Unforgettable Homecoming

Behind The Scene Pixar’s Renderman Challenge 2023 [Finalist]

Project Overview

Pixar’s annual challenge with the theme “Lost Thing” for this year. To participate, competitors must pitch their projects on Discord and provide ongoing updates to the committee. My narrative is deeply rooted in my personal experiences—I lost my uncle at the end of 2022. Upon returning home in early 2023, I sensed a profound absence in my life. Through this project, I aim to convey my emotions and establish a mood and tone that enhance my story.

Lost Thing Challenge
Final Result


Role: Texturing, Lookdev, Lighting, Rendering
Walking Teapot by Dylan Sisson. Models by 2018 Pixar PUPs and Leif Pedersen © Disney/Pixar – RenderMan “Lost Things” Art Challenge

Unforgettable Homecoming Final Rendered Image


My Idea is based on my true story.

Home isn’t just a place on a map; it’s the very earth where love takes root, and memories are sown like precious seeds. I come from a lineage of hardworking farmers in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. The rich soil of my homeland has witnessed generations of my family’s dedication to tilling the land. Yet, my heart beats to a different rhythm. My true calling is in visual storytelling, a passion that pulled me across the ocean to pursue my studies in visual effects in the United States.

Life can sometimes take unexpected and harsh turns. Not too long ago, my world shattered with the news of my uncle’s passing. The news hit me like a tidal wave, and my heart ached with an intensity I hadn’t known before. The painful truth was that I couldn’t be there for his funeral, thousands of miles away as I was still pursuing my graduate studies in the US. 

When I finally returned home to my family, I realized it had been three long years since I’d last set foot in my hometown. So much had changed—the landscape, the people—but one thing remained resolute: my feelings for my family. Their love, care, and warmth wrapped around me like a familiar embrace, a steadfast presence that had cradled me for the better part of my life.

In this RenderMan “Lost Things” Art Challenge, I want to convey my feelings and memories into my art, paying tribute to my late uncle and our unbreakable family bond. It’s a bond that transcends distance and time, a testament to the enduring power of shared moments, etched in our hearts forever. ❤️ 



I’ve begun by recreating UVs for the model as I need to add numerous details to the object. My plan is to utilize 4K textures for each map. To ensure the detail and quality of the maps, I’m checking them with a UV checker texture

overall uv mapping


I’ve utilized Adobe Substance 3D Painter for the entire project. In the images below, you’ll notice a variety of materials such as wood, concrete, rock, brick, glass, ceramic, bread, and more. The main components include walls, doors, and floors. I’ve transformed the walls to resemble weathered concrete with hints of moss and incorporated brick and rough concrete around the door frame. Additionally, you’ll find an assortment of materials used throughout the project, including desaturated old concrete with moss, rough concrete (in gray), brick, wooden doors, glass, hardwood flooring, rocks, and metal.

Wall, Door, and Floor Texture in Substance 3D Painter

This video show all of materials in the main element

     – Desaturate Old Concrete with Moss
     – Rough Concrete (gray)
     – brick
     – Door and Window Frame Wood
     – Glass
     – Hardwood Floor
     – Mold Rock
     – Metal
     – Cloth

This video show all of materials on the cabinet

     – Cabinet wood
     – Glass
     – Ceramic Doll
     – Moldy Muffin
     – Sourdough
     – Envelope
     – Cake
     – Ceramic Tea Cup
     – Leather Cover Book
     – Compass


The main rule for this challenge is use Pixar’s Renderman. I start with create my lookdev rig (lighting and colorspace) from Randerman library

After I export texture from Substance Painter 3D Painter with Renderman preset. Then I connect with image them with “PxrSurface” shader because it can adapt to be many looks and any type of material, it looks like a all purpose shader. 

vintage and cabinet lookdev
Bird Nest , Lamp, Book, Ceramic, Muffin, Sourdough, Tea Cup

PxrSurface shader connection

Vintage Clock Lookdev in Maya


The primary light source in this scene emanates from a large window positioned on the right side of the screen. It provides tons of natural light, illuminating every corner with a soft and welcoming glow.

To complement this natural light source, I use three lights:

  • Firstly, a directional light was strategically placed to enhance specific areas and create mood and direction within the scene.
  • Secondly, an area light was positioned outside the window, mimicking the brightness and intensity of natural sunlight pouring into the space.
  • Lastly, an HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image) was utilized to further enhance the ambiance and overall lighting effects, providing additional depth and realism to the scene.
1 direct light, 1 big area light and 1 HDRI
camera and light blocking

I also added fog to the scene to create depth and evoke a warm mood that complements the narrative of the lost thing, while also conveying a sense of love for its existence. Then I finsh final image in Nuke. I did color correction and tine fog before integrate into final scene.


During this project, I explored the ins and outs of using Pixar’s Renderman for Maya. What stood out to me was Renderman’s unique approach, particularly its two types of specular— “Physical” and “Artistic”—which allow for tweaking colors on faces, edges, and fresnel effects. Renderman’s scientific approach to rendering added an interesting layer to my learning experience.

This was my first time taking on a challenge like this, and I spent a good two and a half months working on it. I was overjoyed when my hard work paid off and I won the finalist award.