Novica & Serene Night's Renders, Tips, Tutorials & Product Reviews Part 1

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    http://www.fotosketcher.com/

    You're welcome :)
    Cathie

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Next up: just got back from the ranch, photographing Nova (my Arabian) because this time of the evening, whenever I take him down to the barn and it's pasture, he runs and plays and loves to go to the fence to see Jewels, the mare who is across the driveway that he can only nicker to all day. So I took my camera and got you some wonderful shots of different attitudes (worried and anxious- pacing the fence when Jewels left, as sadly she always does as the sun sets- she heads to her stall) and very happy (galloping with sharp turns) and I got one for you of right before a buck up in the air!

    Now I've got to find my stupid card reader to get them off my camera. Currently looking. Any other horse shots you'd like, let me know. I have with the head down and grazing, walking around, etc.
    Cathie

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    First, let's go over a few things that will be obvious when you see the photos.
    First, Nova is pampered. He is extremely well fed. You will note when he extends out during his strides, he looks leaner, in the rest of the posts. I REALLY want you to remember that. Memorize this picture!

    TIP:
    Do not fatten your horses when they are extended or jumping- they actually look much leaner. Not to get too technical, let's just say their flanks and hips can actually look a little bony depending on your angle. There are so many pictures I can't use because Nova looks like he is starving, lol! (But all were taken tonight, same time. ) So I am starting with this one just so you'll know how he looks when he's at the right angle and not hoofing it along where he is extended. This was an easy trot where he stopped inches from the camera, his favorite game of chicken. Want to post this one while I'm working on the others. Back in a few minutes. Keep this weight in mind when you view the other shots.

    TIP:
    Note where his mane is and his forelock- it is blown OFF HIS FOREHEAD. When trotting, the wind is blowing the hair BACK.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Let's go for grazing.

    TIPS:

    1. Horses do not stand still when grazing. You will rarely find them without one foot forward- either one front, or one back. Most of the time Nova had one front and one back foot forward. They are in constant motion forward, and usually take two or three steps because their head extends far forward when they eat so they cover a lot of grassy area.

    2. The mane falls forward obviously when their head is down-and it usually parts around the ear.

    3. Part the horses lips when he's eating. That's a small nuance that shows you didn't just plaster the horse in the scene.

    4. Tails are in constant motion. Look at Nova's- off to the side as it swishes, or hanging down. Then it will be back to swishing. Bugs are constant- gnats, flies, pesky mosquitoes.

    EDIT- the first photo, right below this line, would be a great study in light at sunset- DID YOU SEE THE ORANGE SUN IN THE HORIZON? That big orange ball?

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    TIP:

    I'm only posting one image for these tips as they are pretty noticeable in this image.

    Horses Walking Into Wind From The Front

    1.) Will part the horses forelock (hair on forehead) in two usually, with part going one way and the other going to the other side. I watched Nova for a few minutes and it got tousled as he cantered, then when he was walking back into the headwind, the hair parted. It usually wasn't equal. Again, a small nuance. Wind (checked on my phone) was 9mph. He was headed into it here.

    2.) The front part of the mane ruffles back, but not all of it, when horse is WALKING into a headwind.

    3.) Tail fans out.

    EDIT- I just have to share this. Look at that metal gate behind Nova, by his head. See how it's bent down? Well, Nova's first evening in that pasture, two baby deer and the mommies decided to go check him out. He TRIED to check out...of the pasture. He crashed down on that gate, trying to get out- because he'd never seen a deer, much less four of them saying "Why, hello!" Nova is now in a different pasture but before he moved, they were grazing WITH him. He loves them- and always alerted me with that gorgeous Arabian head held high and the "snort and blow" that they were coming in from the woods. Deer know that horses will keep them safe from bears, etc. (Which we have.)
    Go look at post #63 and you'll see how it's really bent.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Horses Kicking Up

    Well, this was interesting to say the least. I just kept clicking because I knew Nova would eventually do his little kick-up (and if you saw any of the HiHorseGreetings (I did videos for chronically ill kids and send them Hi's from Nova, and kids who need cheering up) then you saw the one for Angela that had the kick up.

    TIP:
    1.) This pertains to animation, as this particular stance (IMO) isn't going to be great for a bucking horse. When Nova bucks or kicks up when galloping around, his front is still striding and both back legs extend out together right before the OOMPH up into the air. All you need to know is shown, just notice the head position, front and back legs (that are coming close together to lift off the ground), and that will help you when you animate a frisky fella. Love that Arabian tail!

    EDIT: Did you notice how much leaner he looks when he is extended?!!!

    BTW, if you ever want to know the parts of a horse, this is handy. I've had some folks email and PM me asking questions but not knowing exactly what part they were asking about, so this will help. Also if you are having trouble with any part of the DAZ horse, you'll know what to reference.

    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/identifying-horse-parts-and-markings.html

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Cantering Quickly And Making A Turn

    TIP:
    Obviously, horses REALLY lean if they are coming around at a fast speed. If you have your horses zipping around in a circle and they are straight up and down, look at the photo.

    I'm not talking with a rider, who is using their seat, legs, etc and the weight of the saddle which impacts the tilt that a horse WANTS to do. I'm talking "freestyle" so to speak, no rider. But even with a rider on them, horses do lean depending on the degree of the turn. Notice for an Arabian (or at least THIS one!) the tail has had to come down somewhat for the turn.

    THIS HAPPENED RIGHT AFTER THE BUCK UP!

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Appealing To Another Horse Not To Leave, Anxiety As Left Alone, Begging Them To Come Back

    TIPS:
    1. When another horse first leaves (Jewels had a better offer, Cash and Reyjey were both dining on fresh hay that was just delivered to their stalls and alerted Jewels that hers was there too) the ears are up briefly. After that, Nova pretty much had his ears forward and back. Just look at the ears in all these, the head carriage as he goes through different stages of her leaving. I was watching Jewels as this transpired, so here goes:

    Photo 1: You're really not leaving, are you? (He was more prancey, inviting her to play. Chin up, perky.) This was in the hopeful stage. (Broke my heart, he never learns!)

    Photo 2: Nova's thoughts: "Let me put on my most dazzling display. She'll come back." (NOT. The hay won.)

    Photo 3: Jewels kept going, he made several trotting trips up and down the fence, getting agitated at this point. You get a great view of the bent gate here, lol. Yes, I did offer to pay for it/ buy a new one.

    Photo 4: VERY anxious- head went down. Tail swishing. Jewels had entered her stall, out of site. I honestly felt bad for him, but we go through this every time I bring him down to the front pasture for a little while, if Jewels leaves the adjacent pasture to go to her stall. Photos of Jewels coming up tomorrow, btw. Just head shots for the moment- quarterhorse, gorgeous. Will also get action photos (well, walking. She isn't as spirited as Nova.)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Going on 4am, will have to do the rest later. Have Nova skidding to a stop (several), standing anxiously, trotting in a turn. But first, here's Nova greeting his lady-love, Jewels- BEFORE the hay arrived, lol.

    HINT: This would be a cute render! You can practice depth of field and lighting.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61KakYP24dg

    Some of you have seen this from my Members Only forum thread about horses, but if not, here's a treat if you're viewing the horse photos above and want to see Jewels and Nova in action! This is from last summer. You'll see Jewels heading off, and Nova's reaction around 2:08 in the video. It's one of my favorite YouTubes of him because all of this was unprompted. I just stood there and they did their thing. And it was HOT. About 92 degrees and humid, even at the end of the day.

    Enjoy :) (I hope I"m not boring you with this horse section, I just remembered how many people discussed/were excited about the DAZ2 horse and this would help you with your renders.) You can also PAUSE the video and get good still shots! (To do a screencapture btw, you go to Prt Sc on the top row (usually) of your keyboard. Then go to a graphics program and hit CTRL-V at the same time.)

    Cathie

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Didn't have time to post here yesterday with the rest of the pictures, working on the third video in my "from the beginning" series on using the studio. (Not covering installation problems, there's SO much stuff in the forums that's already organized.)

    These photos were taken the day before yesterday, same time, but the sun was going down so the lighting will be different and they will be darker. I lightened them somewhat. Several things to note- the tail color- many horses have multiple colored hair that is VERY DISTINCTIVE- yet I have seen boring solid color manes and tails.EDIT: I went back to check the DAZ2 horse and what I was seeing was more like frosted, not sectional. I can probably accomplish it with stacked spotlights like I did the dragonfly, and I know nothing about changing the surface maps (is that what it's called?) to create different areas like his tail. Is there a simple way to break apart a large area with the same diffuse, specular, and ambient areas? (mapping, right? Still learning and not afraid to say "duh" quite often.)

