Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3D hunks, video cards and render blues

The 3D hunk ... classic fantasy hero ... I like this character a lot. You saw him for the first time in yesterday's renders, and I thought I'd come back to him today...
The pose is the same, but change the set and the lighting: elsewhere in the castle, the young quire who became a knight just hours ago i packing for war...
Second thoughts? From the artist's point of view, it would be soooo nice if the bed were to "give" under him, reflecting the fact that about 175lbs of hunk just sat down...
Starting to play with the D-formers a little bit. Got to figure this out, but the bed sure did dip when it was told to! Subtle change of skin map, too. Why? For some reason, the Mario skin map stopped working the instant the D-formers were set. See it here:
Lose the shirt, pal ... thanks. I couldn't get the Mario skin map to work again for love or money, so I reverted it to Michael 4's own high-rez map. Hmmm...

I also notice that all renders except the top one (back at the investiture) are NOT high-rez renders. If you click on them, see them at full size, you'll see that they're grainy. This has GOT to be a symptom of an inadequate video card. So I was on Google, looking at the price of a card that'll do the job properly. Well ... you can pay thousands for video cards, but G-Force has a decent one for a couple of hundred.

So -- I feel a new video card coming on. DAZ is pretty forgiving if you "only" have a few props in the scene, but when you start to load 'em up, you get all kinds of problems. And sometimes you can get crash-prone even with just a few items in the scene.

Was working on a job today and it took upwards of 15 reloads following 15 crashes, to get to the end of one fairly simple render. A beachgirl in a bikini and sarong. This should have taken about fifteen minutes:

...and in fact it took about two hours, and heaven knows now many new gray hairs! I mean, it's a hell of a nice render, but it's not two hours' work, and it shouldn't crash the software upwards of 15 times. Right? Right. So ... video card.

Speaking of things technical, I'm still ferreting away at the challenge of not being able to open any of my old projects after the computer reformat. And I think I just saw a glimmer of light. It's in the support files -- yes, I know. Here's the thing: the OLD projects are looking for support files called something like "support-file-abc," and the program is supposed to generate new support files with the same names. Right? Well, it's not ... it's generating new support files called "support-file-xyz," so, even though I have new support files, the old old projects can't find what they need/want, because the new files are being created with different names -!!!

So, what about if I took the new files and copied them, and changed the names over to the OLD names, so that my old projects can go looking for what they want ... and find it?!

Tune in next week for another exciting episode.

Jade, 20 April
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