Week 2: Environment Shadow Edits

Today, I complied my renders for the motion test of the white sphere. Seeing the ball in motion help me recognize some more technical problems that I needed to fix. The edges of my shadow projection image are not clean enough, contributing to the strange stretching appearance, so I need to go back into Photoshop and clean it up some more. Here's the video of the motion test.

I also began some preliminary tests on the ball material. The look we're going for is similar to a dirty lead ball that still has some shininess, but is mostly matte due to its grimy appearance. My reference as well as my first pass can be seen below.

Material Reference

First Shader Pass

*Note! I have remapped the values of some of my maps within hypershade. The images above represent the source files but the values have been edited within the node network.

I'm not super happy with the shader's specular quality, I think it needs a little more shine and variation. I would also like to increase the displacement map a little more to add more variety to the object's profile. Right now, I have a motion test with the material on the farm and I will post those results tomorrow.

Week 2: Light Passes and Render Layers

Today, I worked on breaking up my render into separate passes for compositing. The different passes I created were a object beauty pass, key light mask, fill light mask, object shadow mask, ambient occlusion, ground reflection, and ground reflection mask. I plan to also create a layer for the environment shadow, but I believe Prof. Bridget is going over that in class on Thursday, so I will wait until then. All of these passes were created using my white ball test sphere so that I could match the reference plate in Nuke before bringing in my new ball to composite. My first attempt at passes can be seen below. A gray background has been added to fill in the background.

And here is my first attempt at compositing the CG white ball into the scene.

I'm pretty pleased with how the lighting match and shadow look; however, I still need to work on the ground reflection and occlusion. Additionally, I had the workflow wrong with the key and fill layers (don't need the masks, just separate passes), so in my next tests I will fix that. I plan start look-developing the shader for my actual ball and creating an environment shadow pass, so I'm hoping to create some better test renders and composites soon. I've included my nuke tree at the bottom of this post. *Disclaimer* I'm still learning proper nuke tree organizing techniques so if something is messy or wrong, please let me know!

Week 1: Camera and Lighting Match

After taking my background plate and reference images, I brought them into Maya to establish a camera and lighting match. My results can be seen below.

Original Plate with Reference Cube

Camera Match with Wireframe

Original Plate with White Reference Sphere

Lighting Match with White Reference Sphere


White Ball Material Attributes

For the white sphere, I was having trouble with the bounce light on the bottom left matching the reference image, but I believe that issue is due to the fact that I am using a flat gray shader instead of a material that more closely matches the ground plane in the background plate. I did some tests with image projections on the ground and that seemed to help resolve the issue.

Lighting Match with Projected Textures

Lighting Match with Projected Textures

I also did a few tests comparing the capabilities of an projection sphere and an AI Sky Dome, using both the ball HDR and lat-long 360 HDR I took. Besides the images and projection type, I kept all of the settings the same between tests. Overall, I liked the results of the AI Sky Dome using the lat-long 360 HDR the best, as it seemed to match the original lighting scenario the closest. The projection sphere method yielded pretty noisey results as well, so more optimization is needed to get a cleaner result.

Projection Sphere with Ball HDR

AI Sky Dome with Ball HDR

Projection Sphere with Lat-Long 360 HDR

AI Sky Dome with Lat-Long 360 HDR

Additionally, I worked on blocking in the animation of the ball rolling through the scene. There are two different versions of the playblast, one with a flat gray material and the other with a checkered material (to test the ball's rolling speed).

I plan to work on matching the lighting and shadows, as well as creating some material tests in the next coming days. I also seem to be having some color management issues in my workflow so I plan to ask Prof. Bridget resolving that.

Week 1: Intro to Project 1

Our first assignment for the class is to integrate a rolling ball into a background plate that contains both light and shadow. We are required to take each of our images (back plate, shadow plate, gray ball, cube, chrome ball, and HDR). Today, I went out to take some photos for project one and got some pretty good sets of images! My favorite set so far can be seen below. I will upload the other sets as I finish processing them. I was able to take my HDR images using the chrome ball technique as well as with the Ricoh Theta S 360 camera.