Alien interrogation room - Textures/Lighting Critique

Hi there

I’m working on a no-budget movie (see “Heroic Three” on Facebook). Late in the movie one of the heroes is interrogated inside the alien spaceship. The actor will be composited inside the mask (but not by me).
The scene sort of reflects my modeling abilities, I’m afraid. But I would like to get more critique on my textures and the lighting. The aim is of course to get this set realistic enough to composite an actor into it.
It is lit by an area lamp (front/above/white), two spots from the side (orangeish) and a point-light from the back (also orange).
The textures are all done by myself, but they use some layers from cgtextures.

Any help is appreciated - I’ve been working for some time on it and can’t seem to be able to judge it objectively.


Coolio, but I think it would be nice to give him a neck and shoulders. Or some kind of body.

Hi Modron

This is just the helmet. The unfortunate hero will already be beheaded (grizzly, I know). The helmet sort of gives the head life-support (think Futurama), so he can be interrogated. So after compositing one will be able to see the neck and a bit of the spine.

Hi again

so I changed the background texture to something less ‘nervous’ and fixed some issues with normals, which gave strange results. Also the lighting changed ever so slightly - the point lamp on the left is now much whiter as we had it in our live-action shot.
All in all, I think these changes have positively affected the image… what do you say?


Hi MrSloane

What you describe suggests an eerie feeling/mood so maybe the lighting of the scene/ the mask should reflect this. Just a thought and maybe something you could experiment with.

Hi Charlie

Thank you for your input. You are right that it should not look too smooth, but I have to adjust it to the very well lit live-action plate, so that later on a lot of compositing can be done in after effects. But I adjusted some lights to cast some more yellowish light from the right and some highlights (white) from the left. I deleted the area lamp and turned on environment light (0.05) just to get rid of those very black shadows. All in all it now has a slightly ‘darker’ mood, without losing any details in the darkness.

What do you think? Progress?

Firstly - nice design there.

Secondly - I think it’s a little too well lit. Maybe side light it. If anything you want more areas of shaddow. Shadows are also great for hiding inperfections in youir modelling as well. If the footage of the head is well lit, then maybe the head is lit from inside like a pumkin.

Oh - and for compositing - you could try having the footage of the guy’s head on a plane inside the head.

Tried going a bit more dramatic, turned down the environment light even more and placed the lights more to the sides of the head to get more shadows. But it’s still too uneven. I’m going to continue to work on it…

Mr Sloane

I’m thinking something similar to Han Solo in carbonite block (Google) lighting which will lead the eye and maybe give the right mood.

Changes so far: a bit of modelling on the head (ears) and touched up the textures on the pipe to the right and the flexibles tubes. I also changed the camer position to match it to the live-action plate. I did not dramatise the lighting any more, even though I liked the Han Solo idea, but I’ll have to talk to the compositor first, so I know how far I can push the lighting. So what do you think? Am I still making progress?