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Post Your Renders - #4: A New Hope
Posted: 19 February 2013 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1021 ]
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Look, guys, instead of just playing around with a shader that looks, well, less than awesome, why not try this:

Start from scratch and use your own skills and talents and decide to create an incredible shader on your own.

Just try it. Really.

First, step back and look at the one you have. Really, what does it look like?

To me it looks like a cheap, somewhat translucent, plastic mannequin that has a weird glow that doesn’t really belong. Is that what you want, or do you want something that is fascinating and REALLY awesome?

Start with a blank shader, and THINK about what you want to make it incredible. One by one, channel by channel. THINK of a particular material that is fascinating and interesting, and get a photo of it. And think about the particular properties it has, and try to duplicate them. You don’t need tutorials, you don’t need to copy somebody else’s work, you don’t need drag and drop solutions. You can do it yourself.

You probably don’t want something that is flat and uninteresting, and just looks painted on, right? You want something with a texture you can FEEL when you look at it. You want something with pulsing ENERGY. You want something that interacts with its surroundings. You want something with fascinating complexity.

Decide how you want your audience to feel when they look at it. 

Just try it. Really. It will be a lot more fun.

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Posted: 19 February 2013 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1022 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 19 February 2013 06:35 PM

Look, guys, instead of just playing around with a shader that looks, well, less than awesome

For visual appeal, the tweaks that evilproducer came up with make that shader brilliant. I hate to come across as arrogant, what with having had a tiny hand in creating it, but it is one of the prettier things that I have seen. Honestly, comparing your example to evil’s is no contest.

I’m sure you’ll back-pedal now and talk about how you didn’t spend much time on your shader, it was a quick hack job, etc. But that is precisely the opposite of what you are lecturing us to do.

There is a time and a place for both techniques. As I tried to point out earlier, there was no goal in mind with that shader. It was accidental but now it has been made incredibly beautiful with some intentional consideration by evilproducer (consideration that you believe we are lacking). Your “study every possible nuance of an object” approach is largely impractical—I guess that explains why you so rarely share samples of your work…the crew at the CERN LHC have yet to get their reports back to you about the sub-atomic interactions of photons…

Bottom line is, we are just having fun with this.

To me it looks like a cheap, somewhat translucent, plastic mannequin that has a weird glow that doesn’t really belong. Is that what you want, or do you want something that is fascinating and REALLY awesome?

I’m not sure that anything I could create would meet the standards of His Royal Joe-ness. But I’m happy with that.

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Posted: 19 February 2013 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1023 ]
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Garstor - 19 February 2013 06:57 PM

Bottom line is, we are just having fun with this..

And that really is, and always has been, the bottom line here.

Sorry for butting in. Carry on….

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Posted: 19 February 2013 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1024 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 19 February 2013 07:02 PM
Garstor - 19 February 2013 06:57 PM

Bottom line is, we are just having fun with this..

And that really is, and always has been, the bottom line here.

Sorry for butting in. Carry on….

Absolutely the bottom line! Community “Post your Renders” threads are not only set up for ‘good’ or ‘the best’ renders. They are set up for having fun with ‘any’ renders! And it’s fun!

Fun is an excellent tool for learning and teaching. It’s a proven fact! Unfortunately, they’ve also had factual evidence that torture and inhumane treatment can also result in a point finding home. Personally, I prefer fun.
But that’s just me - and I don’t make the rules. wink

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Posted: 19 February 2013 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1025 ]
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Been working on this one for a few days.  I really love the concept of the succubus.  They’re the definition of forbidden fruit.  At the same time, however, they are a devil and their existence is also a tortured one.  I imagined this one was once human and now is sad because she will never feel true love again.

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sonia_succubus.jpg
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“I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me, or am I even in its mind at all?”
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Posted: 19 February 2013 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1026 ]
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Kodiak3D - 19 February 2013 08:27 PM

Been working on this one for a few days.  I really love the concept of the succubus.  They’re the definition of forbidden fruit.  At the same time, however, they are a devil and their existence is also a tortured one.  I imagined this one was once human and now is sad because she will never feel true love again.

Very cool. I really like the reddish tinge to the skin. I’d like just a bit more light on her face (or maybe it is this screen?).

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Posted: 19 February 2013 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1027 ]
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I may fiddle around with her some more eventually.  I’ve just kinda moved on to some other things now.  As for the red, I wanted it to have a sunburn tone to it.  Everyone knows devils have red skin, but I imagine it’s because their skin is actually burned due to the fires of hell.  Just another type of constant suffering for them to experience.

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“I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me, or am I even in its mind at all?”
- “Crystal Ball” by Styx

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Posted: 20 February 2013 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1028 ]
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Great job. That expression in combination with your explanation definitely has me feeling sorry for her. Nice Render!

I was messing around with Ambient Occlusion, and decided to try it on the Environ Construction Kit - one of the presets. Below is the actual image followed by the AO pass that I enhanced slightly. Looks like a sketch

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Doc1.jpgDoc1_AmbientOcclusion.jpg
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Posted: 20 February 2013 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1029 ]
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@Kodiak: Nice job! Good expression.


@Dart: Nice work on environment. The Ambient occlusion pass looks very sketch like! A little adjustment in an image editor and it could look cross hatched or like a black and white pointillist type picture.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1030 ]
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Garstor - 19 February 2013 06:02 AM

I don’t have any of Fenric’s stuff. Based on other threads about his products, I am sure that is my loss. Actually a small gripe of mine (and the fault is mostly my own ignorance), is that many vendors state what a given plug-in will do using some technical term that I don’t understand. So while I see something on their page that looks good, it is not immediately obvious to me what I can do with it.

