My motto is "Strike the iron when it is hot". An idea came to my mind recently. I have been doing quick paintings to capture them. Here are some sneak peaks. I planned on focusing more on the painting instead of storytelling. Hopefully they still make sense. Wish to finish them before my idea is cold.
New lighting with hair system for the grass. AA setting of 5 with some noise. Render time is around 20 mins. Thinking of adding more leaves on the ground and a randomized procedural leaves shader.
I found a bonsai tree with texture from the Internet. So I decided set up some scene for Totoro. There are 3 basic lights, key light, rim light and dome light. At the time I was lighting it, I did not have much clue of what else to put in the composite. The warm light did not hit Totoro enough probably because of the leaves blocking it and the setting of amb/diff. The AA sample is 6, diffuse sample 4, and light that is casting shadows has a sample setting of 3. This eliminate most of the noise. The render time for a 1K image is 20-25 mins with the high res tree and furry Totoro. I then put everything together in Photoshop quickly, so tomorrow when I continue I will have a clearer idea.
If Totoro is based on chinchilla I will go for softer and more dense hair. The render time used to be crazy but since I bought new RAM, it is much faster to render. I made the hair thinner and double the count. He needs more combing for details but I am happy with the look in general.
We did this little piglet long time ago when we were still using Vray. Recently converted to Arnold. Render time is half even with more dense fur. AA sample has to be at least 8 to avoid the noise but the outcome is good!
I haven't updated this blog about hair and render for a while. Well life happened. I shall be back on track soon!
This is my pet chinchilla Totoro.
I studied his hair and painted him (image below). His fur coat has layers. I marked the hair direction on the top photo. These hair study could be my reference.
The image below on the left shows the hair from yesterday. The right hand side one is the direction I am aiming after studying the original art work and my chinchilla
My Friend Bin (blog) modeled this lovely creature Totoro. I started putting on basic hair and shaders. I am going to share my way of working on the hair.
At first glance Totoro seems to be an easy task. But the challenge falls upon the art direction since he is not a real animal (at least I have never seen one with my own eyes). My first idea is to use my chinchilla (I named him after Totoro too) as a reference. But as you know, chinchillas have crazy thin hair. They can sprout up to 60 hairs from one single hair follicle! It is expensive to get that thin hair with that volume in CG.
I decided to design as it goes. First I got the model from Bin, which isn't heavy. Then I duplicate the original and put a smooth node on it. Generate basic hair from the duplicate, in this way the hair will be more accurate aligning to the surface of the low res model when rendering with a subdiv. The second image on the left shows the render of the basic hair render with Arnold. I painted the texture for hair coloring in Mudbox. Then the second step of my usual workflow is to scale down hair in the area that I do not wish to grow any hair, e.g.. the eye socket, the inside of the mouth and etc. By default all the hair goes in the direction of the face normal, so my next step is to comb them in the direction I want. To do this, I usually work in sections. For example, take the right side of the belly hair and comb them along the surface. Then I would select the left side of the belly hair. This way, you wont comb some hair in the back by accident. Well, I think just comb whichever way works for you. This can really take time!