Scrat from Ice Age for the Blenderguru movie competition.

Is the Shadow/Light/AO setup you suggests is rendering fast? I tried to render hair with shadows and that took a lot of time. I didn’t know these hints yet.

I suggest to work on Scrat’s fur. Jeannot is right that it needs some variations. 1st I thought it’s a texture, not fur.
I think you need to tweak settings using a simple plane. Try to achieve real Scrat’s fur. I gave you some examples in my 1st comment.
My idea is: less dense to fur (!), make it longer, ends thinner. So tweak alpha’s gradient obviously to make more sharp look because now it looks “non-sharp” (don’t remember the word). In Children section tweak settings to make fur looking not so even. I notice that Scrat’s fur originally has variations of strands’ lengths. It make it more interesting.
This picture [ATTACH=CONFIG]196305[/ATTACH]
clearly shows that you need to (try) tweak Hair.
I suggest something like this then try to comb it:

And here is the file.
Notice that “Simple” Children gives you additional “Radius” control. It’s the fatness of each “strand”.

Yeah, and that guy is right about eyes. It must be a bit bigger (maybe 10%) and eyelids’ skin must be thinner.
About the fish:
I suggest to tweak it’s color scheme to more orange-yellowish (as it’s real color because the squirrel is closer to reality). It’s not hard, you can tweak textures’ HSB values, I guess this will work.
Also I highly recommend to add scales to the fish. It looks “naked” now :slight_smile: Or you can simply add a tiled texture of scales and draw areas without scales right in Blender. I think that 1st method (with real scales) is faster. Add PS, select necessary vertices, add VGroup to length, fix it in Weight paint mode.
This will make the fish a LOT better.


Here is a fish scale’s concept. You can use the file if it’s possible in this contest or make something better than mine.
Don’t worry, I spent just a few minutes doing this.
If setting PS will be tricky for scales (it can be!). You can make a trick with Dupliverts (make plane or cylindrical hex-grid structure and choose this feature). Then add a Lattice to scales or maybe (!) MeshDeform and deform the source (for scales) mesh.

Heya guys, thanks for all the tips and critique you’ve been giving. and I am very thankful and taking it seriously. however I am determined to use my own techniques to achieve my goal.

To people asking me about the fur.
I’ve got 3 partivleSystems in there.

  1. tail fur.
  2. body fur long
  3. body fur short.

the smooth look is achieved by combing the fur into the right direction. I’m still working on rouching it up afterwards :slight_smile:
the lighting has been redone. so has the colortexture for the fur.
I have been working for hours and hours. in the end only been redoing things and throwing away stuff instead of adding new things to the scene.
I removed the phiranja since I think it just gets the focus of scrat so I deleted that one for the time being.
so for now it;s just 1 iceberg, 1 flag, 1 scrat and 1 acorn. and I’ve been posing all day.

and this is the pose of the moment. ITs far from done and I wouldn’t have posted it. but since this thread os getting so much attention I thought you guys had the right to know :slight_smile: everything is far from finished with only a few hours tomorrow to go.

Cheers. now I really need to get some sleep.

I like the overall composition,but i’m afraid like others have said,the fur,and other objects in the scene are poorly lit,and making the image look flat.

Almost as if the fur isn’t shadowing itself,this is hurting the image a lot,compared too --> i’m unfamiliar with blender fur so it might be a software limitation.If this is for the blenderguru contest I understand the rush.

fur needs more randomness and color variation. You should add some clouds in the background
Besides that modeling is great :slight_smile:

Agree on the body fur looking a little flat; I’d play with lighting, or maybe try a lightwrap on scrat to help his look against the sky.

Heya all, just tweeked the ocean,iceberg and lighting of scrat. the few hours I have left today… after school will be spend on his fur and some more lighting and maybe the flag. .


Here is a little something that may help you greatly improve your fur, its up to you to take it or leave it :wink:
Here is the Result it gives in a 15 second render on my crappy machine:

And here is .blend (had to zip it) with the light setup, shader and even fur attributes you need for that scrat fur :wink: (716 KB)

I Hope this helps :slight_smile:


Post 30 looks awesome; not sure about the iceburg - perhaps use the translucent node to fake a little SSS.

Just the iceburg to tweak imo.

Sorry I wrote it not shortly but it’s really better to read all.

Short fur is definitely better! But I think it must be not so soft looking. Also it’s better to try double particles’ count on the body.
Ice material isn’t good :frowning: Also I highly recommend to re-model it, make it simpler. It’s fast. Maybe it don’t need Subsurf at all.
More about ice:
the material looks like a cake’s glaze.
Try this: no reflections (or very blurred), a very easy blue-cyan tint using gradient (on z-axis), apply noise tex. on specular, play with it’s amount (of spec. and density of noise). The ice-piece must not be so… attractive to view.
Here the eyes of Scrat must be of the same spec. level as ice. But you “swapped” it :slight_smile:
More about ice: you can make water a bit transparent to show that ice exists under it.

The nose: make it a bit shinier (the spec.) but don’t make spec. bigger.

