Diomede's Notepad, Sketchpad, and Chilling Pad

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192
    edited May 2021

    Diomede said:

    Daz Studio + Postwork for Bookcovers

    This video was recommended by Tiffanie G of Digital Art Live.  

    Video Link

    Very interesting video.

    That reminds me of what I was doing with Photoshop before I was introduced to 3D.

     

    So, as a very similar approach, but for animatons, we have to really plan and think outside the box while we're building our scenes to render and animating them.

    You see how he's using stock photo imagery to enhance the look of his painting. That is common practice. VFX artists often do a similar thing, but using Stock Footage instead of Stock Photos. For animations, it's best if the added bits we apply are animated - or can be animated as well.

    So I've taken to making my own "Stock Footage". This is where it can be immensely helpful for me to save my work. It can be very helpful sometimes to use the same camera I used for the shot if the camera is in motion. Other times I can use camera trackers in Fusion or HitFilm and apply the new footage VFX that way.

     

    Enter PD Howler

    Howler, with its powerful animation tools, adds a lot of artistic flexibility for making massive changes to the overall imagery as Christian was doing in that video. You saw how he would draw selections and masks... we can do that in Howler, and actually put that selection in motion across the timeline. What can we do with such a thing? Anything that we would do to a still image! 

     

    Howler with Carrara

    Carrara has the amazing multipass render options - and it has a Bazillion of them to choose from.

    In Howler, we can use these mulltipass renders as various things, like a swap image which can somehow manipulate the main image or it could also be used to act as the selection - or both. We can displace, lighten, remove, burn, combine... that's just a very short look at the long list.

     

    Before I started rendering to image sequences (rendering to avi instead), I didn't realize that, if a tree trunk from an animated Carrara disappears during a single frame of a render, rendering that same frame a second time will make it appear as it should. I'm glad that I switched to image sequences now!

    Instead of scrapping the entire render, I used Howler's animated selection (called the curve tool) to "Rotoscope" a selection of where the trunk should be across the whole animation - because I had actually lost the trunk in a few frames throughout. Then I took a sample from the trunk from a frame that did render, and painted it using the animated selection - fixed! 

     

    That was a great thing! Not only did I fix the animated render from the scrap heap, but I also learned how to rotoscope at the same time. Now I'm never afraid to rotoscope, and use that technique to add additional art (VFX) to my animations, among many other techiniques.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    In fact, I just got this awesome presentation by the one and only Philip Staiger of Project Dogwaffle

    You know I've been a fan of his tutorials for years now. In this, he's going into animation practices in Howler that are different from what I use Howler for, so I'm learning a lot that will help me to make better stock footage types of things for my videos.

    Same thing with Tiffanie Gray - she uses Howler in entirely different ways than I do, with entirely different (and amazing) skills and completely different tools and filters. 

     

    So it's a lot of fun for me to learn from these two - and Dan Ritchie as well. Amazing artists using my favorite 2d tool! :)

     

    The PD Howler YouTube channel is packed with fun stuff to watch!

    Tiffanie's Immortal Moments channel is another great Howler educational resource!

     

    This is the short video that promotes the course on the right:

    ...and this is another one "The Dark Age of Time", named after the song that plays in the background - Philip used this song a lot in the older Daily Dose episodes. I liked it so much I bought the music collection when I bought Howler!

    But there's a Lot more examples to explore - and tutorials for all aspects of making them!

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    I want to collect all of Tiffanie and Philip's Digital Art Live presentations! ;)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    Thanks for all the extra info, Dart.  I've tried Howler.    At the moment I am using Photoshop for image editing and brush work.  I will go through your discussion and see if I can improve my workflow..  

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    Diomede said:

    Thanks for all the extra info, Dart.  I've tried Howler.    At the moment I am using Photoshop for image editing and brush work.  I will go through your discussion and see if I can improve my workflow..  

    Don't get me wrong, Photoshop is Amazing software. I just had a lifelong faling out with Adobe is all - but that's just me. 

     

    I bought Affinity Photo to use for 64 bit Photoshop-style workflow, which is fantastic. It's like the Pro version of Photoshop for $50 period, and I haven't had to pay a penny since then, even though it has gone through several major updates.

     

    Howler is a different thing altogether, but I've found that it really caters to most of my image editing and creation needs to the point that even Affinity Photo sits unused a lot of the time. I've just grown so accustomed to how I do things in Howler that, even though it's only 32 bit and doesn't have traditional layers (it works a little differently on that front - but I love it) it has become my immediate go-to for image work as well as creating and editing animation effects.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    Dystopia

    Some recent renders I did in Carrara for a challenge with the theme SciFi Dystopia

    "This Desert is Bugging Me"

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    "Scavenging Shoes" - another entry in the scifi dystopia challenge

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    "Car Roof Refugee" another in the scifi dystopia challenge

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    "No Longer the Yellow Brick Road" yet another in the scifi dystopia challenge

    I included a note offering to void this entry because the background is from MGM's Wizard of Oz

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    "Badland Village"

    And my final contribution to the SciFi Dystopia challenge.  This got 2nd place.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited May 2021

    Here is an attempt to use Vimeo as host for a crystal ball I modeled and animated the shaders.

    https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/556924153

    Please let me know if you can view this video.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    It appears to me that one must be a member and login before watching it.

