Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A poster boy, trees in Terragen, amazing skies, and -- wallpaper!

If he looks familiar, he should! You've seen him in a raytrace, but I was curious to see what IRay could do with Michael 4 and this skinmap. It's actually reasonably good -- tickling the line where you're getting almost photographic results --

Not quite photographic, but not too far from it, and this one pulls every trick that anybody knows on the community forums knows: simple skin shader, photometric lights, loooong render time, high sample rate, whatever. You name it, the technique was invested in this. The face and body were designed by me; the skinmap is SAV Atlas, I've honestly forgotten what the hair is (!) and the only unresolved question here is ... why IRay is utterly ignoring my added bump map. The venous map is on and cranked to ludicrous levels, and it just doesn't show. I must look into this next. Hmm.

If you're interested (and certainly artists among you will be), here, have a look for yourself at the difference between the IRay render and a brand new raytrace out of Studio 4.10:

(Sorry about the download time on the above: the picture is very large, to let you see the differences properly. Much more detail in the skin, from IRay; gorgeous venous map in rayrace. Take your pick!

Anyway -- I bit the bullet and shopped a sale at Renderosity. Yay! After an absence of about five YEARS, the server knew me, logged me right in, and -- Flink's Tree was on sale, so I nabbed it quick, while I could save some bucks too. (Sorry, Flink ... I'll send you my dentist's phone number, you can call up and shout at him...)

The pack contains four trees, and here is #1, rendererd by IRay against a backdrop created in Terragen, with a bit of foreground created in Bryce 7 Pro and Studio 3:

Not bad. That's already the most realistic tree I've ever been able to render, LOL -- so I bit another bullet and decided to "go fifteen" with Terragen, and learn how you do this:

Terragen renders: they took about 20 minutes each, and boy, did I learn a lot here. How to import an OBJ into Terragen. How to position it, rotate it, light it, drive the camera around it. Cool! Terragen also gave me the option of importing this tree as a "population," meaning, it's standing by to paint whole hillsides with them and create a forest. That's the next experiment. 😉

Quite happy with those renders. Sure, I know the tree's still not 100%. The leaves are actually about the size of hubcaps, but seriously, what do you want for ten bucks (AUD) for four tree props? You can go to XFrog and pay A$62 for one tree prop. And one day I will. But "this is not that day," nudge, wink.

On the way in from a day in the national park yesterday, the weather changed the sky was amazing. Managed to grab these shots from the front street while Dave unpacked the car ... life imitates art!

Yes, that is the moon in the first shot ... and yes, the weather was changing. A couple of hours later we had thunder and, today, rain!

I'll leave you with a little something for your desktop. 1080 x 1920 wallpaper -- and it looks gorgeous, I promise you! You're welcome...

1080 x 1920 wallpaper
Park him on your desktop, arrange your icons on the right side. Nice! I'll make up more wallpapers as we go ... stand by to download a collection of them. If you have a request, drop me a line!
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