Difficult glowing character

Okay… this is nuts. After doing a bunch of lighting tricks to no avail, I’ve decided to ask you peeps.

I have a difficult to light character that I’m modeling for someone (the character is owned by http://shagia.deviantart.com ), and here’s render of what I have done so far. It sucks to have to do readiosity by doubling the head and reversing the normals… but that’s what I’ve done.

I also made a crazy set of nodes that, using the camera angle, could detect whether the camera was looking head on or looking straight through a normal, and then reverse it. If you want to see that, then I’ll show ya’ll, as some of you might find the trick handy (it uses a dot product, rounds it out, and then squeezes the number to be either -1 or 1… then, all that happens is that you mult with the camera. If the camera and normal result in a positive dot product, you know that the result is 1, so you negate the normal. The same goes for the other way around. What you end up with is a crazy multiplier filter that negates all normals that are facing away from the camera)

Neither solution has worked entirely. In the case of doubling the head and reversing its normals and using the radio, it’s just grotesque and also the eyes for some reason are penetrating the first layer of the head and creating the glowing spots on the skin that you see… so ICK!

The other solution using tricky nodes doesn’t work because then every single part of the body is lit up by the blue light. DOUBLE ICK.

Does anyone have a trick to get double sided materials to work? Right now, I have tried a bazillion things, and looked high and low… and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME find a way to get double sided to actually be… double sided. The lighting just refuses to light both sides of this guy’s head.

The ref image shows you what the guy is supposed to look like… so no, I have a good bit left to do… but I’m not going to do it if blender isn’t going to work. grimace


Fixed a few of the holes. Below is an updated render, with clothe and all. I’m going to do the eyes and such next. Thickening the skull, changing IOR, and other things helped a lot.


What I would try (just making this up off the top of my head so may not work) is to take the parts of the head you want to glow, extrude and scale down a little bit. Then apply a separate material to that and use nodes to only make that material glow…somehow. You seem to know your way around nodes a lot better than I do so I think it shouldn’t be too hard.

It would also give the edges of your model a little volume which IMHO would improve the look.

Thanks! I’ve decided to try separating the materials… and when I had found out a few things… I realized that some parts indeed were too close. Check it out now! I think I’m very pleased. I also found out the IOR needed to be changed… but now he looks a bit waxy so I’ll fix that too.

I’ll update this thread as I get more progress.

It helps if you leave the old work viewable to so that we can view your progress. I would also suggest shaping the character more like the drawing. The “ears” seem to be way bigger in your model. Cheers.

Looks cool. I’ve faked radiocity a few times by using dulivert/dupliface with lamps. It can make a mess of shadows but you can just make one singleuser with shadow on, and noshadow for the rest to fix that.
Sorry if the whole suggestion is a bit obvious to ya. :slight_smile:

Okay then, I’m leaving older stuff so you can see progress, as per request :smiley:

Here’s what I’ve done so far…

mixing radiosity with stuff is a PAAAAAAIN. It took me FOREVER just to get the eyes to look right, because the swirls totally require UV. What ticks me off is how I can’t seem to get the radio to be modulated by the UV texture. So, I ended up just duplicating the eyes, making the backs do radio, and the fronts ignore radio.

Mixing UV with emit is also a huge pain. What you see is probably more painful than you could imagine just because:
a) UV does not want to play with ANYTHING! ANYTHING AT ALL! I can’t get alpha to work, as otherwise I could maybe make it so that UV could mess around with emit, but this has proven impossible now. Instead, I get a grayscale of the UV texture and have to map it using nodes directly to the emit inputs of the main material (the eyes need to glow, but can’t use radiosity, but have to have a UV texture).

I know there’s a swirl texture, but I couldn’t get the right look from it, otherwise all this could have been avoided. So. Two hours of work. Just to get swirly eyes that emit through a UV texture. Sorta.

Why won’t color mixing work? I still can’t get that much. If I multiply the UV and the emit material… I just get an all white result. Weirdness. And yet the UV is a dark green swirl, and the emit is just bright green. Oh well… screw it all. I got it to work. Bleh.

Doing the hair with the new comb tool was a total bliss tho. I LOVE the hair system in blender. Kicking arse all the way.

goes back to doing more stuff with the clothing


More work done on Fyel.

Just need to finish the materials up, get some ideas on how to rig him, and lastly I need to find a clever way to make the screw heads…

I’ll let you know how things go as they progress.


Animated… finally. Linked to devart here:

NOTICE! I’m getting some trouble with a few parts… I’ll hopefully fix the things which are most offensive soon… namely, the black spot on the other side of the paw.

Any tips on how to get the radio baked on there? It’s taking too long to animate him with it… and I haven’t even tried ambient occlusion or other types of GI :-[

Also, I’m trying to rig the ears… I ended up putting custom mesh deform cages around them, and still the results are kinda unsatisfactory. Any good rigs out there for sophisticated ear deforms (using them with expressions)

Okay then, Here’s a quick look at my latest woes:


I’m completely frustrated with this… but there’s no helping it, right? Even though I use bone heat, the ears intersect themselves whenever I try to animate them.

Anyone got clever solutions?