    Funny, folks don't have to do that with YouTube. But then again... YouTube.... I know. I'm looking at other options as well.

     

    On another note, Awesome artwork! You're really coming into your own with your atmospheres and lighting! I always say - "look at the shadows. Use them as part of the painting", and you're doing that well!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    Thanks for the kind comments on my more recent efforts. 

    Hopefully, this updated link should work for the crystal ball animation

    https://odysee.com/@diomede01:7/diocrystal01mp4:c

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    Yep. That one works!

    Wow. Pretty cool! It goes by fast after which Odysee auto-plays the next (random?) video, so to get a good look right-click and select "Loop"

    If using this animation in a video, I'd slow it waaaaaaay down, but I really like the effect!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited September 2021

    Been a while since I visited the Art Forum Thread.  My summer was dominated by moving to a new city, and what time I had for 3D was largely taken up by training.  But here is the image I did for Daz3D sword and sorcery challenge.  I think it checks quite a few of the traditional 'Sword and Sorcery' fantasy art checkboxes.  I had fun.

    entry in sword and sorcery challenge.jpg
    1600 x 2192 - 815K
    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    Diomede said:

    I think it checks quite a few of the traditional 'Sword and Sorcery' fantasy art checkboxes.  I had fun.

    Agreed!!!

    Diomede said:

    I had fun.

    Awesome! That's what it should Always be about, right there! yes

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    Thanks for responding Dart.  Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend.

    Hopefully I will be updating more often now that I moved in my place, and I retrieved stuff from storage.  

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    I need to find more time to update my stuff as well. I certainly sympathize!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited October 2021

    Tomorrow is another October.  

    October is a good month to commit to regular tutorials.  I intend to devote at least 3 hours each working day in October to skill development.  An ideal day would be to spend about an hour and a half on tutorial (video, book, or pdf) and another hour and a half or so trying to apply the lesson.  I will try to post some of my progress here.  

    Blender.

    I will make another foray into Blender.  I've tried several times to use Blender but it never clicked for me.  With the relatively new interface, maybe this time I will have better luck.  With that in mind, I am going to work my way through the introduction to Blender tutorial that I picked up through the Daz store.  Will probably take me several days to make my way through this tutorial.  

     

    cc01 flipped normals intro to blender.jpg
    1480 x 1003 - 209K
    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited October 2021

    Yay - My Default Blender 2.9 has Easy to Use Modeling Menus

    - OK, this Flipmode tutorial is fine and good, Yay.  (there is a 'But...' coming)

    - But, my biggest lesson is that Blender itself is much easier for me than it was before

    --- Either it is the change in the interface or it just took this long to click for me, but I am making much, much, much better progress this time around

    --- I hate having to rely on hotkeys.  If I remember them, GREAT!, but I hate when I MUST remember hotkeys

    --- My previous attempts to learn Blender were always thwarted by the hotkey issue, and replies of (you can customize the interface) ignored the expertise it takes to customize an interface

    --- I feel like MOST of my progress is coming from my own experimentation, not from the Flipmode course.

    --- Now remember, I said 'most', not all.  The two guys doing the tutorial are well organized, clear, and follow a logical path.  They are fine.

    --- But, more often than not, I have paused the tutorials, gone to my own open Blender, and searched the menus for a function that I use in other modelers and I want to find in Blender.

    --- The Flipmode folks are decent at showing multiple ways to do the same activity so I don't want to criticize them, but they are still emphasizing hotkeys.

    *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    For My Fellow Menu Users

    - I watched the first 10 videos, each about 5-7 minutes. I think they needed a graphic like this one I made myself. If you are a Blender beginner, maybe my graphic will help you also.

    - When modeling, it is an absolute must to be able to navigate the viewport, decide whether to select points, edges, or faces, use additional selection tools, and transform your selections.

    - Symmetry.  It is also most important to be able to turn on symmetry and control the axis.

    - I have taken a screengrab of Blender's monkee object and drawn red circles around the menus and icons for Navigation, Edit Mode, Selection, and Transformation.

    - Now, maybe the Flipmode people will do something similar later in the course, but I got impatient and investigated and made my own.

    - Note - the tutorial guys have an error.  They say when you are in modeling edit mode if you rotate incorrectly there is no way to get back.  Wrong.  If make a mistake, use the standard 'Edit : Undo' or 'Control-Z' 

    - October 1 Skill Building a Success

     

     

    Oct 1 skillbuilding modeling in Blender helpful menus.jpg
    1920 x 897 - 270K
    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073
    edited October 2021

    October 2nd - Progress and Frustration

    * Continuing Flipmode's Blender tutorial available in Daz store

    - watched videos 11-20

    - topics covered were excellent and for how they chose to cover it, the two guys were fine

    - but, for me, this is a miss

    - if you like hotkeys, then this is for you

    - not a hit for me - I will use a hot key as I learn it through repeated use over time, but I don't remember 30 hotkeys thrown at me at once

    - repeat for emphasis, I am not capable of remembering multiple hotkeys thrown at me at once, whether I want to or not

    ************************************************************************

    Having said that, I continue to make good progress aided by their tutorial

    - what? you ask.  If I don't use hotkeys, how are they helping?

