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July 9, 2012
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Moonlight Passage by J-the-Ninja Moonlight Passage by J-the-Ninja
Whew.

This one was kind of a big one for me. The lizard was something I started working on 2-3 months ago, and had shelved for awhile because I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to do with the model. The cave grew out as it's own idea (it was inspired by a Digital Blasphemy piece I stumbled onto on my hard drive), then I realized that the lizard is the perfect thing to adorn the cave. I had to actually FINISH the lizard to pull this off, he needed a serious texture redo (the original sucked) and then I had to actually RIG the thing. The rig is a lot more complex than anything I'd done before. In the past I'd just stuck to simple FK stuff, this guy...he has IK, a spline tail, and bone-driven face morphs. Most of that was pretty much "learn as I went", been awhile since I had to tab back and forth to tutorials so much while working, felt good. :)

The final image is actually a composite of 3 (or 5, if you count the masking plates) different images, but for a full shot breakdown I'm gonna need a blog post (and more motivation to write said post).


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All models are my own work in Blender. The cave texture was built off a pair of very nice rock maps from CG textures (plus some sculpting+normal mapping on top of those). Rendering was a mix of Blender Internal and LuxRender. I really shouldn't have made Lux brute force the lighting from the skylight(don't ask how long the main beauty pass took to render, you don't want to know), but I couldn't think of a good way to fake it and get the result I wanted. Moar Blender for the composite, then Photoshop and Luminance for the tonemapping and cleanup. Polycount was ~1mil tris, maybe a bit less (not counting the leaf instances).

In any case
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