Friday, January 27, 2012

A bit of this, a bit of that...








click to view at large size -- 1000 pixels wide, or more...

Something for everyone today: male nude, action, fantasy, science fiction, space ships, landscapes, Bryce, digital painting, CG art ... the works! This is what I've had going through in the last couple of days.

The top three images are a sort of "pet fascination" of mine. Movie directors these days use a thing called "pre viz," or "pre-visualization" to help them frame up the shot before they waste a million bucks an hour on the set. I would dearly love to work as a pre-viz artist for a movie comany. *sigh* They email me something like stick figure sketches, and I render up "quickies" such as you see here -- they look like frames out of the movie, and they'll tell the director what'll work, and what won't, and why not. These shots took a matter of minutes, and it's a load of fun. Now, how in the world does one go about getting a job doing pre-viz --?! These images have no post work on them at all. Nada. These are just as they rendered up...

Next: a spaceship on approach to a blue-green world. Ship and planet rendered in Bryce, and all else done in Photoshop -- basically, some surface detail on the planet, the starfield, the lens flare. The nebula is a Hubble image that was dropped into the background, blended down, and a mask applied to the ship to make the nebula drop behind it. Neat.

Next: a rather lovely Bryce landscape -- fully photo realistic. At last! This is the first time I've managed to get photo realism, and it's still a leeetle bit of a crap shoot for me. This one was almost easy (almost too easy, in fact), including the Instancing lab, which "paints" plants and flowers onto the ground. The result is actually rather superb, so --

I thought I'd have another go, see if I could do it again. Nope. The Instancing lab started to crash the program over and over. I barely got the foreground set up before I just couldn't keep Bryce up on its feet for long enough to put enough into the shot to make it realistic. So I rendered what I had, and then shipped it into Photoshop and painted the hell out of it. That one there classifies as a digital painting, not a render, and this was what I wound up with after tearing my hair out by the roots...

In fact, I would up on Google, searching on "Bryce crashing when Instancing used," and it turns out ... it does. The publisher actually issued an upgrade about five months ago -- I missed it, because at the time my computer wouldn't run Bryce well enough to make it worth getting into, so I wasn't paying any attention to the website. Now, my mission is to find out of I can get the upgrade. Then maybe (and I know it's a long shot) I can get the Instancing lab to work. If not -- well, there are other ways and means, not as fast, but far more stable.

The last image for today -- the pony in the paddock -- was supposed to be photorealistic too. It's based on a piece cut out of the meadow shot. Easy enough to use it as a backdrop and put the pony into the foreground ... and then, wouldn't you know it? I had every render problem under the sun! I wound up with an image that had "problems." If you saw the actual render, you'd be saying, "Hmmmm." So I shipped it right into Photoshop and converted it to a painting, which also gave me the opportunity to just paint out the problems, and paint in the solutions! Grrr.

Suffice to say, I'm still working on getting the drop on Bryce ... I'll see if I can get the upgrade ... and I'm groaning for a decent render engine! If I won lotto next week, it would be Poser Pro 2012 -- mind you, I'm told it's buggy as an ant farm. Better to wait six months, and get the fixed version, yes? Yes.

Jade, 27 January

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