It's nice to be back in the game.
I've decided to have the breakdown/inspiration as a separate blog post, as I'm planning on talking a fair bit about what I've been up to and some of the neat tools I've found to help me out. I'm not going to lie, it might get nerdy.
I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to assist in the refurbishment, or rather evolution, of 5 Below. This has been around 4 days of solid work on top of a couple days of laying out floor plans, designing, texture compiling etc. It's the first bit of proper work I've done since my car model, and the first interior I've done in awhile. Also it's nice to have a brief, creative freedom (sometimes) is my worst enemy.
I'm not going to talk about how I created the 5 Below images so much, honestly, there is not much too them. AO render, Depth Pass, IES Lights, Portal Light, Bevel-Bevel-Bevel, Photoshop. Also I'm in no position to tell people how to do stuff, I'm just a newbie. Anyway I'm pretty sure no-one reads these.
Here is the tutorial I looked at for IES Lights - http://cg.tutsplus.com/tutorials/autodesk-maya/quicktip-what-are-ies-lights-how-to-use-them-in-maya/
I will tell you that before these images, I turned out some real shoddy pieces of work, that I was actually thinking about turning in. Thankfully, I'm a tough critic, but I do miss colleagues telling me honestly about my work quality, criticism is gold and really does help with development. I'm not going to put up the crappy renders, but I will stick up the raw render of the seating area.
I used Photoshop quite heavily in post. It was the best way get a nice contrast and mood.
A great tool I found was nvidia's normal map creation filter for PS. Really simple to use, just be sure you've UV unwrapped properly. Otherwise the object can become blurry. Also its worth reading up on how normal maps work.
I'm going to break away into the whole 'inspiration-lardy-da' section now.
I've been watching a lot of Tested's YouTube videos, specifically the ones that involve Adam Savage (TV's Mythbuster). It turns out that Savage is quite that handy man, given his involvement with Lucas Arts, but one of the best points I think he makes, is about the objects story. I've read a lot about character in an image, and the conclusion is always that subtly is a 3D artists best friend.
Texture creation has never been one of my strong points, but the video below is really helpful in knowing where to add those little imperfections to make the texture perfect.
I urge anyone who is interested in Architecture Visualisation (or any 3D work) to frequent http://www.cgarchitect.com/
They have some absolutely stunning work and Making-of walkthroughs on their site. This Making-of by Malaysia's Husni Nawi on his piece 'By the Window' sums up nicely how character, storytelling and mood can be achieved.
I've noticed that a lot of employers look for candidates that have a 'good eye for detail'. I couldn't be sure how good my eye for detail is or was, but something that I've found incredibly useful, and this may be weird, is Typography. Knowing what makes a font good and what makes a font bad, is incredibly insightful. It's easy to forget that typography is an art form.
Vsauce, is a great, great channel.
This site has some great fonts. Here are some of my favourites (excuse the crappy spacing and misspelling of walkway)
I've also been doing some amateur photography, just knowing about exposure and how a camera works, is really useful, especially when using the mia_exposure_photographic node.
Anywho, I think I've gone on too much.