Thursday, July 4, 2019

Step into my parlor ... and the best images from our Cape Jervis 'getaway'

Hmm. Not bad ... I left this rendering for a couple of hours after I went to bed last night, and it's fairly creditable. That's most of the Dae character face (you can dial it up and down), and the Dae skinmap with one of the warpaint options; a different hair prop ... a shader on the pants, a pose. Add a couple of low-poly props, IBL lighting and a single spotlight to give it at least some shadow ... chuck in a backdrop. Render for two hours, then ship it into Photoshop and overpaint it to make it more interesting, because it's a very simple render which was basically designed to run a bunch of tests...

First, I wanted to figure out how to stop the G8 eyes shining like a pair of flashlights! The sclera -- that is, the white of the eye -- is inclined to be incredibly white and bright. Now, the tip is always, "go into the surfaces pane and add a little color, like a chromatic gray, to the base, or diffuse color." Uh huh. Well, that didn't work. I wound up setting the diffuse color to black ... and every other color associated with the eyes; and setting gloss and reflection to zero ... and still the sclera looked like it was illuminated from within. Goa'uld. I wondered if it was something to do with the specific eye maps on this model, so I bought a set of Genesis 8 eyes and tried those, to see if any difference would appear in the renders when a new range of settings was applied along with the new maps. Nope. I tried everything under the sun, and still ended up putting this into Photoshop and blatting some color onto the eyeballs:

That's just Genesis 8 Male, just it comes, with one light plus IBL lighting, and the sclera is shocking. It's a bit better for being painted, but it's still not right. So I set this aside and went back to playing with every element in the scene. And from what I've seen so far, it comes down to this: do not point a light directly at his face. If you do, the sclera glares, no matter how dim you make that light. This can't be right, but this is the result I'm getting to date, even with eye shaders purchased separately. Hmm. Well, not pointing a light right at him did get us natural-looking eyes in the top shot, which I call "Step into my Parlor." The experiment continues!

I also re-rendered an older image, to see how Iray would handle it:

That was something like a 100 minute render ... very nice indeed. This was also the first image I've tried rendering at 1200x1800 size in Iray. Have been working at 600x900 for the sake of speed ... I don't have a crash-hot video card, remember. This, however, is terrific. I'll see how the other one renders ... The Horse and his Boy, where the hunky hero is standing with the black horse. With any luck, it also will be very lovely, but rendering Michael 4 in IRay can be something of a crap shoot. Cross fingers.

Last art for today: a wallpaper at 1980 x 1020, which should suit a lot of monitors, and is easy to convert:

This looks good, with all the system icons stacked on the left to leave the eye candy free. You're welcome! More wallpapers to come.

Lastly, a half a dozen of the most astonishing shots from the short 'getaway' Dave and I took at Cape Jervis and Deep Creek, last Monday-Tuesday. I took about a thousand shots, but these are just perfect! Back in a day or two with more art ... as soon as this splitting headache goes away...

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