This is definitely a problem. It is common for someone with technical skills to lack either or both of the skill and desire to document and explain. I know Fenric has been quite plain that some of his work (ERC comes immediately to mind) was done to Faba’s requirements. In that sense he is more of a facilitator than anything else. And Faba has produced documentation, but there is still a gap. Its a little frustrating because I can *feel* the latent potential in his work—its the realization of it that takes time and effort (which I’d rather spend *creating* something).

Please don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge fan of Fenric’s work and I think he is a great guy—but I agree that with plugins (pretty much all of them, not just Fenrics) there’s not much practical application advice/documentation.

Garstor - 19 February 2013 06:02 AM

The only caveat I have is that there is nil documentation (that I’ve found) so those technical terms still confuse and elude me. Heck, even some non-technical word choices…in the case of DCG, there is a “grout” property on nearly everything. Sure…I know what grouting is in the real world…but I don’t see what it means in the case of the shader. When I play with the property, all too often I don’t see any effect or change in the appearance. So I sit here in a daze wondering, “What the heck is this used for?”

I now have pretty much all of DCG’s plugins. Another great guy who will work with you. He has been kind enough to not only field questions about “what they heck does this do? no matter what I try it has no effect” but has even provided me with a sample shader doing approximately what I was after. I strongly recommend sending him support questions. I could try and answer, but I’m still wet behind the ears with his.

And even things that are pretty straightforward (such as fake fresnel) have awesome implications that might not be apparent at first blush. To an extent coming up with creative uses for things is part of the whole creative/exploration/fun thing, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have pointers at things to try.

For example: there’s a whole set of things that can be accomplished using DCG’s calculated illumination with threshold or toon as a mixer. Throw in fake fresnel and some noise shaders and your cooking with gasoline smile

If I wasn’t trying to get a hair sim “right” I’d do a quick test for an idea of got about using color gradients. Naively, I always thought of them as gradients instead of their use as a look up table—until I started tearing apart some of Tim Payne’s shaders. If you have any interest in shaders and haven’t looked at his work it is a must.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1031 ]
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I am still in the dark ages in the off-site plugin department. For example, I own every one of Fenric’s plugins from the Daz store, except MDD which I’m not seeing a use for - but none from his own store, none from Inagoni, and none from DCG. That’s horrible and it must change soon. I’d far rather have all of them. They make me drool as I peruse their descriptions.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1032 ]
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Dartanbeck - 21 February 2013 12:44 PM

I am still in the dark ages in the off-site plugin department. For example, I own every one of Fenric’s plugins from the Daz store, except MDD which I’m not seeing a use for - but none from his own store, none from Inagoni, and none from DCG. That’s horrible and it must change soon. I’d far rather have all of them. They make me drool as I peruse their descriptions.

You can get some of Inagoni’s from the Daz store. There’s also the shoestring shaders (which I don’t have) and probably others.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1033 ]
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Here’s a little exercise I’ve been doing to simulate GI and test Dryjack’s awesome fantasy houses. I probably won’t do much beyond this at the moment except try and fine tune my lights. My goal is to build a village square type scene with maybe a faire grounds/tournament grounds. The terrain is just a place holder.


To speed up the render I disabled the bump, since I was mostly interested in getting the lighting right for the shadows.


Edited to add: The only post work I did was to add a DOF, and to put the image into a forum friendly size. No levels or other corrections.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1034 ]
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Dartanbeck - 21 February 2013 12:44 PM

I am still in the dark ages in the off-site plugin department. For example, I own every one of Fenric’s plugins from the Daz store, except MDD which I’m not seeing a use for - but none from his own store, none from Inagoni, and none from DCG. That’s horrible and it must change soon. I’d far rather have all of them. They make me drool as I peruse their descriptions.

Inagoni’s stuff is reasonably priced - I’d check it out. One word though—unless I’m missing some key concept—the Shaper tool strikes me as utterly useless. The crown jewel is Archi-Tools and Veloute can do some interesting shaders. Holly Wetcircuit seems to wield some powerful shader magic with Primivol.

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My 3D art Flickr page for final or near-final images
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Posted: 21 February 2013 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1035 ]
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evilproducer - 21 February 2013 03:28 PM

Edited to add: The only post work I did was to add a DOF, and to put the image into a forum friendly size. No levels or other corrections.

I realize this comment doesn’t apply to your particular image, and you were only adjusting lighting, and it was probably just a quick test render, but for others out there who might be considering DOF in their images, here’s a comment for consideration.

If you apply DOF inappropriately, in situations where a real world camera wouldn’t exhibit any DOF blurring, the viewer might misinterpret your image. For example, if you apply visible DOF blurring in an image that is, in the real world, taken on a bright sunny day using a wide angle lens, it might confuse the viewer and they might misinterpret the image as a photo of a miniature.

The reason is that DOF blurring generally occurs when the camera lens is either at a high zoom setting, or it is a low light situation where the aperature is wide open, or the camera is very close to the subject (like in a macro shot). So if you have an image with none of these situations, the viewer tends to force an answer to this apparent contradiction and looks for a logical solution. And in this case what makes most sense is that the camera is very close because it is photographing a miniature scene. But if the blurring doesn’t really correspond to what you’d expect in a miniature scene either, the viewer tends to dismiss the image.

It’s especially evident if you focus in on the windmill thing. Having the DOF blurring occur so radically in such a short distance forces the viewer to misinterpret.

Now I’m sure the experts here will disagree with me, and that’s fine because, honestly, I usually just make stuff up, so feel free to contradict any of it and you’ll probably be right.

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