Portfolio Senior 3D Artist

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3D Art & Visualization: Franklin Ponceoyola’s online Portfolio as a Senior 3D Artist based in Berlin.

Contact

E-mail: info@3DArtViz.com | 

Phone (Germany): +491522752316 | 

Skype: cg-render

Videos

Production

Character

3D Character Pipeline. Antonia, an exercise on making a photo‑realistic character with a face UI and acting after real actresses. Elf‑Woman is a whole human character rigged and skinned using simulated muscles. Robots is a 3D short film using tons of nucleus particles and complex compositing. Dancer wears a dress deforming under lots of stress
Antonia Project Briefing
3D Character Pipeline. Antonia, an exercise on making a photo‑realistic character with a face UI and acting after real actresses.

Draw expression sheet to anticipate mesh deformation needs during animation. Model and texture for organic surface at render time using high poly SubDivisions, displacement and normal maps.

antonia project modeling
Antonia head retopology

Model from scratch using the position of eyes and mouth as a reference. Begin with a basic Zsphere, apply detail and expand with Dynamesh to sculpt neck and shoulders. Refine details until getting a basic expression with half closed eyes (to texture eyelids) and half open mouth (to model mouth interior). Export a decimated sample to retopologize with vectors in Maya. Once retopologized, open UVW, import into ZBrush, give more subdivision levels, project details and sculpt even more detailed relief. Export normal and displacement maps from lowest subdivision level. Back in Maya, plug into head's shader and light the scene. Model character's clothes using the same technique.

antonia project texturing
Antonia head: Textures and post‑production

Paint 4K textures based on normal and displacements for diffuse, speculars and subsurface scattering. Plug into shader and test with standard lighting (one HDRI dome and an area light). Use a light-emitting polygon to cast caustics on eye iris through the lens.

Rig and skin the Head using joints and prepare for linking to a face user interface (UI). Design UI for facial expressions to follow the positions of neck and head after animation and checking out the needs featured in the expressions sheet. Test against expressions sheet and actual acting situations, including clothes and environments.

Apply visual effects for hair using Xgen, must follow deformations but doesn't have to react to gravity or collide. Make extra simulations and bake for eyebrows, eyelashes, forehead contours and thin hair layer on the whole face.

Light the scenes using an HDRI dome. Render passes for compositing: ambient occlusion, diffuse, speculars, subsurface scattering, motion vector. Use a cardboard in post‑production to spare the depth of  field render time.

Elf‑Woman Project Briefing
3D Character Pipeline. Elf‑Woman is a whole human character rigged and skinned simulating muscles.
elfWoman project modeling
Elf‑Woman head model retopology

Draw a storyboard with the whole scene to anticipate modeling, visual effects and animation needs. Draw elevations for the character using orthographic views to help the modeling process. Animate a turnaround of the character to test the model in perspective and paint concept art to anticipate modeling, shader, lighting and compositing conditions.

Model from the scratch beginning with a ZSphere and pull symmetrically for arms and legs. Once the general silhouette is solved, apply some detail. Send a decimated mesh to Maya in order to retopology using quad draws. Once retopologized, open UVW using four 4K UDIM spaces for face, arms, legs and torso. Import into Zbrush, subdivide, project previous relief, sculpt finer details and export ×4 normal + ×4 displacement maps.

Paint 4K diffuse, specular and subsurface scattering maps and plug into shaders with normal and displacement maps together.

elfWoman project rigging
Elf‑Woman: Skinning using Maya Muscle

Rig the mesh for animation: torso first, including parallel FK and IK, advanced twist, extendable joints. Rig arms later with FK/IK functionalities, also on the forearm separately, so that the character can fix the elbow on surfaces. Deform the forearm mesh using also advanced twist. Hand has its own set of automated deformations including its own reverse-foot mechanism. Leg is rigged like arm, without advanced twist, but rigging a complete reverse foot like ball and sides of the hand. Arms and legs include an automatic match script written in MEL.

Skin the mesh using Muscle simulation for limbs and neck and extra sliding and sticky deformers for elbows, fingers, knee and head. Skin the face using blendShapes, each one adjusted for the respective expression in expressions sheet. I sculpted the expressions in ZBrush for this particular situation because there is no user interface for the actual expressions.

elfWoman vfx
Visual Effects for character and environment Maya Nucleus nParticles, nCloth, nHair

The visual effects for the environment include different types of nucleus particles, replacing them with actual textured geometry. Emit through a tunnel and collide and stick along the character's body. A low‑res version of her body acts as an attractor. Pampas grass and trees use Paint Effects, mist uses Fluid and nucleus particles and a regular spotlight emits volumetric lights. Flares add in at post‑production. The visual effects for her body include nucleus Hair and nucleus Cloth for the wings and dress. Original dress' design, thanks to Petra Gittel (Das rote Kleid).

