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Yet Another Carrara Render Thread
Posted: 09 July 2012 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I figured that since the active topics don’t seem to get bumped, and since I don’t feel like searching for the previous threads, I figured I’d start another.


Here’s one I did yesterday. I used the 200mm lens, and some postwork for DOF and resizing. C&C welcome.


P.S. Not my model, but most of the shaders have been replaced with Carrara procedural shaders. All except the glowing orange shader on top of the tower.

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Posted: 09 July 2012 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Ooooh, I love spaceships!  Based on what I assume to be the bridge, the tallest part…is she heading into the nebula or emerging?

Shawn.

God bless.

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Posted: 09 July 2012 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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evilproducer - 09 July 2012 02:00 PM

I figured that since the active topics don’t seem to get bumped, and since I don’t feel like searching for the previous threads, I figured I’d start another.


You’re diss’n my render thread, man!  wink
It’s actually easy to find. Since it was started early, it’s now on the last page.
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/221/

Once the forum is fixed it will bump to the top.
This thread, however, will soon disappear into the mid-pages.

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Posted: 09 July 2012 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The cloud is pretty cool, and I love Black Hole. I like your internal lighting.


With this angle I suggest pulling in closer. You have already lost much of the drama of the length of the ship, so I suggest getting in even closer and obscuring the front and maybe making the con tower be more dramatic in the distance (regain some of the drama of the length with exaggerated depth)

Sorry De3an

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Posted: 10 July 2012 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hello Evil,

My c and c?
Well I think it’s friggen awesome smile (can I say that here?) smile

My only suggetsion would be to put it in context, a planet, some stars perhaps. It takes a moment to f igure what it is and context will help explian.

nice work sorry about the typos

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Posted: 10 July 2012 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Arent you getting real close to STEAMPUNK look?

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Posted: 10 July 2012 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hey all, thanks for the comments.


I should have included the title: The Maelstrom.


@Misticwolf, it’s the USS Cygnus from the 1979 film the Black Hole. The first half to two thirds of the film is pretty decent. The last half to one third is pretty bad. Still, it’s worth watching for the unique vision of the ship itself. The tower is indeed the bridge.


@de3an, tongue laugh Seriously, I do hope that they fix the forums so that active topics get bumped to the top.


@ Holly, your suggestion is spot on. I wanted to do a couple renders with different angles, but my nephews are visiting from out of state for the summer, and they wanted to spend time with their uncle. This render is the first one I could get set-up and rendered. I was just impatient. I’m currently rendering another angle.


@ head wax, I forget that just because I’m familiar with a film doesn’t mean that everybody is. As mentioned above, it’s from the film the Black Hole.  The image is supposed to be a representation of the Cygnus beginning it’s descent in to the black hole, so the star field is obscured by the gasses and such.


@ Richard, I guess it could be an inspiration for steampunk. The design of the ship is very “Gilded Age.”


Edited to add, thanks for the comment about the lights Holly. It took me awhile to get the translucency on the shaders to work the way I wanted. The lights are AG lights bound to long hexagons. I found it easier to visualize and place than the tube lights.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Here’s another version from a different angle, and using the standard camera. Hopefully I’ve preserved the drama of the ship’s length and size.

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Posted: 11 July 2012 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Well, I’ll throw in my 2 cents for what it’s worth. Pretty much the same 2 cents I usually suggest.


First, I’d suggest deciding what you want your viewers to experience when you look at your image. Do you want them to feel the thrill of a big ship getting sucked into a black hole? Do you want them to be awestruck by the immense size of the ship? Do you want them to feel the motion of the ship zipping thru space? Or do you just want a photo of a spaceship like the one they used in a movie?


If it’s the last one, then you’ve got it. My only other comment would be that the first image, solely as an image, is very dark and muddy. If you look at its tonal histogram you’ll see that it’s mostly black, then falls off to an almost zero midrange, and the high end doesn’t exist, except for the white windows. Typically, that means the image is flat and uninteresting, and you’re losing the opportunity to provide a range of detail and interest. This is shown in the second image, which has much more interesting detail. In the first image, there are many areas that are either full white, or full black, or just flat color, which means you’re missing an opportunity for excitement and interest. It’s a similar situation in the second image, but less so. Also I’d suggest using light and color to give the image more interest. The uniform domes are a good example of something that could be a key area of interest. Maybe make the domes glow and illuminate the areas of the ship around it. Right now they just sit there, a solid color, with no apparent purpose. Look at each area of the image and ask yourself “how can I make it just a little more interesting?”


