Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3D cyclorama magic

Once again I'm just touching base here -- with copious apologies. The last week or so has been too "interesting" ... any more fascinating than this, and --! Long story short: I've kicked the pleurisy and assorted infections, am now buried in work that's been piling up while I wasn't able to take care of it, and Dave's dad is now in the hospital!

So, just a couple of renders that seem to be something from an epic movie ... I'm playing with a cyclorama here. Notice the sky. That's a real photographic sky, a digital image I shot about six months ago, when a spell of hot weather broke with a bang, and the incoming weather front brought some ripped, torn, amazing skies. Dave and I shot up to the top of the hill, about a mile from here, where you get an uninterrupted view of the sky around about 320 degrees of the horizon, and I shot about 100 frames. Then one of these pictures was trimmed and slapped onto a cyclorama, which is a big curved standing prop, like a backdrop at the theater. It's not a full 180 degrees of curvature, but it has to be close to 135 degrees, so you can drive the camera around and see the sky change in the background of your shots -- without having to set up a scene inside the full-on skydome. The sky dome is fantastic, but it's also a bear to light, and if you don't have time, you probably want to look for alternatives. Obviously, just shipping in an image as a background in DAZ would be the fastest way to go, but then, it stays the same in every shot, and to the photographer's eye that looks .... ummm, wrong.

So these shots were set up using the charactes you saw last month (they're making a movie; you also saw them between takes, bluejeans and all), and said cyclorama, plus an assortment of props. They were raytraced and finished with some digital painting -- the grass and the birds, all of which was done in GIMP, with .abr brushes.

Anyway -- suffice to say, I'm alive, I survived, and with any luck at all I'll get on top of the outstanding work, and Dave's dad will be home from the hospital, and we can get back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal around here!

Jade, 22 June (Winter Solstice)
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