This is a personal project I worked on during my studies at Escape Studios in London. The aim of this was to recreate a real world object in 3D using Autodesk Maya. I chose a safety boat, aptly named 'Apprentice', that was sat by a dock undergoing restoration near the apartment I was living in at the time in East London. As my studies progressed I learned about simulating oceans and water so I decided to incorporate them into the final piece.
I took reference photos of the different profiles of the boat so that I could model the dimensions of it as accurately as possible; no engineering plans were available so the entire boat had to be modelled from the photos which proved quite the challenge! It was vital to ensure that quad polygons were maintained throughout the modelling process so that that the textures would project onto the model perfectly.
All components of the boat were unwrapped in Maya and the rendered UV maps had textures created in Photoshop. I decided to design the look of the boat here to create a more weathered and distressed feel to the model by sourcing textures online and manipulating them to give the desired effect. Different layers were created to give me complex information for the diffuse, specular, roughness, bump and transparency to the materials, using them in conjunction with the shaders I created in Maya.
To create the ocean I used the BOSS solver in Maya. This essentially starts with a polygon plane which has displacement projection maps added to it that mimmic waves of the ocean. This was then tiled to a large scale giving the feeling of a vast ocean. So that the boat was interacting with the water of the ocean, a localised water simulation was then added using Bifrost in Maya. I used the boat an emitter for the water particles to limit the simulated particals to only where needed around the boat, as this involves a lot of calculations is order to simulate and therefore would otherwise quickly become a difficult process to manage. Foam was then also simulated in Bifrost to add further realism. Caching the various simulations to disk became essential in order to keep things manageable.
To light the project I sourced an HDR of a location at sea at sunset to give a dramatic feel to the scene. This image was plugged into a skydome to provide photoreal lighting to the scene. Further Arnold lighting was then added to enhance the boat. The scene was rendered into separate passes using Arnold to give the maximum control to the final look and feel. The passes were then composited in Adobe After Effects where the final colour grading was then added to help give the piece a balanced and dramatic feel.