Thursday, October 3, 2019

An elven prince in Iray, and ... wild native orchids

Shall we call it an elven pinup?! This one was a looong render; I left it cooking last night when I went to bed, and had to give it another couple of hours this morning. Iray is an exercise in patience! This is a high-poly figure (Genesis 8) and hair (Shavonne Hair for G8), with a low-poly set (DM's Elven Shed) and props (Deluxe Trees as the vegetation), and even so, the render times are agonizingly long. But --

-- worth it in the end! That's actually a Michael 4 costume, the loincloth from the Wood God set; Genesis 8 is not wearing it, as such: it just occupies the same space in the 3D world inside the computer, so it looks okay. To the best of my knowledge, this kind of costume isn't yet available for the Genesis 8 Male. I've been looking at the pages at DAZ and Renderosity for months now, waiting to see the range of fantasy (and maybe glamour!) costumes for G8M, and they just aren't there. Yet?? So I decided to play around with some simple M4 stuff and see what could be done. Yes, I know: using dForce you can actually fit anything and make it work, but my computer doesn't have the brains to run dForce. That'll have to wait. In the meantime, this ... ain't bad.

The part of his render I'm really pleased with, mind you, is this:

It's post-worked in Photoshop to add the atmospherics -- evening light rays and motes of dust in the rays, and it works beautifully. What you have there was done in four layers. The bottom layer is a photograph that's been color balanced, faded and blurred for depth of field. This was stripped in as the backdrop for the character and set, which were rendered as the second layer -- so far, so good. The third layer is all about painting: sun rays, motes, shadows, quite a lot was added at that point. Then the painted version was stripped into Studio 3 (!) as a backdrop and all the vegetation was added, with lights and camera, DOF set and rendered again. Then this version was passed back to Photoshop to be color balanced.

Doing a complex render this way (adding foreground objects as a separate render) takes hours off the render time. Seriously. To test the theory, I have another one going through Studio 4 as I type this and upload the earlier render ... it's already up to six hours, and I'm going to leave it rendering another two as I head to bed, because it is nowhere near finished yet: the mid-tone areas are full of unresolved pixels, firefly sparkles. (Even when it is finished, it's going to take a lot of painting to finish it, because Iray is actually rendering little triangles in/on the Genesis 8 figure, and big triangles in the Michael 4 costume. This is an effect I haven't seen in years, but it's happening, so ... Photoshop to the rescue.)

Only one image today, because the damn thing has been rendering all day! But we'll stay on the subject of woods and forests, and I'll include a set of photographs: Dave and I went "orchid hunting" on Wednesday. This is the season when these rare treasures bloom in the woods not far from here. They're gorgeous, exotic, and discovering them wild, almost in your own backyard, is a delight. Anybody not like orchids? Enjoy!

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