If your goal is something more than a photo of a ship inside a colored haze, then I’d decide what that goal is and try to achieve it. For example, some have already suggested that you give the viewer a sense of the immense size of the ship, which is a good idea. But in order to do that, you need to provide something to compare it to. Back in the early days of space flicks (I’ll never forget 2001, A Space Odyssey as a kid…) where they showed a very realistic spaceship, but what make everyone’s jaw drop was that as you flew in closer to the ship you could see little humans walking inside the ship thru the floor to ceiling viewing windows. Suddenly, with just that little bit of information, you get an immediate sense of scale. Even with the early and sketchy compositing job they did, it was breathtaking. And see, even over 40 years later, and just that tiny detail impacted me so much that I STILL remember it. Just because some guy decided not to use all white windows. So, just a thought, perhaps where you have totally white windows you might throw in some human figures. Like I say, fully white is a missed opportunity.


There are other techniques to achieve that goal, if that really is the goal. And if you want the viewer to experience speed, there are many ways to do that, too. But it depends. Again, without that info, there’s no way for us to know what to discuss.

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Posted: 11 July 2012 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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With the second pic the front dome is looking a too flat. I would apply an elevation or slope shader to the glow channel, or my old standby Fake Fresnel if you have a plugin with a fresnel shader, to make the dome feel more like a 3D globe with empty space inside…. Don’t know what that dome was in the movie, maybe it was the vegetable room?


This may be coincidence, but in both pics the ship is oriented within the frame to be “traveling” from top left to bottom right…. In film school they tell us this the “good” direction when all is right with the world. Pointing the ship the other way is considered the “wrong” direction and is used to show conflict danger etc…. I don’t know if I fully subscribe to that idea, but it might be something to consider.


The space fog is a little flat, especially the salmon-colored part around the “torso” of the ship. I think it is because of the lighting vs the color of the cloud. I don’t know how to “fix” it (and it probably takes forever to render). Maybe a little less opacity on the cloud? Or don’t allow the interior lighting to travel that far (adds scale)...? Might give a murkier look that could be a little more spooky and less psychedelic (don’t get me wrong, I like the tourmaline effect you have here, just trying to be observant). Also in the movie they made space look bright blue (not black) which added a melodramatic touch and contrasted with the warm incandescent look of the ship lighting…. If you’re going for vivid color go ahead and fill the sky. surprised


@Richard - Disney’s Nautilus from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea is the original Steampunk. Black Hole was pretty much a remake set in space. The ship’s design was so inspired! Assuming your spaceship walls are reinforced with some sort of “integrity field” there would be no reason to build big solid walls. And for a ship intended for exploration to be full of windows…


Such a pretty movie…

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Posted: 11 July 2012 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I agree about the large domes on the front of the ship looking flat. I’ve been playing with different shaders and shader functions without much luck so far. I’ve been debating adding some internal stuff (not sure what yet) to see if I can get a better effect. I’ll try and use some of your suggestions Holly. I want to animate it, so I’m trying to stay with shader functions that have a local space option.


I should correct any misconceptions about the shaders. The only glow channels I’ve used are for running lights or the red beacons on top of the the antennas (I think that’s what they are). All other shaders use translucency and are internally lit, including the big domes at the front of the ship. The dome on the con-tower at the back uses an image map based on the picture Holly posted on an internal “wall,” and the shadow is projected onto the orange “glass,” by a spot light I placed inside. that’s the source of the shadows you see.


I’m not quite sure how to project scale because in the film there weren’t really shadows of people visible through the glass, except at one point in the rear of the ship, which I’m still working on. Mostly the glass looked like somewhat dirty smudged factory glass. More opaque than not. There’s things I would do in an animation to imply it’s scale, that are somewhat difficult to do with a still image. Perhaps Holly’s suggestion that the large domes are the gardens is the way to go. I could use the method I used on the con-tower dome and try and project an image of tree shadows on the glass, or I could go the other way and make the dome more clear so that the trees and vegetation can be seen clearly.


Joe, I take your point about the histogram, but I’m going to disagree with it a bit. I do think the second image is better than the first, but not because of white balance, more to do with the image balance. BWTR (R,I.P.) used to go on about the histogram and levels, and I’m sorry to say, (and maybe I’m the only one here) I generally thought that while his pictures were unique and imaginative, they were, in my personal opinion, usually pretty awful. I found them to be blown out and “flat.” So I agree, that having skills with using levels is good, but I treat it like the so-called rule of thirds. That it should be more of a guideline really.


Joe, your suggestion about making the image more dynamic is good, I’ll try and see if I can come up with something. Maybe a particle generator, motion blur, or something. I’ll have to think of something. The model is in sections, so I could break them apart a bit and add debris ejecting. I could also kill two birds with one stone and help set the scale of the scene by also ejecting human debris! wink


Holly, The bright blue star field in the beginning of the film isn’t visible at the end of the film as the ship begins it’s descent into the maelstrom. I’ve looked at the film and tried a couple things, but decided against going with the glowing red oatmeal circling the drain look. wink  I decided to try volumetric clouds. I could try and add lighting to the upper right of the image, but the lower left is supposed to represent the black hole, and as such I think it’s best the way it is.


I have no idea what’s the “right” way to orient a ship. I did it this way because I have a Mac and it’s more pleasing to my eye to have it not be blocked by a bunch of desktop icons.


Again, thanks for the feed back. I know I haven’t agreed with everything, but I’ve tried to explain my reasoning. Hopefully without coming across as argumentative.

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Posted: 11 July 2012 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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evilproducer - 11 July 2012 02:14 PM

I’m not quite sure how to project scale because in the film there weren’t really shadows of people visible through the glass, except at one point in the rear of the ship, which I’m still working on..


If you’re trying solely to reproduce what was in the film, I’m not sure you need anyone’s input (“c & c”) on that. Just take the image you have and work at reproducing, and if you have any technique questions, post the images and we can help. I, for one, have no clue what you’re trying to reproduce, and I’m sure 99.999% of the population also has no clue.

evilproducer - 11 July 2012 02:14 PM

Joe, I take your point about the histogram, but I’m going to disagree with it a bit..


Yes, I figured you would disagree, and of course you’re free to do what you want with your images. But I’m addressing this response not to you but to others who are following this…I don’t want them to get misled about some very important concepts and techniques. It’s one of those basic things in photography and image analysis and viewer perception analysis that is more than just a guideline that is meant to be ignored. And really, just because you know some guy who didn’t know how to apply it doesn’t mean it’s a dumb technique (yes, I know you never said it was a dumb technique…). Honestly, and I’m not trying to be an PITA, I just don’t want those who are following this to get the wrong idea about some very basic and very important tools. I’d suggest people do a little searching on the internet and read up on it. It really is a valuable tool, IF you want your images to be enjoyed by others. And the concepts behind the tool, and how to apply them, are extremely important.


The fact is that if you produce a flat and uninteresting image, most people aren’t going to like it. That’s a fact, not an opinion or a guideline. And what makes an image flat and uninteresting is generally understood and agreed to by those who work on this for a living. And a histogram (and other tools) are simple ways to visually see how your image appears to others. You don’t need the histogram, some people can read their images directly. But it’s a nice tool to have. Again, if you don’t care how others see your work, then it doesn’t matter.


But for those out there who want to improve their skills in this stuff, I also highly recommend taking an introductory (and then an advanced) photography class. You learn some really basic and valuable skills that help you judge what is a “good” image. Photographers have been working at this far longer than digital artists, and have a lot of valuable insights into how to design images to achieve different goals. And honestly, it’s fine to ignore stuff like this, but only if you really understand it all very well and really know what you’re getting in to. 

evilproducer - 11 July 2012 02:14 PM

Joe, your suggestion about making the image more dynamic is good, I’ll try and see if I can come up with something..


