Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Skin and city


Skin and city

on November 17th, 2009, by soenke

skin_texture_test_01 At the moment we are thinking about doing our own skin photos to texture Sintel and I’m stuck with thinking about how to create good skin photos.city_color_variations_01 So if you have anything that might help, like super high quality skin images you made yourself and want to share or if you have knowledge/links about creating epic skin photos or anything else that is important, go ahead and throw it at us. But be aware that everything you post here needs to be cc-by.

pottery_bezier_01In the meantime you can crit a city scene I worked on the week before last week. Everything except the barrel and the potteries is straight forward modelling. The potteries are bezier-circles with a bezier curve as a bevel object and the barrel is a simple array deformed by a lattice.barrel_lattice_01


78 Responses to “Skin and city”

  1. zeauro Says:

    Buildings are well done but I think that they are at the wrong place.
    Deevad’s image which is focusing on the giant door produce a totally different feeling.
    We are stuck in a little street waiting the event that would open the door. But we could imagine that we are in a street driving to the main street placed in front of the door.
    We can not feel the same watching your image.

    The field of view is not the same and reveals a large area, too large and too close to city’s entrance to be a crossroads. If it is a market place, faΓ§ades and details should be oriented to this center. I miss row houses and climbing streets to feel in a city and not in an artificial hollywood medieval town.
    I mean, in real life, most of time, towns with remparts are overhanging surroundings.Even ports have relief.
    I don’t know if you plan to make something pass the door but it could be great if it should follow a climbing street.

  2. dahray Says:

    Just thinking! spacing the buildings closer together and making the streets narrower could also give it a more “lowerclass” look.

  3. tonurs Says:

    I’m a total amateur at faces but Waitstate’s link is fascinating. Great realism with no SSS, just a diffuse and specular layer. It also shows that a general skin texture is very lacking for a face.

  4. Bert Says:

    Look at photos of a lot of old european cities. Especially Rothenburg Germany. There are different levels to the city. I would suggest creating a non flat terrain and then adjusting the buildings and streets to it. It looks like a good start though.

  5. Jeff Ollie Says:

    Why not include a Utah Teapot in with the pottery?

  6. angbor Says:

    For the Skintextures you guys really need to roll out the Canons… or some other serious cameras (Nikon for example). Try to shoot them with a ringflashlight and a macrolens. I guess this would do the best job for textures, if available. The best thing about using a DSLR is you have a 16bit base to work with instead putting all together in 8 bit, plus you will get some very sharp images because of the specialized lense.

    mail me if there are some further questions

  7. steffen Says:

    i hope so. at least as an C4D user, i would πŸ˜›

  8. angbor Says:

    @Steffen: Ah common deep in my heart IΒ΄m an blenderuser… very deep (looking forward to 2.5) and at least… it`s not Autodesk πŸ˜€

  9. steffen Says:

    @anbor: might the userkaymap be with you ;D

  10. JoS Says:

    Great to see such progress already!
    if you want some tips on the city i have a few recommendations.

    1. add some dust (fog, mist). this will give the scene both scale and depth! if you can afford the extra render time i would love to see some volumetric sunbeams from the rooftops (volumetric fog)

    2. more color variation! even though the images should have an overall atmospheric color tint, some of these images are almost monochromatic. maybe add some vegetation, a tree?

    3. more contrast in “shadow areas” – the walls could for example have a diffuse fresnel reflection, so that the walls which are almost perpendicular to the camera reflects more light than those facing us.

    4. add more variation. – a building built from other materials, or maybe make the lower part of the buildings with bricks?

    also, find some nice inspirational images. These pictures made me think of concept art for assassins creed. maybe you can find some good references there.

    maybe you are way ahead of me, but hopefully you’ll find some of these tips useful πŸ˜‰ And here is a quick paintover to illustrate some of the effects:

    keep it up!

  11. Max Puliero Says:

    awesome work!

    I know that make a entire city is very hard and when you finally finish..everybody want to say opinions about it… I think that the level is pretty high and just some more details will help the image.

    I really like the JoS version πŸ˜‰

  12. Nixon Says:

    this must be the most elaborate way to lure a girl with a super nice skin into the blender institute…very clever move;):D
    the city scene is cool!! i like the lower right pic the best ..the first is very warm in color but somehow the houses seem not to fit in such a warm very sunny place (the yellow/orange tint suggests to me it was more of an arabic desert style scene on the 1st one)…
    anyway does sintel take place on earth or is it a fictional planet?
    ..anyhow everybody knows that dragons died out a while ago on earth but it could be some alternate reality in wich they survived…but thats redundant for the movie anyway..i just wondered!
    #thx for sharing all the works in progress and best regards to the team!

