A Procedural Approach for Stylized Bark Shading

Alec Bartsch, Colin Thompson, Fernando de Goes


The Earth characters in Pixar's feature film Elemental (2023) called for a stylized look with bark patterns resembling organic locks of hair. To scale this custom shading to an entire class of background characters, we implemented an artistic-driven procedural workflow that offered rapid iterations on pattern generation without requiring extensive repainting of textures. At its core, our approach is built on a series of in-house geometry tools that auto-generate shading surface attributes in Houdini. These surface attributes were then consumed by our proprietary shading system, thus allowing for flexible shader development. In this work, we detail our new geometry tools and discuss the pipeline necessary to automate the process of texture synthesis and variant creation.

Paper (PDF)

SIGGRAPH Talks 2023