Making the Cheddar Warrior — the cheesy bits

You could argue that the entire Cheddar Warrior scene is a bit cheesy. But there’s a wedge of Edam cheese in there that presented its own challenge along with its own simple solution.

basic modelling

1 - Basic modeling

You don’t find 3D models much simpler than this one. When we illustrate in 3D we assign ‘materials’ to them, to replace that drab grey colour and start giving them the appearance we want. This one is ready for some cheesy materials now

Basic materials applied

2 - Basic materials applied

Here’s the cheese with some nice cheese-coloured materials on it. But it doesn’t look right. That yellow part doesn’t look like cheese. It looks more like yellow plastic. I couldn’t figure out why at first

Crusty edges

3 - Crusty edges

Edam cheese is a bit tougher around the edges and also a bit darker. So I’ve made that change. It looks a bit better, but it still looks fake.

Sub-surface scattering

4 - SSS

Then I realised cheese isn’t completely opaque. It lets a tiny bit of light through the thin parts, and the solution was suddenly obvious.

In many things, light penetrates the surface and scatters for a very short distance inside. That’s what happens in things like human skin, a glass of milk, candle wax, and cheese. 3D artists call that lighting effect ‘sub-surface scattering’. Most of the time we shorten that down to ‘SSS’ to save all that typing.

Once I turned on the SSS in my cheese it looked good enough to eat. I could move on to the next thing in the scene.




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