3d forums home Resources for 3d artists

cmiVFX - Demystifying The Render Tree - Softimage Training

Posted: July 19, 2011
Hello guys and gals! I've spent the last couple months creating this Softimage training material together with those great guys from cmiVFX. I hope you find it useful and have as much fun with it as we had making it! Here is the press release:

cmiVFX Releases Autodesk Softimage - Demystifying The Render Tree Training Video
High Definition Training Videos for the Visual Effects Industry

Princeton, NJ (July 13, 2011) Ė cmiVFX launches its latest training for the Autodesk Softimage Animation Package. Learn how to wrangle your own renders with the powerful Softimage Render Tree. This training video will unlock the mysteries of the delicate nuances of great digital imagery.

No cubes, balls or teapots found in this project! We go deep into this production ready scene to learn the most fundamental rendering tool in Softimage, the Render Tree. Render Tree is the nodal interface for dealing with shaders in Softimage and it is the right tool for the job in Mental Ray and third party renders alike. With some great promises on the rendering horizon for SI there is no better time to jump on the bandwagon and Demystify the Render Tree yourself!

Short Description
Learn how to control the Softimage Render Tree by creating unique shaders and renderings for a production ready scene.

||||||||||||||||||||| Softimage - Demystifying The Render Tree ||||||||||||||||||||||

The Basics
All good training videos start with a good recap of the basic workflow. We will continue this trend by showing you the UI, the node environment, and how to go about using plugin shaders and textures. We will also cover some other little do's and dontís, as well as your new best friend (if you are using Mental Ray) the Architectural Shader.

Mixing Procedurals, Images and Decals
There are many great things to learn when working with procedurals. The endless repetition, the limitless resolution, and how customizable it is. But there are some times when that is just not enough and you are going to need a image. Letís learn how to mix the best of both worlds, and while we are at it, we will place some decals on top of all that!

Displacements And Bump Maps
In this chapter we will discus what displacement maps and bump maps are, when to use each, and how to optimize your displacement renderings.

Complex Shading Trees
Complexity is where the Render Tree really shines by mixing materials that layer on top of each other. Remapping your textures so that they affect many aspects of your shader, or even adding them on top of your existing bump maps will let you create the rich look only found in natural photography. This chapter will give you the knowledge to tackle very complex materials in a production environment.

SSSkin (Subsurface Scattering)
The effect of light going through a surface and scattering inside it is also known in CG as SSS (sub surface scattering). This will be most important to you while creating organic stuff like skin, fruits, flesh, flowers, and others waxy materials. Even some harder materials like marble have their share of SSS. Letís learn what this is all about, get to know the main SSS shader in Mental Ray (the Fast Skin) and letís learn how to mix what we love from the SSS shader with what we love from others shaders in our toolbox.

So youíve created some very nice looking materials, or some heavily complex trees and you know you could re-use them at some point. Compounds will let you wrap trees in a single node, and expose one or many parameters for later tweaking. Thus enabling for powerful customization with little effort.

About The Artist
Gustavo E Boehs is a generalist 3d artist from Brazil. He started his career as a Graphic Designer, but soon became very interested in 3d. He moved to S„o Paulo (Brazils financial capital) looking for good education in this field. The institution he attended used Softimage as its main tool, and what a tool it is to start your 3d venture! Having created a short film, and many advertisement pieces, he has dealt with most aspects of 3d and compositing and gained a deep all around knowledge of SI's tools and workflow, as well as some experience in other packages like Maya, Max and Cinema 4d.

Special Thanks!
Special thanks to the artist Michelangelo Almeida (http://michelangelo.cghub.com/) for creating, modeling and so kindly sharing this character with us.

Mentors Blog

Project Contents
All cmiVFX videos come with all the training materials you can need right from our website. No matter what time of day, your location, or how your feeling, cmiVFX will be there waiting for you!

This video is available today at the cmiVFX Store: http://store.cmivfx.com/

About cmiVFX
cmiVFX is the leader in High Definition Video Training for the Visual Effects Community. Register for FREE and receive hours of FREE content at the cmiVFX Video-on-Demand Player. (http://www.cmivfx.com. © 2010 cmiVFX | cmiStudios. All rights reserved.
Posted: July 21, 2011
3d artist gallery Andyba
Hello Gustavo,
It looks like a nice learning resource.
Thank you for your post.
Posted: July 25, 2011
Thanks Andyba
I want to let you guys know that a little sale is going on at cmiVFX right now, check this out!

Get 20% Off all videos at the store.cmivfx.com using the discount code " autodesk ".