Monday, June 17, 2019

Mister Versatility himself -- and a boat! Terragen, Iray, and more...

It's always tempting to see the 3D characters as actors, and if they're actors, they can walk out of one movie and right into another. Hmmm. So --

Yesterday's Conan is today's undercover cop, roughing it in some slum zone, busting the kind of people who sell firearms out of the trunk of a car. Neat! (Just a raytrace, set up to look like a flash photography shot. A closed set, and somene just popped a flash in the dimness. Very effective. Also, am very pleased with the bump mapping on those hands: they look realistically battered, as any adult's hands usually are! Garbage as set dressing is also interesting ... a wheelie bin, an abandoned chair and an old pallet! It was fun overdriving the bump and displacement maps on everything. Very pleased with the floor...)

Say, this is a still from a movie that hasn't been made -- which leads me back to remembering the b&w 8x10 movie stills we used to collect back in the days of yore:

It actually looks very good in monochrome. I might see what Iray can do with this tomorrow --

Speaking of which, I did feed yesterday's Conan into Iray, and came up with this:

The best thing about this render is that floor! IRay also did a great job on the Anubis statue and the ax blade ... but every bump and displacement map dropped out, and nothing, repeat nothing I could do, in this project, would get them back --

That's just the basic diffuse maps on everything; and adding whatever shaders were supplied along with DAZ Studio 4.10 didn't work or help ... and I do not intend to spend several hundred dollars on shaders, and work all day to get a single picture ... not when the shaders are free with Reality 4.0, and they're configures with a single click. Aarrggh. I blew a couple of hours on forums, following a Google search: "bump maps not working in IRay." Uh huh. So I'm not the only one to have this problem? And it turns out that overdriving the bump values is not the solution after all: I tried it on this guy, here, and it didn't work. Back to the drawing board. The forums, incidentally, were (to quote Jack Sparrow, enormously not helpful. Ten people made suggestions which didn't seem to work, then the thread petered out ... in 2016. Every single time, the bottom line with IRay seems to come back to buying shaders, which may or may not even exist (they don't for Michael 4), and if they do, they cost a packet! Ack.

Mind you, this is a fairly good render; it's not quite photographic, because (duh) no shaders are available for M4, and even if they were, I don't have them. But this picture is still trying very hard to be a photograph, which made me wonder...

Yep, a movie still from a film that doesn't actually exist! Nice one.

Also -- soooo pleased with this picture, in Terragen:

Elven Boat at sunset, in Terragen

In that past, I've rendered this boat prop a couple of times in Bryce 7 Pro, and never been very thrilled with the results. It just looked ... flat. Here's the best I was every able to squeeze out of the Bryce engine, with this model and its maps:

Same model, in Bryce 7 Pro. Hmm. 
You'll see what I mean if you take a look, full-size: flat as the proverbial bikkie. Bryce images so often look like tabletop dioramas. So imagine my pleasant surprise when the Elven Boat prop began to render in Terragen, and I saw this coming up...

...whoa! Check out the texture in the wood, and the reflections of the lantern in the water. Now, that is impressive. This is the first time I've rendered something man-made in Terragen, and only the second time I've rendered an OBJ. The other one was a tree, a few days ago. This could get exciting! 😀

Anyway, that's been my day, art-wise. And so to bed, before I go to sleep here and my face hits the keyboard. More soon!
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