Swordfish Shack
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Swordfish Shack

Alsu Rakhimova
by arakhimova on 27 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Created for my Foundation Term Final Project at Think Tank Training Centre, this piece is based on the beautiful concept of artist Rebecca W. Chan.

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Created for my Foundation Term Final Project at Think Tank Training Centre, this piece is based on the beautiful concept of artist Rebecca W. Chan.

The positivity and touching storytelling of this work resonated with me a lot. During this 5 week project, I attempted to bring this idyllic world a bit closer to reality.

I used the following software tools while creating this piece:

- Maya for modelling

- Mudbox for sculpting and displacement baking. I sculpted cats' fur (please see more details below), fish, broom, and fabric

- Mari for texturing (creating diffuse, bump, reflection maps for all the objects)

- Maya V-Ray for cat's fur, lighting (including volumetric lighting or 'God Rays'), and rendering

- Photoshop for combining 'atmosphere' render pass (volumetric lighting) and the sRGB render pass, as well as post-processing (incl. adding dust particles and slow cooker steam)

Below, you can see the closeups of the main character, a cat named Jun. In order to create the stylized yet believable fur, I used the following technique:


- I created a cat's base mesh in Maya and exported it to Mudbox for sculpting.

- In Mudbox, I sculpted details (mainly using 'Wax', 'Grab', 'Knife', and 'Smooth' brushes) and then used Mesh > Retopologize to retopologize the base mesh and to make the fur strokes look more smooth

- I baked the Displacement map (UV & Maps > Extract texture maps > Displacement map) based on the new base mesh and exported both retopologized base mesh and displacement map back to Maya

- In order to make the fur look softer, I added tiny fur hair ('peach fuzz'), using V-Ray fur.


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