Work In Progress / 12 January 2020

Search for a Star: Armillarys and Materials

Guess what. Still sick. At least I was for most of the week.
Despite this I've been able to catch up a lot, but still lots to do. Making a big decision to scale down my statue to an Armillary was a smart move for my production time and I am insanely grateful for my trim sheet. I'm really getting excited to see how it all comes together.

You can check out my progress on Trello.


Representing celestial things in the sky, it still has the whimsical dreamer tone I want for my scene and I think with all the glass, water and bronze glittering it'll be very pretty. Even though I had my base reference for one, it wasn't quite having the punch I wanted.

After a little more research I tweaked the design to make it more interesting to look, much happier with this design. 

I also got to work on my Pond. I really wanted to have some pretty sculpts on the rings, but the way I had set it up was proving too faffy for Zbrush. I will go back and revisit this, but for the time being I used my trim sheet to texture the pond. 

Textures + Materials

Last year I spent 2 weeks in designer on a tile material that I thought was going to take me 2 days! I learnt a lot from that experience and I think I'm pretty confident making tiles now! This new material I started from scratch and I am impressed how much I remembered! Originally I didn't want any broken tiles but I might go back and add a couple if I can't achieve the look I want with decals. 

I've also gone back and adjusted the oxidisation of the metal on my trim sheet. I'm hoping this helps push those green values I want and looks less noisy. I had orange rust spots on the texture referenced in my art bible, but i find them way too distracting in the scene so I removed them too. Apart from some minor UV tweaks to help the tiling the Architecture, it's done! 

I have also managed to texture the Armillary. I did a sculpt in Zbrush adding some more decorative detail to the base and banging up a bit the Armillary itself. The bake came out really clean and I am happy with the end result. 

I chose an inscription for the plate which reads "Lord keep my memory green!" which is from The Haunted Man, a Christmas story by Charles Dickens. A man makes a bargain with a spirit to "forget the sorrow, wrong, and trouble you have cancel their remembrance...". In doing so the main character becomes extremely angry and bitter and this infects the people around him. The story concludes where everyone is back to normal and the main character has learned to become a better and more humble person.
It seemed fitting as this was a project I largely worked on over the Christmas period and I wanted to hone in on this being a shrine to remembrance, as if some individual has been coming here frequently in their old age to pay respects to their past. As this will be surrounded by green it's taking the quote quite literally as well!

It's been a while since I have done water so I used this tutorial  to jog my memory. I created my own water normals from an old reference trip I took last year. But I think I'm going to have to make a designer material for this to get the look I want as I do want some thick algae floating on the top. This current water doesn't really fit but it will have to do for now. 

Textured pond using the trim sheet.  As you can see it will be much prettier if I can get those sculpts done in the centre.  

Finally this week I implement some foliage. Creating some quick flower pots to go around the pond and the base wall of my conservatory, once again textured using my trim sheet. I also grabbed the two types of fern leaves, parlour fern and a sword fern from and make a texture for the leaves from this, I use quixel suite for the normal and make my SSS map by hand. Taking the texture into maya and making planes and then deforming the leaves for some variety. In total there are 3 plants, 3 sword ferns and 2 parlour palms.
I'm really happy with the progress this week and I really hope I can keep this up for one more week. I want to focus next on cleaning up the vista with some square trim bushes and a ground material. Originally I wanted some artificial lights but I am probably going to focus instead on the chair and table, although they were stretch goals I think they are more important to the storytelling than the light fixtures. After that it will be about cleaning up the scene, fine tuning and making sure my lighting is on point!