My inspiration came from the book, Plate to Pixel by Helen Dujardin. Besides eating food, I love looking at food photography because their composition, colors, and the quality are full of richness and beauty. Inspired by delicious food photos from her book, I decided to try organic modeling and texturing my favorite breakfast food- pancakes! I took references from photos of pancakes I found in Internet to get a better sense of composition.
I set the scene so that I was able to get separate passes for key light, fill light, and environment light. I did the same thing for specular passes, and this enables a variety of control when all the images are brought into Nuke. I used an environment light with HDRI image and two area lights. The fill light had a slight tint of blue, but generally the main light was kept in a warm yellowish tone.
Texturing & Shading:
I primarily used Mari 2.0 and Photoshop to texture. All textures are 4K with high resolution images to show the details. Objects like pancakes were done through photo projection while other textures including strawberries were combinations of photos and paintings done in Photoshop. With its new interface and layering system of Mari 2.0, I find texturing so much easier and very enjoyable.
Masks and Occlusions:
I assigned all objects their Object ID to get masks for better control when composited in Nuke.
I used linear workflow in V-ray and made sure that the colors were gamma corrected. When composited in Nuke, I used masks to tweak my renders. Below is a small section of my Nuke nodes that uses Color correction and Grade.
It was my first time using Vray, so I had to do an intense research on how to use the renderer. I found a lot of helpful tutorials including the tutorials in Gnomon school. Although getting used to a new renderer was difficult in the beginning, I came to like my progress, and it was one of the projects that I really enjoyed working on it.