This was my first project for Hinge Digital. My task was to texture, shade, light, and render a photo realistic shoe in one week using Maya and Mental Ray. I had just come from being an assistant td over at Adidas and so shoes were a familiar territory for me. I wanted to focus on my abilities inside Maya and Mental Ray and rely less on compositing. The final render is just the beauty render with a couple color corrections done in post.
I started with your basic studio setup. I have one area light on either side and one above the shoe. Each is a portal light with a blackbody connected to it’s custom env. All materials used were the MIA material. The fabric was the most challenging aspect of this shoe. I had to use ramps with facing ratio connected to additional color and diffuse color as well as define a pretty severe brdf reflection curve. I also ended up using displacement for the laces, tongue, and the yellow bit on the back of the shoe because bump wasn’t giving me what I wanted. The most complex material by far was the one with the Nike swoosh on it. This took by far the most time to get right, and I am still not happy with it. I had to put a texture in the diffuse weight, reflection, glossiness, transparency, and cutout. It was very render intensive. Each frame was just south of an hour at full 1080p.
Final Gather was used as the GI solution and had to be cranked high so we wouldn’t get flicker due to the slow movement of the shoe.
I had fun with this project because I really got to get into the details, such as texturing in the glue between the different fabrics, and the tiny imperfections in the rubber of the sole.