  13. Dim Says:

    Would love to see the city roofs (or any other non-structural elements) reinforced or re-created with “found” materials. Strips of canvas, old boards, the hull of a rowboat, old military shields, thatch, slate, etc. If I recall, David had said that this part of the city once enjoyed great prosperity, but it has since been reduced. Using the “patching” together of buildings to display that could be really effective. In all honesty, given the amount of stylization of the character, a lot of those elements could be pushed very far, and it might look great. I can imagine buildings propped up with long planks, or a collapsed structure being re-inhabited, even though it’s now laying on it’s side. Things like that could make the production really stand out.

    Also, I live in a poor rural area that has a lot of buildings from about 1-200 years back that are in bad shape, and I have an extensive high resloution photo-library of them, and they may be very helpful for reference (though likely less so for texturing). I would be willing to let you guys use them under a license we could discuss. If you are interested, e-mail me at ktbluear at yahoo dot com. Here’s a sample:

    Forgot to mention in there, but really love the work so far.

  14. D Says:

    That’s really creative, Dim! πŸ˜€ I’d love to see one of those ideas for houses in the movie.

  15. Dim Says:

    Had a little fun with this:

    I’ll probably do a couple of variations just for fun. This was primarily about mood, but it was based on only one of the 4, so I was going to try the other 3.

  16. soenke Says:

    Big thanks for all the great input, ideas and links. I’ll go through everything and after seeing the ted video I had to buy a polarisation filter this morning. Now I only have to wait for a perfectly clouded day, shouldn’t take too long in Amsterdam πŸ˜€

  17. Chad Says:

    I really like Dim’s ideas for making the city look like it’s seen better days. I think this could be a great way to visually enhance the story.

  18. karamelo Says:

    Great city scene.
    But if its an eastern town, v shaped roofs seems unrealistic. This roof type is rarely used in arid climates.

  19. Gwilwileth Says:

    The city is absolutely awesome !!!! I like that =D

    keep it up !

  20. Victoride Says:

    About the skin: Have you ever been to Second Life?
    Good skins are very important for the avatars there and there are several people/companies selling really lovely skins. Maybe you could ask some of them (either if they would create a skin for you or tell you how they made theirs)? The big advantage would be that they already know how to fit a skin to a body.

    P.S.: The city is beautiful

  21. Milad Says:

    The top-left one looks like a capture from Assassin’s Creed; great work!

  22. Aaron Says:

    i suggest that you start with a blank image. and manually paint a good skin texture. that way you can eliminate variables such as camera vibration, lighting and exposure, by the way, what camera are you using for these?

    I <3 the city shots though. hope to see moreawesome work.

  23. Kreon Says:

    Well, i use this technique for creating skin textures:

    Its more time consuming then using real photo textures but the result is often better. Also you can use this technique also for cartoony characters, just do not paint to much details.

    Btw. i heard that Blur Studios, (the guys who did these many many great video game intros) use manny layers of concrete textures for their skin.
    I THINK i heard it here:

  24. Dim Says:

    Another shot:

    Two more to go…

  25. D Says:

    I don’t know what you’re up to by now, Soenke, but just in case you haven’t found out yet, you can’t really filter out the specular layer without polarizing the light source first. So the cloudy day technique will likely not be strong enough.

  26. D Says:

    I had fun switching off my own specular layer by holding a pair of 3D glasses I accidentally took home from the movies in front of my eyes backwards whilst looking at my hand under the light of my laptop’s LCD screen.
    Maybe you could try lighting with LCD screens to get polarized light? πŸ˜€

  27. Robert Says:

    Check out this link for skin photography. You can get some excellent results with no diffuse light variation and nearly no spec with this method.

  28. Viralata Says:

    The city looks nice but I have a few crits:
    It’s not realistic to have very sloppy roofs and flat roofs in the same place. In rainy weather you have high slopes, in dry weather, you have flat roofs. Only the use of “modern” technics allowed builders to forget those rules. This one disturbed me a lot.
    And the houses are too identical but I think it’s just a wip.
    Often the second floor in this tipe of building is made of wood structure filled with masonry (stone or brick or earth). It would be nice to see some of it. like here: