Puck: A Houdini textures treatment


SBLABS celebrated Valentine's Day with a series of creative material textures, featuring Midsummer Night's Dream's very own Puck. From burning wood, to vacuum packed spaghetti and fruit pastels – Puck presents just how far CGI can go.

February 23, 2018 - SBLABS Saddington Baynes recently set their studio R&D team on a texture-based challenge, running controlled tests on the single model of a cupid – an asset affectionately dubbed “Puck”.

Named after the infamous fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puck was first introduced to the Saddington Baynes portfolio in celebration of London Pride last year. This cupid statue has since been used to model a range of textures, giving him a personality that grows and develops over time.

Originally, Puck began his life as the mascot for Saddington Baynes’ Love Is Love celebration – a short motion video that shows Puck drenched in flowing ribbons of rainbow liquid. Other tests saw Puck presented in brushed bronze or emerging from a half-chiseled block of granite.

Saddington Baynes didn’t stop there. The team turned Puck into an organic mesh of brain tissue; a mouth-watering fruit pastel; and even a tangle of spaghetti bound by a vacuum-packed casing – to name just a few simulations.

“Every creative agency needs to have a selection of treatments such as these to hand, says Project Lead and Senior Digital Artist Mark Jackson. “A portfolio that shows your skillset at a glance is hugely beneficial when landing new work.

“However, the experimentation and creativity involved in its creation also present massive advantages in other ways. It can save you time, present an opportunity to expand your artistic arsenal, and most of all, it’s fun!”

Whether 3D Scanning, or creating assets from scratch, these figures can be produced via modeling, character rigging, and visual effects workflows in Houdini. Then, the assets are in multiples via Saddington Baynes’ custom Render Crowds solution – to achieve truly photoreal CG imagery. 

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