a christmas bow

I did this for the latest DrawerGeeks. Click on the “more” link below the pic to see a whole buncha making of stuff if’n you like.

Here’s the wire frames for the character models. So wirey, yet, so framey.

And here are the shaded models. No color, no reflections, no nothin but form yet.

I could have made them all out of shiny metal. Everyone likes shiny metal. I sure do. but I decided, eh, I’m not in a shiny metal mood today. No offense to Pat Boone.

I rendered a number of different passes for this, and composited them in Photoshop. Here’s a transparency pass.

Here’s a depth pass. Whuzzat for? Well, with this I can control the depth of field, i.e. the blurriness of things as they go back in space.

and perhaps my favorite pass of all passes. Just cuz it looks nifty. Anyway, this is the ambient occlusion pass. It even sounds way cool. I wish you could order it at restaurant, it’s so cool. (Ambient occlusion is all about the subtle shadows you get when two objects are close to each other.)

For the base lighting in the scene I decided to go out after our latest ice storm and shoot a light probe and use that for some image based lighting. HDRI baby. Yeah.

But to get the snazzy caustics going on in the ice, I had to put in a spotlight to shoot some photons into the scene. Yes, I’ll have some snazzy caustics for dessert please.

I also used a sampler info node driven into a ramp and then into the incandescence of the characters’ materials to get the little bit of rim lighting. You can see it on the green elf’s head and on Rudolph’s back.

And here’s the final again.  I’d love to hear what you think.

Blog Comments

My first reaction was to crack up. My second reaction was to be ever so slightly creeped out. Good stuff, as usual. I also love the whole “making of” part – thanks for that.

“All hail Santa! The great and powerful!” 🙂
Totally love it!! Great work!!

you are the total package. Love, LOVE, LOVE the concept. Now, Technique, love it. Just love it. But the kicker, you take the time to snapshot step by steps to help others and do commentary to boot. wonderful.

not only are the elves bowing to the Santa, the middle blue one has buried his whole face in the snow…thats submission…

also, “shooting a light probe” sounds very technical and high tech…well put

so incredibly awesome, bryan. i bow like the elves in the presence of your mad 3d skillz.

This is awesome. I am always so impressed with how effortless and pretty your 3d work looks. Very very nice (and also funny.)

“Yeah, could I have the Ambient occlusion with the Sampler info node on the side. OH! And I’d love some snazzy caustics for Dessert!”
Love the illo. The elves look familar-y. I’d also love to see your photoshop layers for something like this, including what layer mode you’re using for every pass. And how are you using the depth pass? I feel like last time I did that I used it as a layer mask to reveal/hide a blurry layer of the image. I’m assuming you do something more elegant?

Tyson, your post made my day. That’s exactly the reaction I was hoping for!

Hey Wade, thanks for visiting and for your kind note.

Hey Doug thanks. I totally dug your elves for this week’s dg too, really great.

Jeremy, yeah, those elves are committed, no doubt.

Mike, ha! Now go thaw your face.

Sarah, I wish it was effortless! Honestly, I think my 3d stuff is not nearly as good as the folks who really know what they are doing.

Brian, hokay, let’s see, photoshop layer modes. For the ambient occlusion layer, it’s multiply. For the transparency, I think I just used it as a layer mask for the color pass. For the depth pass, I make it an alpha channel, then I use the lens blur filter, and tell it to use that alpha channel. What is awesome about the lens blur filter is that when you click on your image in within the filter dialgo box, it will automatically set the focus to that region of the image. It rocks. And no layer masks needed.

This is amazing and really funny! So how was your Christmas friend? Hope you had a good one and that you have a great New Year`s aswell. 😉

Hey Cristina, we had a rough xmas with several deaths in the family. However it was good too as we got to see some family that we hadn’t seen in year too.

Just as I suspected. Much more elegant. You are the height of elegance, Bryan.

I am dainty if nothing else.

I think your freaken Awesome and this movie has never looked better!

Thanks AB!

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