This series of illustrations explores the colorful and varied forms of bugs through a combination of VR sculpting with Adobe Medium and procedural material authoring via Redshift Render. Of the many personal projects I've completed over the years, this series is the first where I've felt like my 'creative voice' has finally been located, honed, and exercised to the fullest extent of my conceptual and technical abilities. I certainly hope you enjoy the illustrations I've created below!
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For Pleasure
Personal Project
June 2021

Role + Process:

VR sculpting, 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, and rendering.
The geometry for the bugs was created with Adobe Medium, while the various set pieces the bugs are paired with was created with Cinema 4D. Lighting was handled with Redshift Render. Texturing, all of which is 100% procedural, was completed with Redshift Render (with the sole exception to this being the moth, who's materials were authored with Substance Painter). Color correction was handled with Photoshop.

I began learning Redshift in earnest earlier this year via the 3D Rendering for VFX & Games online course from LFO Design. No node has been left unturned, so to speak, in this course. Every method and technique used to texture these illustrations was learned through this course. Of all of the many training series I have taken over the years this one is, without a doubt, the best
Taking what I had learned from the creation of the centipede, I decided that all subsequent illustrations would need to have a 'set piece' in which the respective bugs could be posed on, or around. Using this common element throughout also allowed me the opportunity to tie these assets together by using the same materials for each
At the heart of each of these illustrations' textures resides the 'Material Blender' node which allows one to blend (as the name of this node implies) between a maximum of 6 different materials. Using this node in conjunction with various procedural 'Blend Color' masks allowed me to have the distribution of the subsequent material layers applied to key areas of a sculpt
This is one such example of what a typical Material Blender setup looks like for one of my bugs. This particular material was applied to the torso of the mantis and has been color coded so that I may more easily know which of the nodes is driving certain values or qualities of the material as a whole
Of the illustrations which comprise this series, it was the Morning Star Beetle who's materials I explored the highest number of variations. When you have a nearly endless number of material options, coupled with reference images that are all equally inspiring, it can be hard to zero in on what look you're ultimately after!
After finally landing on the textural qualities I was after, the materials used for the Morning Star Beetle were a combination of RS metallic presets blended with various car paint materials from Greyscalegorilla, tweaked to suit the needs of this illustration
I truly love how chromatically freaky this particular illustration turned out!
It was precisely during the creation of the spider that I thought, "Damn! Bugs sure do have a lot of body parts!"
Initially I had intended to create the webs in VR, but quickly realized that while VR is generally a faster way to work, there are trade offs working in this way. Most notably a loss of precision. Understanding this, I opted instead to sweep the various splines I had created in Cinema 4D
To give this illustration an added element of flair, I decided to use Cinema's native hair system to generate a couple hundred bristly hairs to cover its body
Of the illustrations in this series, the moth was definitely the most labor intensive to create, most notably as it saw the introduction of a new element to my workflow; Ornatrix (a hair and feather generation plugin)
A current limitation of Redshift Render within Cinema 4D is that Redshift is unable to provide the color data for the hairs based on the underlying color data of the UVs of an object. To get around this limitation, I turned to Ornatrix which is capable of such a thing. To get the colors of the hair to be what I was after, I turned to Substance Painter and painted this sculpt by hand. Using the exported color channel maps, Ornatrix was then able to generate the color data on a per strand basis for this illustration
Rounding out this series as the final illustration, I wanted to put to use all of the things I had learned and developed as a part of this workflow towards the creation of a scorpion. I am extremely pleased with the end result of not only this particular illustration, but of this series as a whole
Personally, this illustration is my favorite as I feel that it clearly demonstrates the culmination of growth and understanding with Redshift and cementing my creative voice in a medium that I adore more than any other
That's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this series of illustrations!
Have a project in mind?

I'm always open to collaboration, so don't hesitate to send me your project details. Let's create something great together!