Lighting References

So below are the tutorials and guides that I used to help me understand what each of the lights do and how to set them up properly. Each of the tutorials helped me in different ways, while watching them  I took notes then worked from my notes, this proved easier to me.

The one below was a general tutorial I looked at, this was just explaining things and helped me get a grips with the lights.

The next few tutorials were for volumetric lighting, this was originally suggested to us by Edward, we showed him a few stills and he suggested we look into this. So after speaking to Edward I research into volumetric lighting and what it does.  So after looking into them I can say they are very effective and a make the scene look awesome. An idea for the volumetric lighting was to add a 3d fog texture over the red light to distort it more and create a more cramped feeling. But in the end time wasn’t on our side due to a lack of planing. I know for next time to plan better.

Below is then an example of how lighting makes a scene. This is one of Edward’s animations. This one does not have a light source put on so there is no shadows or highlights making the scene look flat.

But in this second video you can see the added light adds to the scene and makes it look much better, from this you can see how effective lights are when setting up your scene.


Some more tutorials that I looked over the project on lighting.



Portal was a suggestion from Cassie due to the colours and the contrast we were looking. So I took her advice and research into it. The colours of the lights used in portal fitted into the idea we wanted to have in our project. One thing would be make the red lights more dark rather than having the orange tones. These then against the metallic and shinny surfaces made me think of how the lights should act with the texture. Should the lights be reflected of the device or should they just be in the background. After speaking about it the group we were still not sure if it would be too much. So for now we’ll leave it in greyscale and if needs be it can always be changed during feedback time.

As you can see from the mages below the robots and the environment around them are mainly in a greyscale style. The the contrasting lights that the robots have almost give them characteristics based on the colours. So when you see the orange light yo think of the orange one and vive versa for the blue. Again I like this idea for the lighting in our project.

2001 Space Odyssey

I’ll have to admit this was another suggestion by Cassie, she had used this as research in her project but then suggested we use it as a reference for the lighting we wanted to do. I think this ties in with the portal lighting. In 2001 Space Odyssey the contrast of the warm and cool colours are done to an amazing level. The lighting changes from warm to cool or cool to warm really changes the mood. This is a good method to shift what you want the audience to feel when watching the film or short.


Looking at the images above you can almost see the colour palette that was used in the making of this film. Seeing the different shots side by side make you see how well they complement each other although still contrasting at the same time.


Simulation Techniques

Dynamics are an extremely powerful feature in any 3D application. Without them there would be no particle effects like smoke, fire, realistic fluid effects, or computer, or complex cloth simulation.

  • Utilising dynamics is a vital step in your 3D generalist skill set.
  • Dynamics are calculated from a complex physics engine inside your 3D application, dynamics describes how objects move using rules of physics to simulate real forces.

A Brief History

Examples of Dynamics

  • Fantasia (Experimental hand drawn and painted dynamic effects)

‘Abstract music and abstract symbols on the page’

‘The relationship between music and visuals.’

  • The Abyss (James Cameron) – First fluid effect used in a feature film.
  • The Prince of Egypt (2D and 3D visual effects).
  • MPC – Modern VFX studio (Simulation Effects).

FX Showreel 2012 – Lorenzo Lavatelli

Jerome Escobar FX Reel 2014

  • The Art of Blowing Stuff Up.

Maya Dynamics

When simulating anything in Maya, make sure to set your playback speed to ‘play every frame’. This forces each frame to be calculated without skipping a frame to match playback speed.

Dynamics in Maya

  • N’Cloth
  • N’Particles
  • N’Hair
  • Maya Fluids
  • Soft and Rigid Bodies
  • Bullet
  • Bifrost
  • Fur/Xgen

nDynamics  – Maya’s main dynamic system.

nParticles – Particle dynamics can be used for effects such as wind, fire, smoke and water.


Final Presentaion

So this was the last presentation before the final hand in. So we did get a lot of feedback which was awesome, this is the only way to make the project better. A general theme from the feedback was the narrative was unclear. This was something that I agreed with, due to bad planning as a group this draft ended up being rushed and wasn’t done to the standard I would of wanted.

Other things were said to be changed like textures, too many shinny surfaces and too much patterns. I’ll admit I was glad we could of changed the background, with all the other patterns I thought it was too much in the rendered version.


A link to the final presentation

– Malum-


A general plan of actions to take to ensure the feedback is taken on board. Hopefully we can get the animation done on time will all the required changes. One thing that really stood out to me from the feedback was the issue with sound. Sound is one of the main aspects of an animation and I forgot that due to stressing about other things. This is something that I want to personally fix and make better for the project.

