[Completed] - Chameleon 2.57 (Make a Splash in Amsterdam)

I’m exporting to sketchfab, it goes reasonnably well, but the GLB export seems to mirror all my UV’s. I don’t seem to find a similar bug easily. Anyone has a clue why this would happen?

Not cool…
Screenshot 2022-09-10 151520

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Work in progress, it’s not going too bad. I’ll need to rework the lighting, but overall everything imports as expected.

For the 2 issues mentioned above:

  • Mirrored UV maps: I mirrored the textures, quick and dirty
  • Sketchfab does not accept custom backgrounds: I subscribed for a month, I could not live with the default HDRI’s, a plain color or the cold BW fixed images as background. I have spent almost a month on this, so I’d say worth it.

EDIT: Further tuning on lighting and camera setup. I updated the top post.

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I published the model today. It is possible that I will rework it, as I’m contemplating adding some volumetric effects. Not sure though.
To wrap up this WIP thread, I thought about sharing the Sketchfab import process.

  1. Import the model
    I chose to export the model as GLB with a minimum of information (only UV’s and normals). I am sure that the importers do a great job, but I needed to understand for myself and get as much control as I could. The bare model was 18MB.
    I ticked the option “Y up” and it imported fine. I made sure that the center of the scene was the chameleon, as I believe sketchfab will take this as the center of rotation.
    All the UV’s were mirrored on the V axis though… I could not fix the issue, so I mirrored the maps as well.
  2. Tweaking in the 3D editor

After watching the videos on the editor, I decided it was powerful and friendly enough to use it extensively?
I’ll go tab by tab

Scene
Screenshot 2022-09-12 183548
I chose the PBR workflow obviously.
I set the camera to the lowest possible field of view, so the chameleon and the decor nicely fills the frame.
Screenshot 2022-09-12 183511
I had to upload my own background, so I subscribed to Sketchfab pro and uploaded my background.
Screenshot 2022-09-12 183535

Lighting
Screenshot 2022-09-12 184046
Just like in Blender, I used both direct lights and an HDRI.
I positioned the spot as it was in Blender and most of the same options were available. That was an easy setup. I deactivated 1 of the 3 lamps present and used the last one to add some highlights
Screenshot 2022-09-12 184035
I used the studio HDRI of Sketchfab. It seems inferior to the one I use from Polyhaven, but I thought that the differences were minor and I did not want to burden the model with yet a new texture to download.
I decreased the power of the HDRI until I was happy with the contrast subject VS background.

Materials
I converted all my textures to 4K. I used JPG only for the diffuse. The metallic and emission maps are so scarce that their sizes were very acceptable, even in 4K PNG.
I found that the roughness and the emission seem to render differently than Eevee, hence I had to slightly tweak the sliders.
Overall, I have used 6 maps: diffuse, metallic, roughness, normal, emission and subsurface


These are my SSS settings
Screenshot 2022-09-12 184938

Post-processing
Screenshot 2022-09-12 185006
I found the most important setting to be the tone mapping. As Blender uses filmic by default, swapping to filmic tone mapping really helped bringing the image closer to what Eevee could show.
I used very subtle settings on Bloom and sharpness. I wanted some bloom, yet it could blur the whole scene very quickly, which was undesirable. I hope to have achieved a good balance. The model is sharp, yet it has a bit of this magic glowiness.

And that’s it! I saved the image with a similar angle as Blender and voilà.

NB: I might still change the entry slightly, please consider it final only at the deadline time :heart:

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Looks very good! If I can add a bit of feedback, take it or not, is that you have changed the field of view to something very small (orthographic, even?), and the lack of perspective, to me, feels a bit disorienting. Again, to me. This disorienting feeling might be cool if that’s what you’re going for.

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Thanks! I usually go with very low FoV, even in Blender, but I see what you mean and now I notice it :smiley: I’ll check to see if I can get a good framing with a higher FoV

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This is looking so good! Since he’s a little guy, what about adding depth of field in sketchfab for the macro vibe? Especially when you rotate around to so the tree is in the foreground, it’s be good to have it blur then

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Thanks! Very true, but sketchfab does not support DoF with the fixed background :thinking:

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Just a noob admiring the work, absolutely fantastic choice of colors and composition! Good luck in the competition, although I don’t think you’ll need any :slight_smile:

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Thanks, these are very kind words, they feel comforting to me as an artist

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The other day, after seeing your post, I meant to congratulate myself with you for finishing the upload, but I think that somehow that got lost in time.

