Tonight may have been the first night in many weeks when I actually felt good about my film. For the past many many weeks, it has been stressful, but even more than that, it was disheartening. I was not excited about my film, I did not want to work on it anymore. I had little confidence about it. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted it to look like from the very beginning, from summer, and I believed that there is no way I’d be able to make it look like that.
And it was precisely the look of it that drove me to make this film in the first place.
So, needless to say, I was really happy last night, because what happened was that I figured out how to make my film look almost exactly how I pictured it. It’s doable, it’s not awfully time-consuming, and not too heavy on render time.
Of course, it still took me hours. I was hoping to do something between Maya and Mudbox, for several reasons: ease of transition between the two, possibility of high detail sculpting and painting, and the simple fact that both are free for students (as opposed to, say, ZBrush).
And, naturally, I encountered a number of problems.
This is what my textures looked like when brought back into Maya from Mudbox. That’s not even close to what I painted, or how I unwrapped the poor little vase. Moreover, Mudbox and Maya have a huge scale discrepancy (get it – “huge scale …”?) that was, let’s say, a pain to deal with. So that didn’t work.
Fast forward several more hours, and you get this:
And that is the technique I came up with and hope to use for the rest of my film.
I am mostly surprised, because I was able to match my far-fetched vision so closely. I am also very happy that I avoided any rotoscoping, 2D overlays, or complex effects. All of this, with the exception of particles and color correction, was done in 3D, and solely in Maya. That means fast results and realistic procedures.
Anyway, here are some more stills, because I’m just that happy.
I can’t wait to do the rest of the set in this technique. Hope is back in town.