Catherine Luo



 Texture/LookDev Reel + 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. The look I went for in this piece was inspired by a mix of the worn down textures of the theater space in my memories, and the color palette and feeling of theatricality of painters such as Caravaggio. 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 story and character interaction. Since I was already changing up the layout a little, and the reference I was using was in black and white, I had a lot of fun setting the look of the piece. I wanted a place that felt old and plausible in the middle of nowhere, but still feeling cared for and not dilapidated. 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 and ready to be handed to the next parts of the pipeline. For textures, I focused on utilizing UDIMs while paying special attention on how each type of material would receive weathering and age. A lot of time was spent on the wood, which I wanted to have realism, yet still be worn in a stylized way. I ended up using Substance Designer to get the look I wanted, with additional finer details being added in Substance Painter. Modeled entirely in Maya. Textures done in Substance Painter and Designer. 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 wanted a look that was quiet, befitting a smiling old fisherman, but still playful at the same time. I spent a lot of time sketching the initial design, as well as thinking about smaller details like the pattern of his shirt and the logo on his raincoat. Going with the theme, I added dried mud-water residue to his clothing, as if he had just come back from a stormy boating trip. For the fish, I made a custom scale material in Substance Designer. The skin of the fisherman was done entirely in Mari, where I used a mix of hand-painted textures and projection to achieve the base color. Knald was used to generate a convexity and AO map that I used in painting the skin. A subsurface radius map that denoted more bony and fatty areas of the body, a well as a specular map, were also made in Mari. 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. Although technically I was listed in their system as a texture artist, I worked from modeling through to look development as well as learning their general systems and completing exercises in lighting. It was an absolute blast and a great learning experience. After training, 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. This selection of assets I created 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 was made to look like clean, new planks that would 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