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8gb of videos,
models & more!

Christmas 2016

sculpt with impact

Ubisofts pascal blanch
delivers a masterclass!

make a splash with your

pages of training
learn Quixel
for better
creature art
sculpt stylised
flowing hair
Master the tools that are changing the industry, in ZBrush
learn new techniques for Blender, Clarisse & V-Ray! the 10 tips to
model better
Editors wElcomE
Whats hot this issue

fROm 11.25
EDITORs Get print and digital
editions every month,

turn to page 24

Its the water issue! From Disney to Clarisse, learn how to handle fluid sims!

We no longer need to be afraid of water!

The latest release of Clarisse makes
creating water scenes easier, while
RealFlow remains a great way to get
started in fluid sims we have training
for both this issue. Plus, be inspired and
discover how the team at Disney handled
water animation in Moana!

Ian Dean, editor

spOTlIghT On OuR cOnTRIbuTORs

Pascal Blanche Emilie Stabell Varomix
Pascal is a senior art director at Ubisoft A character and environment artist Varomix is an experienced Clarisse
Montreal. This issue he reveals how to at Media Molecule, Emilie shares artist and on page 42, he explains how
improve your ZBrush character creation her process for creating a unique to set up and render a detailed rocky
process. Discover his advice on page 26. 3D illustration on page 30. scene featuring flowing water.

Guilherme Henrique Pietro Chiovaro Michelle Blok

As an art director at Blender Guru, Pietro is an Italian 3D artist. For the As the previz supervisor at The Third
Guilherme knows Blender inside and last few years, he has worked creating Floor Michelle is always busy, but
out. On page 62, he explains how 3D assets and environments. This issue on page 80, she spares some time to
to texture an environment using he joins how Q&A team to share his reveal the VFX secrets behind creating
Blenders node system. advice for rendering glass in Blender. a season of Game of Thrones.

EMaiL WEBSitE faCEBOOk tWittEr @3DWorldMag

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 3

Contents ISSUE 215
ChrIStmaS 2016 Free
Pluralsight video
course for maya
and motionBuilder.
turn to page 52
ShowcaSe Discover the best new digital art from the CG community, starting on page 8

FeatureS Exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the latest CG technology, film VFX and video game art

18 disneys moana 26 character masterclass 30 making the journey

Find out how Disney created its most Learn how to perfect character designs using Emilie Stabell explains how she transformed
complicated CG animated feature yet ZBrush with veteran CG artist Pascal Blanch a piece of 2D concept art into a 3D masterpiece

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 4

tutorialS Practical tips and tutorials from pro artists to improve your CG skills tutorialS
46 create a meteor splash
Set up and use RealFlow to
create a dramatic water sim

58 simulate pouring water

Create a pouring liquid effect
with Vikrant J Dalals process

66 anatomy modelling tips

Master the importance of
accuracy in anatomy modelling
36 improve your creatures
Take your creature concepts to the
next level using ZBrush and Quixel artiSt Q&a
70 your cg problems solved
This months fixes include how
to make glass materials, tufted
geometry and flowing hair

80 news and advice
A new virtual reality experience
42 render a landscape takes us to Everest
How to create a complex, procedural
water scene using Clarisse 3.0
94 boston venom 2501-op
Does the latest workstation
powerhouse stack up?

95 marvelous designer 6
Some new features, but is
it too little for version 6?

96 QuiXel megascans
53 learn new v-ray skills 62 create an environment without uv maps The long-awaited texture
Improve your render process with this Discover the benefits of using tileable textures! Follow the tutorial resource finally arrives!
unique V-Ray workflow and download the artists textures from the online Vault
97 polybrush 1.1
Were excited by this new

inSight News and views from around the international CG industry alternative to ZBrush

24 subscriptions
Save up to 58% by signing up!

52 Free pluralsight course

Learn to create Human IK
rigs for mocap in Maya

78 digital back issues

Missed an issue? Get it here!

80 game oF thrones 89 career advice 90 making waves: hunted 98 Free downloads

Previz supremo The Third Floor on Seasoned animator Alex Williams How photoreal CG waves were Free video training, models,
the Battle of the Bastards and more offers advice to land a dream job created using the Hot4D plug-in textures and much more

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 5

3d world team
Next month

Issue 216

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3D WorlD Christmas 2016 6

CG art to inspire

The best digital art from

the CG community

Zrnyis Charge 3D
Zsolt Ekho Farkas
LightWave, Photoshop,
After Effects

Taking two months to create in

his spare time, Zsolt produced this
masterpiece based on the painting
by Peter Krafft. Zsolt says he used
pure old-school modelling to create
the scene. My plan was to create
a proper animation with cloth and
fluid simulations, and with moving
characters. But the tests were barely
visible, so I skipped them. And I would
have run out of time with the project,
because I had to finish it before the
450th anniversary of the siege.
When not creating epic scenes of
historical events Zsolt runs his own
small graphic-design studio and
works in the games industry as an
environment artist. Hes also recently
begun working in the film industry
on some new VFX projects.
So what did Zsolt enjoy most about
working on the project? Creating the
composition in the beginning and the
final touches, when everything was
coming together, he says.
If you want to see more, then watch
the video breakdown on YouTube at:

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 8

CG art to inspire

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 9

CG art to inspire

The BeasT
Oskars Dzenis
ZBrush, Maya,
V-Ray, Photoshop

This sculpt took Oskars, a 3D generalist

in the games industry, three months
in his downtime to create. It was the
artists first attempt at mastering
character design.
I loved every minute of this crazy
ride! Even the time when my hard drive
collapsed, stopping my project for two
weeks and throwing me back in time
to my last backup that was a week old,
says Oskars. But whats the best way
to learn, other than by going through
a few bumps and road blocks?
Fur was a challenge, as Oskars
wanted to achieve the life-like look
of a shaggy dog. To achieve this, I
had to find the proper techniques to
not just create something looking like
fur, but to also make it react to light
as necessary. To have proper dynamic
lines of motion harmony with the body
pose, and have colour variations to
make it more interesting are a great
addition to character.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 10

CG art to inspire

Fausto Tejeda
Maya, ZBrush, Mari,
Arnold, Photoshop

Alien began as a lunch crunch

project at Pixomondo that turned into
something more for Fausto.
When it comes to detailing and
texturing Fausto recommends the
maps from TexturingXYZ. It is
an amazing resource and I highly
recommend having its assets in your
library, he says. For texturing,
I used basic Mari projections
using textures from Surface Mimic,
another great asset. Afterwards, it
was all in the colour grading of the
textures to then render out the model
with Arnold and the AlShaders from
Anders Langlands.
If you want to emulate Faustos
process, theres plenty of information
on Anders website about using the
AlShaders and a useful guide for skin

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 12

CG art to inspire

olD hangar
Milo Belanec
3ds Max, ZBrush, V-Ray
Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom

Milo runs his own studio in Slovakia,

DeepMind, but in his spare time he
tapped into his love of WWII planes,
sci-fi and steampunk to create this
incredibly rich scene.
I enjoyed studying the way various
materials slowly deteriorate and start
to rust and how nature influences these
types of environments, says Milo.
For example, grass trying to fight its
way through concrete.
In general I really like putting
small details in all of my works as kind
of Easter eggs. I paid special attention
to the small spider web on a bicycle
in the background, as well as dust
particles and steam above the metal
surfaces, caused by differences
in temperature.
For more on this scene, you can
download a step-by-step breakdown
by Milo from this issues online Vault.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 14

CG art to inspire

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 15

is CoMing
Rico Cilliers
ZBrush, Blender, Substance Painter,
Blender Cycles, Photoshop

This detailed mossy scene took

freelance artist Rico three days to
create. I learned some cool tricks
to speed up the process, like using
ZRemesher for a quick retopology,
Substance Painter for quickly
generating grunge and dirt masks,
and using projection-painting to get
realistic textures fast, says Rico.
I used a combination of particle
simulations and dirt maps to get the
moss to grow in a natural way. I also
made extensive use of particles to
generate the tiny flowers and leaves
across the entire geometry, and used
some procedural modelling for some
of the other foliage, he explains.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 16


of Moana
Barbara Robertson discovers how Disney Animation
created its most beautiful CG film yet

John Musker and
Ron Clements

team size
700 artists

Burbank, Hollywood,
the South Pacific


he heroine of Disneys latest what we wound up doing in CG. Even so, feel right, can you help me push this pose?
animated feature is a teenage art director of characters Bill Schwab and Bill says. This is the first time Ive done
princess named Moana, who his team began discovering Moanas look that, even though I had the same role for
tries to save the mysteriously through drawings before handing her to the Frozen. But Ive worked with a lot of the
land-locked people of character team. Visual development artist animation supervisors, modellers, and
her South Pacific island by sailing into Neysa Bov worked on costume, jewellery riggers for 10 years now. Weve built trust.
uncharted waters. The story might have design and hairstyles. The character team: Were all in each others business.
turned out rather differently had writers Bill; animation supervisor Malcon Pierce; The challenge for Moana was in keeping
and directors Ron Clements and John rigging supervisor Mike Navarro; and the teenager heroic, full of determination,
Musker not taken their own journey to the modelling supervisor Chad Stubblefield and true to her heritage.
islands of Polynesia. brought Moana into the CG world. When were thinking about a character,
One of the legends they discovered Drawing is how we communicate a walk is usually the best place to start,
was that after sailing for 3,000 years, the between departments, explains Malcon. Malcon says. We find out if her arms are
Polynesian voyagers had stopped sailing for
1,000 years. This gap in exploration sparked
the story that became Moana.
The big turning point was learning we start rough and then refine.
about the emphasis on navigation,
says Ron, and that right now in the South sometimes a pose can take three
Pacific, there is a feeling that their [the
islanders] identity may be lost.
Together, Ron Clements and John
hours, and we have 24 poses per second
Musker have created classic features Maclon Pierce, animation supervisor on Moana
The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules,
Treasure Planet, and The Princess and the We did markup passes to define shapes too long or too short. If she points her
Frog. Moana is their first all-CG film. for her hair and cloth. When we first got toes. Then, we have her run and test the
John Lasseter [chief creative officer Moanas facial structure, we had drawings simulation on her hair and clothes. We start
of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney for every expression. We tried to hit rough and then refine and refine. Sometimes
Animation Studios, and DisneyToon those expressions, and then did markups a pose can take three hours, and we have 24
Studios] felt strongly [Moana] would be CG, from different angles to improve on the poses per second.
but I wasnt clear that was the best way, shapes and make sure she could breathe
says John Musker. I felt it might be hand- in the world. Before this, I didnt realise Making Maui
drawn. But when we were in the islands, posing lashes made such a difference in For Maui, the character team looked at
I asked people to point us to painters and expressions, he adds. professional wrestlers and body builders,
drafters for inspiration. An artist on Samoa Bill stayed with the team through the men with muscle mass. He doesnt wear
told us there is no indigenous painting entire production to help the 90 animators a lot of clothing, so we had to deal with
culture in the islands. They did sculpture. on teams led by co-heads of animation Amy anatomy more than in other films, says
And, we wanted to make a living ocean, Smeed and Hyrum Osmond. animation supervisor for Maui, Mack
says Ron. The character of a hand-drawn Even during shot production, people Kablan. We pushed his proportions
ocean wouldnt have looked as good as would send me shots saying, Moana doesnt to convey power and charm. Hes a

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 19


Members of the Disney team visited the South Pacific islands

in order to ensure they depicted the islands realistically

few thousand years old and an adored will push him from one form into the other. full head of coiled hair. We knew we had to
demigod. So, hes pretty laid back. We almost didnt need lighting and effects to do something different, head of characters
When he sits, he lets gravity do the work. go from animal to animal. and technical animation, Carlos Cabral, says.
But when hes called to action, he flips As for Mauis tattoos, the inked drawings Hed have wet hair, dry hair, and wind was
a switch and goes from sitting to sprinting represent his accomplishments, and within so important in this world.
in a few frames, he explains. them is an animated caricature of Maui. Moana always had long hair and took
The biggest challenge for the Maui This meant animating 2D drawings on a 3D cues from actress Aulii Cravalho, who plays
character team was in keeping the demigods characters body. For this, the Moana team with her long hair. The interaction between
CG hair and CG hands is always a challenge.
A new grooming system called Tonic,

i think one of the things that which was created for Frozen, evolved for
Big Hero 6 and changed again for Moana;

wows people on this film is seeing the hierarchical grooms from Tonic became
rigs for posing and simulation.

naturalistic hair and clothing movement The new system, Quicksilver, lets artists
pose and move the hair directly. Its very
significant, says visual effects supervisor,
Kyle Odermatt, visual effects supervisor on Moana Kyle Odermatt. With this system, we can
take simulation down to the strands. I
essence during and after his shape-shifting turned to multiple Annie Awards-winning think one of the things that wows people on
transformations into, at various times, a animator Eric Goldberg. this film is seeing naturalistic hair and the
hawk, lizard, beetle and a whale. The small tattooed version of Maui movement of clothing.
When hes a hawk, he flaps his wings slowly became known as Mini Maui, says Eric. Although much of the film takes place
and powerfully, and when he lands, he He has personality and function in the on the water, the film begins with Moana
again lets gravity do the work. Early in story. Maui is a trickster but when he goes on her island, Motunui. The island is not
production, we had a meeting to decide how too far, Mini Maui pulls him back. real; its an art-directed amalgam of various
we would make the transformation look South Pacific islands. Production designer
right, Hyrum says. We decided that any Creating realistic hair Ian Gooding, who came onto the movie early
time Maui moves from one form to the next, Maui was originally bald, but after the team and began doing what he calls fun, blue-sky
there will be big anticipation and then action consulted with the Oceanic Trust, he grew a concept art, was particularly keen to travel

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 20


Fire and Water

New tools and techniques lessened the load for effects artists, and at
the same time gave layout artists and animators more control

During Moanas journey, the from the Lava Witch into the water
young adventurer encounters a that layout artists and character
living volcano, the Lava Witch. animators could place in a scene.
I cant ever remember a Layout artists and animators
character being that challenging, also used foundation effects for
says co-head of animation water splashes and spouts.
Amy Smeed, talking about the Foundation effects gave
fiery lava monster. We did the animators and layout artists
character performance with her. timing control over the splashes,
Then effects added the lava. If we the water spouts, the bursts
had too much lava, it distracted of lava, says visual effects
from the performance. supervisor Kyle Odermatt.
Thus, artists from the effects The effects artists created the
department always participated in data sets that become foundation
lava monster animation dailies. effects primarily in Houdini,
There was a lot of but custom tools made it possible
collaboration, Amy says. They for the data sets to travel
might say that if she stays this throughout the pipeline.
speed, the lava will go crazy. And In addition, a new Splash tool
we might say, But we need her at created for this film enabled the
this speed to sell the acting. team to put Moana and Maui on
A technique called foundation and in the Pacific Ocean and even,
effects helped. Effects artists at times, interact with the water
would build a library of fully in unique ways. See issue 213 for
realised, ready to render smoke more information on foundation
plumes and lava splashes flowing effects and water animation.

to the South Pacific to be sure his designs Ian felt that his ideas for Moanas island water. On Morea, the water was almost
didnt look like Jamaica, his home country. still werent working. I had developed a fluorescent, Andy says. Its a colour we
The geology is very different from the shape language with triangles, but it didnt never see in California.
Caribbean, he says. There, volcanoes feel truthful to the world, he says. So I
explode. Here [in the South Pacific], we brought Andy Harkness on. Andy let the Oceanic environment
have pure magma building islands in layers environment dictate. One thing that worried me was how would
over time. We have coral reefs. We wanted Andy, art director for environments and we create wow moments, Ian says. For
to make sure our trees were specific to that colour, combed photos Ian had taken and much of the film all we have is horizon
with sky and boat and water.
The answer was in the details. The

we caricatured the colours of modellers and texture artists created a boat

so detailed you want to touch it. The lighters

water Because photographs dont turned the water into shades of blue.
Water is not monotone, says Adolph

capture them... water has a range of hues Lusinsky, director of cinematography

for lighting. There is a range of hues.
We caricatured the colours because
Adolph Lusinsky, director of cinematography for lighting on Moana photographs cant capture them. What you
remember as one colour is many shades.
part of the world. We watched how the began drawing over them. I wanted to The lighting team also added caustics
shadows move on the sand, which is one of see what shapes formed from the lava, the to create patterns in the volumes of water,
the things that influences your feeling way it cooled, he says. Everything has but doing so meant an upgrade to Hyperion,
of being there. strength but a soft edge. Plants look almost Disney Animations rendering software.
The team photographed several islands, manicured by the wind but the side the wind Adolph notes that 80 per cent of the detail in
mapped a mountain in Morea, and spent doesnt hit is wilder. Then I worked on scale the water is from the caustics.
time on Tetiaroa. Tetiaroa isnt as heavily and proportions. The islands seem massive As for clouds, the set extension artists
travelled, says Ian. It only had what was when youre there, but when you take a often created the background skies. We
native or brought to the island 2000 years picture, everything flattens. knew that The Good Dinosaur would use
ago. We took close up pictures of trees, The houses on the island look hand hewn. real volumetric clouds and I thought in
bark, and so forth. Even after all that, The colours of are saturated, especially the my jealousy that I wanted that too, says

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 21


Making a sCene
Taking a broad look at how a scene is created at a major animation
studio can help you understand the roles involved and where you fit in

Its often worth taking note of animators begin to bring

the entire process that goes into characters to life by physically
creating a CG animated scene to posing them, frame by frame,
understand the different roles. in the CG environment (middle
Every shot starts at the same image). Its here that CG
point, with storyboards (top animators can get a feel for
image). These are drawn by story the characters and bring a
artists and are the first visual performance to the screen.
representation of the films story The next step is to send the
anyone will see. They are placed scene to the technical animation
side by side in sequence, so that artists to focus on bringing art
they convey scenes and deliver direction into simulated physics
a rough sense of how the story generated by the simulation
unfolds. Its here that the beats of team TechAnim affects how
the film are set. complex elements like hair and
The pre-visualisation phase clothing behave when subjected to
in the CG animation pipeline, collision, gravity and wind, which
known as Layout, allows artists are generated by simulation .
to place cameras and characters The lighting department is
in an environment to block out responsible for integrating all of
shots in a three-dimensional the elements into a final scene
space. The layout pass is based (bottom image). The lighting
on the storyboards and precedes is achieved by placing virtual
character animation. light sources into the scene to
Using the blocking established illuminate the characters and the
in the layout phase, character set for final viewing and editing.

