LEGO is – without a doubt – the best toy in the world. The problem is: sitting on the floor the whole day hurts, big time! Luckily, with all the modern 3D tools and thanks to ldraw and mecabricks I’m still able to play with it digitally. Up to now, I’ve made two brickfilms already. A stop motion one and a CG one. At the time of making those movies, I was pretty proud. From today’s perspective, of course, they both look visually and technically not thaaat great anymore. This is why I decided it’s time to take it to the next level. The major problem with today’s LEGO CG imagery is the shading. Most of the time the bricks look like perfect geometry with a simple reflective shader applied to it.
The problem is: a real LEGO brick material is fairly complex and the geometry has lots of tiny imperfections. Animal logic were the first who really addressed this issue, and this is one of the main reasons why “The LEGO Movie” looks that awesome.
This is why I decided to study LEGO bricks and the main goal of this blog post is, trying to really understand the LEGO material. With this newly gained knowledge, I’m hopefully able to create great looking shaders, matching the real life thing as close as possible.