Wednesday, May 22, 2019

It's all happening! Whoooo!

If you would refer to your left ... ahem! Please note the large empty space where the brain box used to be. The CPU is currently some kilometers away in a workshop, being thoroughly upgraded -- just to a slightly different plan than I'd originally imagined. Clone the old harddrive onto a new one: no problem. For A$178, I'm getting a solid state 1TB internal harddrive, so she's going to be screamingly fast. But it turns out, the case is too old to fit a new USB Front Panel unit ... the only one that might have fit wouldn't plug into the old motherboard. Ack.

This is a 2012 system, and in seven years, the manufacturers confidently expect that all the only machines will be dead and gone. Nope. This one has never been connected to the Internet (!) and is therefore as fresh and fast as it was on Day One. Uh huh. Tells you how and where your computers are going wrong, doesn't it? Anyway, the fix for that was to get a USB hub, and a long extension cable ... it'll be plugged into the USB 3 port on the back, the cable comes over the top and gets taped to the case, and thereafter I will have seven USB 3 ports, rather than 2 USB 2 ports, on the front. Neat. Done.

Pause for a little eye candy, or what's the point in this being an art and photo blog? 

Bryce 7 Pro: Highland Dawn
Raytrace: Leon and Roald, the courtyard scene
With any luck I'll get the system back on Saturday or Sunday, and then it's all about installing stuff and learning new interfaces. Now, I never liked the DAZ Studio 4 interface ... but I also haven't really looked at it since 4.1.5 or something in that bracket. I can't even remember the last time I turned it on, if I tell you the truth! I did use it now and then to send something to LuxRender, such as this, below --

Now, that's not so bad at all, but I was using the old version of LuxRender, Version 2.x, I think; so it would have taken something like 5 - 6 hours to get that render. I couldn't help comparing it with something like this one, below --

-- which is a painted raytrace. Now, yes, that's obviously ART, while the LuxRender image is trying very hard indeed to be a photo. But the raytace would have taken a matter of twenty minutes, plus half an hour to paint; and I obviously asked myself if it was worth the bother of tying up the computer all day to get one simple image!

Back in 2015, however, the new(er) versions of Lux were already coming out: touted as being seven times faster; so a seven-hour render was doable in an hour. Now it started getting interesting ... but by then I was out of harddrive space, and couldn't do a darned thing about it.

Obviously, at this point real life intervened: my mother entered her final days and passed away; my pancreas blew up in my face, literally, and I was in hospital twice; you name it, it went chaotically wrong, and four years went by so fast ... well, I'm still disabled, but getting better! So.

(Pause for a little more eye candy ... Elven Boat on the River, in Bryce 7 Pro, in 2011)

So, indeed! The PC has gone into the shop and will be back in 3 - 4 days, with 10x the HD space it used to have, all-new USB 3 ports, and a USB wifi adapter that'll let me jump online for a vry brief time, go get something I want ... like the installers for Studio 4.9.9.whatever, and the new Reality 4.3, which offers renders like this, for US$49.95:

That image is used as the showcase render for Reality 4.3 DAZ Studio Edition ... and you can only be impressed. This is what decided me to stick with Lux/Reality and not go out into IRay ...well, that and the necessity to buy a new NVIDIA video card before I could run IRay; which would necessitate putting in a new motherboardl which would mean buying a new PC case. In other words, I'd have spent upwards of A$1,000 to rebuilt the whole system, just to run IRay, when Reality will give you renders that look like this:

Thanks very much, NVIDIA, I do believe I'll keep my money and run with Reality, which will use the same video card and motherboard! Soooo, I spent a fabulous (not) morning backing up my weeny little boot drive and browsing around the Genesis figure "assets" on the DAZ Studio marketplace. It's many years since I shopped there, and things have changed, but this is going to be fun! (See the Lux Core Renderer Gallery here.)

I'll keep you posted in the next few days, and then ... new art. Uh huh. New interfaces to learn first! But this is good for your brain. The work-space might not be quite as aggravating as it used to be. By Studio 4.7, the use interface looked like this:

I can live with that. It's a million percent better than the early "Mickey Mouse" interface that drove me nuts -- drove me away, literally. But what is hugely irritating is this:

Yep. Those are the Genesis 0 and 2 and 3 and 8 "people" .... and it looks like every single "person" in the CG world is female. What is wrong with this picture?! And this is one of the reasons why I, as an artist, don't work with female characters very much: because you're bloody inundated with them. As if female is all that exists. [Rolls eyes] Browsing through the "Genesis 8 Items," you simply cannot find a man, a male, a he. You have to deliberately search the store for "Genesis 8 Male." Aggravating, but there is it *Sigh*  Anyway ... this will be fun. I'll need the Genesis 8 Body Morph and Face Morph plugins, to create my own faces and bodies; then, toupees, costumes, skinmaps ... and away we go! I hope.

More soon. Stay tuned.

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