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Meet Mat Morales
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Meet Mat Morales

I'm glad to show you Mat Morales, my entry for the MeetMat 3 Challenge!

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Update - 11 Jan 2024

Hello everybody! Lorenzo Baraldi here.

I can finally say that I'm done with the final update of my entry for this Meet Mat 3 Contest. 

In this one the main changes are in the lighting and render quality, although I've done some quick and minor changes to the textures as well. Also, make sure to check out the entire post to discover my approach and the various stages of this project. Hope you like it!

To showcase Mat Morales in all of his glory I've made this renders with a very "spiderverse" style of lighting. 

On the other hand, the following shots were done with a more neutral style, in order to better display the entire model and to get the best condition to light some close up shots.

Workflow Breakdown

After conceiving the idea for the challenge I started with some "technical tests", to see if the effect that I wanted was good enough and to find the best workflow to obtain it. Back in the first update you can see those preliminary tests.

After some trial and error I stuck to a workflow that was very linear, a little time consuming but quite effective. I always started with a rough sketch pass done directly on the MeetMat, to define all the lego pieces on the model and, especially, to see how the forms of the pieces would be deformed in the UVs. 

Once finished the sketch I would take a screenshot of the UVs as a reference and then retrace all the single shapes in Illustrator or Photoshop. Like this I was able to create some very sharp and detailed maps for the displacement of the model. 

The last step was obviously the easiest. Once I got all the maps needed it was easy to reuse them for the colouring process. At last I added some surface imperfections such as dust, scratches and fingerprints to enhance the realism.

Displacement Maps

Project Set-Up

Final Textures

That's all folks!

Thanks a lot to The Rookies, the sponsors and the judges to make all of this possible! For me has been a pleasure to be part of this challenge and I had a really great time with this project, I wish the best of luck to all other partecipants, keep up the great work!

Lastly, thanks to you to have gone this far reading, see you in the next one!


Comments (4)

Update - 5 Jan 2024

Last upgrade regarding the texturing of the model, I've added a little bit more bricks details and some imperfactions overall, now I'll be focusing on the shading lighting and rendering phase. 

Comments (2)

Update - 30 Dec 2023

Quick update for this first take on the color and roughness details. I still have to add some imperfecions and more color variations and details to make it more realistic.

See you in the next one!

Update - 28 Dec 2023

I finished the displacement pass on all the model, I may add some more details later if I got the time but right now I'm happy with the result.

I'll keep going finally adding color and more non-displacement details, stay tuned!

Here are some other quick renders with some different colors and light settings

Comments (2)

Update - 15 Dec 2023

19 Dec Update

In the last days I continued trying to find a solid workflow in order to achieve the look I'm going for. This is what I got so far. The workflow is quite time consuming but I think that by the end it can deliver the effect I wanted. I've done the main pieces of the face, now it's only a matter of repeating the same process for every other piece I have to insert, and in this case the more details I add the better. Here are some of the alphas I created for some of the pieces I added.

I'll keep adding pieces and details in the displacement channel until I'll got all the model covered, and then I'll move on to the coloring and all the other stuff to make it pop even more, see you in the next update!

15 Dec Update

Hi, this is my first approach to this new challenge, I'm currently in more of a testing phase for this project, so I've got only some sketches for the idea, some reference and some test I did so far to understand if this project is even possible to do and to look decent.

This is a quick sketch I did for the concept I'm going for. I wanted to do something with Lego style as it could be a cool way to use the displacement features in Substance. The classic lego minifig style is way to simple though, so I wanted some more complex visual appeal. I finally chose to go with the style of the more recent Lego masks collection, as it's a very nice compromise with complex and simple shapes. For the character I then picked Miles Morales, because I'm a big fan of Spiderverse, there isn't already a real-life Lego set of him and because I can use the outer "shell" of MeetMat's head as his iconic hoodie.

With the concept chosen I started testing out if it's even possible to achieve a decent look only with displacement maps. I know that I'm a little late with this challenge so I'm going all in with this concept hoping for the best down the line, here are some really preliminary tests of the displacement lego effect and some sketches of the pieces onto the model.