Hey guys! My name is Elio Molinaro I'm a french first year student at ESMA. This is a compilation of some works i did this year. It includes some modeling work as well as some lookdev. I tried to showcase my progression as much as I could and explain what the projects were like for me. Hope you'll like it!
My First Year at ESMA
Procedural Breakfast Table
This was one of the first big projects of the year. We were asked to fully model light and shade procedurally a breakfast scene. When looking for inspiration, I stumbled upon a lot of American diner images and loved the eerie vibe they had: My idea was found. Then followed 3/4 weeks of work while attending the other classes. Modeling was pretty easy, no big issues there. Shading proved to be more tricky. Having to make intricate procedural node setups was and still is really fun for me, but it is sometimes frustrating spending hours on a setup when you could do the same thing in 5 minutes with texture maps. Nonetheless, it turned out to be one of the most enriching experiences of my year since it allowed me to be completely comfortable with node setups for shading with texture maps later down the line.
Just below you will find a few more images showing the progress throughout the project.
This was the second big project of the year. We had to model and lookdev in 3/4 weeks a specific coffee grinder. Modeling was easy since the object is pretty square and/or round with not a lot of variation. Regarding texturing and shading, this was the first project where we would texture an object without procedurals and without using Substance or Mari. I am happy with the job I did on modeling and on some aspects of the shading like the clearcoat variation on the wood. That being said, I did not have a proper lookdev setup to do this project which resulted in me having to counterbalance a lot of settings in the shader engine. It was also my first time doing that type of metal and it's safe to say that I definitely got better later down the line! Anyhow, I am satisfied with that project and all of the learning and experience I gained from it.
you will find below a turntable and a few other images of the coffee grinder.
This project was a bit different, indeed, we were given 4 already modeled shoes to choose from. We then had to lookdev these shoes how we wanted. I chose this air max 1 and started looking for specific models to reference. I quickly found this Air Max 1 Blueprint that I immediately loved. This was one of my favourite projects to work on as I pieced together so many pieces of information I had learnt during the year. I also tried xGen for the first time on the laces and enjoyed it a lot. If I was to do this project again, I would probably rework the sole's SSS and fully model the laces to achieve a higher level of realism.
You will find below other shots and a turntable from the project.
'A Photographer's Table' - Still Life
This is my last project to date. The brief for this one was simply to do a still life of whatever we wanted. We started by doing the concept art for the image and then moved to production. I learned so much about modeling with this project thanks to the camera. It had so many intricate changes of direction in the edge flow that it was tricky to get it to work. Shading was really interesting too because I decided to render my image in 4k (sadly you cannot see the full-res image due to the size restrictions). I was able to implement so many details in the image and really enjoyed it. That was a blessing and a curse at the same time since I fell into the pitfall of adding detail that is not even visible on the render. Next time, I know that I will need to be smarter with my choices to be more efficient since that is also a good quality to have in the industry. I also decided to start using ACES with the project after getting acquainted with the theory these past few months. I genuinely enjoyed working on this one and piecing together the parts of the puzzle in my head is always really fun.
You will find below a few closeups from the same shot.
This is the end of my entry for this year's Rookies Contest. I tried to sum up what my year has been like on the texturing/shading front as best as I could. It is always satisfying to look back at your work and see the progress you've made along the way. Hope you'll like it!