• Elizabeth Delos Reyes

February 13, 2020 | The Makeover

Special thank you to Kyle, Billy, Todd, and Olivia for coming to SCAD to work with all of us on our projects and give us very useful feedback!

After our midterm check in with our mentors from The Mill, Team Ocelot went to full on "work mode" to make the changes and improvements to our project. One of the most important critiques that I received from Billy was that if our car isn't shaded correctly and we're faking it with our lighting, then our car is just ugly. I definitely didn't want our car to be "ugly", therefore I went to work to improve the overall look of our Ferrari.

Car Paint

From my last update on look development, I worked a lot on making the car paint as accurate to our references as possible. Although I was close, after talking to Billy I had to make some adjustments. He directed us to two important references on how to create car paint with a standard surface shader...

This first one goes in depth about using ai standard shader to create a realistic car shader in arnold:https://docs.arnoldrenderer.com/display/A5AFMUG/Shading+The+Car+using+the+Standard+Surface+Shader?fbclid=IwAR0LNZN34Xi94UItW6wly_4z715GdKIUfJkumge-JeZh-bbdTPaFwaD-3T8

The second reference talks about IOR and how different parameters look. It discusses the numerous versions of car paint that you can develop from exploring these parameter: https://sites.google.com/site/bagginsbill/free-stuff/car-paint?fbclid=IwAR2hVkPobe5QUoA0F2gq-16rRXi-IJj-SFJLu2uVOPX2NhBa9fng8S2oxDY

Here are a few references I used in improving our car's look:

These helped me stay grounded to how specular the car paint should be, and also how transmissive the windows/clear glass should be. Using this information and looking at reference again I have come to this solution for our car's look. Like I mentioned in my liast update, I still have a slightly yellow tint on the specular parameter of the car so that it would reflect a more yellow tint than white. I also added some light metalness in the shader parameters as well. I believe that it helped make the car look more mechanical than "toy like". Here are a few test renders of our Ferrari thus far.


Another challenge that I've faced is getting the car's headlights looking good. Our model only give so much to work with, so figuring out a successful solution was a little difficult. After having a work session with Billy, he helped shed some light on the situation. For one, I separated all the LED lights in the mesh and grouped them accordingly, like my reference. The outer lights are white, whereas the two inner rows were more of a yellow/orange tint. I made the outer LED lights mesh lights with the light being visible in order to get the nice reflections on the dark chrome inside. This will be rendered separately as a matte so that it can be "blown out" in comp to mimic the brightness of the lights. For the main LED headlight, I added a sphere as the "light bulb" and treated that the same as the smaller LED lights. This lights is surrounded by the chrome shader and emits through a tramissive material of the bulb. This also create the reflections on the dark chrome, where is will also be brought into Nuke and faked to look brighter. Further more, I fixed the glass shader on the headlights as well by decreasing the specularity just enough so that it would reflect the surroundings, but was still transparent enough to see inside much like my references.


The brakelights of our Ferrari needed more love and care as well. Although the back of our car will never be seen in out project, I thought that it would be a good exercise and practice to work on them and try to get them right. Like the headlights, I seperated the mesh and grouped the LEDs accordingly to the color. They have emission shaders set on them. In order to create the inner "silver" part of the lights, I selected the faces of the red glass and assigned a clear glass material so that they didn't all look red. That was a very tedious, but rewarding part of this process. I think that I achieved a pretty similar result by doing this.

Final Thoughts

All the feedback I got from Billy about how we should go about making our car look great really helped me work harder and inspired me to get it right. I pushed me to spend more time paying attention to every detail and problem solving ways to create that look. I really appreciate the time all of our mentors took to come down and work with us. I was very happy to meet all of them and get their feedback. I can't wait for them to see all the improvements my team will make this week.