Pipeline (again)


I purchased this Tudor Room by Don Webster from Cornucopia3D, and rendered it out as a high-res HDRI panorama overnight. The textures in the model didn’t really support the resolution I was rendering it at, but a little blurring of the HDRI minimised that issue.

So this morning I imported it into Marmoset Toolbag to use for my rooster. I was looking for an old-fashioned interior as I thought it would suit the rooster better than, say, an arid landscape. Spent some time tweaking the materials, and here’s the final shot.

The original capture missed quite a lot of fine detail in the statuette. I should probably work over it in ZBrush but my skills with that app are probably not up to it yet. More tutorials and more practice I guess. Anyway, I’m very happy with where I’m at with my art at the moment.

Details, Details,…


So I spent some time on the wood texture, mostly on getting a decent normal map. I had to create a bump map from the wood pic and convert to normal in xNormal. Same for the wall, trying to make the cracks look real without going overboard on the rest of the surface. Good thing I’m pretty experienced with adjustment layers in Photoshop.

I wanted to upload to Cornucopia but my first versions didn’t involve Vue at all. However having rendered an HDRI panorama for my rooster image I decided to use that here for the IBL. You’d hardly know it though, as all it has done is provide some pretty even ambient lighting. Still, I could claim that Vue was involved in the making of this image.

I’m really, really happy with this. I think it’s my best CG pic to date. And the workflow was very technical and demanding. I think the composition isn’t too bad either. Largely inspired by the work of Steve Parkinson on Cornucopia – he does a lot of still life type work, although generally a bit ‘cleaner’ in look than this. The slight grunge is part of my style I think. For instance, the chip in the eyebrow. Probably wouldn’t find that in a ‘properly’ modelled object.


I’m using a variety of applications for each image now, and it’s hard to know where to post my work. I was about to upload an image to the Vue forum recently when I realised I hadn’t used Vue for any part of it. Also I use Blender but not for rendering (and not for much modelling or sculpting) so I’m a bit reluctant to upload to BlenderArtists. Most forums are dedicated to a specific application.

Anyway, there’s my blog. And also I’ve started uploading again to CGSociety. I don’t expect to get much interest there as there’s a lot of high-end stuff on that site. Still, better than nothing.



I’ve done some more work on the rooster. Looking much more realistic now. The model hasn’t captured all the fine detail in the original though – I may need to do some more sculpting in ZBrush to bring that out. I’d best improve my ZBrush skills before I try that though.

I’m very happy with this result. The workshop was well worth it. This was not an easy subject, mostly due to the shine, being metal as it is. I’ve done a couple of easier models too, as shown in previous posts. I’m supposed to finish up by posing these in some nice scene.

Proof of Concept


So here’s me (well, from a few years ago) in a rocky landscape, very badly cut out. However, the background is a Vue scene rendered as a panorama ¬†and loaded as an HDRI into Marmoset Toolbag. ‘Me’ is an alpha plane with an old pic and a very roughly drawn mask. Lighting looks fairly consistent. I guess that’s the beauty of image based lighting. So, after spending some time trying to work 0ut how to incorporate a Vue scene into Marmoset, I guess I’ve worked it out.

Needs some Refinement


Here’s the brass rooster I’m working on. This needs some refinement – the non-shiny areas shouldn’t be quite as dark as they are here, and the brass is a bit too yellow, but overall I’m pretty happy with this. It’s a normal-mapped low-poly model (a lot lower than the original at least) and has captured quite a bit of the detail.