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Student Demo Reel - Generalist

Student Demo Reel - Generalist

Dino Lucca
by LindaPetersen and dinolucca on 17 May 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

I am thrilled to present three projects that I have developed over the course of 18 months during my time at PIXL VISN. As a first-time participant in the rookies, I am excited to share my work here.

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Hello everyone,

My name is Dino, and each of my projects represents a distinct area of focus and has provided me with valuable experiences and insights.

Project "Hermit Crab"

A journey of exploration and learning, pushing the boundaries of my creativity by utilizing a combination of ZBrush, Mari, and Houdini for the very first time. I chose to focus on the details of this fascinating creature, channeling my newfound skills into bringing its essence to life.

Using ZBrush for sculpting, I carefully crafted the delicate nuances of the hermit crab's shell, claws, and body, aiming to capture the essence of this unique creature's natural form and characteristics.

ZBrush process from initial blockout to final detailing stage.

In Mari, I generate ISO maps and integrate certain Substance Painter maps to prepare my texture workflow. The node system in Mari was particularly pleasant to use because it allowed me to maintain a clear overview of my entire setup. This organization made it easier to adjust and refine the texturing process.

Additionally, I utilized Houdini for grooming the crab, further enhancing its lifelike appearance.

Groom Study

Basic Nuke Techniques:

Here, I present a comparison between my initial render and the final reworked render.
Reworked elements include shading, grooming, sensor, shell, and ground.

Initial Render vs. Final Rework Render

Project "Snowleopard"

In this project, I directed my focus towards the creation of an environment and lighting. The assets I used were from Quixel Megascans and I reshaded them all to match our vision.

This project was a collaborative effort, made possible through the talent and collaboration of Linda Petersen, who expertly crafted the model and groomed the snow leopard. The seamless cooperation and her dedication took the result to a higher level, and I am thrilled to have shared this experience with her.

I also extend my gratitude to Carlos Eulen for his assistance with the Snowshader that we utilized for the Quixel Megascans. His support provided valuable insights and enabled the realization of our ideas.
To generate snow over the main rocks, I used the Snow Factory script for Maya.

Reshaded Quixel assets to match our vision look.

In this project, I implemented a Light Back to Beauty technique to gain greater control during the compositing phase. I utilized a plugin called "Stamps" for Nuke, which proved to be very useful. This tool aided in organizing my Nuke script and provided flexibility in my workflow.

Project "Interior"

With a focus on mastering V-Ray for the first time and digging into XGen for grooming, I aimed to create a visually captivating interior scene that showcases my evolving skills as a digital artist.

In addition to mastering V-Ray, I also took my first steps into the world of grooming with XGen, utilizing its powerful tools to bring the character of the scene to life.

Through this project, I not only honed my skills in lighting design with V-Ray but also embraced the challenges of grooming with XGen, pushing the boundaries of my creativity and technical proficiency.

Most of the objects are from the Chaos Cosmos library. I made minor adjustments to the shading of these assets to achieve the desired appearance, and I also modeled some of the remaining props myself.

Since the default hair cards didn't achieve the desired look, I chose to groom it using xGen to achieve the specific look I had in mind.

Initial Test Render with Hair Cards & Final Render with xGen

One distinctive aspect of this project was the inclusion of animated raindrops on the window. Due to time limitations, I decided to create this effect directly in post-production rather than simulating it.

To get some inspiration, I turned to Midjourney, browsing through generated images for ideas. It was during this search that I stumbled upon a concept picturing a young child engrossed in monitoring stock graphs on a screen, prompting me to think of the potential future scenario of young people's isolation. With this newfound inspiration, I was able to initiate my project with clarity and purpose.

Thank you so much for taking the time to explore my project breakdowns! It's truly been a pleasure sharing my insights and learning moments with you. I'm thrilled about the journey ahead, continuing to improve with new projects, and always learning something new and interesting. Let's stay inspired and keep pushing the boundaries of creativity together. Thank you once again for your support and encouragement.

Thanks, Dino

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