Category Archives: Personal project

Showreel_term 3


In this term, whether it is a cooperative project or a personal project, I have a deeper understanding of this major. It made me more familiar with the film and television production process.

For personal projects, my main purpose is to consolidate and strengthen the content of the last semester. Make me to be more familiar with the post-production process. From modeling to texturing to compositing. This pratices allowed me to solve many technical problems. Examples include how to create hard surface models in Zbrush, layered rendering in Maya, and texturing. I think these things can make me more confident in my future creations.

For me, the main purpose of the collaborative project is the research on special effects such as smoke particles, as well as the knowledge of what I have learned before. For example, the clean-up, camera tracking and shooting. This is the first time most of us have the shooting experience, so many problems have arisen. For example, we did not carefully consider the final effect of special effects when shooting. Therefore, it is difficult for us to match character actions with the animations of the portal effects. In addition, the lack of preparation of props made it difficult for us to Roto out later. If we use a green screen when shooting, we may be able to create better effects and save a lot of time. But I am very happy to have those kind of experiences. It can help me avoid many problems in my future creations. I am also glad to be able to complete this project with my team members. Diana is a very good leader. In this exercise, she helped me solve many problems.

In general, I have gained a lot this semester. Regardless of the results, I am very happy to have these experiences.

Fix the problem

This week I started the composition of the second shot and fixed the problem that appeared in the previous shot. Besides the model material has been improved.

last week Nick suggested a few thins that need to be changed in the shot. When the robot rotates its head, there are several parts that stretch and deform. So this week I adjusted it.

I used the Blend Shape and sculpture tools to fix these problem.

here is the result after I changed.

Here is the final outcome. I also added some scratches to the texture.

Another problem is that due to the insufficient number of faces of the model, the surface of the model is not smooth enough. So I increased the subdivisions of the model to make it better.

In the second shot, I rendered different channels and adjusted them in Maya.

This week I made adjustments to the shadow and skin problems that Nick proposed. For my previous version. Nick thinks the character’s skin looks too dark. Compared with the surrounding sofa, the dark part is a little deeper. There is also the wrong direction of the shadow.

Here is what the shadow looks like before the change, which is completely wrong compared to the shadow of the sofa on the right. The correct shadow should be straight down.


So I re-adjusted the light source in Maya. Take the light in the right corner as the main light source and add another light under his feet to enhance the shadow effect. Afterwards, the color and blur of the shadows were adjusted in Nuke.

This is the effect of the shadow after the change.


About the modification of skin color. I chose multi-pass rendering when exporting from Maya. Afterwards, there are more possibilities for model adjustments in Nuke. For diffuse and specular layers, I added a Grade node to adjust the contrast and color saturation of the model.

Here is the result after adjustment.

Texturing and Creation of HDRI

Last week, I just finished the model of the robot. It is actually not perfect. But I may take time to continue to improve this model in the future. The main task of this week is texturing the model, shooting footage, and images making HDRI images by myself.


For the texturing. I was using Substance painter to finish the work. Firstly is because I have seen some tutorials about Substance painter. Very cool. So I want to learn and understand this software a little bit. The second is because, in addition to the material, I also need some damage effects in the field. Like the image shows. Substance painter can help me accomplish this.

The workflow for the texturing. In the first step is to export the model from Zbrush to Maya as two level versions. This step can help me reduce the burden on my computer. Maintain the effect of high mode in the case of low mode. After we import the model in Substance painter, we need to bake it first. Then I can get a low-level model with a high-level model surface.

Then i can start to paint on it.


For the HDRI. I borrowed a 360 camera from the equipment department to help me finish it. This is a very simple method, compared to SLR cameras and metal balls. There is no need to stitch and cut out pictures. Only a camera and app can help us complete the production.

Here is the image results and the rendering results in Maya.

First version for test

Modeling and test

For personal project. I decided to focus on 3D Composition. The topic is related to the epidemic.


There was a melodious piano sound in a deserted apartment building. The camera shifted to the inside of the apartment. There is a robot playing the piano.

Work Process

modeling, texture and render – Maya, Zbrush

composition, tracking -Nuke

Shooting – Black magic or Canon 5D 3


In the first week I started using Zbrush to create my initial model.This is just an initial model, and it is not perfect in many places.

In the next few weeks I have been trying to create hard surface models in Zbrush. Nick told me that it might be easier to create a hard surface model in Maya. I tried to combine the two software to help me complete the model. But I found that it is quite difficult to use these two software together. So I started learning to create hard surfaces in Zbrush.

The first method is to use cutting and tilting brushes to help us create a smooth and regular surface. These two are my more commonly used cutting tools. Trim brushes are often used to crop the outer edges of objects. The Clip brush is used to crop the inside of an object or a flatter surface.

These two are the brushes that help me trim the surface. Make the surface of the object more regular.


When encountering this kind of surface, I will use the Zsphere tool to help me with topology.

The last tool for creating hard surfaces is to use Zmodeler. This tool is powerful. It helps me create objects that are as regular as the polygons in Maya.

Here is a video introducing ZModeler. It is very useful for me.

Another is the ZRemersher tool to help me rebuild the surface of the object. In order to paste the material and color later. The Subtool tool helps me to import each part into Maya hierarchically for animation and rendering.

Here are some reference pictures I looked for when modeling.

I also looked for some books related to machinery or robots. The first one is “How to draw”. Another is “Industrial Divinities”.