When I got brought onto the Puppetboy the base model had already been completed by Rich Wright. It was my job to UV, sculpt and texture him and the Cocopops. For information about the sculpting please see the sculpting specific entry.

This is the model as initially textured and shaded in Renderman for Maya which was the original software of choice. But due to some technical limitations in Renderman we used Lightwave instead so the whole process was repeated successfully there and the shading was nearly identical.

The textures were all created to be over-large and toy like. Mostly raw colour with diffuse shading being supplied by lighting and shaders. Fairly clean and harmonious, almost Victorian colours. All hand painted with the addition of a very faint ambient occlusion and cavity map to increase the contrast and give the character a kick when in front of the Cocopops

The desk was a simple texture consisting of colour, bump and spec/reflection modulator.

The original Cocopops had been created for shots were there were never that many on screen at any one time so we could afford to light them conventionally. But this time we had so many on screen that the render time hit of lighting with area lights was just too much.

So I set about texturing them so that they didn’t need lighting. I couldn’t bake the lighting in as the Pops would be animated in every shot so needed world orientated shading rather than fixed. The basic texture had been done several years back by Tim Brown and stood up well for all the earlier adverts but the demands were different now. First thing was the displacement map, created from the colour map and then hand painted. Then I went about constructing the shader. The components, angle constrained gradients, were quite simple but the way they were layered and interdependent gave a great result. We were also able to add a few spot lights to add interest for very little render hit

This shows the original pops on the left and the self illuminated Puppetboy versions on the right.

I don’t remember how many pops are in this shot but each is identical, high level Sub-d with displacement maps. There’s no LODing and no fall off of Sub-d with distance. In theory not very efficient at all. In practice, it just rendered. No issues. No excessive render times. No crashes or hangs. It was just great.

Puppetboy model by Rich Wright, concepts by Rich Wright and Steve Tappin.