Below is the documentation outlining my first project rendered with PRMan. I had a ton of fun creating this digital "pop-up-book" for a few different reasons. Not only was I able to research an awesome deadly mushroom, but I also had the opportunity to utilize some awesome 3D software throughout this process.

   The mushrooms' frills, which are technically referred to as "gills," were a really enjoyable aspect of this creative project. In order to model this part, I used duplicate special to clone and rotate a plane around a central pivot point. I then adjusted the angle or size of each part according to the shape of the mushroom's cap, and added a few curves with the help of soft select.

     The gills's shaders were the most exciting to generate. With PRMan's Disney material, I was able to make a large variety of adjustments. Each parameter gave me the flexibility to move one step closer to my desired look. I applied a separate ramp to both the Base Color and Emit Color of the shader. The ramp in "Base Color" was set in U, which allowed my colors to radiate outward, while the ramp in the "Emit" input was set in V. This allowed the gills to gradually shift color in both width and height.

 

References

     References were key to developing and defining my artistic direction.I was very keen to try to stay true to the "scientific illustration" look, and attempted to give all aspects a kind of natural or weathered look. 

 

ZBrush Models

With the help of ZBrush, I was able to sculpt two different mushroom models, one juvenile and one adult.

 

Textures

     Creating my textures in Photoshop crafted some pretty cool results. The leaves and grass were digitally painted.However, I compiled my pages with a combination of coffee stains, handwritten text, and a few of my own personal drawings.

 

Maquette

     Making the preliminary model really helped with visualization. After setting up a few different options, I decided to go with the Amanita muscaria as my subject and couldn't be happier with that choice.

Thoughts

     This project brought many new and exciting learning opportunities to the table. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Renderman, and hope to continue learning and perfecting the art of rendering with such an advanced creative tool. It allowed me to work effectively and efficiently, while also giving a large range of creative support and freedom. This "scientific study" was an extremely fun endeavor to pursue, and I would love to produce higher quality renders of different plant and animal species down the road.