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—August Carrara Monthly Challenge: SIZE MATTERS!—WIP thread
Posted: 20 July 2014 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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August Carrara Monthly Challenge: SIZE MATTERS!

This challenge is meant to help depict one of Carrara’s great strengths. The ability to use its tools to create either really close and intimate scenes, or really massive world size scenes, or even combinations of the two. So this challenge is all about depicting scale. It doesn’t matter if it’s a giant scale or a microscopic scale. What your image needs to do is to make the viewer feel the scale. It should almost have an emotional impact and make the viewer say, wow!

The Submissions are closed! Voting has begun!

Extra special thanks to DAZ 3D and RingoMontfort for sponsoring this challenge!

DAZ 3D is once again offering:

1st place: $100.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s).
2nd place: $50.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s).
3rd place: $25.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s).
Two honorable mentions will each receive: $10.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s).

RingoMontfort is again offering:
1st Place: 3 items from his store.
2nd Place: 2 items from his store.
3rd place: 1 item from his store.
Two honorable mentions will each receive: 1 item from his store.

Addendum to the prize list: 1st Place winner gets the horror- I mean HONOR of hosting the next challenge. The winner gets to choose the theme and the rules. I tell ya’ It’s enough to make an atheist pray. Just kidding, it’s almost not that bad.

The rules for this one will be pretty simple:

1) As always, pre-made content is allowed (and even encouraged) as long as you list it. Links (if possible, but not required) would be great!

2) Two items must be either made or significantly altered in Carrara. The difference this time is that I’m not requiring a specific function to be used. You decide what you’re going to do!

3) When the entry thread is opened, you must link to at least two of your WIPs from this thread in your entry.

4) Renders must be done in Carrara unless you use a Carrara plugin to get the scene into a 3rd party renderer, such as Octane or Lux, in which case a description of the process is required in one of the WIPs.

5) Postwork is allowed. If Postwork is used, you must post a raw render and a description of the postwork that was done in one of your WIPs.

6) You may enter up to two images. Votes will be on a per image basis and will not be a combined vote for both images (should two be entered). Final images must be posted in the Entry thread to be considered. If you can’t enter them in the entry thread due to extenuating circumstances, PM me so that we can work something out. Voting is open to anyone with a DAZ 3D account. Anonymous voting is allowed only with exceptional circumstances. PM me to find out if I’ll allow it.

Dates To Remember:

WIP Thread open Sunday, July 20th, 2014 and closes when voting begins.

Submission Thread Open on Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Submissions close and thread is changed to voting thread on Friday, August 15, 2014, at around 8:00 PM U.S. Mountain Time.

Voting ends Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at around 8:00 PM U.S. Mountain Time.

Thanks again to our fine sponsors, DAZ 3D and RingoMontfort for sponsoring this challenge!

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Posted: 20 July 2014 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Photographers and Hollywood have employed several tricks for suggesting or emphasizing size. Some are simple camera tricks and some are bit more involved using atmospheres, lighting and forced perspective.

The simplest trick to suggest largeness is to have objects of contrasting size that the viewer can recognize as sort of a default scale, such as a human being next to to a very large object, such as a monument or statue (or monster or anything).

Another trick is to to use perspective. To suggest a large object, many photographers or film makers will capture their subject from a low angle to suggest height. The more extreme the angle (within reason) the more height is suggested.

To suggest a very small object, many times the physics of the lens helps. An extreme depth of field suggests a tiny object. Think about the last time you took an extreme close-up of something like a flower. If you had a tiny human figure, you could use a DOF to sell the smallness as an example.

I’ll post a couple examples of what I’m talking about as an example. Not all will be renders.

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capitol03.jpgDystopi-Dirigible-V4_1.jpgDOF-Shrooms.jpgThe-Guardian.jpgNorth-Gallery.jpg
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Posted: 20 July 2014 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Tremendous idea, EP.  The setup is expansive, and I am confident the participants will pinpoint the theme.  (See that? expansive and pinpoint?)

But I need more rules!  Just kidding.  Thanks to DAZ for continuing the challenges and to Ringo for sponsoring.  Love your stuff, Ringo!

