Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Major Project: Soap Bubble Animation Render Test #1

As mentioned in my previous post, I rendered out a test with the animated soap bubble texture. In this particular shot it is very difficult to see, but I do think it adds a little extra life and colour to it. This being said, the camera angle will be changing so I have the opportunity to have a closer shot of the bubbles anyway, so it may be more visible when I begin working on the final shot.

I also tested out the bubble depth of field and it seems to be working the way that I want now. For this shot I added several layers of camera lens blurring to both the background and the bubbles as well as an animated vignette, motion blur, film grain and blurring the edges of the frame. I really want to bring the audience away from the room and focus on the simplicity of the soap bubbles in this shot.

I did notice some white circles in some of the bubbles, though. When I did my first tests several weeks ago I thought it was from the lights, but I think it's the reflections of the other bubbles in the scene. I'm not sure if this is due to the amount of rays in the scene or other settings, but I'll have to investigate this further. This may also change when I move the camera around. Hopefully I can get rid of them, but even with them there I like how the bubbles are looking.

Major Project: Soap Bubbles Update & Texture Detail Tests

A few weeks back I began struggling with my soap bubbles when I decided I wanted to render them separate from the environment. Due to this, I decided to postpone working on this scene until all of my other shots were sorted. Some of my problems included dark spheres appearing in the reflections of the bubbles despite having enough samples and rays and the transparency not working the way that I wanted to once the passes were brought into After Effects. I brainstormed list of what I could do to fix this - but as I opened up the file I decided to render out some test frames and bring it into After Effects for one really simple test. I changed the 'Mode' on the bubbles from 'Normal' to 'Screen' - and they worked the way that I had originally wanted. 

It was a very simple change, which is frustrating but also relieving. It seems to work fine this way - the bubbles are rendered on their own but also contain the reflections from the room. This should allow me to blur the background without blurring the bubbles as well as apply depth of field blurring to the bubbles only. I still need to test this to be completely sure that it'll work properly, though. I will set up a render tonight to see how it works.

I also decided to do some more reading on the bubble preset and found this article about how to animate the texture so it looks like the soap iridescence/specularity is fluid. I decided to do a few tests on this just in case it adds an extra layer of detail and realism to my soap bubbles. I played around with some of the settings to see what results I could get.

Bubble Fluid Animation Test #1

Bubble Fluid Animation Test #2
Bubble Fluid Animation Test #3

I quite like how it looks, but I need to test this further since I'm using particles and an instance to animate my bubbles. I'm unsure if the animation on each bubble would be exactly the same. Luckily, if I render the bubbles separate from the environment anyway, it wouldn't take too long to tweak the bubbles. I will do an initial test first and see if there are ways of randomizing it by having the particles rotate if need be.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Major Project: Silk Animation Render Test #2 & Scene Cleanup

When I returned to my silk scene I realised that I forgot to untick 'opaque' on the silk - which is why my previous test did not have softened edges. Unfortunately it is quite hard to see the softened edge in the test animation since I had to keep samples low. In my still renders, though, I'm confident enough that it'll look alright. Luckily this shot doesn't have as long of render times as my previous entities, so if I have to re-do it I can.

I also attempted to adjust the lighting so the slight ripple at the beginning of the animation was more visible. However, I was unable to do much in regards to this without changing the lighting too much. Since the silk is white/silver and the lights are directly above the silk, the fabric is pure white even with a slight wave to it. I'm willing to compromise on this, since any tests that got me close resulted in the fabric looking odd later in the animation or the lighting looking too different compared to other shots. If I have time that'll be something I can go back and experiment with more. I also adjusted the bump map I was using to give the silk the slightest hint of fibrous texture to scatter the lighting. 

Major Project: Pufferfish Animation Render Test #1-2 & Scene Cleanup

As mentioned yesterday, I set up a test render for my pufferfish. Even though the displacement map on the pufferfish was animated, I couldn't really see it but I like how the animation looks overall. I don't think the displacement map necessarily needs to be animated in this shot especially since I plan on using depth of field blurring. 

I had a feeling I'd need to play around with the lighting, so after seeing the initial test render I added an extra light so the pufferfish looked less green - the reason it is like this is because I have the subsurface scale of the pufferfish set quite high. I want it to appear kind of 'transparent' or thin-skinned, hence why I set it higher than I normally would. The renders below show what it looks like at full samples and with the additional light that is set to affect only the subsurface scattering on the pufferfish. I don't mind some of the blueish tint it still has as it makes it feel alien....I'll also be able to tone the colour down in After Effects.

I'm happy with the results I was getting in renders, so I've set it up to render in the university. Again, I'm trying to do everything early so if I do choose to change things around then I have time to do so. I also set up a depth pass for this shot so I can play around with blurring.

Major Project: Sponge Composite

This is the final render and initial composite for sponge. I'm thinking of rendering out a depth pass so I could work with some camera lens blurring in this shot.