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Osl npr Shading

This page shows geometries shaded in such a way that they are intended to mimic the "look" of images recorded by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This is a microscopic specimen, inspired by a two things. 

1. An image from SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope)

2. A specific illustration by a German zoologist Ernst Haeckel.

Side by Side Comparisions

REF from_SEM_Ref.jpg
REF Ernst_Haeckel_illustration.jpg

SEM Reference

Inspiration from Ernst Haeckel



Occlusion Render


Occlusion Render without Displacement and Subdivision


Visualizer Render

OSL Code Links

The reference images are captured from a SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope).  The images created from SEM don not have any light source, but I came to notice it seems to be lit from all the edges, similar to a rim light. So along with Professor Malcolm, we created a OSL shader mimicking the visual look of lit edges.

AIM: A shader which creates a 180 degree fake rim lights.

Technical issues and Problems

This was quite a unique assignment and it presented quite unique challenges.

1. A Smooth and Curvy Look: During my first attempt, I ended up with very high polygon count asset not accurately matching the reference. However, Renderman's "Render polygons as subdivision" came vey handy in terms of maintaining a low polygon count as well as well as matching the look.

Screenshot (397).png

Initial attempt: High poly and not smooth/curvy enough


After using Renderman's "Render Polygons as Subdivision"

Low Polygon Count

2. Mesh Pointy Extrusions: During my first attempt, as seen below, I ended up with a very high poly extrusion which did not match the reference accurately. Similar to above, after using Renderman's "Render Polygon as Subdivision", I was able to recreate the desired look.


Initial attempt: Pointy edge

After using Renderman's "Render Polygons as Subdivision"


Low Polygon Count

Self Evaluation

This was quite an interesting and unconventional assignment and it offered a very unique approach to creating the output. It was fun to derive and deduce the look to match the reference. 

If I had more time, I would direct it towards the following:

  1. A more detailed visual form and perhaps more of them.

  2. Delved further into controlling displacements via proficient masking controls for very minute details.

  3. Adding a element of color and mood

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