Magical Lotus

Bin Chen 2008

The Lotus Flower | Model/Texture/Scene | Photon Mapping | Environment | Participating Media | Tone Mapping | Bloom | DOF | Final Image

The modeling of the flower can be extremely tricky for a person like me, who have just some experience modeling some simple objects (like a teacup…). 

Luckily, I got to know Toru Miyazawa, a Japanese guy via email, and he is kind enough to provide me with a lotus model with texture, which is very well done.  He also provided me with a UV texture and a bump map texture for the model which is done using his own tool for drawing fractal texture.

I then implemented UV texture for .bmp format based on Wojciech’s “quick and dirty” .bmp file loader using bilinear filter for magnification.

Texture mapped model with diffuse material:

I also added support for UV bump map, but did not use it eventually (since using it with photon mapping seems to be extremely tricky):

I used Blender for modeling and I have played with this model and scene setup for a while.  There are a few problems with the initial model and I had to rework the model very carefully.  The problems are the petals are intersecting with each other, and their polygon counts are very low.  So I had to apply subdivide surface to these petals, reform the sharp tips of every petal (since Catmull-clark subdivision destroys the pointy top of the petals), and I also had to carefully move each petal to separate them.  Also I manually introduced some randomness some petals:

Original model

Scene setup

Final scene organization

One day Professor Jensen and I were going over some pictures I rendered, and we stopped at one picture I rendered by accident, and thought there was something interesting about the following setup on how the objects are arranged and the width and height of the image (instead of just a square with equal width and height):

It seems to me that this ‘narrow’ width of the image keeps every part of the scene well occupied, and adds some subtle elements to the scene…   I kept this setup for my final render.