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Posted: 20 July 2014 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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diomede64 - 20 July 2014 12:35 PM

Tremendous idea, EP.  The setup is expansive, and I am confident the participants will pinpoint the theme.  (See that? expansive and pinpoint?)

But I need more rules!  Just kidding.  Thanks to DAZ for continuing the challenges and to Ringo for sponsoring.  Love your stuff, Ringo!

Thanks Diomede! I need to take a break and then I’ll work on whoring this challenge around like a cheap Reality TV star. wink

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Posted: 20 July 2014 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Some of those photos look familiar…  cool grin

I think I finally have an idea worth exploring for a contest at long last! Hopefully it develops nicely.

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- Garstor
Australian-Canadian currently trapped in Texas (maintaining sanity with doses of Carrara, LightWave and PhotoShop)

My 3D art Flickr page for final or near-final images
My 3D art Flickr page for work-in-progress or experiments

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Posted: 20 July 2014 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Great theme EP!
Hopefully, I will have something to post this time..

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Posted: 20 July 2014 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Antara and Garstin, I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

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Posted: 20 July 2014 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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this could get interesting cool cheese

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Posted: 20 July 2014 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Well, good luck everyone. I look forward to seeing everyone’s ideas. This promises to be fun!

In the mean while, I already have my first test. The idea is not very interesting or original, but I think it’s well contained and simple enough for me to have enough time to finish it before the deadline.

I will be doing “Rabbit World” and the idea is to have an extreme close up with a much wider shot reflected in the eye of the rabbit. I will be using DOF on it in the final version, and a lot of closely position grass and maybe some flowers in addition to the spherical HDRI for the background/reflection. So far I am just starting on the main character.

The issues I am aware of:
- wrong color reflection on the eye - needs to be reflective black, not reflective white.
- wrong HDRI image (not the right type of landscape to show a believable environment for the animal).
- no grass reeds yet.
- I need to cover the nose in fur.

The issue I need help with: FUR! It’s giving me a lot of headache. I’ve been working on it ever since I read the challenge post today, and after all these hours I am ready to start pulling out my own hair.
So the issues:
1 - I have 6 hair groups: body, legs, chin, rest of head+ears, whiskers, tail. If I don’t separate them out, its impossible to brush effectively, but with the separation, I am seeing the borders and can’t find a way to hide them. (All hair groups are not overlapping except for the whiskers, which overlap with the head) All, except whiskers are set to fur setting.
2 - I think I need help with creating a good fur shader for it. Right now it doesn’t look natural. Also, all of the hairs I have are set to medium size, but then all except whiskers have reduced thickness in the shader. Has anyone found a good way to create believable fur thickness and fluffiness (maybe thinner strands, but bigger hair count? Or duplicate coats set a different length and thickness settings?)
3 - Ears. The wrapping geometry has very funky effects on the hair distribution and brushing. Right now ears look all sorts of terrible. Is there a good way to create more believable hair coverage for such areas?

I would like to shoot for realism here, so any suggestions for creating realistic fur are very welcome. ( I am considering throwing out this trial and starting over, so if your suggestion calls for a different approach altogether, I’d love to hear it too.)

Other issues: I’d love to hear some suggestions for optimizing render times when rendering dynamic hair, especially with HDRI.

Thank you!

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Posted: 21 July 2014 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Another excellent Challenge and it should be lots of fun to create!! I am looking forward to see the entries.
Think about some of the DAZ 3D content that is available to get you started such as say the DAZ Dragon and add your Carrara items.

Once again it is my pleasure to sponsor the monthly Challenge.

Happy Rendering everyone!

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Posted: 21 July 2014 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Amazing start, Antara.  It already has such detail.  Can’t wait to see your progress. 

I am starting out simple.  I’m thinking about something straightforward like a hobbyist assembling a ship in a bottle.  Here is a rough start with a modified version of a ship I made previously, M4’s hand, and some spectacles from the object browser.  The string is just a vertex cylinder that I added bones to.

Just starting out.  Everything will need to be revised.  I’m thinking about adding some everyday clutter, such as tools and paper clips.

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Posted: 21 July 2014 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Am I the only one who keeps clicking on the pictures in the galleries here and trying to drag the camera for a better look at something?

