Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tales of the Riverbank ... water effects ... wow!

(Click to view the above at 800 pixels wide)

Just one image today, folks, because it was ... a bear. The magic is in the water, but the investment of time went into the hand-painted backdrop. The water is what "makes it go," but in fact it wasn't even difficult! But the backdrop was another question. To get a 2D image to reflect in the surface of the water, which is a 3D object (and it does!) it had to be pasted onto a 3D object, and it lost its resolution in some of the pushing and pulling and resizing necessary. Time, for me, is always short, so it was actually easier to do this "the traditional way," and actually hand paint the backdrop after it was in place and rendered. I know this is not the way you do it, or are supposed to do it, but it was the only fix that was going to work in the time window.

The water? No problem. Start with a plane, slap on a texture map which gives it the basic color, and then add a displacement map which changes the shape of the plane. Add a specular color, which tells it what color to gloss up, and crank the reflectivity of the surface, so that it reflects, well, everything. Set the lights ... set the shadows. Render. Whoooo!

For those of you who're "doing DAZ," muddling your way through the learning process like me, here's a note which will be useful. I just discovered a collection of textures which look to be very good, and they're "free for a donation." The water I used in this one is from that collection, and I'll try some more of them in the days to come. They look like they'll be great, and I'll be clicking the creator's donation button. For one thing, he's also made the displacement maps for me, and zipped the whole shebang into a ZIP file. This saves me a job, and as I said above, I never have enough time to spend on artwork. If you're always trawling for textures, try this: Best Free Render Textures.

Otherwise ... the figure, you might recall from the Woodland Creature series of renders. This on, I call "Tales of the Riverbank." Yeah, yeah, like a whole generation of kids I grew up on Hammy Hamster and have fond memories of the voice of Johnny Morris. My gods, that dates me!

Back tomorrow, guys. For now -- dinner!

Jade, 9 February
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