Monday, January 23, 2012

The archangel, the mammoth and the gum tree. Say, what?!





Click to see at large size ... all uploaded at 1000 pixels or bigger...

Here's an eclectic assortment! Fantasy guys, landscape, Bryce, DAZ, Photoshop ... and a mammoth. Yes, a real, genuine mammoth. Have been looking at dinosaurs in the catalogs at DAZ and Renderosity. Now, there's some serious "wow" factor. Not that I have any use for dinosaurs, you understand! The mammoth was on sale at 100% off, so how could I go by --?

The first piece today is essentially the same character as you saw a while ago -- the raven-winged archangel. You must have been wondering when I'd get around to depicting the character in flight! The sky was rendered separately in Bryce, custom designed for this piece, and after the raytrace in DAZ, I shipped it into Photoshop for some painting. Birds, smoke from the chimneys, a light in the window. Also, I "painted down" the building on the right to make it darker, and to hint an sunset colors on the walls. The result is actually lovely -- do check it out at larger size. It was rendered at about 1500 pixels wide, and I've uploaded it here at about 1100 (also compressed. Full size, uncompressed images get a little ... large.)

The landscape is designed to look like South Australia in the summer -- and it really does! But what's neat about this render is the big tree, the "hero" tree in the left of the shot. It's not a bad emulation of one of the big types of gum trees, and I designed, built, that one myself. It took about 15 minutes, maybe 20, and most of that time was learning how to do this stuff in the Bryce tree lab. I'm rather tickled with this tree. The render ...? It was done at 1500 pixels wide, and it took (!) 7.5 hours. I rendered overnight -- set it to go when I took my aching head to bed, and when I got up at 3:30am with a monster headache, it was still going ... and at 6:00am, when I made it back to the computer, full of pills for said headache, it was juuuust finishing up. Patience is a virtue. It was finished off in Photoshop, basically to have some gamma and contrast correction -- and I'm very pleased with this. There's places in this state that look just like this, especially in January, when the heat is relentless. 

The last shot is a study in light and shadow and color -- one thing that's interesting is that I exported my gum tree out of Bryce, and it left its trunk behind! I got fantastic foliage and no woodwork ... go figure. So I imported the skeleton of another tree -- a prop I've had for eons which has a great trunk and comparatively poor foliage -- and plopped my foliage on it for the best of both worlds; added an abstract background and set some dramatic lights, purely for effect. For fun. 

More soon. Head still aching. Must close eyes now...

Jade, 24 January


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