    - it is still helpful to see what they are doing and hear what they are calling things

    - I am familiar with modeling tools in other programs, so once seeing them do it I can try to find the menu option that corresponds to the hotkey

    *************************************************************************

    As of Day 2, I am optimistic about using Blender - finally.

    As mentioned above, I've tried several times over several years but the interface always got in the way.  

    ************************************************************************

    I will play around more and post a simple model later today.  Tomorrow I will concentrate on UVMapping whichever model I decide to post today.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    You Can Also Do it Here!

    Love this Blender youtube guy.  Yes, he uses hotkeys, but he also says 'you can also do it here' and then shows a menu.  Love it.

    For people like me trying to go to Blender from another program, I highly recommend this guy.

    Here, I am following a UVMapping tutorial, but check out his other videos also.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    Tremendous!!! - Surfaced Studio

    Highly recommend this free tutorial series for the Blender 2.8+ interface

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    Very cool! Sorry I've been silent through all of this - haven't had internet. Must find a way to get better support to fullfill that dream of doing this all the time! LOL

     

    I'd love to join you in this, but I too am back into learning mode while also creating assets to get my teaser done.

     

    I am also subscribed to Surfaced Studio, and agree what you've been saying about hotkeys. I mean, for an "Intro" tutorial, teach Intro stuff.

    It's not just you. It took a team of genuis people to finally convince Blender to go to a more common left-click = select, which was another big problem for Blender attracting new users - arguably, but true. Hidden interface behind hotkeys was even worse.

     

    The newly, geniously-crafted UI is a dream come true. Making that they're first move, I believe, really helped to drive more developmental funding and support.

    Since then they've been really going to town!!!

     

    Another great resource for easing into Blender is the playlist by Blender Foundation: Blender Fundamentals

    Well organized into a great path for truly getting into Blender and getting to know where to go, and a great display of what can be done once we get there. For someone like you, once that's accomplished you'll start to just get the hang of what to do.

     

    I am really looking forward to learning Blender. In the meantime, after my HDD crashed and I lost all of my saves and a whole pile of custom content, I was able to load older backups of Carrara, which saves mesh data in every save.

     

    Sure, the textures are gone, so I have to build those all back up from scratch, but it's worth it.

     

    So I bring in those older files, use Carrara's model-in-the-Assemble room feature to align the mesh to Genesis, and then export to Daz Studio via OBJ where I use its magical toolset to add the rigging/weight mapping, etc., 

     

    Maybe I can pull this off quickly enough to join you in this Blender Learning fun!

    Cheers, my friend! Stay well!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    Dartanbeck said 

    I am really looking forward to learning Blender. In the meantime, after my HDD crashed and I lost all of my saves and a whole pile of custom content, I was able to load older backups of Carrara, which saves mesh data in every save.  Sure, the textures are gone, so I have to build those all back up from scratch, but it's worth it.

    Oh no.  Hate computer glitches.  Hope you can get it sorted out relatively quickly.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    I keep looking for HDDs and DVDs with backups, but in the meantime, I'm just pushing ever forward - when I get time, that is ;)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,922

    Diomede said:

    Thanks, HW.  Might be even more dangerous to be an American symbol of the nineteenth century industrial workingman.  I think I need his axe included.  Thoughts on a missing heart?

    One of the reasons I've returned to this project is because the missing heart is such a central feature of both Metropolis and The Wizard of Oz.

     

    interesting point, love a metaphor carried between different movements

    now to fix my missing brain... :)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,922

    Diomede said:

    Tremendous!!! - Surfaced Studio

    Highly recommend this free tutorial series for the Blender 2.8+ interface

     

    thanks!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,192

    I accidentally forgot to persue looking at Blender again. Sorry.

    The good news is that the thing that distracted me was a whole new technology in simulation animation that has got me so tickled pink I can hardly keep the information quiet! But I must - for a little while longer.

     

    I can't wait to show you guys my new Carrara/DS working environment - it's just freaking Awesome!!!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 15,073

    @Dartanbeck - wow, you have me all excited in anticipation for...  ...whatever tech announcement you are sitting on.  Yay.

    @HeadWax - the new Blender interface has definitely been a game changer for me.  My 3D pain point has been UVMapping, not because I can't get a working uvmap for my own use in Carrara, but because I haven't been able to find a dedicated UVMapper for projects not-for-my-personal-use.  Like the old Blender, the interfaces tended to get in the way.  My biggest current problem with Blender is that there are so many free online tutorials for the old interface it can be annoying to sift through and find tutorials for the newer interface. 

    Looking at the comment dates, seems odd that I did not get notified a couple days ago.  Sorry for not responding to your posts sooner. 

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