The compositing phase includes following passes: direct and indirect light, diffuse, reflections and speculars, refractions, subsurface scattering, visual effects, volumetrics and depth of field. All passes rendered separating foreground and background to spare render resources. Post‑production program: Nuke.

Robots Project Briefing
3D Character Pipeline. Robots is a 3D short film using tons of nucleus Particles and complex compositing.
robots project modeling
Robot model topology

Paint a concept to check out modeling, lighting and visual effects needs. Draw a storyboard to time the animation and develop an animatic. Draw elevations and import them into Maya as orthographic views.

In this case, I didn't sculpt the parts of the robot and later retopologized them, but the opposite: Using the orthographic views, model the main parts without details in Maya, open UVW, export meshes (using obj), import them into ZBrush and sculpt details like relief, screws, patterns, scratches, etc. Export normal and displacement maps and plug them into a shader inside Maya.

Rig the robot like an arm including a switch for FK and IK. Draw controls with vectors. For the visual effects, use nucleus Cloth on the flexible tubes, Fluid for molten metal and smoke and nucleus Particles for the sparks.

Animate based on the animatic and render and composite using following passes: ambient occlusion, diffuse, speculars, reflections, motion vector and depth of field. Render and add separately some robots' reflections from visual effects to spare render time. Use Maya rendered 3D Flares and glows to keep track of camera movement.

Dancer Project Briefing
3D Character Pipeline. Dancer wears a dress deforming under lots of stress
dancer project vfx
Dancer visual effects using Maya nCloth and nHair

Model for her body, dress and necklace as well as motion capture, provided by MPC. Test the models with different degrees of detail, skin the mesh to her body and apply nucleus Cloth on the skirts to follow deformations. Same thing with necklace: use a spline connected to nucleus Hair to hang it on her neck and collide with her body.

Environment & Prop

3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Barcelona Facades shows real time models with high quality texturing. Modern House shows an exterior and an interior including visual effects. Photo‑realistic Engine shows mechanic hard-surface modeling. Grenade shows the process of modeling photorealistic props. Sole Kern shows interaction between visual effects and modeling. Skatebax shows micropolygonal modeling and sculpting features.
Barcelona Facades Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Barcelona Facades shows real time models with high quality texturing.
barcelona project facades
Barcelona Facades models, low poly for real time

Model with a maximum number of triangles per facade for real time, only features with relevant parallax. Transparencies using alpha channels. Curves using no subdivision but smoothing edges. Open UVW and retouch the textures to avoid seams. Generate normals from color textures. Retouch a specular map, also for reflections. For render time version: motion vector and depth of field passes. Lens distortion is a plug–in by Nuke applied in post‑production.

Modern House – Exterior & Interior Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Modern House shows an exterior including visual effects.
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Modern House shows an interior including visual effects.
modernHouse project exterior
Modern House Exterior, models and lighting for render time

Draw vector elevations, import as orthographic views in Maya. Model using high poly subdivisions. Model the rest of the environment and apply visual effects. Water uses animated procedural displacement and normal maps. Trees, flowers and ivy use Paint Effects. Grass and fur use Xgen. Mist uses Fluid and volumetrics are sent from a spotlight. Hand painted textures based on photographic reference. Compositing passes: diffuse, speculars, visual effects.

photo‑realistic Engine Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. photo‑realistic Engine shows mechanic hard-surface modeling.
photorealEngine project
Photo‑realistic Engine for render time using high poly subdivisions

Draw elevations in vector program, import in Maya as orthographic views. Model using high poly subdivisions, open UVW. Model environment and apply lighting (HDRI dome + area light). Test lighting and paint textures based on photographic reference. Sculpt High frequency relief parts in ZBrush and export as displacement (using a vector displacement in this case) and normal maps to plug into shaders. Render passes to composite (background and foreground separately to spare render time).

Grenade Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Grenade shows the process of modeling photorealistic props.
grenade project
Grenade modeling exercise using displacements and normal maps in ZBrush

Hand draw orthographic views based on photographic reference. Translate into vectors and import into Maya as templates. Model first reusable volumes, copy them as a module and build up bridges between geometry. Open UVW, export as obj and import into ZBrush. Add subdivision levels and sculpt relief and silhouette. Export as normal and displacement maps from lowest subdivision level, import into Maya and plug into shader.

