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Hey! This is my first post on here. I've been working on this apple decomposition shot. This is where it's at now, but I'm going to be taking another stab at getting it to a higher level of realism. Any feedback on how to approach it better/critiques on whats standing out are appreciated! Thanks!

 

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Looking good!

The main giveaway for me is the overall 'deflation' at the beginning. If this effect were limited to the bite region and then expand from there, the motion will be really believable.
The other giveaway is the day counter ;-) That's one resilient apple! (Or slow mold)

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Well done! The effect itself actually looks to be quite nice, and has a lot of detail that is getting lost in the render. I think you need to focus on lighting and shading a bit more though. See if you can find a few reference photos of the different stages of a rotting apple to try and match shading as much as possible.

Double check your perspective as well. I think your camera might be just slightly too low and thus tilted too far up for your BG plate. It might be nice to actually do a nice subtle camera move, a push in or something. That little bit of extra perspective could help show off some of the detail that's in your rotting effect.

The initial spread of the black rotting part could also use some more breakup, as it is a very smooth gradient that appears a little unnatural.

Adding a puddle of rotting juice that is leaking from the apple might also look nice, and maybe a curious fly or two in there too ;) 

You've done the hard part, now you just have to polish it up!

Edited by coltonmil

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Thanks guys! I really appreciate you taking the time to look at it and give me notes!

I agree on the deflating thing. I'm working on a better solution where I start the rot on the bite section, and then let it grow, rather than just letting it all collapse at once. So good call out! Interestingly enough if you look up how long it takes an apple to decay it's around 200 days. I was skeptical as well, but if you're curious here is a link to a reference I used. It's pretty crazy stuff. I assume it has to do with environment (how wet, how hot...etc) and how the bacteria is able to grow. Because I've seen apples at my place decay faster than 200 days! Haha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajay1tq_roU

I think you're totally right about the lighting/shading! I'll try to find some reference photos for apples. I'm struggling to get a good breakup on the spread of the rott. I'm gonna take another crack at it, but I'm using a point propagator and I don't know how to slow it down other than using a lot of substeps and timewarping it - so it's kinda just moving across the surface. I could try randomly delete points inside the growth line, but I'm not sure if that'll help. I might try adding noise to the spread of points BEFORE I propagate them so that it goes over dead spots sometimes.

I like the juice idea, but I haven't found that in most of the videos I see on apples. It would seem apples don't really 'leak' juice. They sort of dry out as they go. That's not to say I couldn't add it under 'artistic' license. So you may be onto something. 

Thanks again guys!

 

 

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Good reference. I think that must be a very dry room or something. They definitely go faster than that here.
It's interesting how slowly the mold begins and where... it only starts after an insect has strolled across and takes some time to get going.
Cool stufff... look forward to your next version.

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wow. The effects look incredible.
The shading throws me off... looks very cgish in parts... specular seems too uniform (mold is like felt, very low spec).
Not familiar with Mantra enough to say anything specific. Looking very, vry cool!
 

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That's looks great, good job, David!

Despite, there is always a space to improve. Personally, I fill that there is something wrong with the apple cob, the decay is going like the apple is uniform inside but it has a sort of skeleton, which should not jam with the same speed as a body.

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Thank you! That's a really good call out about the specularity being too high on the mold. And yeah, I think the body is decaying too uniform, there should be more depth like you're saying in the way the core of the apple reacts versus the 'flesh' of the apple. I appreciate the feedback! It's crazy how there are so many details to consider when doing effects like this.

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All of the good modellers, the vfx artists are first and foremost really good observers. I keep realizing how little I know, how much I assume to know... only to recognize I haven't been looking closely enough.

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