Lego / by Xuan Prada

I continue with my transition to Modo. I already know more or less the basics of the software and I have adapted my way of working to be productive in Modo. It’s time to make my first image and put in practice all that I learnt last week.

I have chosen a simple theme. After watching The Lego Movie (and some great references that they used) I wanted to create something related with it. It’s simple enough to allow me to finish the image in half a day or so. Say hello to all my mates who worked on the movie, we worked together on Happy Feet while ago.

The model for the character is quite simple, perfect to try all the modeling tools that come with Modo. Great so far. The work plane is quite useful, love it.

Modo’s uv mapping tools are great and very fast. I love atlas projection and unwrap. I’ll be using them all the time. For this particular model I used only unwrap. Just select a few edgest and that’s it, done. I didn’t worry much about seams, I can fix that later in Mari.
I’m using only one UDIM, this model and textures are simple enough to use only un uv space.

I worked on the textures in Mari. I could have used Modo paint tools, but I’m used to paint in Mari, and it’s definitely faster and more powerful.

Only needed three texture channels. Color, Specular and Bump maps. I used two different bump maps, one with fine noise for the plastic, and another one with scratches and imperfections.
All the textures are 8k resolution sRGB and Scalar and 16bit .tiff

For the look-dev I created an Image Based Lighting rig. With an overcast HDRI, perfect to create atmospheric lighting without too much direct light coming from the sun. It gives me perfect reflections and nice contrast between light and shade.
Always working with a Linear Workflow.

Only used one single shader, with no layers. Simple shader with a bit of reflection driven by a specular map.

For the ground I used a simple grid sculpted in Zbrush. Just a few dunes and procedural noise to simulate sand.

I did a few tests to find the best way to setup Zbrush displacements in Modo.
I’ll be posting soon how to do it. It’s not that complicated :)

For lensing, I used a 50mm focal length camera. I created a low poly version of my characters and ground, just to block the camera angle and lighting.

Finally, I updated the proxy models with the final ones.
To lit the scene I used a nice high resolution panorama shot by myself. It gave me the perfect atmosphere and reflection for this shot. But I couldn’t get the perfect shadows.
I wanted to lit this like a miniature, so I wanted a very strong key light with a perfect and hard shadow. I just removed the sun from the HDRI and then added a 3D light just behind the characters.

I dind’t need to render aov’s or render passes, I just rendered a quick id matte to control the ground and the characters.

This is the final render.

And finally, the black and white image that I conceived from the very beginning.