Monday, February 7, 2011

Bit of this, bit of that ...

Once again, a collection of ends and odds ... but they're nice ones! Haven't been able to look at the screen for long enough to be significant today (migraine type headache when I woke up this morning), so these are a sharing of works in progress and experiments...

TOP: Mick Vidal, Neil Travers and Curtis Marin -- and it's a beauty of a shot. I've uploaded it full size, 1:1, and please do click to see it just as it was rendered. These are three of the central characters from the Hellgate novels -- which are very much on my mind, because the fifth one is coming out soon. Well as soon as Mel Keegan gets the final draft of it into my sticky little hands, and I'm expecting it before long.

MIDDLE: waiting by the sea ... a deceptively simple shot, loaded with textures and surface effects. Took about half an hour to render that simple scene! The set is inside, looking out, of Powerage's Fantasy Structure. It's very "tight" inside, so positioning the camera is a good trick. Also, in this sort of situation you need to remember that in DAZ the camera does actually behave like a camera. You might need to set it on "wide angle" to get it to maneuver comfortably in squeezy spaces.

BOTTOM: an experiment. I've been having shocking luck with rendering trees lately. By the time I get about 5 into any one scene, crrrrraaaasssshhhh!!! So, okay, how do you build a forest if you can't load more than five trees or shrubs into a scene? Well...

A while ago I was on the website of an absolutely fantastic 3D artist, and he had this one image of a deep, deep forest, and as glorious as it was, I could see at once how he'd done it. In layers.
So I ran a QUICK experiment. The proper job would take days, and you'd start with a sketch of what you were trying to achieve in any one layer, and you'd do it in about five layers. I did this in about an hour, just to see if it worked, and if it did, how it worked. Aha. I can do that too. The downside is, this is 3D art that's actually turning itself into 2D art, because by the time you're done with all those layers, and probably doing some Photoshop painting into it as well, one thing you're not going to be able to do is fly the camera around in that shot and shoot your character(s) from ten angles. It's going to wind up as a 2D picture created with 3D software. Which isn't quite what you want to achieve, but ... it's still a really cool picture!

I might vanish tomorrow ... I have the opportunity to try to head for the hills for a few hours, and this would be my first day off in about three weeks! If I don't get up with another monster headache, I'm going to make like the lemon and grab my chance (which might be too abstruse for you. Oscar Wilde: definition of a grapefruit: a lemon that saw it's chance, and took it, or words to that effect).

Like the man said in the movie, "I'll be back."

Jade, 7 February
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