Sunday, June 20, 2010

3D sets: the gargoyle's eye view





3D sets ... the ruined church on a stormy night ... the gargoyle's eye view! Yep, I treated myself to some goodies from Renderosity. Some were on sale, some are just amazing -- and the fact is, Renderosity is cheaper than DAZ. So long as you know what you're doing with installing the files yourself rather than having the convenience of a Windows installer, you're home free. Turns out to be easy to do a manual installation ... if you need to know how, I blogged about this a while back, with instructions. (You're most welcome!)

So, the set that I bought this morning is called AD Gothik -- a ruined church complete with Gargoyles! Fantastic value at under $10! And fantastic quality. Jade's verdict: 5 stars out of five.
The first thing that surprises you is, it's HUGE. The set is vast. Loading it up was dead easy -- and repeated the back wall and turned it through 90 degrees to make a corner on the left. You could also repeat the wall on the right, and make a total enclosure.

I only set two lights on this: one blue and one purple, to simulate moonlight on the proverbial dark and stormy night. Both lights have deep shadow maps set and are high overhead, offset from each other by about 15 degrees, and pointed in different directions. You could set up any lights you want, obviously -- in fact, the kit comes complete with a set of lights. But I already put in my Bryce sky, and I wanted to set my own lights to match.

Then ... you just select the default camera, and default camera view, and run around inside the set. Look up, look down, get as close to everything as you like. It's wonderful. I got right down on the ground and looked up at things, different angles. I did set a couple of trees outside (Deluxe Trees, also from Renderosity) to give it a bit of extra depth.

The most ambitious shot is the Gargoyle's Eye View ... I got the camera in behind the gargoyle and looked down at the wrecked floor. The only thing I had to add to finish off this shot was to add a really simple displacement map to the gargoyle. In extra, super-closeup, it looks a little tiny bit smooth ... plastic, when you expect to see weather beaten rock ... good grief, the designed NEVER expected anyone to get up on the wall behind him, right? he, uh, doesn't know me! But this fix was child's play -- these are the things you need to know, if you're going to do weird and wonderful shots.

So -- today I'm showing off the set. Tomorrow, we'll put some characters into it. It's going to be great, so join me then!

Jade, 20 June
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