Personal Development Diary 001 - Nuke

General / 18 July 2018

I wanted to get the Artstation blog up and running with a consistent flow of regular updates.
It seems silly to have a Artstation pro account and not use its features as intended.

So the objective is to post updates on projects that I am currently working on, while also on the side documenting additional learning tips and tricks I learn along the way that might seem useful. (as well as sharing existing knowledge that I am passionate about).

I will still be posting the usual portfolio updates and work in progress shots here n there.

but today's post is going to be briefly about NUKE.

Notes that I have been taking of the fundamental hotkeys/functions of Nuke

Nuke is a node-based digital composting application developed by The Foundary, and is used for television and film post production.

With my background in independent games development and studying media back in my college days I only really came into contact with After Effects by Adobe Systems. After effects has been an effective means to creating compelling game user interfaces, effects and explosions with its powerful robust compositing workflow. 

Back in 2007 I remember watching video copilot tutorials and discovering new ways to improve the films we had to shoot for media class. It was pretty straight forward to add blood/explosion effects on our footage and exposed us to this weird a wacky universe untouched to our eyes. But it did spark that interest within this industry and a passion to pursue it so I am pretty grateful for the opportunities I have been given and where I have ended up in my career so far. 

So it brings me back to Nuke, and why I am re-learning from scratch. and blogging about it. 

Nuke basically at the moment is a section of a road that I want to upgrade as its gotten a little dusty and worn since I last drove over it. I have a clear understanding for rendering within Maya and composting in After Effects, just not as much with the pipelines incorporating nuke. And my main objective is that I want to diversify my knowledge within various software packages to stay ahead of the curve. Nuke just so happens to be the next thing I want to tackle.

I have quite a few things lined up that I want to pursue but that will have to be another post for the future.

Having a blast at the moment, got much ground to cover, Nuke is pretty straightforward so far. 


Dennis Turbeni, England 1937 (FireTruck) - WIP

Work In Progress / 19 June 2018

Hey All,

Just posting up a work in progress, that I am currently working on for a personal project.

It's a firetruck I saw a few years back, in Malacca, Malaysia. I was fascinated by its design and took a ton of photos during the trip. I modeled some pipes at the back of the vehicle back in 2016 for a class demonstration but nothing really more after that point.

Only about 2 months ago I picked up the project and started modelling again. I have been squeezing it in during my spare time after work. The main objective is to practice my hard surface skills and go through the entire pipeline. So I am looking forward to tackling the texturing for this truck and then rendering after that.

Below are some reference images I am using within PureRef to support the modelling/texturing process. I kinda wish I took more photos of the vehicle as there are certain parts I don't have a lot to go on. 

Picture from the front

Picture from the back

If you wanted to see the high res images up close you can check out my Flickr album which have all the originals available to download for free if you are looking for similar hard surface references. 

Below is what I have so far, 

I have a few things to finish but its approximately 80% complete on the modelling side of things, with the unwrapping only at 25%

I aim to have modelling/unwrapping complete early July 2018 (Next month).
I have got to take into consideration of other side projects and work/life that usually eats into my time I can put towards the project.

I am really excited to be calling modelling side done soon,
Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas,  Always keen to hear other people's thoughts. 

- Finn

Substance Painter to Renderman PBR Workflow (Pxrsurface)

Tutorial / 03 April 2018

Hey All, 

Just wanted to share some information regarding the workflow of Importing substance textures into Renderman using the Pxrsurface Material. Most tutorials out there are using the outdated PixarDisney Shader. I thought to update it to the new Pxrsurface material.

There is some info from Allegorithmic on this matter, but it's not using the PxrTexture node which is critical for certain aspects of rendering. You could run into some issues/errors during render time if using the default Maya file node. 

Here is my Texture Export Settings from Substance Painter for Renderman:  

*Note: Some cases Renderman has an issue with converting grayscale images. Resulting in the roughness not working correctly or not converting to a .TEX during render time. I would recommend then probably storing the map into one of the Alphas of the preexisting textures and hooking it up. 

 And here is the import settings for Renderman for Maya using a Pxrsurface material:

More or less after this step you should be done and test your render. 

Hope this helps someone in need.
If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know your thoughts or share it around.



Edit 1: I should also note for Renderman 21, the roughness channel auto-selects the Alpha channel. So if you exported your roughness in RGB but not Alpha, It will auto load selecting the Alpha Channel, and the roughness will not work if Alpha is empty. So just check the wires and reroute it from the correct channel if that is the case.

Edit 2: Renderman 22, crashes when converting 'Indexed Color' or 'Greyscale' images (Usually roughness, or displacement) 

So open up the exported file in photoshop and manually change it to RGB and hit save. This should resolve the crashes within the Renderman texture manager. And they should convert correctly. Or just choose RGB on export rather than greyscale on export.

Edit 3: if you experience issues like the object is shiny when its meant to be rough etc. Ticking Linearize on Roughness and Displacement will change the contrast of the Black and White image. make sure they are unchecked.

Edit 4: Substance Painter 2020.1 (6.1.0) supports  pxrSurface and pxrDisney Output Templates. No need for this guide anymore :)