3DMastermind: Car rendered with mental ray in Softimage

via Car rendered with MentalRay in Softimage on Vimeo.

Here, I use FinalGathering with a system of bright cards for the lighting. For the first time, I also used a bright large cylinder that surrounds the car for added reflectivity and better lighting.

I then found that the lighting looked off and tried to understand why. It was because the car was getting lit via FG by the large cylinder but the “car shader” wasn’t receiving any “traced light” information in that area. This would be especially useful for the “speculars” in the car shader.

I then made a cylindrical light with the same dimensions as the FG cylinder (In area light, chose “geometry”). Now the paint looks more like it’s lit by the cylinder and doesn’t just reflect it.

The effect in the beginning is a “diffuse glow” added in the Softimage Compositor.

Friday Flashback

Every Friday I’ll post some image or screenshot from Softimage history…

What we know now as Softimage XSI grew out of the Softimage|DS (Digital Studio) product. Here’s a couple of screenshots from March 1997 that shows a prototype of Sumatra (the codename for XSI). Back then, the first version of DS was almost finished, and XSI was taking shape. Although at that point, XSI did have a distinct “DS” feel to it. Note the “SOFTIMAGE|Digital Studio” in the title bar.

Click to view full size

UPDATE: Comment from Luc-Eric:

I think that was not an actual screenshot, but a photoshop mockup, there countless of them.
This is closer to what the software looked like – but still not quite (it’s missing the jewel-like timeline button)
we still have some of those bitmaps somewhere in the source tree..
note the Twister room buttom.