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Texturing the Fish

The body of a Neon Tetra, is a beautiful shiny thing that is partially transparent revealing its innards. To simulate the irridecent, and translucent qualities of the fish's body, I created a layered shader in maya. The main body of the fish has red, blue, and pale coloration and is quite shiny. I simulated this with a blinn texture with photoreal texture maps applied in the color, transparency, specular color, and bump channels (bump not shown below).

To simulate the effect of the irridecent blue stripe that runs the lenght of the fish, I created a seperate shader with its own specular properties. To create the strange, irridecent quality of the stripe, I connected a ramp that goes through a number of shades of blue observed on the real fish, and applies this ramp to the specular and color channels of the stripe based on the angle of the camera. For example, looking at the edge of the fish, you will see a different blue shade than looking at the fish flat on.

below you can see most of the layers that go into creating the shader of the fish.