Sole Kern Bauerfeind Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Sole Kern shows us interaction between visual effects and modeling.
sole kern project
Shoe sole kern plastic injection process using Maya nParticles

Goal: Show molten plastic injection process to make the actual kern, which later fits into a shoe-sole. Model the kern, use it as a container for nucleus Particles, emit from the sides, like in actual factory. Apply several textured layers to reproduce the look of solidified plastic, including reliefs, scratches, subsurface scattering, transparency, speculars and sparkles. Model the rest of the sole and render passes to composite: Diffuse, reflections, refractions, subsurface scattering and motion vector.

Skatebax Project Briefing
3D Environment & Prop Pipeline. Skatebax shows micropolygonal modeling and sculpting features.
skatebax project
Photo‑realistic leather bag with zipper and seams

Goal: Reuse same skate-board transport bag model with different cover illustrations. Model based on photographs used as elevations using high poly subdivisions. Open UVW and import into ZBrush. After adding subdivision levels, sculpt detail and deformations. Relief must look like actual leather. Export reliefs as normal and displacement maps and plug into Maya shaders. Model environment, test lighting, prepare textures. Write a script to render the same object with different textures each time (MEL). Composite passes and reuse environment.

Modeling

Modeling: First Production Pipeline Phase. Antonia shows how to model from scratch a human head. Elf‑Woman shows how to sculpt, retopologize and open UVW for a whole human body. Robots shows an efficient way to sculpt over a finished topology. Barcelona Facades shows how to make efficient architectonic models for real time. Modern House shows how to model exteriors and interiors for render time starting from CAD elevations. photo‑realistic Engine shows how to model hard surface props starting from CAD blueprints. Grenade shows the process of modeling props in Maya and adding detail in ZBrush. Skatebax has added detail in ZBrush and a zipper made in Maya.

Modeling Characters

Production Phase: Modeling Characters: Antonia shows how to model from scratch a human head. Elf‑Woman shows how to sculpt, retopologize and open UVW for a whole human body. Robots shows an efficient way to sculpt over a finished topology.

Modeling Environments & Props

Production Phase: Modeling Environments & Props. Barcelona Facades shows how to make efficient architectonic models for real time. Modern House shows how to model exteriors and interiors for render time starting from CAD elevations. Photo‑realistic Engine shows how to model hard surface props starting from CAD blueprints. Grenade shows the process of modeling props in Maya and adding detail in ZBrush. Skatebax has added detail in ZBrush and a zipper made in Maya.
 

Rigging & Skinning

Second Production Phase: Rigging & Skinning. Antonia has a basic head rigging but a complex face UI. Elf‑Woman has a complete finished whole body rigging system on her. Robots have a normal arm‑like FK/IK system with switch.

Lighting & Shading

Third Phase in Production Pipeline, Lighting, Shading and Rendering: Antonia has a photo‑realistic shader from Arnold with PBR textures made by hand in Substance Painter. Elf‑Woman has PBR textures made by hand in Mari and applied to a Mental‑Ray shader. Barcelona Facades use textures based on photographic reference. Photo‑Realistic Engine plays with relief and reflections. Sole Kern has a complex shader, including subsurface scattering and transparency at the same time.

Visual Effects

Fourth Phase in Production Pipeline, Visual Effects: Antonia wears hair and fur simulated using Xgen. Elf‑Woman uses nucleus Hair and nCloth, her environment uses nParticles, Fluid and Paint Effects. Robots use all nucleus Particles plus tons of Fluids. Dancer wears a nCloth dress and a nHair necklace. Modern House uses all possible nParticles, Paint Effects and Xgen. Sole Kern uses nParticles to simulate molten plastic injection.

Pre‑Production

Concept

Before diving into Production, better have your Pre‑production ready: Elf‑Woman has a complete character development, including a concept art layered like a composite. Robots show how to develop a mechanical character using animation techniques. Antagonist is a comic character using a complete set of development tools. Antonia has an expressions sheet to base the 3D polygonal deformations on. Modern House shows how to paint a concept from CAD elevations. Cabin & Old Car shows an example for paintover. Grenade shows how to draw CAD blueprints basing them on analog hand‑drawn elevations.
Comic Project Briefing
Antagonist is a comic character using a complete set of development tools.
comic project
Concept art for comic character development

Write down the comic script. Based on that story, sketch out characters' silhouettes and environments. Once sketched, select one construction type and draw provisional orthographic views. Stress-test the silhouette by drawing the character at different situations in order to visualize anatomic needs and make construction decisions.