    Doing these a few at a time as it's very slow loading today. This one, Nova is very anxious as Jewels has LEFT. He had made several trips up and down the fence. Look at his ears. Here he is listening at another noise from across the neighborhood. Ears up and forward.

    These are all going to be in order now, the next one and so forth will be progressive. You can more easily see his behavior. JEWELS HAS GONE AND HE NOW KNOWS SHE IS NOT COMING BACK- he has gone through this enough to know that, happens every time we go down to that pasture for a brief visit.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    When he's cavorting around in sharp circles, horses can look like a totally different horse depending on his angle and your camera angle. (Look how much leaner he looks.) I already showed you earlier what it looked like in the sharp turn, this is the start of a slower leaning turn. Note the head position. If you want your horse to look beefier (mooo) in scenes, they won't be making sharp turns! (Or you're doing something wrong. Their bodies stretch out when in fast motion, and they can REALLY lean into turns. Ask a barrel racer!)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    I was very determined to get one of these shots- the skidding stop. Here is the split second before a horse does the turn in the other direction. I deleted about twelve attempts to get this exact millisecond shot! He's pivoting on his left back foot, the front left is up in the air and already starting (just barely) to swing around. (the legs closest to you)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    This last one shows him putting the brakes on, look at the back legs.
    Hope this helps with your renders, again, always feel free to ask if you want any particular shot or have any questions. Nova says hi (and I'll give him a carrot from you. He just had a birthday the first week of March and turned 7.)

    Coming up: A few of Jewels, later tonight, and surprise! There's a covered bridge back there in the woods that I will take you inside. Yes, it's to take the horses through! It's in Jewel's pasture and she loves going in it. For any vendors wanting to do one, I got pics of the ceiling beams, the sides, the floor. :)

    EDIT: go back up and look at post 72, how skinny he looks. You wouldn't know that was this same horse! HIS BODY IS COMPACTING, NOT EXTENDING.

    EDIT: Be sure and go back and look at what the MANE is doing in all these- at a skidding halt or a turn, it's much different than trotting along or walking (obviously.) Look at the image, below- what a difference!

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Okay, here's the last shots of the horses. This is Jewels, wanted to get a shot for you of how far over a fence that a horse puts their head when they are relaxed but wanting attention. Think of her as Queen Jewels holding court. Court being me and Nova. Note where the fence hits her under the head.

    Covered bridge coming up in a few minutes. :)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Ready for what we call the Confidence Course Magic Bridge out at the ranch? A confidence course is what you and your horse do to increase the experience and confidence for BOTH parties. If someone is nervous about their horse crossing a bridge, the horse can feel the rider tense up and it can give the wrong signal, and cause the horse anxiety. Think self fulfilling prophecy.

    Well, this bridge is called the Magic Bridge (yes, it goes over water) because as you approach it from different angles...
    well, see if you can guess what happens.

    And Jewels loves it because it's in her pasture. No confidence problem there- she sleeps in it.
    In case anyone wants to create a covered bridge, I've photographed it from all angles for you- and note- this has withstood TWO almost Category FOUR hurricanes- Ivan and Dennis. Note the bracing on the ceiling. NO DAMAGE whatsoever!

    FYI- a bit off topic but...This is Pensacola, Florida. 2004 and 2005 we got hit with those hurricanes nine months apart! Been 8 years with no hurricanes, but the hurricane forecast just came out, and I sure hope they're wrong with double+ the amount predicted to LANDFALL in the US this year. They were almost spot on last year. The main predictor? We're long overdue for a hit. We'll have to see if this bridge goes for 3 out of 3, right? This bridge/property is only 20 minutes away where a 24 foot storm surge came roaring up the bay, wind gusts 138 mph.

