Monday, April 19, 2010

3D characters come to life...

Creating characters is one of the best things about 3D artwork. Every time a new character is born in a series of images, you can't help thinking of a story. This one was a squire about three days ago. His knight is dead, there's no one to replace him, and His Lordship has decided to invest the squire. There's a big, white warhorse outside; there's a battlefield waiting for him...

And here I am again, playing mix and match! Lovely textures on the costume (it's the Lion di Castiglia costume), with a new hairdo (My Rockstar hair from Neftis), and the skinmap from Tosca's Mario -- but not Mario's face ... but those are Mario's honey-and-cream eyes:

The floor and back wall are from the Cloisters; the candlesticks are from Merlin's Medieval Tavern. The helmet is one of the set, Merlin's Medieval Helmets ... and the staff was knocked up by me when I got tired of trying to get one of the Val Fantasy Spears to behave itself in terms of the x,y,z coordinates.

There's five lights set: three distant lights (set up exactly as I outlined here), plus two point lights, one parked on each of the candles to add add a bit of illumination there. Also, all the lights have shadows turned on, so the shadows and textures are beautifully complex.

Speaking of shadows ... I think I've run out of ram, or brainpower, or processor power, on this computer. Yeah, I know, I need a bigger, better, faster video card. Because I reach a point where I can no longer render shadows:
This is actually the third or fourth time I've run into this problem, and the common denominator is always that the scene is top-heavy with props. Scores of them. Then the lights are set up. Then -- sure, I can render the scene, but not the shadows.

My solution in the short term will be to hand-paint the shadows when I need to. My solution in the long(er) term is to, uh, get a better video card. And a RAM chip while I'm there...

Jade, 19 April
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