Tarzan 3D was my first contribution to a full feature CG movie. When I joined the team at Ambient Entertainment in 2012, I started working with the surfacing department and shifted to the lighting department at the end of the production.
The team had the task to create textures for stones and landscapes on a large scale including: smaller rocks, cliffs and mountain formations. The stones were instanced to create the plateau and our textures had to held up from background to foreground. The challenge was to create a texture that works on all levels of detail and and the same time was efficient enough to keep everything optimized.
After some experimenting we came up with an adaptable shading network that allowed us maximum flexibility, speed and ease of use. We wanted to maintain the the unique characteristics from the sculpts and used the geometry out of Z-Brush as a start. After retopologizing and unwrapping the geometry in Maya and 3D Coat, the high-res sculpts went into xNormal for baking out a high resolution radiosity map that was used as a foundation for the stone shading network.