Tutorials Galore

As I progress with the head model the original tutorial I was following, I then noticed it was broken down into three parts, I had posted part one but the other two are now below. With reference to the tutorials below I have learned that the head model is no whee near as simple as it sounds, the amount of detail that is put into the head in the tutorial is amazing. But that does scare me, already I am struggling on keeping up with it or working in the same order.

I find it hard to work and follow a tutorial at the same, switching between the two can confuse me and it can be hard to get back into the flow of work after taking a break from it for a bit. I have started to take more detailed notes don while watching a tutorial, I would watch the video first and take notes then when it came to modelling I would have the notes in front of me, having a hard copy to look at and scribble on helps me pick up on things and process them better. Once the semester ends I am considering getting some Maya textbooks so that I can always refer to a hard copy for help rather than a video.

Parts two and three of the head tutorial are below.


Another tutorial that I ended up using was a sculpting geometry video that was recommended to me by Lorna, which was awesome for her to show me, the link is below.


So I’m getting there with the head model, or well I’ve at least started. Probably from the images below you can see it’s not exactly like the tutorials. I am trying my best and i hope to make it far better by the time final hand in arrives.

The geometry starting to be brought around the face.

Starting to get a generalised shape of the face, looks more like a mask.

These are the same as the images above except they are smoothed out.

Parful Head Models

So getting into some research and inspiration for the head model.

Below is a few links to a 3d artist called Daniel Peteuil, he his a 3d artist based in Los Angles, America. His specialities are anatomy, character sculpting and sculpture. I had came across this artist on art station, a site  that I would use regularly. What initially led me to is profile was the head sculpt of Cillian Murphy. Although my task is too model my own face, looking at these amazing sculpts would make you want to get better. I thought the head models of Cillian Murphy were amazing and I would love to reach the level that they are.

Next are some sculpts of a sci-fi or game styled character, these were sculpted by Daniel when he was a beta tester zbrush 4R7. Again when I saw these I thought that they were awesome, the detail that went into them is incredible. The renders of the model turned out pretty good as well, the orange light coming through the skins really pushes the theme that was used while designing the model.

Finally some other head models that I thought were a good for inspiration and to look at for facial structure.

Another artist who I cam  across on art station is a 3d artist named Dan Bullock, his skills are in digital painting, UV mapping, rendering, retypology, 3D modelling, PBR texturing and finally digital sculpting.

Below is some images of a sculpt that Bullock made of Sir Ben Kingsley , like the Cillian Murphy sculpt mentioned before, I couldn’t help but look at his page, again these are an awesome source of inspiration.

A quick digital sculpt of a skull, i found to be helpful when trying to get a sense of the facial structure, this then combined with the typology facial maps would make the model less difficult.

Finally this was a series of quick tests for face shapes and portrait testers. I really liked how each of the sculpts are different from each  other but  you can see they came from the same starting point. Researching into facial modelling and digital sculpting makes me want to build my skills more in this area, I think once hand in is over I might look into zbrush more.



Some more links and research on facial typology and 3d modelling.

Below is then some more face models and typology references, I came across these on  word press blog, link is below. I really liked this post as it really showed you what different ways and what different types of face models there is. I found these all to be interestigng and helpful for the project.

Tree Textures

These are then some rendered images from the tree, the tree was originally modelled by Eoin then Dervla textured it. Although while Dervla was texturing it she came into some problems so I experimented with some of the previous concepts and textured them to the tree. A few were tested but one really one was liked by everyone. The first image was the texture that we used for the tree.


These were the tree when was still in process and textures were still being agreed on.


Above and below is then some renders from my attempt at texturing the tree. The almost unrealistic look is what we wanted to go for. As the apple wasn’t exactly an apple we wanted that to carry on with the other models and textures. I was happy with how it looked and how the colour and lines in the image added a slight contrast to the edges in the tree.

Apple Re-Do

The models below were re done of the apple due to a problem with the original ones. Caitlin had sculpted them so there was a lot of curves in them which caused problems in Maya while setting up. So after discussing this with the group we decided I would re-do them as Caitlin was doing a great on sorting out the sound.

The images below are two different render versions of the apple core. The apple core was originally meant to be apart of the shifting stages. The core would of been the second stage and have been made from crystal or glass. The idea of the stages was to progress from organic to mechanic. Starting with the  apple, it being a natural thing, then it shifts on to the apple core. The apple would scale and then scale out again changing material to something glass like. Glass for crystal was chosen as it is crystal is a natural occurring material but is more hard than an apple. This is to show the constant shift towards the final shift. It being made from metal.


Below is then some images of the apple with different renders. The apple will be the focus point of the animation and the colours and lights will be based to suit the apple.