Making Of 'Old Toy'
Hi, my name is Daniil Alikov (aka Neutrino) and I'm busy as a Texture Artist working on 3D feature cartoons.Â My profession is my hobby and I'm very happy about this.
In my 'Old Toy' artwork, I wanted to create a warm atmosphere of a summer household evening, when the sunset hits through the window and there is an invisible haze in the air.Â The lonely toy is hanging on the nail and feeling forsaken and unhappy.Â This gives some sadness and drama to the picture.
I used polygon modelling for the creation of the scene.Â This process is always the most fun for me!Â I tried to keep only quads in my wire frame - sometimes this makes the process similar to solving a puzzle...Â But anyway, it's exciting! (Fig.01)
UV-mapping is quite a meditative and laborious process which some people don't like, but me?Â Well, I really love to do it!Â I simply looked carefully for any stretches, overlapping, and I mirror-flipped UV shells to fix them.Â I also tried wherever possible to hide all seams. (Fig.02)
I needed to pose my character, so I created a very simple setup for this guy in order to make him more "alive".Â I didn't use any Kinematics or Constraints; I just applied the skeleton as a deformer. Â I attached the geometry to the bones using the Smooth Bind method, and I distributed the weights of the joints using the Paint Skin Weights Tool. (Fig.03)
Usually, for creating my textures, I use references from Internet, and from my own private library of photographs and textures. Â I also often hand paint them.
In this picture I made colour textures in Photoshop, and partly in Bodypaint. Â For creating the bump and displacement maps I used ZBrush, and then I combined and finished them in Photoshop.(Fig.04)
On the "Old Toy" itself there are a lot of various fabric textures, and I gained helpful experience by creating them all. Accurate UV-mapping was very appropriate here because any stretching of the fine detailed texture, especially of the fabric texture, is immediately visible! (Fig.05)
The fragments of the wallpaper texture were outlined in CorelDraw. Â I then gathered them into a seamless pattern in Photoshop. Â Layers of dirt and decay were then added to age the wallpaper. (Fig.06 & 07)
For the lighting I used standard Maya lights. Â I didn't use Global Illumination and Final Gather. Â I also made other supporting objects for the scene; a tree used for a shadow, and there was also a white plane placed above in order to create the reflections on the wires and in the frog's glasses. (Fig.08)
For some haze in the air I made another scene with one light source. Â I used partiVolume and partiVolumePhoton mental ray shaders, which I connected to a container cube material and to a physical light (09, 10 & 11).
I rendered the scene with Mental Ray in six passes. Â I made two different fur passes, a beauty pass, an ambient occlusion pass, a volume light, and finally an alpha pass.Â The size of all the passes was 2000x3000 pixels. Â Anti-Aliasing samples were min1 and max2. Â Multi-Pixel Filtering method was Mitchell with Filter Size 4.0. (Fig.12)
I then mixed all passes together with different blend modes in Photoshop.Â Finally, I added some retouches and colour adjustments to achieve the desirable mood of the picture. (Fig. 13)
Tip:Â Sometimes it's very helpful to leave the final picture for a while and forget about it. Â Then, looking at it after some time, you will notice some mistakes. Â So you can then begin to compose the image again and the final picture will differ strongly from the previous one.
I hope you have been interested in the 'Making Of' this piece, and that you have found it useful. Â I wish you good progress and inspiration in your own creative work!
Thanks for your time and a big thanks to 3DTotal for the Excellence Award!