For resubmissions, I've decided to redo Project 1 aka Wilson. This is because it was admittedly my lowest grade but also I had several rendering and shader issues I wanted to fix. As I am writing this post, the frames are being rendered on Google Zync. Meanwhile, let me talk about what I changed.
I had originally created something overly simple in Substance Painter. It was pretty much a white layer with 3 layers of a hand print. It wasn't my best work and I remember doing the texture last minute even with knowing what I was going to do. So, I went back into Substance and completely over haul the layer. I gave it a more leathery feel to it.
When using Substance Painter, I always start to like what I have in that view port. When I bring the textures, in to Arnold, that's where things get interesting. For example, I liked the specular difference between the blood and ball in substance, but in Arnold, that all went away. The one best addition I did do was add a displacement map to make fake stitching. Since Wilson isn't going to be that close up, I can easily get away with a ton of dots (I had to hand paint, click by click, all over the geometry). Anyway, I wanted the shader to be better than before and I definitely accomplished that. It's not ideal but I'm happy where its at now.
Previously, I had Wilson and the grey sphere just round around in frame. This time, the grey sphere stays in place while 5 Wilsons dropping from the sky and bouncing around. I wanted to Alembic cache the Wilsons, but every time that I attempted, I got a "rigidBody## is an unsupported type of kRigid error up to frame 120". When I import the animation back into Maya, each Wilson was off in space. I tried redo this several times on different computers, deleting history and freezing history, but no luck. I'll have to see how the animation turns out when it renders.