Ian. But when you have fluid simulation beautiful sky and pure blue wouldnt do, we splashing arOund
clouds, what you get is reality. It was hard to took some license. Disney Animation R&D
get the caricatured shapes we wanted using Live action films often take audiences to developed new tools for Moana
volumetric clouds. So, we have some, but other places and times in history, but few
most are painted. animated films accomplish this feat. The Among the new tools created
With the sky occupying a large attention to historical, cultural and physical for Moana are Splash, made for
percentage of the images, and therefore research in Moana transports the audience simulating and art directing water,
the screen, the clouds became especially into another world. and Quicksilver for bringing hair
simulation down to the strands.
Tonic, developed for previous

we knew this would Be the most films, provided hair grooming.

We use Maya as a primary

Beautiful movie ever animated. interface, says technical

supervisor Hank Driskill.

its visually like nothing Before And Houdini for effects data
sets, but we build so much on
top, theyre almost application
Jared Bush, screenwriter on Moana interfaces. The tools the artists
use are home grown.
important to the Disney team. The colour We knew this would be the most
of the sky and the clouds were carefully beautiful movie ever animated, says
thought through to ensure that the way screenwriter Jared Bush, who has also
they looked reflected the emotional content worked on Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.
of the story and events on screen. We knew our story would have to measure
We tried to keep the clouds true to up to the amazing visuals. There are things
the story, says Andy, going on to explain: in the third act that Dave [Pimentael, co-
When there are clouds theres wind, so head of story] boarded that will surprise
when Moanas boat capsizes there are more people. Its visually like nothing before.
clouds, and in calm morning sequences, Moana is out on 23 November in the
the clouds disappear. When we needed a
Fyi US and 2 December in the UK.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 22


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3D WorlD Christmas 2016 25

Pascal Blanch
Pascal is a seasoned
art director in the video
games industry, and currently works
for Ubisoft Montreal. As a freelancer
he has worked for many companies,
including Autodesk, Fantasy Flight
Games and Wizards of the Coast.
Character design masterclass

Ubisoft art director Pascal Blanch shares
his advice to perfect your character designs

here are many ways to designs. Dont worry, you wont become time to study them look for interesting
approach character design. overloaded. Use what you see around you shapes, colours and patterns. Some of them
Mine is one of many other on forums, movies and books to look will feel more right to you, more like: yup
possibilities, but doing things for what you like first or what attracts you. that is the stuff Id like to do.
this way has always worked for Maybe you are in a mood for sci-fi or maybe Try to concentrate on those areas that
me, and hopefully some of these processes fantasy? It has occurred to me that you dont grab your attention and begin looking for
can be applied to your work. really dictate your artistic taste, it is more more references that go in that direction.
The basics are simple: start by getting the other way around. It just so happens Soon youll start to see what you like, but
inspired! We have all heard about the that Ive learned to listen to these influences also and this is very important what you
stress of seeing a blank page in front of us with more attention than others might. dont like in the reference. This is where
that needs to be filled. However, from my If youre working on a commissioned your creation process begins and where
experience, you shouldnt worry about project, or you have a very specific task you you start to fill that blank canvas with
this as long as you keep an open mind and have been given, then looking at how other something that is your own.
continue to be curious. artists have approached similar subjects and
Never allow a blank canvas to excuse projects is even more important. Start setting a theme
your blank mind. Creation doesnt come that Once youve gathered some good With reference set, ideas sparking, its time
way. Instead, fill up your head with other references (I like to use Pinterest), take your to pick up a thematic direction. For instance,
on my illustration on these pages, this
particular render started with the idea of

Build a BackStory
creating my own design of the old Psygnosis
game Shadow of the Beast. I always loved
Creating character motivation the tone, the cover art by Roger Dean and
the music of that game, which became an
Taking my Shadow of the Beast character as There is a prophecy that Aarbrons instant classic back then in
an example, I start to picture who the hero is descendants will end their reign, so they the Amiga days.
and put my own spin on the character. First I decide to kill his one and only son. Except The remake was good, but my artistic
decide this is not the same character anymore, that Aarbron had a daughter too, and when side was kind of frustrated to not have
more a legacy of some sort, so I decide she she comes back home she goes berserk and the chance to work on it. So I started this
is the daughter of the original hero, Aarbron. her true power is revealed. She takes on her project creating my own vision of it. I
I imagine that after a long struggle, the hero fathers monster-shaped skull as a symbol started to gather pictures that would inspire
died and his enemies take this opportunity to of her vengeance and seeks revenge, getting that world using references from Roger
take over the country again. more powerful and dangerous with each kill. Dean, and then expanded into what I felt

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 27

Character design masterclass

was the inspiration for that universe; this A variety of kitbashing

included everything from art by 1990s comic elements were used to add
book artist Simon Bisley to some other details to the character
artists inspired by heavy metal. The Shadow
of The Beast game was brutal but also had
this very airy alien aesthetic, and I wanted
to get back to that feeling. That was the
drive that led me to my design.
The more I create characters, the more
I think of them as part of a whole universe.
I like to picture my characters as part of a
set, for example I consider my character in
a group of similar characters and plot their
role in this new world what dangers would
they be facing?
This helps a lot when creating a design
with more story-related elements, and in
the end, I think that the final design really
benefits from the process.

Gathering elements
My backstory is set, my references gathered
and my research done, its now time to put
together some concepts.
A great way to approach this and enable
me to get inspired and find interesting
designs is to use the kitbashing technique.
Kitbashing was originally created at
Industrial light & Magic as a more effective
way to create spaceship shapes and details
(using tank and planes plastic models) for do the same every time you create a new clear idea of its design, as a good pose can
the Star Wars films and has since further sculpt, save all your elements into a library. influence the characters shape, mannerisms
evolved within the hobbyist community to I use these saved elements to come up with and design. An action pose or stance is
create alternate versions of existing kits. a few interesting shapes to use as a base to important, and can say a lot about what your
This technique allows you to be creative create my characters armour. character is a berserk warrior, a monk or a
using a limited number of set 3D pieces, a knight will all stand in unique ways and so
bit like playing with lego blocks to come up Pose and composition infer their design. Think about classic poses
with new designs. Posing is also a very important part of the that could match what youd like to convey
Over the years, I have gathered a library creation process. I actually like to imagine in your final piece. Also remember that
of kitbash elements, and Id suggest you my character in pose even before getting a inspiration is everything and you should not

the Power of maSkinG

Create details with masks

A powerful way of coming up with great details

is to use the different masking tools in ZBrush.
With masks, you can take advantage of a
topology in no time adding new, interesting
surface details that can also lead to new
shapes. For example, masking is quite useful
to redefine the edges of an object, and later
on in the process, this will help to create more
detailed texture maps.
In the picture shown for my Daughter of
Aarbron sculpt I use a peak and valley masking
setup, and then applied Deformation/Inflate
set to -1 to create some cool denting details.
There are many other ways to use masking
and fit it with your own style. Practise and
experiment with the settings and setups to
come up with new approaches.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 28

Character design masterclass

Pascal used 3ds Max,

ZBrush, Photoshop and
KeyShot to create The
Daughter of Aarbron

hesitate to revisit your references, but for

now focus on the poses, not the design. PosinG is very iMPortAnt. i like to think oF
This will hopefully fuel your imagination!
When Ive found and created my pose, My ChArACter in Pose beFore even GettinG
then and only then do I start to kitbash
my armour on top: a shoulder here, a
kneepad there, some cables floating behind
A CleAr ideA oF its desiGn
to put more emphasis on the movement, and
so on until Ive created my armour. When compositing, I work with separated
renders as this gives me better control, these
colour rules include a classic colour render, to a normal
I have my own way of approaching colour, map and a depth pass.
which is always less is more. I try to use a The first thing I do in Photoshop with my
maximum of three key colours and stick to final renders is isolate the light colours and
using primary and complementary colours. shadow colours on a separate layer using
As you may have noticed, I love playing Color Range (you can use the eyedropper
with primary colours (yellow, red and blue) or select localized Color Clusters to build
and then shift them slightly to get more a more accurate selection). I apply a Hue
interesting results; blues lean more toward and Saturation adjustment on top, and
greens, reds toward orange and yellows. importantly, I set it to Colorize, to force a
Avoid mixing greens and pink or purple consistent monochromatic tone across the
colours as they dont match together. (Only image. This is one of my trademark touches
the Hulk goes all out with these.) and I encourage you to try my technique for
I also use light and shadows to paint more yourself, and then have fun experimenting
colours into my final piece. While lighter with your own recipes. The sky is the limit
tones go with warmer tones, youll find once you get started!
shadows go with colder colours. experiment Read more by Pascal in 3D World 204, Pascal tends to use different variances of primary colours that he
and find your style.
FYI visit shifts in Photoshop to produce interesting results

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 29

The Journey

Game character artist

Emilie Stabell created this
3D scene from hundreds of
individual assets

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 30

The Journey

StyliSEd CG:
Emilie Stabell shares how she turned
a 2D illustration into a 3D masterpiece

ometimes a piece of artwork just Using simple primitives, she was
demands to be rendered in 3D, particularly careful to make sure the
and that was the spark that ignited silhouettes matched the illustration.
Media Molecules Emilie Stabell Since the geometry is flat-shaded and
to spend a year adding an extra wouldnt be deforming, it gave me a lot of Author
dimension to a beloved 2D image. freedom in how many pieces each asset can
Emilie is fan of illustrator Sam Bosma, consist of, says Emilie. As long as I was Emilie Stabell
and in particular his concept Stability. satisfied with the look of my silhouette from A character and
When I showed his illustration to a friend, all angles, I knew I was on the right track. environment artist at
I joked: Imagine if I made this in 3D. It In a sense, this project was devoid of many game developer Media
would be absolutely insane. Not long after of the usual technical, and tedious, aspects Molecule in the UK,
that, I began modelling the first asset, says that go into creating successful 3D, which is Emilie is passionate
Emilie. The sheer scale of the project was most likely the reason why it kept being fun about character and
quite overwhelming, though, so on the first to work on the entire way through. concept designs.
day I started by creating a cube in Maya, and How the lighting hit the geometry also
that was it: a small beginning. became irrelevant. As long as the silhouette
Emilie says her workflow was very looks good, youre on the right track, says
simple: Maya was used for modelling, Emilie, explaining how focusing on the
Photoshop for texturing and ZBrush was front view to match her geometry with the
used to project from the concept. Once her illustration is very forgiving for objects on
3D model was complete she rendered using the Z-axis: As long as theyre overlapping in
Maya Hardware 2.0, and also used After the right order Its really a rather flexible,
Effects and Photoshop to add the finishing different and fun way to do 3D.
touches to the animated scene.
Come together
Start simple Emilie loved seeing all of the disparate
Emilie began by blocking out the assets in parts come together to bring the image to
Maya, using an image plane of the concept life. I have never created anything of this
and setting her camera to front view. scale, and proving to myself that I had

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 31

The Journey

I make sure that my texture control

model doesnt cover when texturing
up the outline on the in photoshop,
concept, explains you want all the
Emilie. Im going to layers you paint
need that little bit of on to be clipped
extra space for when to the mask at the
I add my own toon bottom of your
outlines later group. this will
keep your structure
simple and easy to
navigate. Use your
ZBrush texture as
a guide to where
the details are
positioned on
the model.

the persistence and motivation to do so That painting process began in earnest once amount of resolution for the Polypaint and
was a wonderful experience, says Emilie. the silhouettes were finished, Emilie then then positioned and scaled the model so it
From a technical point of view, painting created the UVs and exported the mesh was ready for projection.
the textures gave me a lot of joy. Each asset as an .obj into ZBrush. I projected the The next step involved using Spotlight
was treated as a separate miniature project, texture from the concept to use as a guide to import and project the concept onto
so I never really managed to get tired of a for the hand-painted textures I made in the mesh. Emilie checked her projection
specific part of the pipeline, and painting Photoshop. I imported the .obj file, divided worked and then exported by going to
remained fresh and fun. the geometry a few times to get a good Zplugin>Multi Map Exporter, and choosing
Texture From Polypaint.
With her texture exported from ZBrush

EAch AssEt wAs trEAtEd As A and opened in Photoshop, Emilie moved

into Maya and took a UV snapshot of the

sEpArAtE, MinAtUrE projEct, assets UVs to set as a layer on top of the

ZBrush texture. She then created a mask for

so pAinting rEMAinEd frEsh And fUn all of her UV shells and grouped them into
appropriate subgroups, in this case: bird,
wing, thighs and legs.
Emilie Stabell, artist, Media Molecule This approach allowed me to create
clipping masks for each group so I neednt
worry about colouring within the lines,
explains Emilie. Another important thing
ExportEd to note is to always make sure your masks

are a couple of pixels wider than the actual
UV shell, otherwise you might run into
Making textures is hard work, issues with Maya displaying black edges
but the results are worth it around the seams.
When it came to the painting, Emilie
Here you can see an example began by applying a flat base colour to
of what a texture looks like everything using the Paint Bucket Tool and
when exported out from her own brushes: Then I quickly painted
ZBrush. Below it is my some rough gradients and colour vibration
finished texture painted in using my Awesome Paint 1 brush. At this
Photoshop, says Emilie. stage, I didnt worry about precision at all,
You will get a good sense of as it was simply about applying some nice
the before and after, and just gradients and bold colours.
how much work goes into the Once she had something decent to work
making of the texture. The with, it was time to switch to the Smudge
projection simply provides Tool using her Smudge Blender brush:
a rough guide to where This brush is optimised for the tool,
important aspects such as so I didnt get any of the lag youd
eyes and key details go on the the texture after Ive exported it from ZBrush An example of how a final normally experience when using Smudge.
model the rest is up to you. texture should look, says Emilie Furthermore, it left behind a bit of texture,
creating that nice, painterly effect.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 32

The Journey

ApplyIng lInE Art

Adding the final outline to 3D images like the ones in this project is easy
if you use Maya, explains Emilie

In order to add a final outline for your Attributes. I tend to stay away from Crease
images, simply go to Rendering in the Lines as they usually dont look good;
dropdown menu in Maya, select the model Intersection Lines are sometimes helpful,
and go to Toon Assign Outline Add New but this depends on your project.
Toon Outline. The final thing to do is to choose the
In the attribute editor, youll find a few colour of your outline. You do this by
helpful sliders to tweak the look. The first expanding the Profile Lines menu below
thing I do is to change the Profile Lines the Common Toon Attributes menu and
from Paint Effects to Offset Mesh as this setting your Profile Color. If youve chosen
will allow you to smooth the outline. Intersection Lines or Crease Lines, the
You can now go in your Outliner and select colour of these can be changed in their
the ProfileMeshes group, and either respective menus as well.
subdivide it or simply hit 3 for a smooth Once youre happy with the look, all
preview. Now you want to tweak the Line thats left to do is to clean up the scene
Width under the Common Toon Attributes. and youre ready to go. To do this, delete
Here you can play around until you get a any unused notes as well as the reference
thickness that you like. plane, save the file and thats it! Youve
Next, youll have to decide if you want now created a finished beautiful little asset
Crease and Intersection Lines, which thats ready to be imported straight into
are also found under the Common Toon the master scene.

An overview of all the main assets Emilie created throughout her

lengthly process over 200 in total

From here on, it was a process of going back

and forth between painting and smudging
until I was satisfied. Lastly, I drew the inner
line art, as I planned to apply an outline
as my final step.

Keep going
As you can see from her workflow, Emilies The steps to add the toon outline in Maya
task to texture and paint every asset by
hand was a mammoth effort that involved
creating over 200 assets. The hardest part
was keeping at it and not giving up on it
halfway through, she says, adding: When
I had done roughly a third of the work, I
had a short period of time where I really
had to push myself to keep going. The sheer
amount I knew I had left to do, made it seem
like I would never finish.
This is when the plan to treat each
asset as a separate project came into its
own: Without this type of workflow, I am
almost certain that I would have canned the
project long ago. Hence, I want to stress the
importance of planning, folder structure and
consistency. They are your best friends when
doing something of a larger scale.
But the end was in sight, the assets
had been modelled, textured and Adding the asset to the main scene

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 33

The Journey

This is how the scene looks through the main camera in Maya The view from above of the final scene in Maya

positioned, and Emilie just had to build emerging from the sand were designed and rendered everything using Maya Hardware
her surrounding scene as depicted in the modelled to support the narrative. I wanted 2.0. Furthermore, I had a limited amount
concept. I started by setting up a camera to hint at the story. This may not be noticed of render layers and only a few elements
with a simple 180 rotation around the model by the audience, but it helps me as a creator to tweak in compositing, so I quickly
and built the environment from there. This to inject a sense of meaning and history into assembled everything in After Effects.
is also the point in time where I started the scene in the hopes that it will resonate. Once in After Effects, Emilie applied the
scenes more subtle effects, including the
flags blowing in the wind and the dust in

thE AMoUnt of worK i pUt into EAch front of the turtle. She then rendered out
to Premiere and for the still images, she

of thE AssEts MEAns thAt i now hAvE used Photoshop to put the finishing touches
to the final images.

