Cowboy Bebop Warehouse Wrap Up

The last two weeks have been pretty hectic with the holidays and then getting caught up at work, so I never had a chance to finish touching up the Cowboy Bebop warehouse scene I was creating. But that’s OK, because I learned some good lessons from creating the scene, especially as it relates to building anime-style backgrounds in LightWave. The only touch up I wanted to try was adding a paintbrush effect to the walls, but I don’t expect I would use it very often since I tend to prefer cleaner renders. Plus, that would be something to create in Photoshop, not within LightWave itself, so I can push it off to another time, if I ever need it.

Here are the some of the lessons I learned while working on this scene:

  1. Save multiple revisions! I shot myself in the foot with my model when I somehow deleted some geometry (I’m still not sure how I did it, I suddenly noticed it was gone one day), which cost me about 2 hours of fix-up time. I should know better, since I work with computers all day for my 9-5 job, but somehow I messed up in this project.
  2. Light theory — the colors in the screenshot are all slanted towards blue, to simulate the night-time environment. For example, one of the boxes has an RGB base color of (52, 76, 36), which is a dark, muddy green. However, when viewed in the scene the eye is tricked into thinking the box has a standard wood color (yellowish brown), because the mind automatically adjusts what it sees. Since the scene is bathed in blue light, the mind filters out a lot of that blue (and some green, I think).
  3. Many of the details are UV mapped onto the objects. I haven’t done much work with UV maps in a while, so it was good to get more practice in the basics.
  4. Layered bump maps — the buildings are all one object, so I have multiple UV maps assigned to different walls and section. In order to create the different cracks and pits, I had to make sure to correctly combine the different bump maps (assigned to the UVs) before finally assigning it to the material. This turned out to be fairly simple using the Node Editor (which I prefer), since you can use a vector “Add” node to combine two bump vectors.

Time to move on to a new project!