Actually that’s not what I suggested.I suggested that you decide what you want the image to do, and making it more dynamic is one option. I’m assuming from your response that you really don’t have a goal for the image, and are merely trying to reproduce an image from the film, so I don’t think I can help much with that. 

 

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Posted: 11 July 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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BTW, for those who are following this and want to improve their skills at designing their images for others to enjoy, I have a simple recommendation:


Go on the internet and do a search for something like “what makes a good image/photograph” or something like that. Look thru the information you find. Of course, don’t believe everything you read on the internet, anyone can post anything, but as you start to see people agreeing on concepts, test them out for yourself and see how they work. You can find some very good stuff that will help you very quickly. And don’t be tempted to immediately disagree with what you see, or assume “oh, I already know all that…”. Try it out, get input from friends, family, etc. You’ll start to see that people respond in certain ways to certain aspects of images. It’s really pretty interesting as you get into it.


I just did a search like that, and the first thing that pops up is from a photographer named Ken Rockwell. He has some interesting stuff on his site, not that I agree with everything he says (he’s a certain type of photographer), but some good solid principles are described. But look around and try to learn from what you find.

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Posted: 12 July 2012 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hello!

Don’t forget to submit your artwork C3DE wink

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Posted: 12 July 2012 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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evilproducer - 11 July 2012 02:14 PM

There’s things I would do in an animation to imply it’s scale, that are somewhat difficult to do with a still image.

I would put the camera down to the ship’s surface, parallel to the length extension, put the camera something up and don’t exceed a downward degree of maybe 3 to 5. Then use DoF, lots of. Using a strict vanishing point perspective and playing with focal length, until the scaling is impressive. Then I would go for the lighting.

(Besides of “2001” I maybe remember Ridley Scott did something similar on the establishing shot of Nostromo in “Alien”, (Trumbull’s “Silent Running” isn’t aware at the moment, but I bet, he did something similar), better than Lucas in “Star Wars”, where the movement helped. And why, oh so helpful contributors, do you had to mention the “Black Hole Disney Disaster”, which made me cringe in the movie theatre seat when I was only 15, don’t remember before or after “Superman”, which made me cringe, too smile Now back to the subject.)

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Posted: 12 July 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Frank__ - 12 July 2012 04:50 PM
evilproducer - 11 July 2012 02:14 PM

There’s things I would do in an animation to imply it’s scale, that are somewhat difficult to do with a still image.

I would put the camera down to the ship’s surface, parallel to the length extension, put the camera something up and don’t exceed a downward degree of maybe 3 to 5. Then use DoF, lots of. Using a strict vanishing point perspective and playing with focal length, until the scaling is impressive. Then I would go for the lighting.

(Besides of “2001” I maybe remember Ridley Scott did something similar on the establishing shot of Nostromo in “Alien”, (Trumbull’s “Silent Running” isn’t aware at the moment, but I bet, he did something similar), better than Lucas in “Star Wars”, where the movement helped. And why, oh so helpful contributors, do you had to mention the “Black Hole Disney Disaster”, which made me cringe in the movie theatre seat when I was only 15, don’t remember before or after “Superman”, which made me cringe, too smile Now back to the subject.)


As it happens, I’ve already tried a closer in view of the ship. Didn’t check the the camera degrees as it was rendered about a day and a half ago. I haven’t gotten around to posting it yet. I did render a depth pass to play with DOF, but haven’t had a chance to take it into Photoshop. I usually set up multiple cameras or camera positions to test what I think looks more dramatic.


I agree, about the general quality of The Black Hole, except to say that the first half is pretty decent. From there it descends into a steaming pile. The design of the ships and the other technology (ignoring the robots) was pretty singular, unique and as Holly said, “pretty.”


2001 A Space Odyssey was also very cool and grounded in much more plausible physics. It’s also extremely plodding. Ridley Scott’s Alien, did an awesome job setting scale. The shot that comes to mind is the miniscule looking Nostromo against the planet. I have to say, that while you consider The Black Hole a disaster (and rightly so in so, so many regards) Silent Running was my cringe worthy 70’s sci-fi movie experience. That and Star Trek the Motionless Picture.

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