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General / 19 October 2021

I had to opportunity to take part into the mentorship program at the Think Tank Training Center in Vancouver.

Alvaro Saravia asked if I could be his mentor over the summer. The goal was to help him create a character, from star to finish, ready for an animated feature pipeline, over the course of 3 months. And by helping, I mean giving him feedback and advices, it's still 100% his work and I was very impressed with his skills overall. Oh and he found the time to model and texture a full set for the final render too, that's impressive!

Go check out the full project HERE and drop some likes !

Cammy Model Update

General / 07 July 2018


Sorry for spamming about my model for sale (only $5!) but this is more of an update for people who already bought it. I don't really have any way to let you guys know that I updated the package, so I'm using this blog.

Yesterday I added an alternate version of the model, in which I converted the Yeti grooms into polygon geometry. I realized that very few people owned Yeti and that it was probably a turn off.

So now when you open the scene without Yeti, at least you'll see some place holder geometry. This is still not perfect, I had to turn the density way down, but already better than Chimio Cammy.

I'm still learning how to use Xgen and hopefully will find an easy way to convert my groom from Yeti.

So I updated the scenes.rar file and also zbrush.rar because I included the hair in the zbrush tools while I was at it.

You can download these files here

I also fixed a wrong texture path for the nude body displacement.

Cammy is on the Market !

General / 26 June 2018


It seems the notification system does not let your followers know when you upload something to the marketplace, at least not yet. So here is a quick blog post to let you know that Cammy is now available. It's been seating there for 3 days and I don't think anyone saw it.

This is the whole package :

  • Maya scene
  • high res Textures
  • Substance Painter scenes
  • Zbrush sculpt
  • Marvelous Designer patterns
  • base mesh obj

And all that for how much you may ask ? $200 ? $50 ? nope, $5. Yup, $5, less than a pack of cigarette in most countries, or a large mocha at Starbuck. Do you really need that mocha tomorrow ? Can't the horrible coffee from work do for once ?

So what are you waiting for, it's a steal, go get her now! Look at these eyes, they say "I want you".

Just a fair warning though: right now the hair is implemented with Yeti hair system, which is not free. I'm trying to convert it to Xgen but it's actually a lot more work than I thought, it's not a just simple copy/paste of curves, I pretty much have to rework the whole groom. But when it's done, I'll update the asset with the new version and you can download it again. Same thing if I ever rig her, I will post another update.

I'm also planning to release a couple more characters, but they are not ready yet.

This is not scary at all

General / 30 April 2018

Testing some expressions on Cammy... Maybe I should not have waited that long to open her mouth, this shit-eating grin is f**kin creepy. I probably need to rework these eyebrows too. Probably not the kind of expression I will go with for the final images, but it helps highlighting some issues. Just when I thought I was done with that character, looks like I'm gonna have to go back fix a few things.

Cammy Update

General / 17 February 2018
Hello guys and girls, I wanted to share this update, my Cammy character is pretty much done, almost two years after I started. I worked on many other things at the same time, including a freakin Genji helmet replica. So yeah, I took my time, but I learned a lot in the process. But I don't want to post her in my gallery until the final images are done, which might take a while, because I want to put her in a set I also have to model. And I also want to try to rig her, in which a I have little to no experience. But that's the point of this project, learning new stuff. When I started, I knew very little about Arnold, had only groomed a couple of characters, had never touched Substance Painter or Marvelous Designer, and now I have a production pipeline ready character made with all these tools. That's why i want to take it a step further and teach myself rigging with her, but it might take a while :)

And yes, I did modify her nose after all.

Clothes in Marvelous Designer (fun!)

Textures in Substance Painter

Not sure about giving her a cigarette, but I just wanted to see if I could do it in Substance Painter. Now I have one just in case. It's about 99% done with generators and procedurals.

At first, the bandaid on her knee was the usual tanned color, but a friend pointed out it was barely visible and looked more like a shading error than an actual bandaid, so I decided to make it more obvious.

Updating from Arnold 4 to Arnold 5

General / 27 December 2017
Hey guys, this is my first blog post. This is something I wanted to share but did not feel was worth uploading as a new portfolio entry, since it just a small update to what I have been up to.
I have been using the ALShaders for Arnold for a couple of years now. They were considered an industry standard but with the release of Arnold 5 with Maya 2018, those shaders have become obsolete. Anders Langlands announced he will no longer update his shaders for the upcoming versions of Arnold, because the new StandardSurface that comes bundled with Arnold 5 does pretty much the same thing.

I have this on-going project I have been working on for a while now, Cammy. I had already done the shading in Arnold 4 with ALShaders. I could have finished this project with shading in its current state; but the goal of these personal projects is to learn new stuff, so I decided to redo the shading using Arnold 5 before moving forward.

Turned out it's pretty straight forward. I had textured this character using Substance Painter. So all I had to do was to re-export the maps needed for the new arnoldStandardSurface. This is as PBR as it can get, you need the Base Color, Metallic, Roughness and Normal. The only main difference is in the diffuse channel. The arnoldStandard and ALSurface required the computed DIffuse map, which could have some of its colors substracted if the shader happened to have metalness. The color was then transfered to the Specular Color map, which is not needed when you have an actual Metalness channel. So don't export the DIffuse channel like the older Arnold preset does, replace it with Base Color, or you'll end up with some black objects if they happen to be metallic, because the color information will neither be in the diffuse nor specular channel.

Then the other tricky part was the Sub-Surface Scatterring. The ALShader had a very good SSS implementation, where you could adjust the scattering depth using actual world units. The new StandardSurface is a bit confusing. It comes with an SSS color, a radius color and a scale. From what I was able to understand, you must use the scale to define the scattering depth. A scale of 1 is 1 unit. So if your Maya units are set to centimeters and you want the scattering to be 5mm deep, then  you must set the scale to 0.5. I'm not 100%, so take it with a grain of salt, but that seemed to work for me. Then, instead of setting the SSS color to red like I used to do, I plugged the original diffuse map in it, and set the radius color to red/orange instead. Why? Well, to be very honnest, that's what the official documentation on Solid Angle's website said,  so I just trusted them and indeed it seems to work well.

Finally, I needed to redo the hair too, since I was using ALHair and there is also a new hair shader replacing it. Like ALHair, you can use Melanin to tint the hair. White hair has no melanim, while black hair are full melanin. You then adjust the melanin amount to get the color you want. For blond hair, I set melanin to 0.2. I kept most of the other parameters  untouched, if you want natural looking hair, you don't really need to mess with the default settings. I just added some transparency and a bit of melanin randomness, so the hair does not look too uniform.

I have attached the older renders bellow, done with the previous setup for comparison. The difference is subtle, except for the hair which I think looks much better now. The skin looks different too, but I think it's only because I used a bit too much subsurface in the new one (most noticeable on back view, on hand and ear). So there you go. I was worried about this transition, but it turned out being pretty easy and I actually like the new results better. Overall I don't necessarily think the new shaders are better technically, but maybe easier to setup, so you can get better results without being a true shading expert.  Anyway, now I can carry on with this project.

Oh and little fun fact: I added some dog tags while I was at it because Cammy is an army girl. I reserched what should be written on them beside her name and since the formating changes from one army to another, I double checked Cammy's background story, to make sure I did not do any mistake. I thought she was American but turns out she is British ! So I made British dogtags, that's why they are rounded instead of the more commonly know rectangular shaped used in the US army. Oh, and in case you wondered, her blood type is B, because I needed that info for the dog tags and for some reason it is actually defined in Street Fighter's lore. You're welcome.