Lower Level Commentary, Episode 011

LLC 011

In this special episode of LLC, Joe and Adriana discuss their first impressions of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In previous episodes (9 & 10), they predicted what might be in the new movie. Find out if they were right or wrong along with their thoughts on the direction the Stars Wars franchise is heading. Warning: Major spoiler ALERT for this episode! Many details and scenes of the movie are discussed.

Contains spoilers!

UV Texture Maps

With 3D models in such high demand in today’s media world, UV texture maps become increasingly important. UV texture maps help to make a 3D model look realistic and can help it blend in better with real footage. Every 3D modeling software has tools that allow you to either directly paint onto the 3D model itself or export a UV Map that you can then paint onto in Photoshop or Gimp.

Creating layers of textures allow you to fine tune the look of any 3D model. Some of the most commonly used texture maps are diffuse, specular, and bump or normal maps. When combined together they can yield amazing results. Watch the short video below:

The diffuse maps allow you to choose the color scheme that you want your model to have. Below is an example of a diffuse map of a 3D model from our Video Copilot collection. After a UV map was exported from the 3D modeling software it was then painted in Photoshop to create the colors that would be applied to this model.

Diffuse map for 3d model

Diffuse map for 3d model

Specular maps allow you to add areas of highlights to your model. These are generally areas that when lit will shine brightest. Below is the specular map for the same model. Even though this is a black and white image it allows for lights added to your project to highlight the brighter areas and create a high sheen.

Specular Map for 3D model.

Specular Map for 3D model.

Bump and Normal maps allow for even greater 3D textures by creating a map that gives your 3D model added contours. These maps are very important in fine tuning detail and creating shadows from the lights that are present in your project.

Normal map for 3D model.

Normal map for 3D model.

UV texture maps are an essential component when creating a realistic render of any 3D model. It is becoming an art form in and of itself, as you can see from the final render video above of the model with all three textures applied.

If you are interested in learning more about 3D modeling and texturing, Lynda.com (available in Studio 300) offers classes for some of the major 3D modeling software such as Maya, Cinema 4D, and Blender (also available in Studio 300).

VFX at Studio 300

PlanetVFXVisual Special Effects (VFX) are a staple in today’s multimedia world. You can find them everywhere from commercials to big name movies. Each year more movies, TV shows, and commercials are depending on VFX to drive their projects. VFX is a combination of 2D and 3D elements that are combined with actual live footage to recreate an artist’s vision.

VFX are so seamlessly composited into the live footage that we hardly notice it. Just sit down and watch TV chances are some of your favorite shows and commercials were created using VFX techniques. Most of today’s big action blockbuster movies are heavily dependent of VFX, movies like this year’s RED 2 and R.I.P.D would not be possible without VFX to recreate car crashes and swirling vortexes in the sky.

Here at Studio 300 we have some of the software and plug-ins used by professionals to recreate VFX. We offer the Adobe Creative suite, Trapcode suite, Magic Bullet suite, and even Video Copilot’s 3D Element suite. Not only do we have these amazing products available for you to use, we also have outstanding resources available for you to learn how to effectively use them. We have compiled an amazing book collection available for you to check out and learn at your own pace. We also offer Lynda.com which has great classes taught by experienced professionals often providing projects files so that you can follow along. We also have an amazing staff that can always assist you with questions on all aspects of media.

Here is a sample created in Studio 300 using the tools available to you:

If you have ever wondered how Harry Potter’s wand emits lightning, how your favorite action movie was able to create a car crash scene, or how sci-fi movies can recreate alien worlds? Now is the perfect time to learn. Come in and start learning today! And then begin making your own stunning visual effects!