    So, see if you can tell what drastically changes about this Magic Bridge as you approach it. We'll start with a far shot from the pasture I was photographing Nova in.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    This is the fence that the deer come through, I pulled the bent wire up that they had pushed through, so they would not scratch their backs. We have three mommies, two juveniles, and the babies that were behind me when I photographed Nova! (I had photo'd for about eight minutes, turned around and they were eating the corn I give them every evening in the winter, when it's tough. Protects them from the hunters because they are on our property and woods. We do NOT tame them.)

    Okay, now you know why this is called the Magic Bridge. What's different?

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  • RektolEksamRektolEksam Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    Novica said:
    http://www.fotosketcher.com/

    You're welcome :)
    Cathie

    watch when istalling this program, it hi-jacks your home page, adds an extra toolbar and search engine and disables some functionality in Firefox anyway

    Post edited by RektolEksam on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Here's more shots for a clue as to the "magic" just based on angles. What is changing?

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Novica said:
    http://www.fotosketcher.com/

    You're welcome :)
    Cathie

    watch when istalling this program, it hi-jacks your home page, adds an extra toolbar and search engine and disables some functionality in Firefox anyway

    Good to know- but I don't use Firefox and had no issue with Chrome. Are you sure there aren't buttons to uncheck those features? Some of these have a a "Make This Your Home Page" option that you have to uncheck. Don't know about Explorer. Thanks for pointing out Firefox :)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    See the vines growing up through the floor?

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  • RektolEksamRektolEksam Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Novica said:
    Novica said:
    http://www.fotosketcher.com/

    You're welcome :)
    Cathie

    watch when istalling this program, it hi-jacks your home page, adds an extra toolbar and search engine and disables some functionality in Firefox anyway

    Good to know- but I don't use Firefox and had no issue with Chrome. Are you sure there aren't buttons to uncheck those features? Some of these have a a "Make This Your Home Page" option that you have to uncheck. Don't know about Explorer. Thanks for pointing out Firefox :)

    only one option available to uncheck which i did, another extra toolbar, and it did not install, no other options available
    sorry, don't mean to distract from your thread, i'm enjoying this
    R.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    You can see why it survives hurricanes with those braces. It's very tranquil. Wonder if the deer ever go in?

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Jump in anytime! :) You're a contributor, not a distractor. People are interested in finding out what options Firefox has with that program.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    This is looking back toward the pasture I came from, through the fence. (YES, I crawled through that fence opening.)

    This is a shot of the woods.
    Been thinking, if anyone needs woods shots like these, the image size for the forums is 2000 by 2000? What do you need for a background? Be glad to help. These are 150 dpi. Some of the originals are lighter, some darker, you can tweak. I can get you full dappling sunlight shots too, and there are big oaks.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    Just to remind you of why this bridge is magic- as you leave it behind, slanting and seemingly ready to fall. Hope you enjoyed the glimpse inside!

    And you know the amazement I felt the first time I experienced it.

    Coming up: working on Render 2 with Kaetl and the dragons, will show you what I have to get right with the spaces on that one.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    BTW, compare the overhang on the roof in picture 79 to the second shot in number 77. Magic! Crooked? One sided? Nope! And also, the floor tilting in some of the shots? slightly. This building is perfectly straight and has even overhangs. The first time they suggested I take Nova over to the "bridge" I looked from a distance and thought, "Through that falling thing????"

    Post edited by Novica on
  • RektolEksamRektolEksam Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    if this is your property or where you have opportunity to ride, its beautiful, very tranquil

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited April 2013

    Regarding owning it, I started to say "I wish it were!" but the upkeep is horrendous. When they built this ranch,they did it with all wood fences which are painted. As you can tell, they can't keep up with that. The horses don't mind though, lol! It's 26 acres with 200 acres next door. It's a boarding facility that's now closed to the public, they are getting out of the business when all of us eventually leave. (no rush, and they love all our horses.) When the oak trees get fully leaved, I'll be posting some shots. Love those big southern oaks, big ones around Pensacola have been here for over 500 years.

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,097
    edited December 1969

    For all the newbies who didn't know you CAN use photos for backgrounds, yep. Here's my alien (aka Genesis) just plopped in front of the fence, and as you can tell, the fence is just too big. there's not enough "sky" above it (aka trees, more stuff) so unless I use a kid, a quick fix isn't available. So you think. Back in a minute. If you really like a background, there's a way around that size problem, and you probably already know what it is.

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