Milk & Sugar

Still Life with Milk and Sugar

After some weeks spent playing with monumental things (more on this later), I felt like a change of scale.

This doodle started with an exercise in improving my glass shaders and models and, as these things do, gradually morphed into a little scene using a mix of new and existing assets, some of which you will have noticed in other places.

Technically, the modeling was done in 3ds Max, with some Agisoft Photoscan scans cleaned up and retopoed in ZBrush. I also used Substance Painter to paint displacement maps for the glass bottles and texture the spoon and other metallic objects. The floorboards and the fabric were scanned with Dabarti Capture, with the scans touched up in Affinity Photo, and the smoke was done with Phoenix FD. The sugar on the wood boards is a TyFlow particle system. In the jar, it’s a Forest Pack object. The rendering was done in V-Ray Next GPU and post-production is in ArionFX.

Clay and wire renders below. Let me know in the comments what you make of it or if you have any question.

Still Life with Milk and Sugar
Still Life with Milk and Sugar
    • Jack
    • May 28, 2019

    Really nice as usual. Your glass always looks fantastic. Especially the kilner jar. But something looks off about the sugar. Perhaps uniformity or the overall shader/colour. Perhaps scale?

  1. @Jack I wonder if there is perhaps too much space between the grains. Too big a collision shell…

    • Jack
    • May 28, 2019

    @BBB3VIZ Yeah it could be that too. Perhaps overall grain size and a smaller collision shell? It doesnt seem to be as packed together like this https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-spoonful-of-fine-granulated-sugar-and-pile-of-sugar-cubes-86407321.html
    Any chance you’ll ever share the secret to that amazing vintage glass?

  2. So photoreal, well done! Could you possibly explain a bit more about your workflow with dabarti capture? Is the wood texture based of one series of photos from one position or do you take photos all along the plank and then align them together in affinity photo?

  3. @Phil this is just one set of photos taken from one position and then made seamless in Affinity. It’s designed for close-ups like these and wouldn’t work for a bigger parquet. I know some people have used Dabarti to stitch together large surfaces but the workload involved is insane (unless you batch and automate as much of it as possible).

    @Jack no secret there. Just staring at real-world glass jars and realizing how rough the surface actually is. That’s what I tried to replicate in Substance Painter, using it to “sculpt” layers of imperfections and baking the result into one displacement map (could use a normal map if further away).

    • Pi
    • May 28, 2019

    Hi there! How did you render the TyFlow particles in Vray Next GPU? Whenever I want to use a Mesher, it says, that Vray next GPU is not supported… :/

  4. They don’t work in the IPR but they do work if you do a normal render. You might be using the wrong version of TyFlow. Make sure you use the V-Ray Next version.

    • Nate Lewis
    • May 29, 2019

    Are you using some type of sub-surface scattering execution for the bread material?

  5. Hey @Nate, you’re right, there’s SSS on the bread, using masking of course as the crust would have less SSS than the inside.

    • Walter
    • June 1, 2019

    Hi Benoit, can you tel me something about post? PS, AE? Some tips? Any lut IT’s very fílmic your work, exelent as always

    • Paul Springer
    • June 9, 2019

    Congratulations, you always seem to somehow to raise your own bar in terms of photorealistic qualities. Is there any particular reason(s) you went with VRAY in lieu of Corona or any other render engine for this project.

  6. Hey @Paul. V-Ray always was my default tool. Most of my assets are in V-Ray. But now that I’ve almost completely moved to the GPU, I tend to navigate between V-Ray Next, FStorm and, more rarely, Octane.
    Some sequences here really needed GeoPatterns and had to be rendered in FStorm. Also, FStorm’s memory management is unequalled, which makes it indispensable for heavy scenes where V-Ray becomes unstable. But sometimes I need to use composite maps or procedurals for displacement, or I needed TyFlow, which means V-Ray.
    I still love Corona but being CPU-only, it’s not suitable for animations. I still can’t wait to try the caustics in Corona 4 though.

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