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SEM Images

Softwares: Maya, Renderman, Nuke
Scripting: Sony's Open Shading Language, Disney SE Expression Language

I chose to use simplified geometry, and focus on using displacement maps to achieve the desired result. The first challenge was to accurately recreate the spikes from the reference image. With the help of Professor Malcolm Kesson, we developed a splined circle shader so that I had control of the thickness of the spikes, as well as the radius and number of repeats. I also used a fractal node for the displacement vector in order to make the spikes more irregular. In order to create the subtle texture on the surface of the model, I used a PxrSeExpr node to combine Side FX Alligator Noise (for larger overall surface bumps) and a Worley node (for the intricate pore-like texture) for use as additional displacement.

The next challenge was the color, which was the most difficult aspect of the entire project. I used a splined fake rim light OSL shader to make the surface start at a deep red hue and transition to orange and then white towards the outer edge. I then plugged the result of that node into a fake directional light OSL shader that we developed to create a sense of light like in the reference, without using any actual lights.

Alligator Noise Shader from SideFX. View shader here: 

Visualizer (with Displacement)
Occlusion (without Displacement)

Code from Professor Malcolm Kesson.

Splined Circle Shader Code
Splined Rim Light Shader Code
Fake Directional Light Shader Code
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