Hair

Slack – Animals

I was the senior Hair and Fur TD on this commercial for Slack. I was responsible for the Fur on the Lion, Goat, and the feathers on the Owl. The fur was made using Hair Farm, and rendered with V-Ray.

Once the commercial was finished Nexus made this fantastic blooper reel:


Winter 2016 FX Reel

Here’s my latest FX Reel:

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Coke Building Commercial

Very pleased to have worked on this Coca-Cola ad for Nexus. I was responsible for all the hair and fur in the commercial.

There were 14 separate character hair setups, all sculpted in Hair Farm, and rendered in V-Ray. We were going for a photo real stop motion look, so the hair is designed to look more like nylon dolls hair than human. The scale of the styling and the hair strand thickness were designed to achieve this look. Hair Farm dynamics didn’t work at this small scale, so we used a Hair Farm link mesh, which was then rigged to drive any required motion for the hair. This also suited the hand stop animation feel we’d designed for the characters.


Deadbeats Ghost – V-Ray Hair Test

So this is the same creature as shown previously, but I’ve spent some time working rendering the hair fully in V-ray rather than using a separate light rig, and the Hair Farm Renderer.

The hair is generated in Hair Farm, and then brought fully into V-Ray using the VrayHairFarmMod. The Hair Farm renderer is turned off and only V-Ray is used to render it. The V-Ray hair shader was used, with the white matted preset as a starting point. I still used Hair Farm’s Color Variation material in the diffuse which adds an individual colour to each stand. The Hair was also set to be opaque for GI, and shadows. Simplify for GI was also set.

Rendering hair can be problematic because of its potential to create noise in the image if the sampling is too low. The aliasing filter can also cause issues, so it took a bit of fine tuning to get this right.

Here’s the settings I used in the test:

Image Sampler: Adaptive DMC
Antialiasing Filter: Cook Variable set to 2.5

The DMC noise threshold is not as low as it could be, but I didn’t notice any major noise issues, so was set to 0.01

The scene is lit with 2 area spots, and an HDR dome light. Primary GI was Brute Force, with secondary set to Light Cache. Render times were pretty high using the HDR, but it was worth it for the final image quality. Without the HDR, and still using GI, render times were reduced by 3/4.

View fullscreen in HD for best results.

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Deadbeats Ghost: V-Ray Test

In 2012 I was asked to set up a small vfx team to work on a BBC comedy/horror pilot called Deadbeats. I was brought in at the pre-production stage to plan shots, and also breakdown the vfx requirements. Once filming started, I supervised the vfx shots over a 2 week shoot.

We produced over 75 shots ranging from 2D effects, to full CG creature work, and FX heavy shots.

Some of this work is visible on my latest reel, which you can see in the showreel section of my site.

Unfortunately the pilot was not commissioned, and will not be broadcast. But I wanted to show some of the great work we produced on the show.

The original ghost concept was produced by the awesome Lee Ray who I’ve worked with many times in the past: http://www.lee-ray.com/

I then sculpted and textured the ghost in Mudbox. I originally rendered the ghost in Mental Ray, but this new test uses V-Ray’s Fast SSS2 shader for some great results! (best viewed in HD)

The ghost is designed to have hair (hence why the back of the head is not sculpted or textured to any great detail), but the V-ray version of the hair is taking a while to setup, so I’ll post a new test when that’s complete.

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Word of Tanks: Endless War Cinematic

I recently finished working with the fantastic RealtimeUK on the World of Tanks: Endless War Cinematic.

I worked on a few shots, but mainly I worked on the Chi-Ha tank crashing though the bamboo. The bamboo was rigged and animated by hand, while the leaves were particle flow system, driven by a fume grid. The grass was Hair Farm. Here’s a video of that shot with a brighter grade.

An early test of the leaf dynamics:

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2nd Hair farm Test

Hair Farm Test 02 from Hugh Johnson on Vimeo.

2nd test using Hair Farm, this time with straighter hair. This version also uses more than one group of hair, its possible to apply different effects to each group.

Hair Farm Test 02 from Hugh Johnson on Vimeo.


Hair Farm first test

Hair Farm Test 01 from Hugh Johnson on Vimeo.

First test using Hair Farm plugin for Max.  This version took 40 mins to render, but later managed to reduce the total render time down to 15 mins with no massive loss of quality.  Very impressed with the plugin so far.  Seems really comprehensive, with loads of tools and different ways to customise the hair, even after its been simmed.


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