Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A place in the sun

click to see at large size, 1000 pixels wide...

What, only two images today?! Been busy, guys -- and also, these took quite a long time because virtually every surface has been worked on. The basic set is an oooold model, from a long, long time ago, that was going in a sale for about three dollars, something like that. The thing about getting old models is, they're not usually as "fully featured" as the new ones are; you tend to be on your own in terms of textures and effects. This is a good thing, often as not, because it makes you work a bit harder, and can lead to fantastic results. There's absolutely no post work on these renders -- nada. I wanted photo realism, and I'm pretty darned close. So everything was done inside the software, nothing tweaked afterwards.

This is a set called "The Lesser House of Healing," and I guess the theme of these images is, when the warrior has been banged up, he'll come here to heal -- a place in the sun to stop, relax, get some rest. Just about everything you're seeing in these images was re-textured, and for a couple of the construction elements, I actually made the textures. The sunlight is particularly effective ... and I put in an atmospheric plane between the nearer structures and the distant ones, which changes the quality, or nature, of the light. It's actually called "dropoff, a term that refers to the way things get dimmer and paler as they get further away. In progs like Bryce and Vue, the software does this automatically by calculating haze or fog into the image. In DAZ (and one assumes, Poser? I don't know, but I'll soon be finding out!) you have to do atmospherics "manually," and one way to do this is to stand one or more semi-opaque planes in the scene, gradually cutting off the light, or changing the color of it, as objects get further away...

Speaking of Vue, Dave spent a lot of the day playing with it, and -- what can you say? It's amazing. Render times are long, though, so the next thing will be a RAM upgrade on his computer, plus the network rendering plugin -- the plan is, he'll be able to do the scenes on his machine and render them on "The Mighty Thor," which is mine. The thing about Thor is, it can't run Vue, because it's not connected to the Internet -- and isn't going to be! The Internet is no place for it. It runs in quarantine, and the only real downside to that is, Vue won't run that way. However, if Dave's computer is running Vue, and is connected to Thor via an Ethernet cable, we ought to get the best of both worlds. (What's Dave's computer called? Clint. The computer with no name. He hasn't actually named it. On the local network, my machines have been known as Achilles, Ajax and Pandora. There -- that's more information than you needed, right?) 

In about a week from now, I'll be watching the mail for a parcel with my name on it and a SmithMicro box inside, but till then I'll be watching over Dave's shoulder as amazing things render -- and trying to get him to do a guest post here, and share what he's doing. 

Jade, February 7

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