Tuesday, December 7, 2010

City lights ... reflections ... the grand illusion

Just touching base today ... am working on an adults only version of the "Last of the Bond Girls" art ... nothing left to the imagination, if you follow me ... but time ran out today, so there's no way it's going to happen before tomorrow.

Wanted to post the results of an experiment, though. Challenge: to take a 2D picture (the Hong Kong skyline which was used as a simple backdrop in yesterday's renders) and have the city lights reflect in a 3D model ... like the glass-finish floor.

Strictly speaking, in DAZ 3D, the backdrop has no interactivity with the models and lights in the foreground. Meaning, you can's cast shadows on it, and it can't throw reflections. So getting a 2D image to reflect in the surface of a 3D model took a bit of ingenuity.

The trick was to apply the backdrop picture to a 3D object as a texture ... then light it, and crank up the reflectivity of the surface you want it to show up in like a mirror image. Remember that the picture of he city is just that -- a picture. It's not going to by luminous with any light of its own, so if you don't shine a nice bright, white light on it, there'll be nothing to reflect.

If you can juggle the balance between the white light shone on the backdrop and the bronze light shone directly onto the floor, you get a nice result. The "hide the join" where a simple floor meets a simple 3D flat surface in the background, I built a little parapet. Then stand a figure in the shot to give it some depth and perspective.

The grand illusion. It, uh, worked! Thanks to Doctor Mike for wondering if there was any way to make the backdrop reflect in the floor. I actually said, "No" ... and then couldn't resist taking a crack at it!

Back tomorrow with those AO shots of the gal who ushered 007 into retirement...

Jade, 8 December
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