Detailed Three‑Quarters view uses definitive lineart and perspective. Turnaround using lineart to preview reproduction needs later on panel drawing. Character Sheet shows character's acting face deformations.

Clothes & Gear Sheet shows how the character is going to be dressed at every scene in the script. Important for coordinating with other characters and environment, also because of color harmonies.

Paint concept art for main characters and scene environments. Give clues and make decisions about lighting and environment conditions for key scenes in the script.

Cabin & Old Car Project Briefing
Cabin & Old Car shows an example for paintover.
cabinOldCar project
Paintover exercise for real‑time project

Based on Sketches of the whole environment from different perspectives, draw elevations for the cabin and the car (without deformations) using a vector program (Illustrator in this case). Import the elevations into Maya to rough out 3D models and export into a scene. Cheap render viewport and use the picture as a template for paintover. Using rough brushes, paint out the general look of the environment

Do not concentrate on details, keep it "impressionistic". Details come later, at the production phase of the pipeline (modeling, texturing and visual effects).

Storyboard

Pre‑Production, Storyboard: This video shows storyboards reused as animatic and the animation process on the following projects: Elf‑Woman, Robots, Barcelona Facades, Modern House

What is Photo‑Realism? From Contours to Volumes

Using analog live and digital 2D and 3D projects, this video plays with the assumption that photo‑realism consists on describing volumes using shadows. The opposite of Photo‑Realism would be describing silhouettes and shapes using contours.
What is Photo‑Realism Projects:

Post‑Production

Compositing

After Production, Post‑Production: The following projects show finished photo‑realistic compositing plates: Antonia, Elf‑Woman, Robots, Barcelona Facades, Modern House

Real Time Video Coming Soon!

Technical Video Coming Soon!

Profile

Position names: a = Animator, b = Generalist, c = Concept, d = Character, e = Environment & Prop, f = VFX, g = Technical, h = UI
Pipeline / Positions Skills Programs
A. Production
b, d, e
Modeling
Hard surface & organic surface, Low poly & high poly, UV Mapping, Character & Environment
ZBrush, 3D Studio Max, Headus UV Layout, Roadkill
a, b, d, g Rigging & Skinning
Animation
Maya (Muscle, MEL), Python
e, f Visual Effects
Shaders, Fluid Simulations
Maya: Nucleus, nHair, nParticles, nCloth. Xgen, Fluid, Paint Effects
b, d, e, f Rendering
Lighting, Shading, Texturing
Arnold, VRay, Mental Ray, Substance (Designer & Painter), Mari
a, g Real Time
Unity/C#
g, h Computer Languages
From high to low level
MEL, Python, C#, C++
B. Pre-production
b, d, e, f, g, h
Archetypes, concept, anatomy, color, value, perspective, composition, lighting, storyboard, animatic Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, DreamWeaver), Corel Painter, HTML/CSS
C. post‑production
b, g
Compositing Nuke, AfterEffects

Evolution: From Graphic Artist to 3D Generalist. Later, Senior 3D Artist and now turning into a Technical Artist.

If you want a resume, please e-mail me: info@3DArtViz.com.

If you want more information, please visit my Demos or Social Media Presence.

Social Media

Education

Date City Role Institution
2021 Berlin C++ – Programming language Lernen im Internet
2020 Berlin Python – Programming language
2019 Berlin Live portrait VHS
2019 Berlin Substance Allegorithmic
2015-2018 Berlin Live drawing VHS
2016-2017 Berlin Unity and C# Indisoft
2010-2012 Remote Berlin - Los Angeles Animation Film Pipeline Gnomon
2009-2011 Berlin Live Sculpture VHS
2004-2005 Barcelona Master, direction animation film with Maya Universitat Pompeu Fabra
2000-2001 Barcelona 3D Studio Max Expertise Cipsa
1989-1992 Santiago Sociology Degree Universidad de Chile

Languages

English Los Angeles Professional Proficiency
German Berlin Professional Proficiency
Catalan Barcelona Professional Proficiency
Spanish Santiago Mother Language

©3DArtViz.com — 3D Art & Visualization 2021
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Franklin Ponce
3D Artist
Armenische Straße, 1
13349 Berlin

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Telefon: +49(0)15227523166
E-Mail: info@3DArtViz.com

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