Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
September 23, 2013
Image Size
1.3 MB


10 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Subsurface Butterfly by darkMyke Subsurface Butterfly by darkMyke
Made for a rendering contest for this year's rendering contest at the Technical University Vienna.

This piece is quite unusual for me. Made on a tight deadline (for me at least), one of the few pieces I did for a contest, the very first I did for as a lecture exercise at the university and a topic I don't really like that much - Subsurface Scattering (SSS). In addition, it had to be rendered in Luxrender.

Yeah, SSS, awesome...wait, what is this SSS thing actually?
The effect called SSS is best visible for thin objects, with light shining through them. The butterfly's wings or the flower's petals demonstrate it clearly - they are not transparent, yet enough light "scatters" through the object so that you can discern lighter and darker areas. You can clearly see veins and structures below the surface. Another real life example is your hand, when you raise it to protect your eyes from harsh sunlight - the reddish glare which shines through your skin between your finges...yeah, that's it. SSS is just the term the technical guys use to describe it ;)

Done with Blender and Luxrender.
No postprocessing at all. Therefore, nice flashy effects, no clouds (they would increase rendertime way too much...) nothing which was not done in Blender and Luxrender. Textures mostly from Wikipedia. And to all the biologists - no, that butterfly does not exist in this form. The wings are from a Morpho menelaus (Blue Morpho) but its body looks completely different in reality...

As always - let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts and critiques :)
Add a Comment:
LadyNoiraile Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013
Cool thing, I love all the detail you added.
Especially that leaf beneath the butterfly's lovely, hairy feet looks super-realistic! :clap:
darkMyke Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! Yeah, sometimes it's the tiny things that make something beautiful - I'm sooo glad people actually notice the hairs >>>XD (these little things are actually the most work...especially to get them look right, even if they are not "correct" at all).
LadyNoiraile Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013
On a positive note, I doubt that the majority of people has very established knowledge about the anatomically correct alignment of butterfly leg hair. :D
But I do believe they were a lot of work. Also, as mentioned, the leaf's absolutely incredible. If I only had that detail of the picture, I couldn't tell it from a photograph!

How'd the contest go, by the way? Got any results yet? If the big winner's still to be chosen, I of course wish you the best of luck!
darkMyke Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, thank you. The contest was actually finished already when I posted the pic. I won, but I have to admit, I was the only one with some kind of experience with actually making something in 3D. Most of the others are students of computer graphics - they work on the algorithms behind the programmes, but do not work WITH them.
I try to do both (but fail at mastering either) ;)
LadyNoiraile Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
Oh well, winning the contest isn't what I'd call "failing"... congratulations, anyway! Cool to see your work paid off, even if it wasn't the toughest competition ever. The nice outcome of your contest entry is still something to be proud of. :clap:
prokaryont Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The wings look a bit like glass wings (created with fusion technique). I like it though!
I love the colours (rawwrrrr, turquoise!! XD) and nice contrast with the warm flowers. The leaf on which the butterfly is sitting...whoah...nice details here! Good job!

The only thing that seems odd to me is the flower on the left. The perspective seems unnatural o_O
darkMyke Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! You point out some details which are indeed quite...exaggerated. It was all for a good cause, though, to make a plain and quickly made scene look at least a bit...ehm...interesting. And to really bring out that effect in the butterfly's wings. But sometimes I overdo it, I admit that :)
(Yeah, that turquoise...when I made the model I immediately made its wings blue, I didn't even know the butterfly species but I knew exactly what color I wanted!)
PiriPiri-Paint Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Ich habe keine Ahnung von der Technik und wie du das gemacht hast, aber: Super :)!
Die Flügel sehen aus wie gemalt und diese Haare and den Beinen <3
darkMyke Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Schön, wenn diese Details auffallen. Gerade die Haare sind eine Menge Arbeit und im Grunde merkt man sie kaum...danke! (Die Technik ist ja auch wurscht für den Betrachter, gut ausschaun solls. Nur eben für diesen Kurs wars wichtig - und da ich mich ja dafür interessier, muss ich auch immer davon erzählen und mich mitteilen ;) )
EveryBurn Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely stunning.  Great use of Lux.
Add a Comment: