Are we talking Blender only here? Or in general? I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the animation portion because I don’t use Blender for animation. I’m a semi-professional. Currently working in 3 different fields web design, 3d and medical. Freelance for the first two.
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
AMD Phenom 9550 Quad-core 2.20 GHz
6 GB RAM
Second computer: (used for painting)
HP 2710 Tablet PC
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Intel Core2 Duo U7000 running at 1.2 GHz
2 GB RAM
Scene example is a high resolution sculpted figure with props and a basic environment (ie. backdrop with little detail). Total time is roughly 8-16 hours. Please note that many of the steps are combined and not necessarily in this order. I may bake during texturing for an ambient occlusion (dirt) map. During retopology I may model props using it’s tools. etc.
1. Modeling 5-8 hours total
-Base Biped Mesh 1-2 hours (often I will load in a pre-made base mesh from another project to save time)
-Sculpting 5-8 hours
-Retopology 2-3 hours (this varies and sometimes I duplicate the base mesh at the start and bake the displacement from the higher density mesh to it)
-Build props and environment 2-4 hours
-Baking 30 minutes-2 hours (depending on complexity and user error)
-UV Unwrap 2-5 hours (UV mapping may take place prior to sculpting for the figure if I plan to bake to the original)
Things that could improve the workflow and the time each part takes to Model in Blender:
- Better optimizations of sculpting so it can handle higher mesh densities. Often Blender will crash without warning at higher density levels because of reaching my computer’s memory limit.
2. Texture 3-4 hours total
-Quick base color with 3D paint 2-3 hours
-Detailed paint in Photoshop 3-4 hours
-Base material creation and texture import/application 1-3 hours
Things that could improve the workflow and the time each part takes to Texture in
-Better brush workflow. Allow texture creation and editing from within the brush controls window
-A complete undo system in the UV/Image window for painting. With brush visual representation just like in the 3d window
3. Lighting 30 minutes to 1 hour
4. Compositing 2-4 hours
I spend a lot of time tweaking the lighting in compositing.
-Adding DOF and atmospheric effects 10-20 minutes
-Adding visual effects (ie. glare, glow, etc.) 20-30 minutes
-Adjust lighting (via RGB and normal nodes) 1-2 hours
5. Final Rendering and any compositing outside of Blender 3-4 hours (~2K resolution)
Improvements to rendering to decrease time:
-A way to export all channels (alpha, reflection, etc.) and/or the composite at a certain point out within a single file (ie. psd) and with a single node.
-Saving of render data to decrease the time it takes to re-render.