A liBrAry of cool chArActErs And props In the end, the cumulation of all of
Emilies hard work meant that she had much
more than a single product to showcase:
Emilie Stabell, artist, Media Molecule The amount of work I put into each and
every one of the assets, means that I am
to think about how the environment is the home stretch left with a substantial library of cool 3D
supporting the narrative and is helping rendering, says Emilie, was a simple task characters and props. Furthermore, I
enhance the original concept, she says. because all the information was stored in decided to create the back of the piece as
As the story concerns a group of the textures. well, which means that the whole thing can
explorers hunting for pirate treasure in a Emilie explains: All of my materials now be used both for still images, turntables,
vast dried-up ocean, some of the scenes were surface shaders and there were no videos and even in real time.
elements such as a pirate flag, a sunken lights in the scene whatsoever. I split the Visit Emilie on Sketchfab to see the 3D
ship and a chunky, rusty metal piece scene into the appropriate render layers and
FYI scene:

the final 3d
concept from
different angles

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 34

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Practical tips and tutorials from
pro artists to improve
your CG skills

ZBrush | xnormal | topogun | quixel | marmoset toolBag 2

Model a creature
froM concept
to render
Tyler Smith reveals how to take your creature concepts
to the next level using ZBrush and Quixel

his tutorial will teach you I make sure the creature can hold Gottfried Bammes, Ken Hultgren,
the pipeline for designing, its own mass and that the limbs, and Terryl Whitlatch. Other good
sculpting, and rendering head and body stand alone as sources are sites like Google and
creatures, but first lets consider well as working together. For the Pinterest, especially if you are
AuThor reference. In order to establish emotional aspect, I look at the making insect- or crustacean-like
good design, there are three types of shapes used, such as creatures. While finding art books
Tyler Smith main aspects I try to keep in sharp, smooth and rugged. on non-mammal anatomy is a little
Tyler has been mind: an attractive balance of Understanding animal trickier, there are tons of scientific
working in the shapes and detail, functionality anatomy is one of the essential anatomy illustrations online for
video game industry of anatomy, or how the creature is skills needed for good creature almost any animal you can think of.
for three years, built, and the emotions that those design. Any creature artist who
and particularly shapes and detail convey. dedicates time to animal anatomy
enjoys producing For shape guidelines, I like is guaranteed to see their work
alien creatures. to look to the rule of thirds, the improve immensely. DownloAD your reSourceS golden ratio, and for lines that Some good recourses to For all the assets you need go to
guide the eye over the creature. start with when developing your
For functionality in the design, anatomy skills are the works of

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 36

the video
if you see the play icon, use the link
Create a creature

click To plAy ViDeo

01a 01b

01 conSiDer The AnATomy

Once a good design is
established, its time to go over
what kind of anatomy is holding the
shapes together. Its important to
determine if the creature is going to
have an endo- or an exo-skeleton,
and start pulling reference for the
creatures you want to represent in
the design. When first setting up
the primary shapes, be sure to keep
the poly count of your meshes low
to prevent lumpy, uneven surfaces
when you go in to sculpt later.
03a 03b

02 look To nATure To
DeTermine AnATomy
For this project, I was looking at
a lot of cicadas for the body; beetles
for the crest and limbs; and squids
pinch brush
Along with the Move
brushes, using the
form. To create a bumpy crustacean
material on the shells, Ill use a
combination of rock alphas, Dam
05 pAinT The mATeriAlS
One thing to always keep
in mind when painting a model
and parrots for the face and mouth. Pinch brush on a Standard to sharpen the edges, is that the colour should direct the
I also like to make sure there is large scale is a great and a nanomesh technique where eye to the points of interest on
a good variety of different materials way to experiment with I decimate the shell body and use the creature and should also draw
in the design. Examples of this are large primary shapes a low poly sphere NanoMesh to attention to the sculpted detail.
the soft fleshy underbelly, for which when designing. create a rocky and bubbly texture I usually start with broad strokes
I look at the abdomens of spiders, all over the surface. LazyMouse all over the model to get a basic
pill bugs and crabs, and the hard is a fantastic tool for creating long colour composition. A good
shell of the crest and back, where clean strokes along surfaces, I use place to start on most animals is
I look at crab and beetle shells. it constantly when I am sharpening the underbelly, which is usually a
the edges of the creatures shells. different value than the top part

03 SculpT The fleShy

pArTS of your creATure
For sculpting the fleshy parts, I use
Another neat LazyMouse tip is that
if you set the step to around .7 and
select an alpha, you can then create
that is exposed to the sun.
After that, I try to figure out what
kind of stripes or patterns could
a technique that involves sculpting some very cool patterns along work with the design. When
out a simple shape, then using a surface. Try it out for yourself. painting, also bear in mind that
the Array Mesh feature in ZBrush
to achieve the ribbed flesh effect.
Then I use a mixture of Offset,
Scale and Rotation to create an
interesting contour shape. Once the
Array Mesh is ready, I also use the
Move brush to tweak the shape and
then DynaMesh the shape to make
an even sculpting surface for the
additional details.

04 STArT DeTAiling
For detailing, I use Dam
Standard, Mah Cut, and Inflate to
create any veins or wrinkles in the 04a 04b

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 38

Create a creature

05 06

colour temperature change can no darkness well for any shape. One way to help value for each map setting. One
create a nice effect, for example, When using Topogun to you place the UV seams where you important thing to capture the
going from a deep dark red to a bake an AO map, make want them is to use polygroups to colour map is to uncheck the Ignore
bright orange or a deep blue to a sure you uncheck the create your UV islands. Alternatively, per-vertex-color box under the
bright turquoise. This sort of change Skylight option use the control painting to protect High definition meshes tab. I then
is a great way to make a vibrant to make sure there and attract the UV seams. use TopoGun for the Normal and
colour scheme for a creature. are no dark values Ambient Occlusion (AO) Maps.

06 uSing mASkS
in ZbruSh
baked into the
creatures underbelly. 08 uVS AnD bAking in
xnormAl AnD Topogun
Next, I bring the mesh into Maya
I keep it the TopoGun cage distance
at 10 on the low polymesh. This
usually works to cover all of the
After the base primary colour and pack the UV shells by hand. high-resolution mesh, but doesnt
scheme has been painted in, I then For texture map baking, I use cause any clipping into the low-res
start to work using the Mask by casting values both xNormal and TopoGun. I use mesh with the ray casting.
Cavity, Mask by Smoothness and Keep max frontal and xNormal for the colour painted in
Mask PeaksAndValleys to start the rear ray distance at 2 ZBrush, using Cavity to capture all
value/colour push and pull with and the mesh scale at the fine sculpted detail, and the
the sculpted detail. I always try to 10 when ray casting in Material ID map. For the xNormal
sharpen the mask once it is applied xNormal. In TopoGun, ray distance, I use a simple value
with PeaksAndValley to avoid set Search Distance to of 2 for the frontal and rear ray
muddy values or colour changes. 1000, and Cage: 10. distance, and leave the default
It is then a matter of deciding
which details would look better on
the design with a lighter or darker
colour value.

07 reTopology
For retopology, I use a
combination of ZBrushs ZRemesher
system and TopoGuns retopology
tools. For organic UV unwrapping,
ZBrushs UV master works pretty


07a 08a 08b

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 39

Create a creature

09 feATher work
To add some feather-like
detail to the area around the face,
I use the FiberMesh feature in
ZBrush with a low fibre count and
large coverage setting with only
two segments. Once I am happy
with the results, I use the Groom
brush to adjust any stray fibre mesh,
then rinse and repeat in order to
have multiple batches of feathers
to assign different varieties of the
feather texture. In some renders,
the feathers look a little too noisy
so I decide to leave them out.

10 Quixel TexTure poliSh

I then take the baked texture
maps into the Quixel Suite for a final
polish pass. The texturing process is
mainly used for any last-minute fixes
to the diffuse or normal map, as well
as punching up the sharpness and
colour richness of the maps with
Quixel overlays, since most of the
detail was sculpted and painted by
hand in ZBrush. 09

11creATing The gloSS/

roughneSS mAp
One important part of this process
colour richness
One good way to get
colour richness in
roughness value than the more
weathered dry shells in its back.
When making insect-like creatures
good as it did in ZBrush. I first keep
the lighting very simple with just
one directional or spot light and
is creating the gloss/roughness the diffuse map is to in Marmoset, I like to have a small an HDR background. With lighting,
map and tweaking it in Marmoset duplicate the base amount of metalness in the shells to it is important to think of the light
Toolbag 2 (Marmoset). A good idea colour map and layer get a bit of metallic sheen, like you and shadow shapes as a new part
is to create a color ID map with it on top with a soft get with beetle shells. of the design and make sure good
different sub tools so it is easier to light layer setting, and composition is established.
assign different roughness values.
This creature has a different ID for
the beak, facial area and underside
then adjust the opacity
of the layer. 12 mArmoSeT lighTing
I take the low poly into
Marmoset with just the AO and 13 mArmoSeT TweAking
AnD finAl lighTing pASS
of the creatures belly to achieve Normal maps first, to make sure I then just start to hook up the
a different more wet-looking that the sculpted form looks as Quixel maps so I can tweak them

10 11

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 40

Create a creature

12 13

on the fly. One other factor to pay

attention to is the specular or glossy
highlights the Roughness/Gloss
map will play in the image.
The last step is then using any
additional rim lights and accent
point lights to highlight parts of
the model for final render. For the
render settings, first go under the
Render tab and set the viewport
resolution to 2:1, then set the
lighting to have local reflection,
ambient occlusion and high-res
shadows. In the capture settings,
I punch in a high resolution of 5315- 14
3614 pixels and set the sampling
at 25x. I then check Transparency
and choose PSD file.
pattern repeat
Using the Brush
spacing slider in
the work of John Singer Sargent,
who breaks down the simple assets
that make a good painting very
15 finAl imAge TweAkS
I hand paint in the depth of
field by duplicating the image,

14 renDering An imAge
wiTh phoToShop
Once the scene is set up and
the Photoshop brush
menu is a great way
to experiment with
well. The main techniques I use are
the Gradient tool and large, soft
brushes to have the creature fade
blurring it and using a mask to paint
the areas I want. After that, its just a
lot of tweaking with levels, vibrancy,
finalised, I take the render into repeating patterns in into the background and keep and colour balance, plus using
Photoshop to start working on the your brush strokes. the high-contrast values focused Sharpen and the Paint Daub filters
image as a painting. I like to look at on the head/face. to simplify the values of the image.


3D WorlD Christmas 2016 41

Make a rocky landscape

ThE vIdEo
If you see the Play icon, use the link



Varomix demonstrates how to utilise
rendering software Clarisse to produce
incredible scenes with ease

Varomix Were going to create a rocky

Varomix has been working in landscape that would be really
the CG industry since 1998. hard to do in other applications.
In his current role, he is a We will explore and play with
VFX supervisor and scanned data that spans millions
Author DOP assistant. of polygons, making thousands of copies of them.
Well use the new Physical
Based Rendering for version 3.0

larisse is a relatively new and all its features, in order to
application, and is more create an amazing-looking scene
than just a render engine, that is gorgeous from both an
a layout or look development tool. artistic and technical perspective.
A key feature is the amount of To help Ive included a video
geometry it can handle billions of walkthrough of my process and
polygons are nothing to Clarisse. my project files, which can be
More studios are adopting found in this issues online Vault.
the software to help manage
deadlines and budgets.
Clarisse also helps artists to be
more creative, as it frees them DownloAD your resources
from the constraints of computer For all the assets you need go to
power by handling these huge
amounts of geometry.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 42

Make a rocky landscape

reVolutionAry softwAre
Clarisse enables you to streamline your
workflow; the new features in version 3.0
allow for quick iterations in scenes with
huge amounts of geometry

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 43

Make a rocky landscape

click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo

01 introDuction AnD oVerView

This project will be a still image that could be a
final piece, or simply research for an animated shot, and
02 creAte the terrAin
To create the base terrain, well use procedural modelling. There are no
modelling tools available in Clarisse, but you can use anything that produces
it requires a bit of focus on getting the right style. The an image in order to shape geometry. This means that actually your options are
process for making the landscape takes advantage of really good, and combined with Clarisses ability to eat polygons for breakfast,
the power of Clarisse, so we can focus on the art and you can tweak and shape your geometry really fast. Well use a combination of
forget the polygon count. two layers of fractal noise to quickly create our terrain, and also add a river area.

Be careful
with scatterers
Its important to
try to use multiple
variations of the
source geometry.
This will minimise
the chances of
patterns or repeated click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo

03 creAte the grounD lAyer

Now that the terrain is done, we can start to cover
it with our assets. Well use assets from the Megascans
04 ADD A seconD lAyer of rocks
Adding a second layer will give the landscape more
character definition. Use bigger rocks but with the same
library, which are incredibly high res. They are also really process as before; create a Point Cloud using the terrain
beautiful and work well for this kind of project. This as a base and scatter the rocks using a scatterer. For more
will be the base layer, so well need to cover the terrain variation, orient the copies to the normals of the terrain by
completely. For this, we need to use a Point Cloud and a putting the Support Normals attribute up to 100 per cent.
scatterer, using the terrain as a base for the Point Cloud. Also use rotation variation for a more natural look.

click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo

05 ADD the tree trunk

I want to make a scene where nature appears lost
and all that is left is this broken tree trunk. Again, using
06 insert grAss
I add grass using the same method as the rocks a Point Cloud plus a
scatterer. This time, I localise the area the grass will grow in using a very useful
the tree trunk from Megascans, I add it to the scene and technique in Clarisse occlusion, I detect where the water and terrain meet
set up the textures, which is simple using the new PBR and use that to control where the Point Cloud creates points. This is very useful
shading. I also add displacement to this asset in order to for a variety of effects just experiment and youll find many ways to use it.
achieve extra detail.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 44

Make a rocky landscape

click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo

07 ADD ferns
Ferns serve as another layer to break up the floor
a bit its a subtle effect but gives nice detail. I use the
08 wAter shADer
The Water shader is the most complex shader in this project since
everything else uses scanned textures. In this case, the shader is created from
Occlusion texture, but this time not to create ferns inside scratch using the new PBR Dielectric shader, which provides a great way to
the big rocks; this will make sure no ferns intersect with the simulate water, but is perhaps too perfect. To get around this, and add a layer
rocks, optimising out instances. This also means if the rock of foam, I use the Occlusion texture again to control two shaders; one that will
scatters change, the ferns will update accordingly. define the foam and the dielectric that makes the water.

lights and
Try not to abuse the
amount of lights
in your scene. Its
easy to add lights
everywhere, but
never forget reality
click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo when you place
lights less is more

09 BAckgrounD elements
To give the scene more depth, I add some of the
same assets to fill the scene in the background. Since
10 lighting
All of our elements are finished, so its time to tweak
the lighting. I basically want to see both light and shadow
the assets are high quality, this works well. Copy or drag areas; the main light will come from the right and the left
a new copy of your assets to the viewport, position and side will be the shadow area. I tend to keep my lighting
rotate them to taste. Combine as many assets as you like; setups simple, in this case just a Directional light and an
the idea is to make something like a rocky mountain. Add Environment light are all I used to achieve this result.
other objects such as vehicles if you have those assets.

click to PlAy ViDeo click to PlAy ViDeo

11ADD fog
Fog adds a nice mood and depth to a scene.
In Clarisse, its simple to create volume primitives and
12 renDering
The new PBR system in Clarisse is terrific and actually very simple to use.
You can achieve great detail and have parameters to control samples for diffuse,
control their decay. For example, I create a box for volume, reflection, and so forth. Since render time for a project like this is not an issue,
then using the Density Curve, adjust it so that in front of giving Clarisse 32 samples for antialiasing and materials will give you a very nice
the camera the density is very low, increasing into the image. But again, you have the control there if you need it.
background. This makes it look more natural.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 45

Make a RealFlow splash

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 46

Make a RealFlow splash

The viDeo
if you see the Play icon, use the link

RealFlow 2015 | Cinema 4D | maxwell RenDeR

making a
splash in
VFX industry veteran rob redman
shows you how to harness the Crown
Daemon for liquid splashes

Rob Redman be the number of daemons and

Rob is a VFX/3D artist with the time taken to simulate.
over two decades experience In this tutorial, we will work
in the film, TV and print with RealFlows versatile Crown
industry. Rob runs regular Daemon (that was introduced
AuthoR VFX training courses. to the software in 2015), which enables you to create, customise,
and fine-tune your crown splashes.
Here, Ill be increasing some

ver the next few pages, settings from the defaults to make
Im going to demonstrate it more ocean-like, but you can
how to build an ocean tweak it for anything. For example,
scene; one where the sea has you could try to create a simple
been struck by something large, sugar cube dropping into a cup, or
like a meteor or a comet, and has a foot splashing in a puddle the
created an impact. This is just one possibilities are endless, but the
example, and to make the training same tools apply.
easier to follow, Ive used simple
geometry, but you could use the
same workflow with more complex
objects; for example, you could
use the same process to simulate DownloAD youR ResouRces
the impact that an aircraft would For all the assets you need go to
make if it were split into various
pieces. The only difference would

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 47

Make a RealFlow splash

click to PlAy ViDeo

01 file setuP
Everybody has their own way of storing files, but
saving regularly and taking control of your files is vital.
02 cReAte A PlAn of AttAck
Before you start, create a plan of attack. Work out what your pipeline will
be; this will save you time later on. For this project, Im going to work in layers.
You can let RealFlow specify paths for your project, but The ocean will be one layer, with the comet/meteor hitting the surface.
I suggest choosing a location yourself. I use a second There will a large amount of spray which will be another layer, and the crown
drive, which I back up regularly. Double check that splash will be a third layer, meaning Ill import three animated meshes into
Export Central also points to the same place. Cinema 4D later on in order to work on materials and lighting.

Reality check
The mind is a clever
thing and can trick
us into thinking
we know what
something looks
like. Go and throw
stones in a lake, to
see how water really
reacts to impact.

03 ADD the seA

From this point, we will mostly deal with the
big splash section and to do this we will add a Square
04 initiAl setuP
Before we start on the more sculptural crown
splash, the water needs to look and act realistically.
Standard Particle emitter. I make mine 5x5 and, rather To do this, I first add a Gravity Daemon with the default
than emitting particles that will need controlling, I use settings, then a Noise Daemon, which will add a little
Volume. You do this by simply setting a Volume in the natural chaos to the water, providing some organic-
Emitter tab. The figure you set is the depth of the fluid looking variation. To stop the water falling, add an open
and for this example a low value is fine; I used 0.3. topped cube and resize to contain the fluid particles.

Seeing noiSe
Keep it visible by using RealFlows Noise Daemon
Its easy to use and can solve many of problems, I use the Noise Daemon to break up the smoothness
05 ADD A RefeRence object
The spray and swell will all be taken care of in
a separate pass and simulation, but its still useful to
you can get in some simulations, and for this its perfect. Save time simulating by going to the Noise reference impact. You can either use the base model
Nodes display tab and turning on Visible Noise. The default may be unsuitable for your project, so from your main 3D app or a piece of simple geometry.
increase the spacing and reduce the magnitude until you get a clear picture of what your noise is doing. It wont be part of the simulation, so all you need to do
is place it in the centre of your emitter and lower it.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 48

Make a RealFlow splash

Kill zone
Banish escapees
Sometimes a particle will find its way out of the area you are working
on and, although this isnt always a problem, it can lead to extended

06 ADD A cRown DAemon

Next, add a Crown Daemon and make sure the bottom of it intersects
with the water, preferably sitting quite low down. This makes it suck the
simulation times and other issues. You can add K Daemons to stop this,
but there is an even simpler option: If you are working with an open top
cube or a cubic emitter/domain, use a solid cube instead and hide it from
particles into shape more easily. At this point, hit simulate to see what affect view, which will prevent any particles from squeezing out of the area.
it has; select the Emitter to better see whats happening. Youll probably find This saves a node and is a simple option to solve this common problem.
its neither realistic or attractive, and it probably looks like small-scale viscous Just ensure its tall enough to encapsulate any and all particles.
fluid, so theres still a lot to do.

Although outside
the scope of this
tutorial, make
sure you get your
materials right, or
your simulation
wont be believable.


07 woRk on sPlAsh Volume

The next thing to do is to get the volume of the
water looking better, instead of using the default paper-
08 mAke moRe sPikes
The scale of the splash still looks too small, but you
can fix this by going into the Daemon tab and double-
I recommend working
on single elements
and layering them
thin sheet of particles wrapping round the crown. This is clicking the Spikes count until it reaches ten. Remember either in your
typically scene-scale dependent, but for my example of this setting in case you want to adjust it later. Now run rendering app or in
a 5x1x5 sized Emitter, a crown width (in the Daemon tab the simulation again and you will see that you now have post, to take the
of the node) of 0.2 is about right, although I may increase more vertical detail, although we still need to work on the strain off both your
this when I up the particle resolution. overall shape. computer and brain.

09 use cRown eDit moDe

Although the Noise Daemon is helping to break
things up a little, the splash still looks too clean and
10 sculPt the imPAct Angle
At this point, I want to define the overall angle of impact, which for my
example will be fairly shallow, so the leading edge of the splash will be pushed
regular. Select the Crown Daemon, hit the big Edit button further forwards and upwards. This is a simple job of selecting the appropriate
to access all the live viewport tools needed to sculpt handles around the edge of the Daemon, and moving them into place and
the splash. You should see a yellow border around the playing around with them. I run the simulation to better see what Ive done and
viewport, meaning you are in Edit mode. keep editing until the impact looks how I want it.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 49

Make a RealFlow splash

11Refine the sPlAsh

Its getting there, but the splash needs some
refinement, so do another pass of adjustments, and
12 ADjust the sPikes
Now its time to refine the splashs spikes, and by now you have probably
noticed the control handles at the tip of each. Go ahead and move these into
increase the Spikes count if you need to make the splash position. For this look, Im following the pattern I chose for the main splash
larger. Mine looks too tall so I reduce it near the base to with much longer spikes at the leading edge. This, combined with the other
make it look more like an inverted cone, keeping the front daemons will look great and will also take some of the volume out of the tips.
much taller than the back to give a sense of momentum. I increase my Spikes count to 15 at this time too.

making waves
This piece (right) adding extra detailS
uses the techniques Meshing extra particles in Cinema 4D
in this tutorial,
layered up in
multiple passes Add an emitter
and particle types. In Cinema 4D, you can
generate extra particles,
which use spheres for
geometry and can make
pretty good extra bubbles
for spray and foam, using
any renderer.

13 meshing the PARticles

Head to the Mesh shelf and add a Particle Mesh,
making sure its connected to your Emitter in the
Relationship Editor. Now adjust the mesh settings to get
the geometry you want. This tutorial wont go into that,
but I will say that you want to find a balance between
emitter density and polygon size, to get a watery look. set up the
Not strictly a simulation,
but you need to position
the Emitter by the Impact
and give the particles
some Varied, Life, Speed
attributes, and add some
Gravity so they fall back.

no geometry?
If you use Maxwell,
you can add a Particle
Mesher tag to the

14 PRePPing foR exPoRt

Youll want to refine the mesh as the defaults will be too blobby and
thick looking. I suggest applying one of the Maxwell materials and using Fire
Emitter and from its
attributes, add Size to
your particles, along with
from the display shelf to visualise your mesh. Then its just a case of exporting Fill Particles, Positioning
to your chosen main app for lighting and rendering. I used Maxwell Render in Settings and Motion Blur.
Cinema 4D, and Fusion for compositing and some colour correction.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 50

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3D WorlD Christmas 2016 52

Create a space travel scene

3ds max | v-ray | photoshop

discover a new
v-ray workflow
Michael Nowak explains why he loves VRayTriplanarTex

Michael nowak Photoshop, and much more! at why it can be a good idea
Michael is a CG artist from I hope that you learn from it. to render lots of V-Ray passes.
Poznan, Poland, who has Over the course of the tutorial, Finally, we will move to
worked in the industry since we are going to go through Photoshop where I will show you
2007. He likes combining every production stage of my the layers that Above The Sky
author different techniques in order project, beginning with some contains, and tell you my secret
to create his art. basic elements like creating and for how to make the dramatic preparing our 3D model. I will lighting streaks in the night sky.
then tell you where I source my However, before we begin,
additional models from, as well as I want to offer you some advice:

o be able to create this how to make your 3D model look The first rule to keep in mind
tutorial for 3D World is really detailed and how you can when youre creating cool art
a real pleasure for me. achieve these results in a short of this kind is that there are no
Im going to talk about how I space of time. rules. I find that the key is to trust
achieved my project Above The I will show you which settings your eyes and your imagination,
Sky, an idea that came to me one I use for my camera and how I and to always try and think
night, when I was sitting on a prepare my lighting, in order to outside of the box!
rooftop and looking at the stars. get sharp and clear renders. I
I thought how amazing it would will also explain why using the
be to travel across the galaxy in Override Material function is so
a small capsule. important for me and why the
Here I will discuss the VRayTriplanarTex has proved
techniques I use in my everyday so revolutionary! DownloaD your resources
workflow, how I created my We are going to go through For all the assets you need go to
complex materials in V-Ray, how to manage and create
how to use different tools in complex materials, before looking

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 53

Create a space travel scene


01a 01c

01 references
The first step for me is always
looking for inspiration. When I
mind come up with something cool.
Sometimes it takes a couple of tries
to get the final shape, but going
model. I used this for screws and
the sphere generators you can see
around the capsule. The Greeble
began this project, I knew only one in without a set idea sometimes tool is another one I use a lot; you
thing: I wanted to create something produces the best outcomes. can make a detailed structure really
cool in the galaxy. I found pictures fast with it.
of Gagarin capsules and thats how
the idea was born. 03 aDD Details
I spent a few hours working
through the details for this image. 04 MoDelling insiDe
My aim was to present this

02 the Basic shape

In 3ds Max, I always start
with a basic model and then let my
I really recommend using a Spacing
tool. It allows you to easily spread
your elements through the whole
capsule as a small flying house.
I knew that I was going to use a
lot of everyday items, so I started

Depth of field
Its great for close-up
shots. When you look
around, youll notice
that you cant focus
on everything you
have in the room.
We tend to focus on
specific objects, while
the rest is blurry.
Remember this when
creating realistic
close-up shots!
02 03

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 54

Create a space travel scene

04 05

06 07

building my base model. I would VRayTriplanarTex was introduced. play with colours opposed to spending time UVW
recommend taking a look at the It is a really clever algorithm, Use your imagination! mapping the object.
3D Sky website ( which allows quick assignment of Take some brushes
where you can find plenty of
quality models. Its also a great
place to share work, in order to
bitmap and other 2D textures on
objects that dont have suitable UV
coordinates. The texture works by
and play with them.
Sit for hours and play
with different colours,
08 Basic Materials
The next stage, which also
happens to be my favourite, is
help other artists. projecting one or more textures sizes and blending materials. I always start with basic
For nice looking wood panels, along the object space axes, modes, to find the parameters; I want to see how the
I recommend you look up the depending on the surface normals right tone. Its great reflections and colours behave on
FloorGenerator plug-in. of the shaded object. to use Adobe Kuler to specific elements. If Im happy, then
For me, its more important find more information I move on to the next, and more

05 set up your caMera

Before I move to the lighting
stage, I always set up my camera.
to focus on great texturing as about colour. advanced, stage.

You can see in the image (top right)

that I only changed a few values.
I wanted to have my image bright
and clear thats why I keep my
shutter speed and f number low.

06 lighting test
If I have my camera placed
correctly, its time to set the
lighting. I always use the Override
Material option in V-Ray. It allows
you to see how specific materials
behave in your scene. Its also great
for clay renders.

07 uV Mapping
In the past, I used modifiers
like Unwrap UVW and the UVW map
a lot. Everything changed when

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 55

Create a space travel scene

09 coMplex Materials
In the picture (right) you
can see one of my materials
from this project. I love to blend
materials in order to create
something unique and more
realistic. In this example, you can
see that I was trying to recreate
metal material, which is a bit old
and has a lot of scratches and rust
on it. I knew that if I wanted to
achieve good-looking material I
had to use a few well-made layers.
For scratches, I used a simple
chrome material (nothing fancy
high reflection with high IOR value
and GGX as a BRDF), which was
blended with the main material
using an alpha mask. I used this
same process for the rust material.
Like I said, I didnt use any of the
UVW modifiers. Every texture is
VRayTriplanarTex map assigned.

10 aDjust lighting
Here I had an exact vision
of my final image. I knew that
trust your eyes,
not values 11 selecting passes
I always work with V-Ray


somewhere I needed to add Earth Im not a technical Render Elements. In my basic The purpose of rendering out
in the capsule reflections, so I guy. For me its not package I have: multiple passes is that it allows
looked up the best pictures of the important if values Reflection Filter: to raise reflection you to tweak all aspects of an
planet. My main light in this scene are physically correct. in post-production image. For example, global
is an HDR image, which I raised up If a final result is Diffuse Filter: works great for illumination, direct light,
a bit and turned off the visibility to looking good, you are colour correction diffused light, reflection,
have freedom in post-production. on your way! ExtraTex (with VRayDirtMap inside) specular and so forth.


3D WorlD Christmas 2016 56

Create a space travel scene

11 12

12 working in photoshop
To make this stage easier
I divide my image into three main
elements to work on:
1. Dust: where you can find a
few blended layers, with some
particles floating everywhere.
2. Capsule: contains a basic render
mixed with render elements.
3. Earth and stars: made using
textures that I found on the
internet and then scattered them
around in the scene.
These things blended together
brings me to my final image.

13 lighting streaks
I also want to show you
another effect that I made in

Photoshop. Several people asked

me how I make the lighting streaks
look so cool and its really simple.
Over the years Ive built a collection
of random textures, where I can also
find sparks. Changing the Blending
mode to Screen and tweaking it
using Curves and Levels can give
you really cool results, as seen in the
picture (right). Sometimes, I also use
distortion plug-ins to get the final
shape exactly how I want.

14 colouring
At the final stage I always
use Levels and Curves, in order to
raise contrast and brightness. This
will give a whole new identity to
your picture.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 57

Master pouring liquid

the viDeo
if you see the Play icon, use the link

RealFlow | 3Ds Max | aFteR eFFects

Simulate pouring
water in realFlow
Vikrant J Dalal explains how to create a realistic pouring
water effect using 3ds Max and RealFlow

Vikrant J Dalal liquid. For example, you should but for this tutorial, we are
Vikrant has nine years know what viscosity is and what going to use standard particles.
of experience in VFX, surface tension is, and how Whenever you approach a
arch-viz and graphic design they affect the liquid. Different new workflow such as this one,
industries, and now runs his types of liquid have different you should use it as a base for
author own training website. properties, some pour faster than experimentation, so make sure
www.project01design others, for example, and knowing you adjust your parameters and these means you can tweak this settings to discover new and
workflow to create different types exciting results.
of liquid. In my folder on this issues

his tutorial will cover how Various software and plug-ins online Vault, you can find my
you can simulate a liquid can be used to create liquid set-up files for 3ds Max and
pouring effect, which can effects for example the Phoenix RealFlow, as well as a video
be adapted to pour anything FD plug-in for 3ds Max, Bifrst walkthrough of my process.
from water to milk, oil, paint or in Maya, and of course Houdini
even honey. and Cinema 4D but Ive chosen
To start, youll need to to use RealFlow as its accessible
consider how water pours and and delivers consistent results.
do some research. Before you There are different techniques DownloaD your resources
start working on this kind of you can use to make this effect in For all the assets you need go to
effect, you should have a good RealFlow, for example standard,
knowledge of the properties of Hybrido or Dyverso particles,

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 58

Master pouring liquid

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 59

Master pouring liquid

click to play ViDeo

01 create a Glass shape

In 3ds Max, I create a container from geometry
into which Ill be pouring the liquid. I create a cylinder,
by going to Create Panel>Geometry>Standard
Primitives>Cylinder and change the parameters to Radius
02 export Geometry from 3Ds max
After finishing the geometry modelling, its time to work on sending
this geometry into RealFlow. To do this, I select the geometry and go to the
1.0, Height 3.0, Height Segments 5, Cap Segments 2 RealFlow Tab in 3ds Max, then click on SD File Export Settings and a new
and Sides 8. Then I set the Position to X: 00, Y: 00, Z: 00. window appears. Then I select the Selected Objects option, set the path
Next, I convert this geometry into Editable Poly and to save my geometry and click the Export button. My geometry is now
delete the upper part or polygons, so it looks like a glass. saved with the .sd format.

always use
Look at real examples
of flowing water for
03 set up a
realflow scene
After finishing the modelling
better understanding. and exporting my geometry,
Knowing how the liquid I need to import this
behaves, looks and geometry into RealFlow.
interacts with solid So I open RealFlow, create
objects really helps. my new Project making sure
to check the Scale Options
and set the Geometry
Scale to 0.5. Next, I go to the
Geometry section and click
on the Import Geometry
button, then select the .sd
file I saved earlier, without
changing anything in the
parameters. Ive now created
a basic scene.

04 photoshop: create a map

In this step, I need to create a map that will used in RealFlow to emit
particles or liquid. So first I open Photoshop, open a New File and set the
05 realflow: use a Bitmap emitter
Next, I go to Standard Particles and select Bitmap.
I place this Bitmap emitter on top of the glass, so I can
resolution to 1000 x 1000 pixels. Then I set the background colour to black, pour the liquid in. I go to Nodes in Node Params, and
and next select the Brush tool and create a V shape, making sure this shape scale the size to 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5. Then I go to Emitter in
fills the black background area almost completely. Refer to the video tutorial in Node Params and make the same changes in parameters.
the online Vault or interface image for better understanding of how to do this. I select Emission mask in Emitter, go to Particles and set
Resolution: 300.00, Density: 100.00, Int Pressure: 0.30,
Ext Pressure: 0.10, Viscosity: 5.00, Surface Tension: 00.00.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 60

Master pouring liquid

import tip
There is one other
way to import a mesh
from RealFlow into
3ds Max. Go to Create
Mesh Loader,
click on it and drag
into your viewport,
then import the mesh.

06 realflow: GraVity Daemon

anD simulation
Now I need to add some Daemons to ensure the physical
07realflow: meshinG
To create a mesh, I select Bitmap>Mesh>Particle
Mesh Legacy; the Particle Mesh option in Nodes now has
properties of my liquid work correctly. To add a Gravity one more Bitmap. Next, I select Particle Mesh and set the
Daemon, I first go to Daemons and select Gravity Polygon size to 0.005. I turn on the Filters Relaxation: 0.4,
Daemon. I dont change anything in Parameters, keeping Tension: 0.0, Steps: 128. Then I select Bitmap, which is
Gravity at 9.80. After setting the Geometry, Particles and inside the Particle Mesh, and set the Blend Factor to 95.0
Daemons, its time to click Simulation it will take around and Radius to 0.0075. Select ParticleMeshLegacy, then go
two to three hours to complete the process. to the Mesh section and check the Build Mesh Sequence.

motion blur
Its really hard to
get motion blur in
RealFlow Mesh in
3ds Max, but Ive got
a good solution.
First select the
RealFlow Mesh
and select Object
Properties, then
change the motion

08 import mesh into 3Ds max

In a moment, Ill work on shading, lighting and
rendering, but before that I need to import the mesh into
09 V-ray: shaDinG, liGhtinG anD renDerinG
I change the renderer to V-Ray and go to Material
Editor. I create a V-Ray light and place it on the liquid
blur type to Object,
now press [F8] to
open Environment and
3ds Max. In 3ds Max, I go to the RealFlow tab and click then set Multiplier to 40. I press [F10] for Render Setup, Effects, go to Effects
Create BIN Mesh Object, a new window appears. set Image sampler Type to Adaptive; Min shading and click on Add,
Then I go to the folder where I have saved my file, then rate to 4, turn off image sampler, then go to Adaptive select Motion Blur
go to the Meshes folder, select .bin file and click on image sampler and set Min subdivs to 1, Max to 8. In and experiment with
Open. My mesh is now in 3ds Max. Environment, I tick GI Environment and add motion blur. different parameters.
I set the output resolution and path, and click Render.

free materials
If you are good
at shading, you
can create your
10 compositinG
final output
After finishing the rendering,
own material, or I import render elements into
you can download After Effects and then drag
one from www. them into the Time Line. Then, I select Liquid Element and
which is free. For this go to the Effect section in
tutorial, Ive used a the header, then go to Color
free material from the Correction>Brightness &
V-Ray site. Contrast, and set them as per
my requirement. Next, I add
Color Balance. To do that, go
to Effect>Color Correction>
Color Balance. I then render
the composition into my
required format and I get my
pouring liquid.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 61

Texturing using tiles

blender | photoshop

using tiles
to texture
a scene
Guilherme Henrique demonstrates his
workflow for effective texturing in Blender

Guilherme Henrique and ruined objects, just so they can

Guilherme has been using load dozens of grunge textures and
Blender for the past eight splat them all over the place. Theres
years and has worked for a very famous saying, If your
Blender Guru as a freelancer computer didnt crash, then there
autHor on a variety of projects. He werent enough textures. Well,
also teaches in 3D schools. now its famous. I got the chance to create this
piece, called The Courtyard, to
showcase the latest tiling textures
from Poliigon, the texturing factory

exturing can be a little where I currently work as an art
tedious, and it only gets director. Therefore, most of our
worse if your scene promotional artwork ends up being
has 4,000 objects, thats why I quite biased, based on my personal
decided to find a new workflow. texturing tastes grunge.
Blender has a powerful built-in I also needed to find a way to
node system for shader authoring, show the benefits of tiling textures,
and with enough knowledge, something that can be very obvious,
I bet you can even open black but sometimes we just dont think
holes there, so its a great start for about. That was the moment I
our texturing journey. Software realised I could create an entire
like Quixel DDO uses the mesh environment without using a single
data stored on bitmaps (Normal, UV map. How? I hear you cry...
Curvature, Height, and so on) to Lets find out!
mask parts of objects and apply
textures based on its features.
Here Ill be doing exactly the
same, but using the raw sculpted
geometry as the input. DownloaD your resources
Its amazing what a good texture For all the assets you need go to
can do for a model. I think thats
why many people love to create old

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 62

Texturing using tiles

01MappinG textures
My goal is to be 100 per cent UV-less, so I can blast lots of sculpts
quickly, without having to worry about retopology or mesh unwrapping. Each
sculpt is decimated and imported to Blender. Being provided with an infinite
amount of 8k tileable textures from Poliigon, all I have to do is change my
texture mapping from Flat to Box Projection, and change the Coordinate
system to the Object space, under the Texture Coordinate node.

02 set up tHe sHaDer FounDation

All objects have a nice base texture built in with
very little effort, and Im able to start layering other
textures above it. For the base texture Im using a nice
clean stone texture, along with its respective maps. For
each additional texture added later, I will follow the same
03 layerinG textures
Once the base is done, we can move forward with adding texture layers,
so lets start by adding some broader weathering to the edges. This will help to
scheme mentioned here, using the four maps described define the main sculpt features that often get lost in the final render. Under the
and setting the projection to Box Mapping. Geometry Node you will find the Pointiness attribute, which we will be using.

spot the changes

Use complementary
colours instead of
textures, if youre
having trouble
debugging your masks.
Doing this makes it
much easier to see the
amends youve made.

04 tHe pointiness attribute

This is nothing more than the curvature data of
your mesh, with lighter values indicating convex angles
05 tweakinG Masks
To control the curvature data, I use the ColorRamp
node, but any node that manipulates colour/data would
and darker values representing the concave angles also work. By moving the ColorRamp sliders to the
similar to a Curvature map. With this data on hand, you extremes, I can mask specific areas of my sculpts. To
can use the dark and light spots as a greyscale mask to create even more interesting masks, you can go deeper
control the blend between two sets of textures, or even on the node setup and multiply this mask with a scratch
blend between entire node groups. In fact, anything that texture, and mask the output with a procedural noise
has a Fac input. or grunge texture.

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Texturing using tiles

07 aDDinG Dirt
At first I use an OSL shader to compute an Ambient
Occlusion pass for me to use as a mask for the dirt,
but rendering with OSL takes a lot of time and doing

06 aDvanceD layerinG
Following the same concept, I use several other data outputs as masks;
the Z channel from the Normal output to mask the top of my model, gradient
additional raytrace passes are not that optimal either.
Instead I use a quick trick to achieve similar results; since
the camera is locked, I figure I can render an AO pass
textures to darken the textures near the ground, and even things like the from the camera angle and project it back to all the
Height map from the base texture. The sky is the limit. geometry at once, in order to mask the dirt areas.

09 paintinG Moss
The previous hack proves to be very effective,
so I decide to use the same method to create the
moss and mould that demanded interaction between

08 Dirt projection
Since Im using instanced objects, I have to find a way to project images
onto objects without relying on UVs. The answer is to map the texture to the
different objects. For that, I take an OpenGL render of
the viewport and start to paint a moss mask above it in
Photoshop. Together with this, I also use some moss
Camera view using the Window Output, which is located under the Texture textures to make alpha masks, creating quite interesting
Coordinate node. hard-edged shapes.

10 sinGularity sHaDer
Now I have a material that automatically assigns textures based on
a set of rules defined on the Depsgraph, and works out of the box with any
11 Final sHaDer
This is what the final stone and concrete node setup
looks like. Youll notice that theres more involved than we
new mesh I bring into the scene. This gives me the freedom needed to create can showcase here you cant breakdown an 80+ node
many different assets and test new ideas without compromise. However, it setup in 10 steps, but these extra nodes mostly follow
should be noted that a workflow like this can quickly eat all your available the same basic logic we saw here. Get the data from the
memory. This scene, for instance, used around 24GB for all the meshes and geometry/texture, manipulate to fit your needs, then use
textures. Thankfully RAM sticks cost the same as a dinner at a fancy restaurant it as a mask to drive a parameter. You can create some
nowadays, so that shouldnt be a limiting factor anymore. really big node setups and look like a mad scientist!

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 65

Anatomy modelling

ZBrush | Blender

improve your
human anatomy
Sharpen your skills with expert advice from Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs angle is particularly useful and human figures. Ill begin by
Matt has worked as a time-saving when compared with explaining my process with
medical artist for over 12 traditional techniques. It can also an overview of how you should
years and teaches at the be used as the basis for numerous prepare for a complex project
University of Sunderland. illustrations by hiding or slicing like this, then well get into the
author He is also a council member individual muscles, organs and software tools that can really
of the Medical Artists blood vessels, essentially creating help make anatomical modelling
Association of Great Britain. different levels of dissection. a lot easier, plus how to use them. The following ten tips are I hope you can take away from
based on my own personal this tutorial a new way of working
workflow, where I jump between with complex models.
Blender and ZBrush to create a

hen creating medical 3D model of the human body.
illustrations its Dont worry if the subject
extremely useful looks too complicated, the core
to have a comprehensive 3D workflow can be applied to DownloaD your resources
anatomical model of the human many modelling and sculpting For all the assets you need go to
body. The ability to rotate the processes, particularly if youre
model and render from any aiming to create realistic, accurate

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 66

Anatomy modelling

01a 02

01 always start with

gooD reference
The quality of your reference
the best source
of reference
Getting first-hand
reference, and these should always
be obtained from reliable sources.
The very best source of reference
the proportions of the skeleton, if
the skeleton is wrong this will have
a knock-on effect and the overlying
material is very important in experience of surgical (and the most difficult to access) structures will also be wrong.
creating a successful and accurate procedures is the best is first-hand experience of surgical
model. Its important to consider
the function of the anatomical
structure before modelling. Learn
source of reference,
or you could try to
attend a course at a
procedures or within a university
cadaveric research setting.
This allows you to appreciate
03 Muscle attachMents
anD insertions
When adding muscle, its useful to
and understand what it does: does university that deals the various textures, colours and know where the muscle originates
it extend, flex or rotate the bone? with human anatomy functions of different anatomical on the bone and where it inserts.
Leave paper and pencil alone until in a cadaveric setting. structures. There are several courses The best way to do this is to find
the mind has grasped the meaning around the world offering access to reference images showing you
of the object, said Max Brdel, these facilities, and many of these outlined areas on the skeleton
first professor of medical art and courses are part-time. Its always indicating the origin and insertion
founder of the Art as Applied to worth contacting your local medical sites. You can then ensure each
Medicine Degree at the Johns university to see if they can help, end of the muscle covers the
Hopkins School of Medicine. there may be mutually beneficial correct skeletal region and this
There are numerous sources collaborative projects on offer.
of reference out there, including
anatomy/biology books, video
tutorials/demonstrations, pathology
museums and exhibitions, such
02 Begin with a
skeleton MoDel
By creating the skeleton model,
as body worlds and, of course, first you are able to create the
the internet. The internet can be framework for all the other
a valuable source of reference anatomical structures. The muscles
for finding images, illustrations can then be overlaid onto the
and movies. However, this should skeleton and the human form
be used with caution as there will slowly appear. The ribcage
are numerous inaccurate and and pelvis will also define the
misleading illustrations that may boundaries for the internal organs.
cause you to incorporate mistakes Bones have a very specific shape
into your model. and have numerous flat surfaces
You should try to use several and protuberances where muscles
different illustrations for your attach. Pay particular attention to 03

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 67

Anatomy modelling

04a 04b

information also gives you clues as the polycount reasonably low

to where the muscles are positioned without compromising the quality
in relation to each other. or limiting the detail. To do this
unwrap the model in ZBrush at

04 Make use of
ZBrush uv Master
Unwrapping models can be
its lowest subdivision level and
create a texture map. Select Create
Displacement Map and ensure Flip
time-consuming. I use a feature V is selected (to flip the image),
in ZBrush called UV Master, which otherwise the displacement map
automatically unwraps your model will be upside down when imported
for you. This saves a huge amount into Blender. You can then add the
of time and is surprisingly accurate, displacement map to the model in 06
even on complex models. Click Blender using the Node Editor.
on ZPlugin and select UV Master.
Select Unwrap and ensure your
model is at its lowest subdivision
level. Then go to Texture Map and
06 inflate your
MoDels in ZBrush
I find that when importing models
of the skull. Start with a plane and
then in Edit mode position the
geometry over the skull. Extrude
select Create from Polypaint. When into ZBrush, some volume is lost the geometry and the vertices will
you export the model from ZBrush, after subdividing the geometry. To stick to the surface of the bone. This
a texture map will be generated get around this, I always inflate the will automatically give you the shape
with the .obj file. object slightly before sculpting. of the muscle. You can use a Solidify
Select Deformation and then use plan ahead when modifier to create the thickness you

05 use DisplaceMent Maps

for a low polycount
The human body is composed
the slider on Inflate to add a small
amount of volume.
creating muscle
Start with the deep
muscles first. When
require. Here is my process:
1. Click the magnet icon on the
menu bar.
of countless major anatomical
structures, which means your
model will become quite dense
07 use the Magnet tool
When making certain muscles
in Blender, such as the facial
you add the next layer
of muscles, you can
then use the deeper
2. Select Face from the Snap
Element menu next to the
magnet icon.
with increasing numbers of objects, muscles, use the Magnet tool to muscles as a guide to 3. Ensure the projection icon
therefore its important to keep snap the geometry to the surface their correct position. is selected.

08 Make use of auto

When certain areas of your model
become quite thin, such as the
coronoid process of the mandible,
it can be quite problematic when
sculpting. This is because the
brush also affects the geometry
behind the surface you want to
sculpt. In order to avoid this,
click on Auto Masking and
then select Backfacemask. This
will automatically mask off the
geometry behind and prevent
unwanted deformation.
05a 05b

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 68

Anatomy modelling

a b c

07a 07b

08 09a 09b

09 parent all oBjects

to an eMpty
When modelling, its useful to make
create a rotation
in Blender
When creating a
of the model. Select all the objects
in your model and then [Shift]-
select the empty in that order, as
Inevitably, you will make mistakes
so its important to constantly revise
your model and strive to make the
multiple renders from different turntable animation the empty will be the parent object. anatomy as accurate as you can.
angles to check the overall form. in Blender, use the Press [Ctrl]+[P] and select object I have been working on the
You may want to keep the lighting Graph Editor to create from the list that appears. You can project seen on these pages for
set-up in the same place and rotate a constant rotation then move, scale or rotate the entire many years, continually making
the model itself. By parenting all the by changing the model using just the empty. adjustments and modifications.
objects that make up your model Interpolation Mode to I have completely rebuilt the
to an empty, you can easily control
the rotation of the entire model by
keyframing the empty.
Linear. Another way
to make the rotation
loop is to press
10 revise your MoDel
You never really finish a model
like this one, anatomy is a complex,
model from scratch several times
and I am continually adding new
bones, muscles, nerves and other
Create an empty by pressing [Shift]+[E] and select endless subject and you could anatomical structures. You will soon
[Shift]+[A] and selecting Empty Make Cyclic. spend a lifetime trying to illustrate notice that each time you revise your
from the menu, then choose Plain all of the systems and structures model, the quality and accuracy will
Axis. Position the empty at the feet that make up the human body. also improve.

10a 10b

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 69

Artist q&A
Your CG problems solved

Practical tips and tutorials from

pro artists to improve
your CG skills

Jonas Ronnegard
Jonas is a Swedish freelance
3D artist who works in Japan.
He has worked on many big title games
over the years, including Halo 5.

Francis-Xavier Martins
Francis-Xavier is a character
artist and CG generalist
based in Brighton, with over a decade of
experience in video games, media and TV.

Pietro Chiovaro
Pietro is an Italian 3D artist
who creates 3D assets and
environments, and is currently working
on an open-source game.

Kevin Kleyla
Kevin has worked within the
arch-viz world for the past
16 years. He currently works as a 3D
designer for NA-Collective in New York.

