Catherine Luo



Model/Environments + Breakdown 


1. Dressing Room: Personal Project, responsible for all aspects. Inspired by the dressing room in the theater I used to watch my friends perform in. I wanted to create a scene from conception to final render that really conveys a strong sense of mood. The goal was to make a space that feels lived-in. Modeled in Maya and ZBrush, textures created using the Substance Suite, soft elements simulated with nCloth. Shading and lighting done in Arnold.

Programs: Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Arnold, Nuke

2. Spirit Shop: Personal Project, responsible for all aspects. Concept by the amazing Lorenzo Etherington. I fell in love with the quirky nature and story of Lorenzo’s illustration and wanted to see if I could make a 3D piece from it. The main challenge of this piece was taking the extreme perspective and having it make sense in 3D. I used the illustration as a base, but took liberties with the structure to make the piece viable as a 3D environment in the most appealing way possible. I spent a long time testing out color schemes as well, trying to find a mood that fit well with the stories and character interaction. Modeled in Maya and ZBrush. Textures done in Substance Painter and Designer. Shading and lighting done in Arnold.

Program: Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Arnold, Nuke, Procreate

3. Wooden Motorcycle: Personal Project, responsible for all aspects. Concept by Lorenzo Etherington. When I was doing the previous piece (Spirit Shop), I was really interested in one of the details in the illustration, an old wooden bike, and decided to really flesh it out. The bike was a challenge because I only had a singular view to draw reference from, and I wanted it to have all the parts for rigging and animation. After doing a lot of research into motorcycles, I was able to take the concept and design a bike that’s completely workable. For textures, I focused on utilizing UDIMs smartly while focusing special attention on how each type of material would receive weathering and age. Modeled entirely in Maya. Textures done in Substance Painter. Shading and Lighting done with Arnold.

4. Fisherman: Personal Project, responsible for all aspects. I wanted to challenge myself to create a fully-realized character. I had made many character sculpts before, but never to completion like this one. During the concept stage, I explored a lot of types of characters and shapes before settling on his design. I took special care in sculpting his face, trying to focus on appealing shapes and enough detail to flesh him out, but trying to keep the simplicity and readability of his design in mind. Modeled in Maya and Zbrush. Clothing done in Marvelous designer. Textures made in Mari and Substance Painter. Shading and lighting done in Arnold.

Programs: Maya, ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Mari, Substance Painter, Arnold, Nuke

5. Framestore Assets: Company project, responsible for all aspects. The summer of 2018, I was lucky enough to be offered an internship at the New York branch of Framestore, in their asset department. It was an absolute blast and a great learning experience. After training with their systems, I was put straight into the production pipeline, overseen by my mentor Jessica Soderstrom. I was pulled from project to project depending on the demand for assets, and got to work and interact with many members of the team. These assets were all integrated into scenes in Framestore-produced commercials.

  • Lemon Bowl: Prop for YellaWood Sketchpad

  • Charred Stick: Hero prop for Geico Smores (held by the Gecko), paired with marshmallows made by a fellow intern

  • Bocce Balls: Prop for YellaWood Five-Star Backyard. Was also responsible for the bocce court sand material.

  • Red Chair: Prop for YellaWood Sketchpad

  • Picnic Table: Prop for YellaWood DIY Commercial. This picnic table was made to exactly measured specifications from YellaWood’s "Convertible Table” DIY plan. It’s made to be clean planks that then assemble themselves into the table.

Programs: Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Arnold

6. Substance To AiStandard Magic Material Maker: Personal project, responsible for all aspects. This tool was made to make the process of creating an Arnold material from Substance outputs easier and faster. The tool takes files from a destination folder and makes the correct connections in the Hypershade. There are options to choose colorspace, whether there are UDIMs or not, and whether you want normals and displacement on. I chose the features based on what I end up needing to change most often, but in the future may add more. Scripted in the Maya Script Editor using python.

Programs: Maya, Python

7. Fish Flocking: Personal project, responsible for all aspects. This project was made when I was learning to script in Maya. I wanted to see how I could apply code to animation. I wrote a script to randomly generate the small fish flock and randomly assign color from a set of materials. The animation is made by a script that takes a “Big Fish” and a flock of “Small Fish,” calculating a curve for the “Small Fish” to travel around the “Big Fish” depending on the distance between them and an amplitude input. The user needs to keyframe a start and end point for the “Big Fish” and “Small Fish,” select both and run the script.

Programs: Maya, Python