Andy Moorer is a VFX artist and TD working in the film industry.

Archive for sketch

Nov
26

Scraps

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My harddrive barfed up these scraps. What to do with all this? Put ‘em on the internet of course.

Categories : 2D Graphics
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Mar
05

Dragon NPR

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A render region capture using a litsphere in Softimage, with a quick vignette slapped on in photoshop. Quick, easy, fun.

Categories : 3D Graphics
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It had been a while since I wrote anything technique-specific for softimage, so I decided to come up with a rendertree setup for “lit sphere” rendering and share it on this blog. I would talk about normals and angles of incidence and it would be completely cool. Well, it’s still cool, but no need for much in the way of discussion…  it turned out to be ridiculously simple.

Have you ever used mudbox or zBrush and noticed how nice their realtime clay-like materials are? That’s what we’re talking about.

A “lit sphere”, or what zBrush users might recognize as a “MatCap” material, is a technique first described (as far as I know) by Bruce and Amy Gooch, Peter Sloan and William Martin in their 2001 paper  “The Lit Sphere – A model for Capturing NPR shading from Art.”

The basic idea is simple: a spherical image can act as a stand-in for the lighting of a more complex surface, by mapping the angle of the surface normal  (as seen from the camera) to XY coordinates of an image, such that the center of the image relates to a surface facing the camera and every other angle of incidence maps to an X (horizontal angles) and Y (vertical) coordinate on the texture.

The result is “lighting” defined for every possible normal via a simple texture, and what’s really cool is that the result can easily approximate various painterly, sketchy or waxy surfaces. Since everything derives from a texture, it’s fast enough for realtime shaders and easy to change and edit.

Ok, so how do we get this result in realtime, and how do we get it in Mental Ray? Well, realtime requires a realtime shader. It’s easy to make a HLSL shader in Mental Mill without any shader programming expertise at all. Here’s an admittedly junky one for use in Maya, which works in Softimage as well.

But if you don’t want realtime display in your viewport, it’s just as simple to render litspheres in Mental Ray, regardless of what package you’re using. Just use the mip_Gray_Ball shader, and feed it a “litsphere” texture. That’s it. Done.

So, while this topic didn’t prove to be a basis for a insightful tour through the rendertree, at least it’s cool in the sense that you just can’t get a more powerful shading tool any simpler than this. If you are looking for an interesting approach to NPR or “Painterly” rendering styles, you want to specifically mimic a sketchy or painterly style of a traditional artist, or you want a good realtime material to model with that has the same feel of lighting you get in mudbox, now you’re set.  Enjoy.

Categories : 2D Graphics, 3D Graphics
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May
11

NPR and procedural sketching in ICE

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(This article is a follow up to a thread on the XSI mailing list, showing some experiments I did a ways back with NPR using softimage ICE…)

 


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Aug
25

That “metaball” look (has got to go)

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In a recent discussion online another artist complained that metaballs have a distinctive look and that that look is never seen in nature. I get what they’re saying, “blobbies” are kind of like lensflares in that they are useful and necessary but can easily be overdone and distracting. But I would also point out that they don’t have to look “blobby.” Below are a couple of images created easily and in just a few minutes using ICE and emPolygonizer2 (and photoshop for the one, because I just had to fiddle around…)

I am a metaball mesh, yessir.

Categories : 3D Graphics
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Aug
18

Topaz and Mandelbulb meet.

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Rendered on iPad, messed with via Photoshop and Topaz. Just play.

Categories : Creative Work
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Jul
13

Graffiti Analysis

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http://graffitianalysis.com/about/

Grafitti analysis is an interesting project by Evan Roth (and others) where he’s converting graffiti, or more accurately the motions which create graffiti tags, into data, which is then archived into a database and can be displayed as a 3d visualization. There are some interesting applications, but mostly I think it looks cool.

Categories : 3D Graphics
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May
27

Leonardo Predicted Gulf Spill

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It's right there in his notebooks!

Ok, well no…. It’s just me fiddling around with photoshop to loosen up after a break from graphics.

Categories : 2D Graphics
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Mar
25

Testing Mach Studio

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Here’s the result of 1/2 hour (probably less) fiddling around with Mach Studio Pro and  Photoshop to try to see how fast I could produce an acceptable concept image.

I exported the buildings from Maya which took a few minutes, slapped on some materials, threw in an environment light and a spot light. Rendered a frame (which took 0.13 seconds to render) and took it into photoshop where again I just threw some elements together – a sketch filter blended with the CG, some vignetting and color manipulation. It’s not going to win any awards but that’s not the point… I was able to get this image out from start to finish incredibly fast, and that’s despite my being a novice with MSpro.  Very promising…

Categories : 3D Graphics
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Mar
12

Doodling with hypersketch and photoshop

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Hey, it was drawn with a mouse. Sue me.

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Andy Moorer

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