The gist of it, though, is: congratulations for finishing this amazing work! I really love how strong and personal your style is and how you brought this to your project. It’s beautiful to see! Best of luck with the challenge :slight_smile:

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Thanks a lot! I wish we all meet in Amsterdam. I’ll be there anyways (not saying this too loud, I’d rather that the trip is sponsored :smiley: )
I see there are many entries worthy of a prize IMHO, I would not like to be a judge :wink:
Whatever the results, let’s grab a drink in October!
It’s funny how the challenge sprouted a micro community, it was fun to progress alongside.

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That would be great! Let’s see how it goes :smiley:

It was definitely really fun, I loved the vibe of the challenge. Encouraging the WIP posts created a sense of parallel progress which was both stimulating and artistically interesting!

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Hey! Just a quick reminder that there’s now less than 12 ours remaining to wrap up your challenge entry - submissions close at 2022-09-15T21:59:00Z, GMT+1 (click on the link for some international times).

If you haven’t done so already, please review this post which contains some essential information for preparing your submission.

At the very least, upload your work to Sketchfab as soon as possible and add the #bcon22challenge tag.

It’s also a good idea to add a link to your WIP topic in the description of your Sketchfab model so we can easily find it.

I’ll also keep a close eye on the FAQ topic today, so if you have any issues or questions please post it there as soon as possible.

Good luck!

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Final entry


For the final day, I thought of taking a look back on this challenge and sharing some thoughts.

Big rambling ahead, only for the patient, and the occasional philosopher. And maybe the judges, they might be forced… enjoy ! :supervillain:

Original splash screen
I wandered away from the original chameleon, but I think I kept the spirit. I believe that back in the day, the focus was on materials and what Blender could do at the time. Even though Blender can do much more than what I did, I think it showcases the power of node-based materials, hence hinting at the original.
I also kept the head, body and tail reasonably separate to further hint at the original splash.

Big Buck Bunny reference
I am happy to have been able to introduce the Big Buck Bunny reference through the butterfly. For me, this short movie is better than a Pixar. I love the cynical humor, the character design and somehow the underlying message that life is not perfect, but you can always fight to make it right. I can’t hide my secret love for the sadistic squirrel no more though.

Availability of the model
I have made the model available as CC-BY. I hesitated, because I still do not understand well how an artist can make its way on the Internet today, let alone generate revenue from it. I’d be pretty disappointed to see my work used elsewhere uncredited (and let’s face it, there’s not much preventing that from happening), but I’d also love to further contribute to the wonderful creative commons world from which I have myself enormously benefited, Blender top of the list of course.
I’ll worry about all that another time, now I’m very happy to share this with whoever likes it.

Mystic stuff
Fourth, during the process, I have researched about Chameleons in the mystic world. You know, sacred animals and all that. I’m not super into that, but I’ll take inspiration from wherever it comes. The research taught me 2 things:

  1. Apparently, the “magical world” would be mostly visible in the UV spectrum, so I decided to purple the hell out of this

  2. There is a legend in the Bantu religion that says that at the beginning of mankind, God had decided to make humans eternal and had sent a chameleon to tell them “Men shall NOT die”. The chameleon was very slow though and while he was travelling, God got upset with the behaviour of humans. He then sent a hare to tell humans “Men shall die”. He arrived first and mankind became mortal.
    (I tell the story as I read it, I’d adapt in a more gender neutral tone if it was up to me)
    I like this. I discovered this in the middle of the creative process and I have seen the little guy like the slow messenger since, traveling all kinds of worlds to fail to deliver its message. The journey matters most, right?
    Always time to get distracted by an appetizing butterfly :butterfly:

Personal look back
Finally, and more personally, it was the first time I took part in a challenge and I had never worked this long on a project before. It taught me how to better manage the creative process. I found it very hard at some point to give this a unique look and a particular twist. I spent nights wondering what I should add or remove, how I could improve the narrative. And at some point, I was really fed up with it.

The challenge was a nicer exercise than I thought. The community and the attention on the project really helped keeping me motivated, as well as seeing the progress (and struggles) of my fellow competitors. It really feels good to receive feedback during a process full of doubt and uncertainty.

Thanks to all :blue_heart:

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Outstanding work. It looks great on the sketchfab viewer!

This chameleon is in for a good thrashing. Of course, only if Buck can find him…
:dotted_line_face: :lizard:

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:joy: :melting_face:

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Looks amazing! Even on Sketchfab! :scream: :exploding_head:

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I hope you win!

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Even with so many beautiful entries to the challenge, it would be well deserved in my opinion. It was my favorite from the beginning to the end. But not my decicion … the judges will tell.

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