Can you do it? Will it work? Is it worth it?

I want to feel competent that I’m doing worthwhile work. Starting a day knowing that, feels like a victory and the sense of autonomy which comes with it translates into a 'there-is-a-way' attitude. That puts me in the zone, and it makes me present.

My guiding values are integrity and sincerity. I’m a learner. I like to know how complex things work, and there’s no reason not to be able to find out. When working on projects, personal or professional, I take care to exercise deliberation without overpowering my intuition. Not easy! It doesn’t have to be easy.

Ok, enough baloney. Now, get back to the pretty pictures.

Contact Info

This is the real outcome of this project.

And this is the final render the outcome is based on.

Not bad..not bad.

Below compositing before and after: Best viewed in full-screen mode.

Preparing external mattes for Fusion
Shading in Eevee
Shading in Eevee
Stitched 8-stop HDR panorama
Solid based model

Kitchen Project (Done)

Solid models shading experiances with Octane, Eevee, Cycles and Renderman

  • GoalVisualize my kitchen before physically building it.
  • Date finishedAugust, 2019
  • Cool toolsMoI3D; Blender; Pixar Renderman; Octane Render; Canon EOS M; Affinity Photo


I shot 180 degrees left to right in increments of 45 degrees horizontal and 30-degree steps vertically using Canon EOS M + 12mm (about 19mm equivalent on 35mm) at f/11. The increments were HDR merged first and then stitched horizontally using Affinity Photo. Then I used only the middle and top panoramas to stitch them together manually using the grid warp tool. That's a dirty method but it worked.


All of that I modelled in MoI3D aiming for precision. Most models are not even +/- 1 mm off real size.

Shading and rendering

All that solid model precision comes in handy for actually building the kitchen, but going from solid models to final renders presents the challenge of retopologizing a ton of geometry and then UVing. One of my goals is to be UV independent here. That requires procedural shaders.


Eevee and Cycles

Blender 2.8 is outstanding and beautiful. Shading with Eevee and Cycles is very satisfying because it's interactive thanks to Eevee and while Eevee is not as stable, yet, Cycles is as robust as it gets and in my experience even more so than Renderman for Houdini albeit with fewer features. Let's dive a bit deeper into each and remember that this is just my take on each and my preference.

Octane Render

Octane is supposed to be the fastest of the raytracers I use, but at the end of the day, a scene with 50 materials and multiple lights becomes almost impossible to render on the single GTX1060 I've got. I love octane for simpler scenes. Larger node trees, however, tend to be quite cumbersome. Noise from multiple light sources tends not to resolve as well as in Cycles and in Renderman and on top there is no on the fly denoising such as Renderman's and Eevees. One of my favourite features is the render passes - they are many and extremely simple to use and very useful for debugging and diagnostics. For example, Roughness filter or Raw diffuse filter is great for evaluating masks while searching for the right look or the right balance between mixed textures/materials.

Renderman 22.5 for Houdini

Shading and rendering using Renderman feels like a privilege. The Pixar material library is a good start but in my experience, to take that to the next step requires a bit more technical knowledge compared to the other renderers I use. There are many advanced features which enable insane depth of control. For example, the dirt node, which is AO, in essence, can have a normal bias through which the AO distribution can be modulated.