Flag (or Camera):
make that flag isn’t lying on Scrat’s back. I noticed it suddenly. Anybody doesn’t need to think about “where is his hand?” or “is this flag sticks in his back?”
Change Camera angle, Flag’s angle… anything to make things looking =obvious=!

The pose:
I recommend to make it’s right leg (almost!) holding the flag. This will beat two aims - will avoid this strange bend of the leg, will make the picture funnier.
I think it will be better if his head will be turned a bit to the left. IT will be looking like he’s turned to the viewer. Try different eye’s aim (maybe the same, maybe looking a bit into Camera).
He is aroused I guess. Rotate up his tail a bit (5-10 degrees) and bend it like a question sign. It’s common almost to his every pose I’ve seen in Google. Because now the tail says “I’m in a bad mood” or “I’m disappointed”. I have cats and dogs so I know these things well :slight_smile:

Camera: roll back (“add” a space on the right to the flag) and “add” more ocean to the left. JUST a bit… maybe 10-15%. Now the picture looks over-trimmed.

Ocean (!!!): make a mix with Z-depth. The far site must be brighter! Otherwise your space looks “short”. It’s very bad. I didn’t noticed it earlier :slight_smile:

That’s all. I know it’s a lot of points here. But I think it’s not so hard to do now. The main work is already done and you’ve made it very well! So it will be really pitty if the whole picture will not be close to a perfect level.

Awesome!!! :slight_smile:
I think it’s much closer to real Scrat’s fur on body. It must be just thicker.

Heya guys,
Jeannot, Thansk for your blend. it was very helpfull… but not for it;s materials, not for it’s PS-settings but for the scale… I realized my scrat was about 0.1 blenderunit big. and that is what has been screwing up my fur bigtime.
After scaling up my model and resetting the PS-settings it already looked tons better.
I’ve really been looking at your lighting setup, and the way you setup your sunlamp was totally new to me.

I kept my materials the same except for some tweeks in the thickness of the hair… since I did scale up my model about 20 times. it;s amazing how accurate you can tweak it when yourmodel is a normal size.
So I redid the coming and made it tons more random.
here is a little lineup.
I also did some tweaking on the model itself. I got some comments on the size of the eyes. and even though after looking at some mroe references and comparing the size of scrats eyes to the length of the snout,mouth etc I concluded that the eyes had the right size. I did make the skin around his eyes thinner, the hair on top of it shorter and the curve between the eye’s deeper, to make the eyes look bigger even though they’re not.

So I will be going on with the scene after dinner.

This is a lot better :slight_smile: Scale does indeed play a big factor :wink:

I’ve really been looking at your lighting setup, and the way you setup your sunlamp was totally new to me.

Well, its pretty simple, I put a sun lamp with no light, no spec, no diffuse and no shadow, only for the atmosphere value. Its parented to a spotlight for the simple reason that the atmosphere value is depended on the angle the sun comes from, so by parenting it to your shadow casting spotlight which acts as your sunlight (spotlights are the only one to cast buffer shadows, which is the only lamp able to get that fur self shadowing look) it follows it and always make sure the atmosphere points the right way :slight_smile: This is a great way to get a better render time then if you’d use a sun lamp with ray shadow, which doesn’t work with fur/hair.

Environment Lighting helps a lot for the fur as well as the AO, both using an Approximate method of gathering will render faster then ray tracing. The Environment Lighting can use the sky color, which I highly recommend, and this is why that almost null sun lamp is there parented to the spotlight. The atmosphere projected by the null sun lamp is used by the Environment lighting to get a more realistic and accurate result.

So this way you end up with a very fast rendering, and high quality

Well, I am glad I was able to help at least a little :wink:

Good luck, keep up the awesome work :wink:


tick tock tick tock…this is looking awesome btw!

DONT TELL ME ABOUT THE ‘TICK TOCK’ !! (slightly crazy voice*) XD thanks

It’s much cooler! :smiley:
I like body fur from 3rd picture (counting from top of course) and the tail from the last (of course). Why 3rd? 5th is too “sterile”. A bit chaotic looks funnier! :slight_smile:
And now fur’s structure looks fantastic! :slight_smile:
If you’ll have a time. I think you can add dark brown tint to Scrat’s fur texture. Your version is nice but looks… different. Of course if this have no sense then forget this advice.

Oh, I just have seen again your ice from the pic. with the fish. It’s better! Take it from there, I’m sure.
Some tweaks and it will be beautiful!

I don’t understand,the fur was looking great around the third image,and then you reverted back to the flat looking one 5 hrs later?

i’m a little confused…

Oh, sorry, not dark brown (about fur’s texture). Middle grey (closer to light) tint. Try with multiply.

Check this again. It looks a bit “dirty”. Maybe it’s a “comb” result but how is better to achieve that in time… I can suggest only to work a bit on the texture.

I think it’s better only on cheeks and nose… But the whole body is better on 3rd. IMHO.
We calls it “soaped eye”. When (after a long and hard work) an artist doesn’t see some obvious things which others see.
Usually then artist take a break or… listen advices of other artists :slight_smile: