ZBrush for engraving, and finally return to Maya.

Hair model

After the character and clothes model is done, the next is the hair model. I used some cylinders to make hair styling references, and I plan to make the hair more realitics.

Accessories

There are a lot of accessories on the character. These cumbersome models of jewelry, umbrellas, and birds have taken a long time, and they are basically made slowly with Poly. After the bird's model is done, I bind the bird.

Patching model interspersed

Next, I need to make some repairs, mainly the interspersed between the clothes and the body, the interspersed between the clothes and the jewelry. In order to be more realistic, the rigging relationship between the clothes and the body, clothes and jewelry are added.

But, I am aware of a problem. If you follow the above method, the whole file will become very large, so I remove some of the riggings of the model and clean up the entire file.

After the character model is done, the UV is split. I use Unfold3d, Clear and Fast.

UV split

Map drawing

Next, draw a texture for the model. At this stage, I only drew a few basic textures to see the final effects.

In order to get closer to the original painting, I used some models of maple, bamboo, and shrubs in the scene, made stone bridges according to the original paintings, and leaves falling everywhere.

The model of the entire scene was basically finished. I used a camera with an angle similar to the original, and added a default Lammbt material to all models, added auxiliary light, and added an HDR. I tested the lights with a V-Ray renderer and a lower renderer. After the test, I began to add materials such as silk, stone, trunk, leaves, etc. The gold material parameters and skin parameters are as follows:

Hair making

Now making hair, hair making I use polygons to create curves to guide hair.

I first rendered a small image with very low quality to see the effect. After starting the layered rendering without any problems, I probably divided the main light, auxiliary light, backlight, GI, refraction, highlight, 3S, depth of field, normal, each Object ID, etc. A total of 24 channels.

Final rendering

I improved the sampling of materials and lights. Taking into account various problems such as image size, model size, and material parameters, I finally used a cloud rendering service.

I used Nuke for a post-production synthetic. Because I have rendered a lot of N channels, there are so many things that I can adjust at will in the post-production software.

Nuke node After some adjustments, the final effect is as follows:

Author: Cai Mingxiu


The V-Ray Next for Maya 2019 Has Been Updated

The V-Ray Next for Maya 2019 Has Been Updated

2019-05-16

V-Ray for Maya




Recently, Chaos Group released the **Maya** **v**ersion of the **V**-**Ray** Next update, which is the latest **v**ersion of the renderer, adding a new system **for** tracking and reporting scene memory usage, compatible with **Maya** 2019. 

Also added support for curvature maps, gloss Fresnel effects and V-Ray AlSurface skin textures in the V-Ray GPU rendering engine, and Cryptomatte support for V-Ray proxy sub-objects.

A new memory tracking system for troubleshooting scenarios. This version is the first non-patch version of the Maya version. The main addition is the new memory tracking feature, which provides detailed reports on the peak memory consumption of the scene, broken down by asset type and individual assets. New features should help users identify rendering performance bottlenecks in complex scenes. Update GPU rendering. The V-Ray GPU is the new GPU rendering architecture introduced in V-Ray Next, and this time it has also been updated to support curvature maps and gloss Fresnel effects. It now also supports V-Ray AlSurface, which implements the original Arnold alSurface skin shader. Users can also pause and resume rendering using the GPU sampler. In addition, the update adds support for the popular ID mask generation system Cryptomatte on V-Ray Proxy sub-objects. New lighting features and performance updates. Other changes include a new "Lighting Analysis" render element that can be used to generate a false color map that shows the value of the illumination intensity in the render. There are three new indirect lighting modes in the Light Select rendering element. As usual, there are many performance improvements, and the Chaos Group picks out light samples in many light sources and IPR performance scenarios in complex scenes.


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