Little Mermaid Concept
Thank you for checking my entry. This is my 2019 student reel from my one-year diploma at Think Tank Training Centre. PS: please don't forget to see the after credits! Song: Majestic Submarine Forests (From "Our Planet") by Steven Price
References: Picked Red Ghost Crab and Parrot fish respectively as Sebastian and Flounders since they look funny and charismatic; Picked Shaab Claudio cavern in Egypt as the rock formation looks less dangerous/sharp and more safe for the viewer; Several assets were from shipwreck auction photos; Ariel's fish idea from Angel Betta fish.
Curiosities: Couldn't finish the after credits shot with Ariel during the program so I video-bashed all the render tests in comp; Rock model was 10% sculpted and 90% procedurally created with Zbrush masks and deformations; Rock texture has some crazy mixed displacement to try to imitate biolife such as flowers, chicken skin, pumpkin guts, cracked concrete, cracked plastic and many others; Once the rock texture was finished I created a seamless marine texture and used on all the assets and characters as a mask to blend them on the scene; Corals were done by getting in contact with biology institutes and using photogrammetry models, which took some time to clean the topology and recreate the textures; Micro biolife such as debris, twigs, seaweed, shells, etc were populated with with Maya MASH to decrease the render time but using a shader randomizer on the diffuse so they dont look the same; Caustics were made with a transparent card on top of the cavern with an animated wave displacement to simulated realistic light refraction; Seaweed plants are basically cards with a loop simulation in a way that they don't make Y-axis turns more than 90 degress and they were all face-constraint to the camera so you can't see their thickness; Everything but hard-surface assets have AL SSS shader; Though underwater scene shouldnt have specular information the scene is very boring when removing the spec pass; Rigging, animation and comp were the hardest part but was a good way to understand the connection of all the areas;