• CGNetworks Reader Project :: Octopus
    The Making of 'Octopus'
    Bernardo Barbi (CG Artist, Platinum Studio), 19 November 2004

    CG artist Bernardo Barbi of Platinum Studio, Brazil describes how he and his team created a giant 3D octopus oozing out of a residential kitchen for a print advertisement.

    'Octopus' Wallpaper

    1600 x 1067
    1200 x 800



    Design Brief

    Platinum is a graphics studio located in Rio de Janeiro. Working for the advertising market worldwide, Platinum produces images using photography, post production (in Photoshop) and 3D techniques. We received the ‘Octopus' job from an advertising agency and the challenge was to produce an image where a giant octopus was escaping from a kitchen.


    The first step was to divide the work between the photography and CG staff. As soon as the location photographs were taken, we went to research references for the octopus project. Since the species of octopus was chosen, we began to model from photographic references. As we progressed, we started designing the composition for the octopus in the scene. We created an octopus mock-up and, based on this, we created several sketches to define the octopus' final position.

    The work was divided into three parts: head, tentacles and suction cups. In this way, the job became faster. The arms were done poly by poly. The head was done with box-modeling and subdivision surface editing.


    Early sketch for 'Octopus', Bernardo Barbi



    Based on drawings, we went to some effort to position the octopus in the scene. The kitchen's geometry was a recreation, based upon the typical size of a kitchen. For the tentacles we created a bone system for each one and positioned this manually. For the suction cups we made several models and deformed each one separately so we could get more details and speed up the process.

    Texturing and Lighting

    All of the textures were based upon photos that we took of a real octopus. We photographed it in several pieces, following the UV map as reference. At this time, we defined the scene's most important areas as the head, part of the eyes, tentacles and the bigger suction cups. For the shading, we used procedural bump maps, specular maps and reflection maps.

    The most important tool for the realistic effect was the subsurface scattering, especially for the light and thin surfaces areas such as those on the suction cups. We utilized a HDRI map to simulate the kitchen's lightning and set up some omni lights to create bright areas in strategic parts of the model.


    Wireframe 'Octopus', Bernardo Barbi

    Octopus' map reference, Bernardo Barbi

    Skeleton for 'Octopus', Bernardo Barbi


  •  Platinum Studio

    The Making of 'Octopus' continued...

    Rendering and Post Production

    At this stage, we made the render in separate parts. We started with the head, then did one render per tentacle plus several renders for the most important suction cups in the scene. We opted for a multi-pass render to make the post production easier.

    The radiosity was utilized and was fundamental for the realism of the subsurface. We made one separate render for the octopus' reflection on the floor and for the shadows on the walls.

    We then started the post production phase mounting the octopus' parts and adapting the whole creature into the scene. We composited into the scene each tentacle and suction cup rendered separately in the previous stage. Because this was a job for print medium, we needed the best possible quality in a short time.

    What became clear in ours mind was how much the planning of each stage was so important. So, we opted to work in parts to invest the time in the details.



    Suction Cups, Bernardo Barbi



    Production Details

    Octopus was created using LightWave for modeling, Cinema 4D and Photoshop.

    Lightning, Rigging, Texturing, Shading: Bernardo Barbi
    Post Production: Lucianao Honorato, Flávio Albino
    Photographer: Leonardo Vilela
    Octopus Model: Fabrício Torres

    Related Links
    Related CGTalk Thread for 'Octopus'
    Platinum Studio
    Bernardo Barbi's website

    Words by Bernardo Barbi
    All images © 2004 Platinum Studio



    Copyright © 2004 Bernardo Barbi

    Copyright © 2004 Bernardo Barbi

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