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Heavy by DivineError Heavy by DivineError
Been a long time my friends. 4 years to be exact.

:iconbombshellboy: drew the original, which you can see HERE

A lot has changed since the last render. I now run a software company that serves the industry I was once employed by. I made this render at my office in downtown San Diego.

I put a lot more work into this than it probably seems at first glance. Much like the subject of the image itself, it may not seem like I'm doing a lot, but the weight of the world is on my shoulders and I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.


A few notes:

There is absolutely NO photoshop, it came out this way. Not even for color correction.

Made in Maya 2014, rendered in Arnold. Yes, that's right, I use Arnold now, not mental ray. Arnold is simply better at doing the kind of rendering that I do. Except for glass, it sucks for that.

There were about 20 lights. All of them were linked individually to different objects, with varying degrees of diffuse and specular contribution. Working with a physically plausible renderer like Arnold becomes more of an exercise in manipulating lights themselves than the materials.

Rendering purely white characters with highlighting becomes a tricky affair, because it's almost impossible to prevent blowing out the highlights without making them look grey. This was a particular challenge in this image because of the Zurd on top. Notice the subtle edge rim effect on both of the characters (especially bottom ones feet and head)? The best way to create that effect was to multiply the specular values to something like 3.5 times normal, and use a fresnel. But by doing that, the top character completely blown out, since it's reflecting the brighter values of the white dome than the yellow ground plane. The one on the bottom was fine because the heart was blocking him from the white environment.

The solution was to create an actual environment light rather than a geometry dome emitter. This allowed me to seperate the direct and indirect speculars in the characters materials, so when I raised the indirect specular for that rim effect, it didn't multiply the white domes now direct specular. This prevented the top guy from getting blown out, but the white dome light is essentially a giant area light, so it multiplied render time by about 50. Worth it to get the look I wanted.

I ended up going through about 1,000 test renders, to get the look I wanted. It's little things you wouldn't notice unless I didn't do them:
  • Small bump map on the eye veins to disturb like 3 pixels just enough.
  • New material in the gaps of the bottom ones teeth has a 10% darker diffuse.
  • Ambient occlusions added to the color slots of characters and ground plane, not to darken the gaps, but to deepen the colors as they get darker.
  • Subsurface scattering at around 20% of the diffuse value on the characters, to give a very subtle soft look to them.
  • A jellybean in his butt, to smooth out the reflection on the heart that went through his legs.
  • A gradient on the edge of the ground plane so you can't see where it ends as a hard edge in a reflection
The bottom ones head was modeled from a perfect sphere, and later when the mouth was extruded I put a new sphere in its place to pull the vertices back into perfect sphere shape.

The two main reflection cards were elipses, but Arnold doesn't let you scale a round area light in a non-uniform direction. So what I had to do was scale a rectangular area light, and then apply a circular ramp to the color of the light. This made it so the area lights matched the shape of the reflection cards. I did this because I wanted those reflections in the heart to be very bright, but not blow out the characters. The cards were only visible in reflections, not specular or diffuse, and so I could use the light to control that.

I could go on for days about the subtleties. Just enjoy the render.

Here'es the full viewport gallery

Bonus gif

Tacos
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-04-13
Heavy by DivineError ( Featured by TehAngelsCry )
:iconfluffypocket:
FluffyPocket Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Professional Filmographer
AWESOME GREAT JOB I LOVE YOU! :D 
Reply
:icondelshark:
delSHARK Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You got double-Ds

u boob
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
Reply
:iconrainbowsrfun17:
Rainbowsrfun17 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Student Writer
this picture would be perfect for my story you can read it here beddoe17.deviantart.com/art/St… do you mind if i use it? 
Reply
:icondedennelolitaarts98:
DedenneLolitaArts98 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Awwwwww x3
Reply
:icongamewizard-2008:
gamewizard-2008 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I WANT HEEEEAAAAAARRRT!
Reply
:iconbeautifuljoker:
BeautifulJoker Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"A heart's a heavy burden" -Sophie, Howl's Moving Castle
Wonderful!! I love it!!!
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, man.
Congrats on the DD. Great to see you're still farting rainbows around here. =P
Reply
:iconfree4u:
free4u Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
WOW, this is really cool! And beautiful colours
Reply
:icon16777216:
16777216 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
Good to see you are still around lemonhead.
Reply
:iconaltermind:
altermind Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
great stuff as always :)
Reply
:iconjaevil:
JaEvil Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
Another beautiful piece of art.. thank you :)
Reply
:iconnarfmaster:
Narfmaster Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
You're a leg end for still doing stuff like this, and being as detailed in the description as ever. Unf.
Reply
:icondivineerror:
DivineError Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
I will never stop making these.

The only reason for the 4 year delay was the fact I was running all over LA gathering investment money so I could revolutionize the computer graphics industry. That should be happening at some point this year :batman:
Reply
:iconkarumichi:
Karumichi Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ohmygod you're ALIVE.

-bows down forever-
Reply
:icondeepchrome:
DeepChrome Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's great to see you posting new stuff again. And this is really cute, but also reasonates on several levels. I'm sure we all have the friend who clings to us, who dumps so much on us and we're just "Dude chill", and all kinds of things.
Reply
:icondivineerror:
DivineError Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
It's good seeing all these familiar faces still around :)
Reply
:icondeepchrome:
DeepChrome Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YUP. Still here. While I'm not as active as I used to be, I'm still around and still post comments and faves or what-not.
Reply
:icontaliris:
Taliris Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
a hearts a heavy burden
Reply
:iconrjamp:
RJamp Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great man. Missed these :)
Reply
:iconlucianow:
lucianoW Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Your work is very cool! All of your images shown here in DA are :D
Reply
:iconkypfox:
KypFox Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ALWAYS great to see new renders from you!
Reply
:iconvulpul:
vulpul Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
Bravo !!!!  :clap:   The heart glowing in the dark looks great too ! :nod:
Reply
:icondani2q:
Dani2q Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
This is so cute!
Reply
:iconlarpa-art:
Larpa-art Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
That's how we all feel sometimes. Great work :)
Reply
:icongalvo:
galvo Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional Artist
<3 happy to see you still do these duuuude 
Reply
:iconj3v1l:
J3V1L Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
congratulations on your continued success, Eric.

:salute:
Reply
:iconkuzy62:
kuzy62 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:wow:
Reply
:iconsussi:
Sussi Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
IT'S ALIVE! Love that you are back! Lovely rendering! :heart:
Reply
:iconsilverhammer:
silverhammer Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Frickin' awesome to see more of your work :)
Reply
:iconmathieuodin:
MathieuOdin Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Nice work ! 
Reply
:iconmehranmo:
MehranMo Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What a fantastic bastard...
Reply
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Submitted on
March 5, 2014
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