Jason Knight HoW can I speeD up

Jason is a freelance digital
artist with over 33 years
experience. His latest obsession is his
my texture process?
much-loved Wacom tablet. Martin Ashford, UK
Jonas Ronnegard replies

I made this model, Whale Class The textures help break up big, flat spaces
Transport, for Allegorithmics by providing variation in roughness, while
vehicle competition: A Road Trip in 2116. small, tiled details help it work well up
The mesh was created in Maya 2016 and close. To spend less time on texturing,
the textures in Substance Painter. use a procedural workflow and do as little
One aim was to create a detailed custom painting as possible 90 per cent
concept as quickly as possible. To add of my textures are created with materials
GET in TOucH detail without baking it from a high poly,
I used my own height-based alphas,
that Ive created beforehand. I custom paint
height details, then I delete and adjust
which I had already baked from high-poly roughness and dirt details where needed.
EmAil yOuR quESTiOnS TO meshes. Without this, most of my mesh When it comes to working on assets would be flat and simple. with a lot of polygons, and possibly 4k or

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 70

Artist q&A
Your CG problems solved

When working on assets with a lot of polygons and 4k or 8k textures,

cut the mesh into parts to work in as high resolution as possible

Try to keep textures as procedural as possible (custom painting comes

last). Faint colour variations do a lot for textures

Roughness is key to believable materials. Mix different procedural masks

with different roughness values to get realistic randomness

8k textures, its a good idea to cut your Try to keep your textures as procedural eXPeRt tiP
mesh into parts, as well as into different as possible: custom painting comes last.
texture sets. This will enable you to work in Substance Painter comes with a great Use the Mg light geneRatoR
higher resolution as you can use multiple number of procedural smart masks, as
sets of 4k textures. It will also help improve well as dirt and metal generators, and the
To easily place dirt on surfaces that
performance when youre working with ability to create your own generators with face upwards, the MG Light Generator
models with high polygon counts and high detailed settings and custom maps so
resolution textures, because you can hide make use of them. Faint colour variation
is a great option. I usually use this
parts and focus on only working on one. can do a lot to enhance your textures, too. generator to put dust on top of objects.
In addition, this approach will keep your However, roughness is the key to
layer count down, again making a positive creating believable materials, so work with
Start by adding a generator to a fill
impact on performance. multiple layers of detail. Mix a few different layer by right-clicking on the mask of
When youre creating detailed textures procedural masks with different roughness
or materials in Substance Painter, things values to get a realistic randomness using
the layer and selecting Add Generator.
can easily become clustered, with folders multiple layers of roughness doesnt mean Choose the MG Light Generator. Rotate
inside folders and layers inside those. It making everything look like water versus
will save you a lot of time to correctly name dry surfaces.
the arrows to choose the angle.
your layers and folders from the start. It depends a lot on the material, but
Performance can also be an issue if you usually subtle details work best. Finally,
have too many layers, so get rid of anything dont be afraid to turn down the opacity
thats unnecessary. on your layers to speed up the process.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 71

Artist q&A
Your CG problems solved

CliCK to Play video

HoW can I sculpt
floWIng HaIr In ZbrusH?
Darrell Shock, US
Francis-Xavier Martins replies

Ill be using my Loish fan art brush to bend it in different axes. The small
model to illustrate this concept strands at the front were created using
by the amazing Lois Van Baarle. Once the Curve Tubes brush at a small size. This
your model is sculpted and posed, youll method will get you there, albeit tediously.
need to plan how to lay out the hair. This Recently Ive been using a more efficient A DynaMesh sphere is useful for blocking out a shape for the main
particular model was tricky because there method for laying down the hair: I use the body of hair, as it can remesh with even topology
was so much of it, so I approached it in ZRemesher brush to lay down the curves
a few ways. and, once Im happy with the layout, I
For the main body of hair, I use a select my Curve brush, tap on the curve eXPeRt tiP
DynaMesh sphere to block out the shape. and theyre created in place. I can then split
I dont have to worry about stretched them off and sculpt on them as usual. ContRol yoUR CURves
polygons because DynaMesh can remesh The advantages to this method are that
with even topology. I use the Move tool to you have better control over the curve, and
Sometimes youll find when using the
block out the main form and then I use the you can use the base DynaMesh hair to Curve brushes that the curve doesnt
Curve Strap Snap brush to draw over the redraw more curves where and when you
mesh where I wanted the hair to go. I use need them.
stick to the mesh even with Snap
the Brush Size options to set and adjust the One thing to note is its good practice turned on. If this happens, go to the
Width and Stroke Curve options, to control to try and draw your curve from the root
how it tapers. out: this way you know your taper is going
Picker menu, then go to the Depth
Next, I split the straps into their own to be consistent. Use LazyMouse for more tab and change the option from Once
sub tools and use the Dam Standard brush control and turn the curve snap distance
to sculpt in strands. For the flyaway hairs down (Stroke>Curve modifier) so your new
Z to Continuous Z. This should solve
I use the same brush, and then the Move curve doesnt snap to the old one. any issues with the curve.
3D WorlD Christmas 2016 72
Your CG problems solved

eXPeRt tiP
CliCK to Play video
CoMPositing tiMe
When you finish setting the scene, you
can go into the Compositing Node panel
to apply more effects to the project.
There are a lot of elements that you can
use one of these is the Glare filter,
which will give added realism to the
reflections on the glass.

you can fix the property

of the glass in the node
editor panel

HoW can I create
a glass materIal?
Maryan Hortensius, Netherlands
Pietro Chiovaro replies

One material that I use Shader. After that, connect the ColorRamp BSDF shader, fix a Roughness value of
frequently in my projects is with Math, and then the Math converter 0.010, and a value between 1.000 and 3.000
glass. To create a glass material, first you with the Transparent BSDF shader. for the converter Math. Also, for Math, you
need to select the object in which you want When youre happy, you can then have to replace Add with Multiply.
to assign the material. Next, you should connect the Light Path with the second Mix Now that the material has been created,
navigate to the Node Editor panel and add Shader specifically Light Path>Shadow you can do some experiments, changing
the following nodes: a Light Path input, Ray with Mix Shader>Fac and connect some of the values or adding other
a Fresnel input, a Glass BSDF shader, the first Mix Shader and the Transparent shaders. Depending on the effect that
a Glossy BSDF shader, a Transparent BSDF shader to this second Mix Shader. Finally, you want to achieve, its worth connecting
shader, two Mix Shaders, the converter you can connect the last Mix Shader to the some textures such as hand smudges,
Math, a ColorRamp and finally, of course, Material Output. scratches, dust and liquid stains to the
a Material Output. Now you have all the connections, Roughness options in the Glass and Glossy
Once youve done all of this, connect but you need to fix some values. The first shaders. This will give more realism to our
the Fresnel input, Glass BSDF shader and element that you need to fix is the Fresnel material, and, of course, therefore more
Glossy BSDF shader with the first Mix IOR set a value of 1.350. In the Glass realism to our project.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 73

Your CG problems solved


HoW can I create
sImple tufteD geometry?
Josh Bennett, UK
Kevin Kleyla replies

For many 3D artists, tufted many precious minutes trying to fix bad most minimal components, and locate
geometry is intimidating and geometry, but its usually faster to start the repetitive pattern or tile within the
time-consuming. However, the creation over with a clean slate. (Im not saying geometry. Most likely this is a single tuft,
method is actually quite simple its only give up just that modelling is a process, or the centralised location of one button,
complex in appearance. Tufted geometry and sometimes it takes a few iterations to from where the majority of the geometry
can take on many forms, but the basic create the best, most efficient, geometry.) radiates and connects to the centre of
structure is always the same and its usually Most importantly, dont overwhelm the next button. In simplest form, a tuft
based on a repetitive pattern. yourself. Dont try and create an entire resembles an X-shaped pattern of five dots.
The best advice I can give for modelling tufted sofa right out of the gate. Start In this example, Ill show you how to
tufted geometry is to keep it clean and by creating a single tuft, and then clone create a single tuft that you can clone,
keep it simple. Geometry can quickly that tuft multiple times until it eventually multiply and adjust as needed. Im going
become overly complicated, so try and stay becomes a sofa its about small steps. to focus on a quarter of the tuft, which is
in control. If you find that your geometry is With visually complex geometry like the true repetitive tile. Once you model
getting messy, start again. You can waste tufting, you want to break it down into its and detail a quadrant, its just a matter of

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 74

Artist q&A
Your CG problems solved

eXPeRt tiP
Use ReFeRenCe geoMetRy
When modelling geometry that will eventually be smoothed, place a Clone/Reference
geometry right beside your working model. Also add a TurboSmooth modifier to
the referenced geometry. This will allow you to see your modelled actions smoothed
interactively; which will save you some time as you wont need to turn the modifier
off and on to check the final results.

steP-By-steP CreATe TuFTeD GeomeTrY

01Base geoMetRy
Create a two-inch, eight-sided
Ngon and convert it to an Editable Poly.
02 ModiFy geoMetRy
Modify the original geometry to
create the basic tuft shape. Select the
Select the polygon, Inset twice and Weld internal loop, move it 0.5 inches back.
the centre to remove any unnecessary Select the centre vertex and move it 1.5
vertices. Next, clone an instance of your inches back. Now select the lower left
geometry by snapping the lower right vertex and move it 0.125 inches forward.
corner to the upper left corner of your Make the top geometry unique so you
original geometry, and rotate it 180 can select the original geometry and
degrees. Select the original geometry attach both tufts together; weld the
CliCK to Play video and clone the top/left edge, aligning it vertices. All that is left is to add now is
to the centre of the new geometry. the detail; crease and button.

adding a few symmetry modifiers and a

button to complete the tuft geometry.
Throughout the tutorial, Ill be using
Reference geometry, which will be visible
03 add detail
Select the four edges which span
from one centre to the other, then
04 MUltiPly/tile
All you need is the square tile
which exists between both centre points;
on the lower portion of the example Chamfer the edges a very small amount. delete the polys outside of that area.
images. The Reference geometry will Now, ring-select the new edges from Now add a Symmetry modifier in the
have a TurboSmooth modifier applied to one centre to the other and Connect; X-axis, and one in the Y-axis. Convert the
it, so we can view the smoothed results creating three full loops spanning from full tuft to an Editable Poly. Finally, create
interactively. Each step will show the base one centre to the other. Weld the centres a 0.5-inch sphere with eight sides. Scale it
geometry were creating and modifying, as and the mid-points to remove any in the Z-axis, place it inside the recessed
well as a smoothed version so we can see unnecessary vertices. Select the three centre, and then attach it to the main
how each step affects our final design. Ill central vertices and move them 0.25 piece of geometry.
also include numeric measurements, which inches back. Now you have a crease.
should be used as reference only.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 75

Your CG problems solved

eXPeRt tiP
MonIToR RendeR pRogReSS
I recommend rendering to a new
window and not direct to file, when
working with Iray. This allows you
to monitor the render progress. You
can always cancel the render once
it reaches sufficient quality for
your liking, and hitting cancel will
always leave you with a render that
you can save, too.

CliCK to Play video

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 76

Artist q&A
Your CG problems solved


HoW Do I tame tHe renDer

settIngs In DaZ stuDIo?
Cameron Grant, UK
Jason Knight replies
I began using Daz Studio
back in 2012. It improved
on all my favourite features from Poser
and eliminated many annoyances. But I
discounted it as just being useful for posing
and dressing character and I preferred
rendering in Cinema 4D. However, with Daz
Studio 4.8 Pro adding support for Nvidia
Iray, and taking advantage of my graphics
card for rendering, I decided to give it
another try.
I found myself bewildered by the
interface, with its many settings and ended
up heading to the web to look for tutorials
and tips. I would like to share a bit of what
Under the Editor section (within the
General category), for Pixel Size enter
02 saMPles and tiMe
By default, Iray is set to go to 5000
Max Samples, and thats a good start for
Ive learned, and hopefully help others your desired render size (in pixels), width preview renders, but it wont be enough
avoid being overwhelmed by Daz Studios x height. For the Aspect Ratio, enter your to render a finished image without
render settings. desired aspect ratio in the fields in width graininess. If your render gets to 100 per
Iray was created by Nvidia and requires x height format. For example, if you select cent but still looks grainy, you may need
that you use at least one Nvidia graphics 4x3, the render will be four pixels wide to add a higher value to the Max Samples
card with CUDA cores (such as the GTX for every three pixels high (or 4:3 aspect setting and increase the Max Time as well.
980). On the Render Settings tab in Daz ratio). For my non-standard size images, Iray will stop rendering when it gets to the
Studio, choose Nvidia Iray as the render I just enter the same values in the Aspect lowest (or earliest) of the two settings.
Engine. You will see an Editor and an Ratio fields as I do in the Pixel Size fields.
Advanced section. The Advanced section
is where you select or deselect your
graphics cards and CPU you want to use.
I recommend using just your graphics cards
as I have run into bottleneck issues when
trying to render with the CPU. If you have
a good graphics card, things should render
plenty fast without CPU selected.
Before I get started with a render,
I double-check to make sure Im using
Iray materials on my character and any
background objects. Using 3Delight or
other textures will slow the render in Iray.
Some of the most important settings
are listed under the Editor section, and its
these settings that I will focus on.
Iray will spend most of its render time
03 RendeRing QUality
If Rendering Quality Enable is set to
Off, Iray will just use the Max Samples and
04 ConveRged
As I understand it, the Rendering
at 0 per cent and between 90 per cent and Max Time settings to determine when the Converged Ratio is a function of the time
100 per cent. It may appear to be stuck render should stop. With it On, Rendering and samples counts. I read somewhere
at times, when Iray is focusing on refining Quality linearly increases render time each that apparently its impossible for Iray to
details. I try not to panic, as this doesnt time you raise the number. So, 2 is double get to 100 per cent, so to avoid errors its
necessarily mean a render will take an the value of 1, 3 is triple the value of 1, better to set it at or under 99.9 per cent
exaggerated amount of time. and so on. I tend to leave mine set at or (I use 98 per cent). Tweak this setting if
Also, by tweaking the render settings, below 5. You can increase this number if you want to make sure everything runs
you can essentially set Iray to keep you really want to try to render forever and long enough without resorting to the
rendering forever then watch the stop it on your own. Quality setting. Click on Render and go
progressive render, and cancel it when get yourself a cup of tea... you deserve it!
it looks as good as you want it.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 77

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Issue 214 December 2016

the Blizzard VFX pipeline
Blizzard shares its Houdini pipeline for making CG foliage
Master the ultimate ZBrush character sculpting workflow
Learn to use photogrammetry techniques in your projects
Discover the VFX behind Marvels Doctor Strange
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Issue 213 NOvember 2016 Issue 212 OctOber 2016 Issue 211 september 2016 Issue 210 August 2016
real-time cinematics Game art skills animation special the Future oF hyperreal cG
Unity shares the making of its Eidos Montreals modeller Discover Laikas innovative stop Discover the cutting-edge tech
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Finesse your ZBrush modelling Follow Naughty Dogs VFX Master the art of facial rigging Master skin texturing in Maya
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Render a windy beach house Get started in Amazons new Set up perfect displacement Learn the techniques needed
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3D WorlD Christmas 2016 78

Issue 209 July 2016 Issue 208 JuNe 2016 Issue 207 mAy 2016 Issue 206 AprIl 2016
Get started in FilmmakinG master creature modellinG the art oF Film VFX Become a pro Games artist
Artists turned film directors top Jurassic Worlds Ian Joyner shares How the VFX of Batman v Gain expert advice on how to break
tips for breaking into the industry his creature design techniques Superman was created into the games industry
Sculpt a fantasy creature in ZBrush Create an anatomically accurate Model and render a still life scene Model and rig a game character
with legendary artist Steve Lord fantasy creature for 3D printing in Maya and XGen using ZBrush, Modo and Maya
Create more expressive character Master ribbon rigging in Maya with Simulate the destruction of a Render photoreal hair with
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Meet the creative teams behind Discover the 25 best new CG art Create a paper folding animation Master 3D concept art with Maya
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Improve your modelling skills and Behind the scenes: ILM discusses Improve your real-time CG: The 10 techniques to perfect Anatomy.
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Rise of the Robots: experts share Master the workflow for modelling Discover Epics 10 ways to improve Weta creature modelling
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3D WorlD Christmas 2016 79

News and views from around the

international CG community

Behind the scenes

Trevor Hogg meets The Third Floor to discover how TV previz
on Game of Thrones is catching up with the big screen

ame of Thrones visual effects the previz and all supporting techviz department or models from the concept
supervisor, Joe Bauer, commanded material, which he then assesses, and will artists, and then incorporate LIDAR scans
an army of creative talent for season communicate any adjustments that may be from filming locations and all available
six of the epic HBO fantasy series. Joe had required. He lets us know of green screen technical information, so the previz reflects
major input on the majority of sequences we
worked on and would often block out entire
story beats with our previz artists, explains CreatiNG previz for a seasoN of Game of throNes is
The Third Floor previz supervisor Michelle
Blok, who is based in London.
the equivaleNt of doiNG three films at the same time
Michelle Blok, previz supervisor, The Third Floor
We also worked closely with him as the
shooting methodology for each sequence
was developed. Eric Carney has been on decisions and changes made on set so that the parameters of actual production as
The Third Floors team since the company the techviz accurately reflects that. much, and as accurately, as possible.
started on the show in season four, and Michelle explains: We then flesh out
now, as visual effects plate supervisor, he Building the shot the beats of action as previz animation,
works directly to implement real-world The Third Floors artists will typically build often using storyboards or working with
configurations for the shoot. Eric receives each previz shot using plans from the art directors who talk us through what they

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 80

Game of thrones

The Third Floor

Chris Edwards (CEO), Eric Carney, Joshua Wassung,
nick Markel, Barry howell, hiroshi Mori

doctor strange, Captain America: Civil War,
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them

Los Angeles

want. Depending on what is happening in the motion base and live-action, motion-control Casey solved moves for the live-action
scene, we consult with stunts, visual effects camera crane used to film passes of Daenerys camera, motion control camera and motion
and special effects as well as DOPs. on the dragon buck. base using our teams previz and dragon pre-
The previz shots are edited into previz This was among the most difficult animation from Rhythm & Hues. similar to
sequences that meet both production technical challenges we faced this season, the work on the arena fight from season five,
requirements and the directors vision for the explains The Third Floors visual effects we also programmed another motion-control
storytelling. Once that content is approved, plate supervisor Eric Carney. We needed crane to do fire elements for the dragons
we create detailed diagrams and schematics to figure out how to configure the rigs on burning the ships, says Eric.
with technical components from green the green screen stage, which involved
screen requirements to camera placements. putting the crane on a 15 foot rostrum and Whopping workload
Understanding the methodology of the shoot programming moves for the crane as well Maya is utilised for 3D modelling and
and ensuring that what has been previzd can as the motion base, so that the plates of the animation; After Effects helps with the
be recreated on set or location is vital. actress would fit seamlessly into a series of composition of the previz; techviz diagrams
From the approved shots, the team dynamic final flying shots that make you are created with Photoshop; and PF Track by
determine any virtual production believe she is actually riding Drogon. Pixel Farm is used for the camera tracking.
requirements. For example, The Third Floor This work was led by The Third Floors Creating previz for a whole season
was directly responsible for driving the head of virtual production, Casey schatz. of Game of Thrones is the equivalent

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 81

All images HBO and courtesy of The Third Floor Inc.
of doing three feature films at the same LidAR scans of locations
time, observes Michelle. The volume of were used in previz for
work and the speed at which production shots, such as the horse
moves means we have to be efficient when statue entrance to Vaes
undertaking any task. We always have to dothrak from episode five.
keep one foot in the creative world and the the accuracy of the previz
other in the technical. The most important allowed potential angles
factor is communication. Before starting a established during the
sequence, we make sure to gather all of the location scout process to
relevant information what the director be further evaluated virtually
wants, what constraints there may be, what and used to help derive
VFX needs, what the locations and sets will crane requirements for
be. This ensures that we can move forward, high-angle shots
knowing that the previz will be correct and
can accurately serve production.
for the final shoot. The previz process walks through a crowd of Wights, previz was
An epic entrance also informed crane requirements for high- used to determine multiple tiling passes
In episode five, a giant CG gateway appears, angle shots and tiling passes to depict the for the final shot.
which made the principal photography more Dothraki riders.
One key scene in which the character Up in smoke
Bran has a vision and walks towards a spiral Episode four sees a place of worship go up in
differeNt sCeNes have rock formation with a tree at its centre flames. since they were really burning the
differeNt requiremeNts. needed a lot of planning.
The sequence was shot in a northern
temple and it was not possible to start and
stop the burning easily, it was important to
some are aNimated, some just Irish quarry. The art department had know that all coverage could be achieved
have bloCkiNG aNimatioN, designed the set, but needed to lay out the
location so all required shots could be filmed
within the specific time frame of each burn,
says Michelle. To support the shoot, we
aNd some of them are doNe within a safe minimum working distance produced a comprehensive plan in techviz
oNly as still frames from the quarry walls, remarks Michelle.
In previz, we analysed the rock placements
that optimised and specified camera setups
for all three phases of burning and outlined
eric Carney, visual effects plate supervisor
visible in each shot, created a plan for placing blue screen positions. Eric notes, In the
large stones on location, and produced a final visuals, the Dothraki were meant to
complicated for the production crew. We layout diagram for director of photography appear closer to the fire than was actually
started with LIDAR of the shooting location, Anette Haellmigk, marking camera positions safe to film. Because of this, all the Dothraki
placing models of the giant horse statues and indicating all real and CG stones. were shot against green screen before the
to mark the entrance to Vaes Dothrak in Another feature of this set is a waterfall burn happened, and then we moved the
previz, explains Michelle. We blocked the backdrop that was shot in norway, and green screen out of the way to film the
previz action using approved storyboards, which needed to combine with the quarry burning. since Dany [Daenerys] was going
and refined it with director Daniel sackheim, footage into a landscape. We provided to be so close to the burning temple, it was
who was able to use the virtual previz scene techviz diagrams with camera placements decided to shoot her later on green screen.
to assess if potential angles established for the waterfall plates and diagrams to aid For this, we needed to track the camera
during the location scout would be suitable in placing hero prop stones. Later, when Bran move from the location plate and repeat it

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 82

Game of Thrones

the Meereen
Dragon attack
how the team successfully put
together this complex sequence

The Meereen Dragon Attack, along

with the Battle of the Bastards, was
one of the largest sequences we
worked on, reveals The Third Floor
previz supervisor Michelle Blok.
All three dragons were involved,
and several shooting locations
from Spain to Belfast depicted
the fictional city of Meereen, with
its coastal landscape and the ship
decks of the slavers fleet consumed
by flames. The first section we
tackled was the arrival of Drogon
at the Plateau. It was important to
Visualisation of the attack establish the geography in order to
on slavers Bay in episode tie all the different shots together,
nine included tying together including integrating the real Plateau
seamless geography from site, into the CG architecture of
real and cG locations, Meereen. Using accurate models
and blocking the dragons of the location, we were able to
performances within the block the dragons animation, time
landscape. the third Floor his landing on the Plateaus single
programmed motion control structure and make sure there was
cameras and motion bases enough space for him to physically fit
used to shoot key elements along with the real actors.
using moves that had been The shots of Dany on dragon-
established in previz back required an additional green
screen shoot. Emilia Clarke was shot
on a motion base, using a motion
using a motion-control crane on the green animated out and some scenes just have control camera programmed by The
screen stage.The Mother of Dragons sets blocking animation or are done only as still Third Floor to replicate moves that
sail for Westeros in episode 10. The reveal of frames. some scenes are textured to look had been established in the previz,
hundreds of ships led by Daenerys Targaryen realistic and some are just textured to denote continues Michelle. For timing, the
was the climax of the season, says Michelle. different technical considerations. data from the previz scenes was
The original concept was for a continuous also used to program the dragons
shot that swept past the groups of ships, technical challenges motion via the motion buck.
revealing main characters and culminating The most technically complex sequences Then, the dragons attack the
with Daenerys and the dragons at the head were the Battle of the Bastards from episode ships. With guidance from Joe, we
of the armada. nine, The Door/White Walker Attack in previsualised multiple versions,
After completing an initial pass, it was episode five, and the Temple Burn in episode building up the action. Once the
evident that the distance required for the four, observes Michelle, who feels satisfied main previz was complete, we
camera to travel would make the shot too when finished shots closely resemble the refined the dragons animation and
long, so the shot was adjusted to gradually previz. This means that we have done created techviz to help determine
build the number of vessels before showing our jobs, that all the creative and technical camera crane setups for location
the true enormity of the fleet, says Michelle, planning has been utilised, and that weve filming on the exterior set. For wide
adding: We prevized this sequence with effectively supported everything from the shots of Meereen, visual effects
director Miguel sapochnik, including directors approval of the shots to the crews wanted to use elements of the real
techviz to inform element shoots and tiling ability to shoot them. We were honoured locations to ground the CG in reality
passes with the principal actors, soldiers to receive an Emmy for The Battle of the wherever possible. The previz city
and Dothraki on the ship set at Banbridge. A Bastards along with Joe; led visual effects model incorporated castle walls, for
MovieBird crane on a rostrum was used to producer steve kullback; and the visual example, from the filmed location.
achieve the fluid, sweeping shots. effects team. Both this and the Meereen These architectural elements were
not every shot is treated the same when Attack sequences were hugely ambitious shot using drones that utilised
it comes to the lighting, texturing and and required a huge amount of work! techviz data for flight paths and
animation. Different scenes have different See more of The Third Floors work speeds as well as lens information.
requirements, says Eric. some scenes are
FYi at

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 83

vfx project

Ian DeantalkstoMPCsVictor Lizarragaaboutcreatinglivingvines

orkingonanewTimBurton atthegroundtosummonamassofvines rigtoanimateeachvineanditselements
movieguaranteesaVFXteam thatrapidlyentangleavillain. separately;allowingtheanimatortocontrol
aregoingtobestretched.For Weknewwehadtodevelopatechnique theamountandpositionofeachleaf,thorn,
MissPeregrinesHomeforPeculiarChildren tomakevinesflourishfromseedintoafull flowersandberries,saysVictor.
MPCwastaskedwithcreatinganumberof plantthattrapsacharacterandthenlater Thevinesweresculptedandtextured
imaginativesequencesthatpushedthe70 freezesandshattersintothousandsofpieces. inZBrush,arigwascreatedinMaya.To
stronggroupofartistsinMontreal,London ToaccomplishthisourAssetsdepartment freezeandshatterthevinesweusedHoudini
andBangaloretocreateover200shots. inLondonbuiltacomplexbutflexible tocontroltheiceformationandlaterused
partofaTimBurtonsmovie,saysMPCCG It was an InterestIng challenge to see how a mouth that sIze
could fIt at the back of claIres head and overall how the
techniques,notleastthefantasticsequence mouth would behave
inwhichtheheroineFionathrowsseeds Victor Lizarraga, CG supervisor, MPC

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 84

vfX Project

Victor Lizarraga explains how Miss Edwards was turned to stone: We matched the Victor reveals how the vines were made: We included extra data to control how the
look of the practical stone model used on set, and then our Lookdev department elements grow and change their characteristics, such as colour and texture, then
started developing a shading network to control the transition from skin to stone using Katana we built the shading network and read the extra data from the caches
using procedural textures using primitive variables in RenderMan

MPCsKalidestructiontooltobreakthe Wespenttimetestingatoolweuseat
geometryintohundredofpiecesbasedon MPCtocontroltheskindeformationby
thecharactersmovement,saysVictor. usingtensionandcompressionmapsin
Forthegrowingeffecttheteamused ourdisplacementshader,saysVictor.
primVarsinrenderMantoattacharbitrary Thisallowsustoaddextradetaillikeskin
dataintothegeometry,andbyreadingthis wrinklesgeneratedbycompressingmuscles
dataintheirshadingnetworktheywere thatarereallydifficulttoachieveifwewere
abletocontrolthevisibilityoftheelements toonlyusegeometrydeformation.
dependingonwherethetipofthevinewas Thiswassomethingthatyoudontsee
travellingandtriggeringvariationincolour. veryoften,saysVictor:Itwasaninteresting
Forexample,explainsVictor,tosmoothly challengetoseehowamouththatsizecould
changetheberriestonebasedonthesize fitatthebackofClairesheadandoverall
sotheyaregreenatfirstandtheneither howthemouthwouldbehave.Therealfun
growingintoredorblacktowardtheend. beganwhenwefinallystartedanimating
Ittookfourmonthstocompleteallof thecharacterforatrailershotwhereClaire
theshotscontainingthevines,passing liftsherhairanduncoversthemouthtoeat
fromtheAssetdepartmentalltheway amassiveturkeyleginabouttwoseconds.
throughMatchmove,rotoAnim,Animation, Toselltheshottheartiststurnedto
TechAnim,FX,LookDevandLighting. sharksteethforinspiration:ourclientwas
vfx with bite shouldlook,asitisthisstrangepartofher
onefunsequenceiswhenthecharacterof thatshouldreallydrawyourattention.
Clairepullsbackherhairtorevealasecond See more of MPCs work at The moment the character of Claire opens her giant, toothy
FYI mouth became a favourite with the MPC art team

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 85

Studio profile

Studio profile
Howard Jones
Howard, axisVFXs visual/ aXisVFX: small
buT perFecTly
digital effects supervisor,
has supervised and led teams on many
features and shows including Aardmans

The Pirates! and BBCs Wizards vs Aliens.

Paul Schleicher
axisVFXs executive producer With the capacity of a larger studio and the culture of a
Paul has worked as a
producer and head of production at some
small group of creatives, axisVFX is really making its mark.
of the worlds leading VFX companies (The The team tell Kerrie Hughes why size really does matter
Mill, Realise, Glassworks) and the BBC.

xisVFX may be a small boutique believes is a major contributing factor to its
Grant Hewlett studio, but what it lacks in size, it success. We are a boutique house so are able
Grant works as both certainly makes up for in talent. to offer the client a consistent and personal
CG supervisor and VFX at the helm are VFX veterans Grant Hewlett experience, says Howard. This inevitably
supervisor for axisVFX. Throughout his and Howard Jones, both boasting over allows for a greater creative dialogue
career, hes worked on over 25 feature 20 years experience in the industry and between us, and this ends up on the screen.
films and high-end TV dramas. enviable creative resumes. pair that with the but being small doesnt mean having a
backing of sister company, award-winning limit on what it can handle. With backup in
axis animation, and its no surprise that the form of axis animation, the team can
axisVFX is positioning itself as one of the create without limits. While axisVFX is
uKs leading visual effects houses. ostensibly a young boutique, we have the
since its inception just three years ago, advantages of being partnered with a much
the studio has been commissioned to work larger studio, which gives us massively
on countless high-profile projects, including increased capacity and structural solidity,
aardmans feature film shaun the sheep explains executive producer paul schleicher.
and hit TV shows dr Who, red dwarf We can still operate in a small way, at the
and our Girl, to name but a few and it same time as offering our clients direct
shows no signs of slowing down. access to the key VFX leads and supervisors.
This unique setup allows axisVFX to
Quality over quantity run on a small staff crew in its bristol and
its the size of the studio that axisVFX Glasgow offices, with the option of hiring
director and co-founder Howard Jones freelancers to fill the requirements of each

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 86

Studio profile

Studio portfolio

Dr Who flatline
The axisVFX team has worked on multiple VFX shots for
TV sci-fi series Dr Who. The scene where PC Forrest
gets sucked into the floor was quite complex, says
VFX supervisor Grant Hewlett. The aliens were in the
walls, then they ate a sofa, and then this police officer,
which made it difficult to explain what was going on to
the actors and the production team. We had to make
some rough previews and storyboards.

axisVFX has a small staff team, and hires freelancers as and when
they are needed, enabling it to provide bespoke VFX solutions STUDIO

TeAM size
reD DWarf Xi
production in a bespoke way. unlike many FoundeRs Red Dwarf has always had a heavy effects element,
other small VFX studios, axisVFX can GRANT HEWLETT, says co-founder and director Howard Jones. This has
leverage the cGi fire power of its bigger HOWARD JONES, always been part of its charm and style. We had plenty
sister studio axis animation, putting bigger RICHARD SCOTT of VFX to do on the two series and have worked hard
productions well within the teams reach. to take this legacy and create great effects without
PRojeCTs losing the original charm.
focus on people Doctor Who
although the axisVFX team is small, its Christmas
output and ethos for creating a supportive Special,
working environment for employees is more Survivors,
about dreaming big. axiss key cultural One of Us
motto is to encourage both freedom and
responsibility, says paul. everyone should
have as much autonomy as possible to have
ownership over their own work and feel
empowered to think big.
and its certainly not a case of all work
and no play making dull axisVFX boys and
girls. ensuring the company is fun to be
at, as well as both personally and creatively our Girl
challenging, where people are expected to BBC drama Our Girl tells the story of army medic
get stuck in when a problem arises and also Georgie Lane and involves a number of CG shots taken
engage with the wider company objectives is care of by the axisVFX team. The refugee camp and
key, paul adds. ultimately we want to make the helicopter are pretty seamless and add to the
great work, and through empowering people drama without drawing attention as visual effects shots
we stand a better chance of doing that. that was our goal, says Grant.
Find out more about axisVFX at

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 87

News and advice

everest Vr is composed of
108 billion pixels and 13
million polygons, which is
the equivalent to 14,000
iPhone 6 camera shots

industry news

Thor Gunnarsson & Dadi Einarsson reveal how game and
VFX artists joined forces to make new VR project, Everest

he first commercial use of Nvidias This merges the best of game development RVX used its VFX pipeline to create the
VR Works SDK comes in the form with techniques and skillsets from film and assets for Everest, these were then taken by
of Everest. This new real-time animation. Its an amazing way of creating Slfar and reworked with game middleware
experience challenges you to climb photoreal CG environments and creating such as Granite SDK to compress textures.
the worlds highest mountain, from the a VR experience by joining forces. Nvidias VR Works lens matching which
comfort of your own home. Dadi Einarsson, co-founder and creative focuses the viewers gaze into the centre of
For CG artists, Everest represents the director of RVX, agrees: With the emerging the headset, with less detail at the edges
future a convergence of video game and excitement around VR, this felt like a good meant the teams could use more complex
film VFX. To create the VR experience, moment to step into the ring and contribute shaders, such as Turbulance: This was
used to create millions of snow particles in
real time. If you hold out a glove, you can
Its an amazIng way of creatIng photoreal cg envIronments see snow swirling around your hand and its
and creatIng a vr experIence by joInIng forces physically correct, says Thor.
Everest is out now on Steam, order here
Thor Gunnarsson, co-founder of Slfar Studios FYI

teams from game studio Slfar Studios and from our background, VR is the emergence of
visual effects studio RVX, both based in the convergence of games and filmmaking. the mountain is built
Iceland, worked together. Dadi believes theres a tipping point in the in 3d, from a base of
To make some of the scenes in Everest, film VFX industry as more people enter the thousands of high-res
RVX used a stereo photogrammetry industry, new media forms are needed. The photographs
pipeline of high-resolution photos to create a skillset needed to create good VR is the same
photoreal, high-poly version of the mountain as with filmmaking. Weve not figured it out,
range. We heard about this, and thought we need a lot more people contributing from
we could use same pipeline and import it lots of places to take this new media in a new
into a game engine, like Unreal Engine 4, direction. Its going to be its own thing and
says Thor Gunnarsson, co-founder of Slfar. needs time to develop, he says.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 88

News and advice

alexs tips
Five insights to
landing your First
animation job

Pro adVice STudIo

1. Create a
great shoWreel

dETAIlS this is the most important
thing. this is how people
escape studios will judge the quality of your

teaches students the work. make sure it is error-
art of filmmaking and free and that your best
vfx/animation. visit work is placed first.

for details. 2. be aCCessible
be easy to find. have your
own blog or website, with
Escape Studios Alex Williams shares his advice for contact details, so you can
showcase your work online.
getting your foot in the door of the animation industry
3. get NetWorkiNg

he animation industry is booming Show your reel to professional animators get out there and meet
worldwide, but this doesnt mean whose work you admire and make people at different events
that it isnt still hugely competitive. adjustments based on their notes. By the time and conferences. utilise
as head of animation at Escape Studios, I you get to the interview, the studio has seen any personal connections;
often get asked the same questions: What your reel and they liked your work. Now they if you know people in the
does it take to break into the industry, and want to know how well youll fit in with the industry, ask them about any
what skills are needed for junior animators team. Showing maturity, both in your work openings or internships.
who want to land their first job? and how you work with others, is essential.
Your first task as an animator is to create Its important to get your foot in the door 4. kNoW Where
an excellent demo reel. Your showreel is so its oK to start off as a runner or a studio the jobs are
a display of talent; it is how we all get hired. assistant. once youre in, you will get to there are many companies
doing animation in the uK.
make a list of those you want
research the work the company has done and match to target, and make sure you
theIr house style wIth your own work research their backgrounds
before applying. there will
Alex Williams, head of animation, Escape Studios always be a company looking
to hire fresh talent.
You should feature only your best work meet the right people. Now you can forge
in your demo reel, and you should edit your relationships and get relevant feedback on 5. be opeN to all
reel to suit the company youre sending it to. your work. You should always be working opportuNities
Its no use sending a creature reel to Pixar, on developing your own skills, learning new remember, a successful
or a character reel to Framestore. You must software, creating short films and working internship can bring
thoroughly research the work the company on your animation in your spare time. experience to prepare you
has done and match its house style with your Finally, understand the importance of for that dream job. they are
own work that demonstrates mastery of networking in our industry. Many jobs go by often easier to secure when
similar techniques. word of mouth. attend animation events and you are first starting out, and
Industry experience is also important. meet the studio recruiters first hand and ask can be a great way to get on
Work as a runner if that is what it takes. Sign them what they look for in new talent the ladder. also, working as
up for classes where you can get feedback on Discover more about Escape Studios at a runner can help you get
your work to help your development.
FYI your foot in the door.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 89

CliCk TO PlAY VideO

industry project

MakInG WaVeS
Kerrie Hughes discovers how London-based VFX studio Smoke & Mirrors ventured
into the watery world of CG seas for Channel 4s new reality TV show, Hunted

ould you go on the run? Go print services Tom Gibson. The 4Creative With a mock-up from world-class
undetected by former police and team was struggling to realise the turbine photographer andy Glass and direction
security experts for 28 days? If so, concept in the sea, with the initial concept from 4Creatives art directors Jack Croft and
youd be the ideal candidate for new Channel featuring stock photography, which wasnt Stacey Bird, the team knew exactly what was
4 series Hunted. But rather than keeping really working. They wanted it to be quite required of them, and a CG route seemed
a low profile like the shows contestants, epic in scale, and foreboding, with inky black like the most natural solution to achieve
the 4Creative team Channel 4s in-house seas and squalls, and you couldnt really get it. Work initially started on the creation
advertising agency needed the shows ad anything like that from the stock libraries. of the turbines to allow the project a lot of
campaign to really stand out, which is why
they commissioned London-based VFX
studio Smoke & Mirrors to create an epic, everyone has seen what the ocean looks like, and
Perfect Storm-style concept.
We were approached to do the
generating something like that in cg is always quite
re-touching on the photography for this tricky. we used a lot of reference imagery to help us
campaign, says Smoke & Mirrors head of luke Reade, CG artist, Smoke & Mirrors

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 90

industry project

Mixing world-class photography and a

dramatic CG ocean, the Smoke & Mirrors
team created a stunning scene to sell
the Hunted TV show

flexibility, but soon after, the team took it a rough overview, which they then modelled
upon themselves to start some R&D on the over the top of before adding textures.
water to see if they could find a way to avoid The water scene was passed through
using stock photography for that too. multiple software programs to achieve a
convincing level of photorealism. Hot4D
testing the water generated a really lovely ocean, but rendering
Despite the studios portfolio covering a and texturing-wise, we found that there
diverse range of visual effects work, this was a better result in Modo, so it was being
was the first time the Smoke & Mirrors team thrown about left, right and centre to make
had ventured into the world of CG water. sure we achieved the right look, says Sam.
But it certainly didnt faze them. The team But the biggest challenge for the team was
found success in just two weeks by using a recreating what every human eye recognises
combination of digital tools. instantly the ocean. everyone has seen
We originally mocked the turbines what the ocean looks like, and generating
and water up in Modo, says CG artist Sam something like that in CG is always quite
Milner. But we soon realised the water tricky, says CG artist Luke Reade. We
in Modo wasnt going to cut the mustard, used a lot of reference imagery to help with
so we moved into Cinema 4D and the getting the foam, swells, big waves, etc,
water capability was showing pretty good choosing the best bits from each image and
promise. It was with the help of Hot4D a then replicating them using the different
plug-in that allows the creation of a surface software. Cinema 4D and the Hot4D plug-in
that looks like a deep ocean that the team were definitely a good base to work from. The Hot4D plug-in was used to generate the water,
started to gain some momentum. Hot4D See more of Smoke & Mirrors work at which the Smoke & Mirrors team used as a base for
generated the water, providing them with
FYi modelling and texturing the rest of the scene

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 91






Watch this years Golden

Joystick Awards at:


ouR aWaRdS
CONTENTS Best in class

Awarded to products
that excel in their class.

highly commended
Awarded to great products
that achieve a high standard.
We test the latest new software
and hardware for CG artists

94 Boston Venom 2501-0P 95 marVelous Designer 6

It may be a little on the pricey side, but this workstation combines serious Clo3D has added new features such as Buttons and Steam, and other
modelling with flawless rendering ability and potent storage improvements, to the must-have tool for cloth and clothes simulation

96 Quixel megascans 97 PolyBrush 1.1

The Megascans library is a comprehensive and ever-expanding Arseniy Korablevs Polybrush tool makes you want to explore and be
catalogue of high-quaility content thats well worth a look creative; it may be little but its capabilities are many

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 93

Boston Venom 2501-0P

HarDWare reVIeW

Boston Venom
James Morris
James has been writing
about technology for
two decades, focusing
on content creation
hardware and software. PRICE 5,995 + VAT | CoMPANy Boston | WEBSITE
He was editor of PC Pro
magazine for five years.

T he Broadwell generation 2.6GHz, with a 3.5GHz top and 128GB will be enough for
of microarchitecture finally Turbo mode for a single core. most near-future applications.
made it to the mainstream A CoolIT water cooling system Graphics come via the
Xeon E5 processor platform keeps it temperate and quiet. Nvidia Quadro M4000. Aside
at the beginning of the year. The processors have been from its great performance,
Boasting up to 22 cores per partnered with 128GB of this card sports four full-sized
socket, its been unleashing 2,400MHz DDR4 SDRAM. DisplayPort 1.2 connections,
a huge leap in power ever This is supplied as eight DIMM giving a wide range of screen
since and Boston has taken modules, leaving no slots configuration options.
full advantage with the Venom free for upgrade. The system Storage comes in the form
2501-0P workstation, offering supports up to 1TB of memory, of a solid state disk, plus a pair
the full range of options in a so theres plenty of potential of 2TB Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000
dual-socket configuration. headroom, but you would 7,200rpm SATA hard disks
Our sample came equipped have to swap out memory to configured as a RAID 1 mirror
with a pair of Xeon E5-2690 v4 upgrade. However, the four for general storage, which
processors. These provide a modules per processor take full will keep your working assets
good balance between virtual advantage of the Xeons quad- safe. The solid state disk is an
core number (56) and base channel memory architecture ultra-fast Intel SDD 750 Series
clock speed, which is a decent for maximum bandwidth, NVMe unit connected via PCI
Express x4. With a healthy
400GB capacity, this is a highly
competent storage device that
boots up and loads software
in a flash. A Blu-ray reader
and DVD rewriter rounds off
features storage, but theres no multi-
format memory card reader.
128GB 2,400MHz Unsurprisingly, the 2501-
DDR4 SDRAM 0Ps performance is incredible
in every area. In the Maxon
Nvidia Quadro M4000 with Cinebench R15 rendering test,
8GB GDDR5 memory the system achieved a result of
4,376 one of the highest we
400GB Intel SSD 750 have ever seen. Modelling is
Series NVMe PCI Express almost as impressive, with 80.02
solid state disk in the 3dsmax-05 viewset from
SPECviewperf 12.1, and 63.57
2 x 2TB Hitachi Ultrastar in maya-04.
7K3000 SATA 7,200rpm Overall, the Boston Venom
hard disks (RAID 1) combines great modelling with
exemplary rendering ability
LG UH12NS30 Blu-ray and potent storage. It is on
reader / DVD rewriter the pricey side, but if you want
the best of both worlds, it has
Warranty: three years RTB plenty to offer.
parts and labour

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 94

Marvelous Designer 6

softWare reVieW

Designer 6
AutHoR pRofile
Cirstyn Bech-Yagher
Cirstyn is a freelance CG
artist and educator, with
over 15 years experience
in 3D. Her clients have
ranged from AMD to Daz pRiCe $59.90 (Monthly) to $550 (Perpetual) | CompAnY Clo3D | WeBsite
3D and Future. She is
currently collaborating

with AMD as technical he first major release of align and distribute, give you Steams job is to de-wrinkle
artist for Radeon Marvelous Designer was an all-in-all easier workflow. your digital garment. This
ProRender for 3ds Max. released in 2011, and since means you dont have to spend then, the cloth simulator has buttons anD steam time tweaking your fabric and
come a long way. In that time, The main features in this drape settings or freeze parts
Marvelous Designer has grown release are without a doubt of a garment you want to keep
its reputation as the must- buttons and steam. Anyone as is, all you do now is run
have tool for cloth and clothes whos had a need for buttons the Steamer button over the
simulation for films, games in earlier versions will know parts of the garment you want
and animations, and Clo3D how welcome this addidition smoothed, and job done.
has settled into an annual is, as it makes it infinitely easier While the new features
features release cycle of both sensible to generate buttons and make MD6 a pleasure to work
and solid releases. button holes, which must be with, Id have happily lived
Buttons and buttonhole With Marvelous Designer a relief to anyone whos spent without a chalk line in favour of
function 6 (MD6), Clo3D has again considerable time creating better export options, quads
focused on user requests and and editing buttons in earlier and topology, as the output
steam wrinkle smoother tailoring garments to users versions. The new Buttons often still needs rework in
exact needs. New tools such function eliminates most of ZBrush or other applications,
solidification of mesh as Solidify will maintain your the whole Create Internal detracting from time saved.
garments folds and wrinkles Circle, Duplicate, Create Circle, Also, one month of MD6s one-
Avatar improvements based on the strength you Duplicate, Align, Stitch process. function program at $60 will
assign it handy for not having Now, you just define a button get you Steam Modo Indie, the
pattern offset to redo said folds and wrinkles, and buttonhole, link them, Substance Suite and Photoshop
improvements even when resimulating. align the buttonhole over the with about $15 change
Chalk enables you to button, simulate and boom! meaning the pricing is too
draw reference lines on your Done. Potential hours shaved much for too little, especially for
garment; and new feature off right there. freelancers and small studios.
tweaks like symmetrisation, Steam is another handy
delete all Curve Points, and feature. As the name suggests, VeRDiCt
A stAple in gAming

With the Assasins

Creed team as its early
adopters, marvelous
Designer has since been
used in games ranging
from CDpRs Witcher 3
to Konamis metal gear
solid V. its also been
used in films as diverse
as the Hobbit and ted.
New functionalities
such as buttons and
steam make polishing
your garment a snap

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 95

Quixel Megascans

resourCe reVieW

Author Profile
Quixel Megascans
cirstyn Bech-Yagher Price $19 (Hobby) to $990 (Studio) per month | coMPAnY Quixel | WeBsite
Cirstyn is a freelance CG
artist and educator, with

over 15 years experience hose who have used Quixel Megascans Studio, which is pipeline for asset scanning and
in 3D. Her clients have Suite for a long time are where you bring your content to creation. This was no doubt a
ranged from AMD to Daz used to that inactive, little life. Its easy, and a pleasure to huge amount of work, and the
3D and Future. She is green button to the right of work with letting you import, resulting content is of very high
currently collaborating dDo. But after a very long time layer and blend your surface quality. The Megascans library
with AMD as technical of imminent release chatter, assets to your hearts content. offers beautifully flat surfaces
artist for Radeon that button went bright green It also enables you to generate and atlases for both spec/gloss
ProRender for 3ds Max. in September. It now sends complex, multilayered materials and metal/rough workflows, as you to the Megascans website by using just a few sliders. You well as super-honed normals
Quixels latest offering in its can import your surface(s), add and other maps. This goes for
series of excellent tools. solid or liquid layers, and then the photogrammetry models as
Green is a fitting colour for tweak anything from height well: all models have beautifully
Megascans, as it is a website to opacity, and blend with the flat UVs and seamless textures,
filled with an incredible amount underlying layers. and import without a hitch into
of biomes, surfaces, 3D scans Finished textures can be anything from 3ds Max to Vue.
and atlases all prepped, exported on a default or There arent many issues,
features scanned, and ready for use in custom/per channel basis, either. The content library
any renderer or engine, and ranging from normal SRGB could use even better sorting,
surface, atlas with a fresh content delivery exports to custom gloss- and needs better import and
and biome library rate somewhere between containing normals for deletion functionality, and the
enthusiastic and insane. CryEngine and Lumberyard. Bridge UI sometimes hangs.
software to work with In addition to textures The sky really is the limit However, considering what you
downloaded content and photogrammetry scans, when it comes to creative use of get for your subscription money
Megascans also has The Megascans, and shows Quixel and the ease and beauty of
scripts Megascans Bridge your has certainly not been resting the tools themselves, these
local downloaded content on its nDo and dDo laurels. are minor issues. If youve not
Point-based library viewer, complete with jumped on the Megascans
subscription system editable scripts for plugging high quality library bandwagon yet, make an effort
your downloads into your In order for the Megascans to do so. It really is that good.
continuous fresh content renderer or game engine, such library to work well, Quixel has
as Unity or Unreal. Then theres had to develop a whole new Verdict

Megascans studio is deceptively

simple the easy to-use ui is
powerful enough to let you go to
town on layers and fine detailing
A current stAndArd

Quixel has come a very

long way since ndo,
and has worked hard to
create the versatile and
fun tool that is its suite.
the Quixel suite is one
of the current industry
standards, and is used
at studios like Blizzard,
Valve corporation
and BioWare.

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 96

Polybrush 1.1


Author Profile
Polybrush 1.1
Cirstyn Bech-yagher PriCe $20 | DeVeloPer Arseniy Korablev | WeBsite
Cirstyn is a freelance CG
artist and educator, with

over 15 years experience olybrush is a new, small object files which you can example, when you cant afford
in 3D. Her clients have sculpting tool that lets you incorporate in your sculpts. to use ZBrush).
ranged from AMD to Daz sculpt mesh via sketching It even comes with deforming, Of course, it doesnt sport
3D and Future. She is or drawing with your mouse or boning and simple UV tools. all the tools of ZBrush, but
currently collaborating tablet. The brainchild of Arseniy Its easy to use, too, once combined with Sculptris and
with AMD as technical Korbalev, it lets you create new, you figure out the UI, which Blender, this little tool can
artist for Radeon use defined, or refined meshes, could be a lot clearer: settings garner you some very nice
ProRender for 3ds Max. with a brush containing just one and pickers are on the left, results indeed. The one thing or lots of different elements, menu and complex options I loved about Polybrush 1.1 is
each with their own parameters. are on top, and configurable how it invites you to explore,
Reminiscent of Groboto scene items sit on the right, create, and simply have fun.
in its heyday, or Sculptris, the together with sculpting and Which is why its a pity
software enables you to quickly creation tools. that it has a few detractions.
sculpt and paint anything from First of all, be prepared to
plants to creatures to hands creative fun spend some time figuring it
with some serious kitbashing You then proceed to sculpt, out, as Korablevs videos are
options thrown in, provided paint or add items to your very pretty, but not exactly
you take the time to set up your model. One thing I found a informative on finer details.
object files for brush import little clunky was having to deal Its also a little unstable on
FEAturEs and painting. with the plane that comes Windows 10/64, and anti-virus
In addition, it comes with a with the 3D painting brush, software such as Norton keeps
3D sculpting and painting pretty big set of functionality but once you get used to it, deleting it.
for such a small tool: As well as its par for the course, and But if youre willing to deal
sculpting, lathing and the generic 3D sketching tools, doesnt detract much from the with its quirks, and are looking
voxel tools you get sculpting, lathing and fact that Polybrush is a super for that extra, cool little tool
voxel tools, as well as the kind fun and easy tool to use for for your toolkit, $20 isnt much
Bone creation of simple remesher Sculptris tweaking sculpts, generating for what it can do, plus the fun
never seems to get around to new ones, or even creating youll have exploring it.
remesh tools implementing. Not to mention bones. Polybrush is especially
the big library of ready to use good if youre on a budget (for VerDiCt


Created by artists for

artists, 3D World alumnus
Arseniy Korablev created
this little tool for 3D
concepting, sculpting and in addition to sculpt and
editing when he saw the lathing tools, PolyBrush
tool he needed wasnt on also offers a really nice
the market. bone-based modelling tool

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 97

in the vault

8gb of
video &
free A complete Pluralsight
video course for rigging

Human IK characters
for mocap in Maya
Follow the link to download your free files
get your
Youre three steps away
from this issues video
training and files

1. Go to the website
Type the following into your

2. Find the Files You video + files

want From the list
Search the list of free Create a Creature ConCept
resources to find the video Download the video walkthrough
and files you want and images to follow the training

3. download the
Files You need
Click the Download buttons
and your files will save to
your PC or Mac

there are more files, video + model
art and resources
waiting online Hone your render skills
Watch the video training and test
video: Download the video it for yourself with a free model
walkthrough to simulating
a meteor smashing into
an ocean

video: Get the video

tutorials for this issues
Artist Q&A training

artwork: Download the

extra tutorial images that
accompany Showcase video + project files video + project files
Files: Get the step- simulate pouring water Create a detailed sCene using Clarisse
by-step images for our Watch the video training plus Get closer to the tutorial by downloading the video walkthrough and
Blender texture tutorial download the 3ds Max and high-res step-by-step images to create a water scene in Clarisse.
RealFlow project files Plus, get our artists project files to try it for yourself!

3D WorlD Christmas 2016 98