Friday, April 15, 2011

Cyber-surgery, just short of the Zaphod Beeblebrox brand of PC repair --!

Cross fingers and knock on wood ... the computer problems might have been resolved! Please do click on the above image and see it at 1:1 size (1000 pixels high) ... it's raytraced, it has about a hundred textures set, including reflections, refractions, displacement, bump, opacity, the works. It took about 40 minutes to render, but it DID render. Right now, I'm faaaar from complacent, but I'm grinning because I did get a proper render!

I want to thank Dave for loads of work with the brainbox, and for just not giving up on it, and also for helping me with stuff when I was so far exasperated and at the end of the tether, I could just as easily have set about reprogramming it with an axe (to take a leaf out of the bookof Zaphod Beeblebrox).

I call this one "Ice Angel." Just one render today, because it's the experiment following a lot of work on the computer...

Michael 4, wearing the Albane (albino) skin map,
Skinmap retinted in the surfaces tab...
Danyel hair by Neftis with all textures taken off
Hair recolored with blue textures...
Loin cloth from The Hunter, all textures taken off
Colors added, plus displacement map.
Demon Wings -- same story -- textures taken off...
Reolored int he Surfaces tab, plus...
Opacity, displacement and refraction mapping.
Powerage's supreme armor on shins, chest,arms...
All textures off, everything redone in the surfaces tab.
Merlin's Katana, all textures off, ditto, ditto --!
Bit of jagged ice to stand on (made in Bryce months ago) --
Same story with the colors and textures on it.
Backdrop: a free wallpaper of Arctic Canada --
Some painting on the backdrop; and
Some digital post-work on the finished render.

Most of the post work was on the hair, which is almost all hand-painted. That was the easy part. The hardest thing? Juggling the ratios between the maps and values to get the wings translucent, shimmering, semi-reflective. Beautiful!

So, cross fingers -- the problems might be solved. It was really weird. A few days ago, I just stopped being able to get a proper render! The last one I was able to get was the Michael 4 glamor boy, and even that was a struggle to avoid crashes. Things started going askew a couple of weeks ago, and then suddenly, wham!

Anyway, after loads of work (some of it involving opening the brainbox and checking the seating of the video card ... and vacuuming out abut a pound of dust! ... and then deleting about 35GB off the C drive, plus an error check and defrag) it's back working again. Whew!

Jade, 15 April (The Ides ... which Seneca didn't say to beware...)
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