Weekly Drills 061 - #LEGO

Weekly Drills 061 - #LEGO

Ivan Pechalin
by ivanpechalin on 5 Jul 2021

"Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy".

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Hi everyone! I am Happy to share with you my entry for this #LEGO - Weekly Drills 061. 

For some time I´ve got totally inspired by Chris Brejon´s Digital Cinematography book where he is showing a lot of examples from the Lego movie and also shares his knowledge about lighting which he gained during the years of working in CG. And also by Timothée Maron who is making amazing lookdev studies on this topic, check also his blog, it is a must read! As I saw the Rookies announced this theme,  for me it was like a sign that I have to try something in this style.


I wanted to recreate this shot a while ago with the Mr.Bean Asset from Renderman, but I did not have the feeling that it´s the good idea. Luckily I ended up with Lego world, as it´s so flexible and you can create with it wherever you want!

So references first

then I did a rough blockout to get the idea of the picture and figure out the camera/scale/perspective etc.

here is the very first setup with primitives VS final setup. By the way for the background I did not use any textures and even procedurals, just basic shaders.


I did a very basic model for this project, I could have added even more details and to make nice beveling to capture the shapes even better like in the real world, but I decided not to play with topology and to move forward. But If you are interested of doing a precise model you have to check this. The most painfull part for me was the hair because I did not do anything in zBrush for a long time, but it was nice to sculp a bit, even if modeling is not my favorite element.  


I did them quick and dirty, I knew I am gonna use a lot of tri planar projections in Painter so it was just enough.


At this stage I textured base color, roughness, displacement and painted some alphas in Photoshop for his body and face.


It was fun to animate it, I did not make any rig, so I just animated the group. For his facial expressions I painted 3 different textures for closed, half opened and opened eyes.


My goal was to recreate the lighting scenario so close as possible in maya and then to do the relighting in nuke with light groups. It is just faster to tweak lights in nuke as to render every adjustment in IPR mode. Here you can take a look on my lighting setup in maya.


I rendered character and background separately. Character took me 2 minutes per frame in 2K, Background also 2 minutes. I used Redshift for this project. The scene is very simple so it was not to much work on optimization. 


I did very simple things in comp: some relighting, color correction, DOF, added a bit of grain etc.

here is raw render VS finished comp. 


It was quiet challenging to get it done in one week, but it was really fun to work on it as the Fight Club is one of my favorite movies. It motivates even more if you have some kind of personal connection to something. 

I hope I did not forgot anything, if you have some questions or feedback feel free to contact me:

LinkedIn: click

instagram: click

P.S. sorry for my english, it is not the best.

Screengrabs from Fight club(1999) movie I have from Shotdeck 

HDRI lights from hdrihaven.com

Thank you!

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