I’ve got some ideas, so I’m definitely going to have a go at this one smile

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Posted: 21 July 2014 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Antara - 20 July 2014 11:27 PM

Well, good luck everyone. I look forward to seeing everyone’s ideas. This promises to be fun!

In the mean while, I already have my first test. The idea is not very interesting or original, but I think it’s well contained and simple enough for me to have enough time to finish it before the deadline.

I will be doing “Rabbit World” and the idea is to have an extreme close up with a much wider shot reflected in the eye of the rabbit. I will be using DOF on it in the final version, and a lot of closely position grass and maybe some flowers in addition to the spherical HDRI for the background/reflection. So far I am just starting on the main character.

The issues I am aware of:
- wrong color reflection on the eye - needs to be reflective black, not reflective white.
- wrong HDRI image (not the right type of landscape to show a believable environment for the animal).
- no grass reeds yet.
- I need to cover the nose in fur.

The issue I need help with: FUR! It’s giving me a lot of headache. I’ve been working on it ever since I read the challenge post today, and after all these hours I am ready to start pulling out my own hair.
So the issues:
1 - I have 6 hair groups: body, legs, chin, rest of head+ears, whiskers, tail. If I don’t separate them out, its impossible to brush effectively, but with the separation, I am seeing the borders and can’t find a way to hide them. (All hair groups are not overlapping except for the whiskers, which overlap with the head) All, except whiskers are set to fur setting.
2 - I think I need help with creating a good fur shader for it. Right now it doesn’t look natural. Also, all of the hairs I have are set to medium size, but then all except whiskers have reduced thickness in the shader. Has anyone found a good way to create believable fur thickness and fluffiness (maybe thinner strands, but bigger hair count? Or duplicate coats set a different length and thickness settings?)
3 - Ears. The wrapping geometry has very funky effects on the hair distribution and brushing. Right now ears look all sorts of terrible. Is there a good way to create more believable hair coverage for such areas?

I would like to shoot for realism here, so any suggestions for creating realistic fur are very welcome. ( I am considering throwing out this trial and starting over, so if your suggestion calls for a different approach altogether, I’d love to hear it too.)

Other issues: I’d love to hear some suggestions for optimizing render times when rendering dynamic hair, especially with HDRI.

Thank you!

Hi Antara,

you can have the hair groups overlap if you need to.

I also think the fur could be a bit shorter.

The ear hair would be brushed up towards the tip- at least that’s how it grows on our rabbits.

For the shader, you could add a bit of clump in the clump shader, you’ll also want to make sure Local is checked in the shader.

For color, if there’s an underlying texture, copy the image map from the texture’s color channel and paste it into both Root and Tip color channels in the hair shader.

For the lighting, you’re at the mercy of GI if you use it. There’s no real way to speed it up, and hair looks better if you don’t use it. If you really want to use GI, then to make the hair appear more vibrant, you’ll want to make sure you use spot lights or something to give it highlights. A rim light really makes it look nice. If I may make a suggestion, Postwork is allowed, so you could render the background with GI and render the foreground rabbit without it and composite in Photoshop or your image editor of choice. The Alpha channel does respect the hair.

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Posted: 21 July 2014 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Cool WIPs so far! Like what I see from everybody!

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Posted: 21 July 2014 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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@ Antara

Here is a quick and dirty test I did. The two HouseMouse’s are the same. The only different is that the one on the left, uses a Hair Frizz Shader.

You can off course use the others, Kink,Wave or Clump, but my experience, are that the Frizz is the easiest and quickest to set.

In my example, there is only one hairgroup, but there are a lot, maybe to many, guidehairs. And yes it is a pain to comb them.
(but at my age, I should be thankful I at least have those to comb)

There are also hair on the nose and on the feet. For those I should have made a lenghtmap, using the uv-map or using Carrara’s 3d paint.
This is just a grayscale texture, (black is none,white is full length) and placed it in the length channel.

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Posted: 21 July 2014 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Here’s something that I dug up from the far corners of my hard-drive.
Won’t be using this, but a Genesis figure .. illustrating the things that lives under the bed, waging war with the vacum-cleaner.

I’ve been told, there are some highly evolved creatures living under some beds.
Especially in student dorms.. grin

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