Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The high frontier, the vanishing 3D model and a whole lot more

Doing a little dance of glee here ... Vaurien and Jazinsky! These shots are spot-on what I'd wanted to achieve, and they follow the descriptions in the books to the letter. The word from Mel Keegan is: perfect!

A little bit more work has been done on Richard Vaurien. The face had some problems -- it didn't render well from one or two angles, and I was always conscious of posing him to get around the shortcomings. So this afternoon I spent about half an hour tweaking the face so that it renders well from more angles -- in fact, it renders very well from virtually any angle now.

They're standing on the Commander set, once again, and I'd like to explore more of it. Commander is a set the size of a football field. It has the bridge, the ops room, a lounge, a lab, a conference facility, all rolled into one, and every time you drive the camera to another nook or cranny of the set, it looks like a whole new set.

Now, the big ship you see from the outside isn't the Wastrel ... can't be, because anyone who's read the books knows what the Wastrel looks like, and this ain't it. But this one is very close to the super-carriers, so I'd be happy to call this one the Kiev, the Shanghai, the Chicago.

The big ship model is the lite version of the Allied Fleets Destroyer, which I bought a long, long time ago, and discovered I couldn't load the full version, and didn't notice that there was a lite version with less than half the polygons packed right along with this one. Oddly enough, I can render the full version in Bryce, though DAZ Studio 3 won't even load it (too many polygons). This morning I was going to do a couple of renders in Bryce and I discovered two things:

1) Bryce 7 Pro only has one thing to say to me now: "Crash detected, closing program," and

2) I couldn't find the model anyway!

Turns out, the installer had gotten lost in all the data transfers that are going on in desperate efforts to save this computer. Fortunately Renderosity keeps your download links alive, so you can go back and re-download if you have a big mixup. So I was able to replace the model ... and this is when I discovered the lite version.

So this super-carrier shot was rendered in DAZ, not Bryce, with a Hubble image as a backdrop ... the engine flares were painted on in GIMP, using Energy Spheres by DesignFera and Bokeh Lightsabre by Ron. I've also uploaded it at large size, so you can see it properly.

Now the question is, why won't Bryce work? Is is symptomatic of the stuff which is happening to this computer -- blue screen of death, and all? Maybe. My plan is to uninstall it and reinstall it, and see what happens...

Jade, 19 April
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