This is about the most mechanically complex book re-creation I’ve ever done. The original folio was a wreck - Robert Hooke’s notebooks from his time as Secretary of The Royal Society. The folio itself lay forgotten somewhere for goodness knows how many years, getting chewed by mice and such, generally being treated in ways that make librarians go white and need a lie-down.
For the Turning the Pages install at the R.S., this was rendered on a plain surface, and with very bland lighting – fair play, it’s the book that’s important but as my demo reel’s not going to be high enough res for the text to be legible, having it in a tolerably appropriate surrounding seems to make sense. The environs aren’t finished, obviously, and I’d like to get some more interesting surfaces in there – some glassware, perhaps, or bring the Bunsen burner more into shot and light it. I shall continue to ponder the matter.
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Here’s a double-res still, with Monte Carlo radiosity enabled (incidentally showing that the wood textures I’ve got to hand are a bit low-res, but they hold up for the animation size).
I mention the Monte Carlo bit because the animation uses only raytrace lights. Interpolated MC and FG rad flicker quite unpleasantly during animations, and I can’t use an animated radiosity cache because the Endormorph-driven book-pages generate an unusuable superabundance of sample-points. I continue to flirt with the notion of rendering it in FPrime with MC switched on – but that would mean having to comp in anything with fancy nodal textures in atop it. We shall see where the process takes me.
I’m going to leave this as a standalone section in my showreel for two reasons:
- The book’s interest is in it’s mechanical complexity, unlike the gilded bling of the other books I’ve done.
- This book heralds the dawn of Science. Almost all the other books were religious in nature.
Because of these huge visual and thematic differences, I think it’s worth having two separate enteries in a demo reel. Though if I end up thinking “Too long, too boring – and too many books” I’ll be very hard-pressed to decide which to junk. Yeah, the Sherbourne Missal and such are beautiful – but this thing is just so cool. There’s more I want to do with this piece – I’ll probably add another page to this website for completed clips, aside from the main blog part.