Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Exercises in frustration -- at Master Elrond's house




I would love to tell you I found a way to render a Genesis 8 figure standing in a big, complex, high-poly-count set ... but you know that would be a terrible fib! And no, I haven't bought a new computer since Monday. I wish ...!  No, no --

What I'm playing with here is the Nature's Room standing set, which really feels like a house at Rivendell ... that kind of indoor/outdoor design; you remember ...


As you drive the virtual camera around inside the Nature's Room closed set, you get from a courtyard to a bedchamber to a dining area, a yard, a pool, a fabulously gnarly tree. There's a trick to lighting this set that I have't (yet) discovered: actual lights (photometric included) don't work in here, so I lit this with various IBL images, environment maps, which worked. I can render angles on the set fairly well, but as for standing a Genesis 8 figure in it...? ROFLMAO. Sooo...

You're looking at the top image, thinking, "I recognize that figure from months ago, and he's in the set. Isn't he?" Actually, no he isn't. I rendered the camera angle without the character --


-- and then dropped it into a new project as a backdrop and floated the figure in midair over it. Set a light to represent the daylight from the window ... rendered that for about two hours, and hand-painted the shadows, and adjusted the figure's color, gamma and contrast to make it look like he's part of the background! It almost works. Not 100%, but close enough to still be a nice picture.

What I can do (and will do, tomorrow) is put a low poly figure into this set. We'll see what we can do with a Michael 4 character, see if we can get a decent render in a couple of hours.

We were watching one of the Hobbit movies the other night, and I've caught the elvish bug again. What wouldn't I give to be able to get into all this --

Catalog image. See this.

Catalog image. See this.
Catalog image. See this.

...but it looks like I do have serious computer problems with my desktop. No connectivity. Nada. I can't get it online, not even with advice from the shop that built it for me. Which means I'm halfway hamstrung with installing new content, which really, seriously has to be installed by the online Install Manager if it's going to work properly. I (so far) haven't managed to get a manual install to work at all ... I do have a ticket open with tech support that might, and I say might, resolve this ... don't hold your breath. I negotiated with tech support for over four months to see if I could solve the file-save problems. No joy, and in the end they just quit. So just opening a ticket with them doesn't automatically mean that 1) there is an answer to your problem, and 2) they will find it for you. But we can hope.

The other thing is -- Trystan here is a Michael 4 skinmap; and that's either an Iray or Reality render. Don't give up on good old Michael 4 just yet. You have to work damned hard to get good results with the older figures, but it can be done. My big problem is, I just can't save a file containing the older figures, so anything I do is strictly "on the fly," one-shot, from idea to finished render. (That being the issue that tech support couldn't resolve, and gave up on. Rats.)

So: let's do something brilliant with a Michael 4 character tomorrow, and see if we can get some more angles into/onto the Rivendell set to render in a decent time!
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