New Users Contest *August 2014* ►►► WIP Thread ◄◄◄

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  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited August 2014

    Hi, zmortis. I wont bother quoting, as it's quite a large chunk of text. If your happy with the level of feedback your already getting then by all means who am I to tell you to slow down. If the time comes when you require advice on a particular piece then i'm sure you'll ask for it. I'm new to forums and just wanted to be courteous and return the favor, but I personally didn't know where to direct my attention because there was so much going on.

    I never said to remove the reflection. I think it would work better if you shrunk down the window so it looked more like a mirror, but better still would be to have a freestanding mirror reflecting the room and composite a scene with the doppelganger behind the glass. That way it would look more like a portal than a window, and the reflection would illustrate the "barrier" between the two words.

    Lastly, with Octane it's a simple as setting up your scene and exporting it as an .obj with collected mats. Then load it as a mesh and replace textures that don't translate well by dragging and dropping Octane materials onto the zones. (Things like lights and certain shaders that don't work in the standalone won't be compatible with the plugin either). Lighting can either be a default daylight environment that simulates sunlight at different times of the day (and in different places in the world), a HDMI for mostly ambient lighting, or you can set up emitters that convert surfaces into lights; like light bulbs, fire, etc...

    It does seem that we are thinking along similar lines with the changes to the composition then. Thank you for that clarification. I did realize I had lost the "framing" effect of the giant mirror when I rendered at the 800 x 800 contest size, and resizing the mirror smaller to regain that framing is a good idea. I may actually switch the mirror object as well. The oval mirror is more problematic to work around quickly compared to how a rectangular mirror would be (7 wall planes to adjust based on camera angle compared to 4 for a rectangular mirror). I do have a standing floor mirror object (somewhere), and I may see what can be achieved using it. I think some interesting "standoff" could happen given a further bit of tweaking and some surface and lighting changes.

    Also thank you for the input on working with the Octane stand alone. I was worried about how well textures/surfaces would translate. I am aware that since Octane is an unbiased render engine, it would require that Daz Studio lighting would need to be replaced with Octane's lighting process. I just don't know how much work that would entail (along with "updating" textures) and how different the process would be for my overall workflow. As long as the lighting paradigm can be readily translated from Daz's Ambient, Distant, and "direct source" lighting set-up, I think I can adjust to the differences. If I understand what it does correctly, it seems that Octane doesn't like the lighting "cheat" of hanging a sourceless "direct source" light in the air at a desired location though.

    The advantage of Octane, of course, is that you can render and compose at the same time, saving some of the down time between composition adjustments. That being said, every Octane render result I've seen so far has been very good looking, and depending upon how many GPUs you have available (up to twelve networked GPUs supported I believe) the render time can be significantly reduced. Currently I only have my two desktop GPUs so that feature is a limited benefit in my setup. The advantage over the 3Delight render engine is that I can actually fully use my Nvidia GPUs instead of my taxing my CPU for the job (and the fact that Octane handles light and surfaces very nicely).

    Post edited by zmortis on
  • Atticus BonesAtticus Bones Posts: 364
    edited August 2014

    @zmortis Sounds like a plan! Can't wait to see the revisions. And If you have any questions about Octane i'll happily try my best to address them, but it's probably best to carry that conversation on via PM, else we risk derailing the thread.

    Post edited by Atticus Bones on
  • TobiasGTobiasG Posts: 447
    edited December 1969

    zmortis said:
    ... the 800 x 800 contest size, ...

    Just to be certain: you realize that the contest doesn't require exactly 800x800, but that the largest aspect is no larger than 800 px? Also, note that the 800 px limit has been relaxed somewhat; unofficially for some time, officially for this contest.

    Just wanted to make sure that you don't work under restrictions which aren't there :)

  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    TobiasG said:
    zmortis said:
    ... the 800 x 800 contest size, ...

    Just to be certain: you realize that the contest doesn't require exactly 800x800, but that the largest aspect is no larger than 800 px? Also, note that the 800 px limit has been relaxed somewhat; unofficially for some time, officially for this contest.

    Just wanted to make sure that you don't work under restrictions which aren't there :)

    I know that the admins have said that some larger sizes will be permitted. Generally for web stuff I work/render at HD screen saver/background sizes of 1920 x 1080. When I do stuff for print it goes much larger (usually 600 or 300 .dpi vs. typical computer screen 72 or 75 .dpi based on print size/output requirements). As the contest rules do still stipulate a max size of 800 x 800 (or 800 in the largest dimension) I'm trying to stick with that as a level playing field with the other contestants. I do like working in the larger sizes, but I'm fine with the constraint as a "challenge" as well.

    I also know that the larger sizes can play havok with thread loads for slower internet connections. I'm trying to be good about it, but as noted I do tend to post a lot of stuff, and to talk about my workflow as well, hehe. It keeps me occupied from my other projects I should be working on, heh.

  • Atticus BonesAtticus Bones Posts: 364
    edited December 1969

    Sorry, zmortis. I've tried to reply to your PM, but I get an error that "One or more of the Screen Names submitted were invalid" (in this case "").
    I think the problem's at your end, as i've messaged other users today and it seemed to worked fine. Might want to get in touch with one of the admins.

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 28,100
    edited December 1969

    This admin has seen that comment and it is noted. Should be sorted out sometime later.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 44,023
    edited December 1969

    Duplicate zmortises (which seem appropriate for the renders) differentiated, so PMs should work.

  • Atticus BonesAtticus Bones Posts: 364
    edited December 1969

    Thank you, chohole and Richard!

  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited August 2014

    Sorry, zmortis. I've tried to reply to your PM, but I get an error that "One or more of the Screen Names submitted were invalid" (in this case "").
    I think the problem's at your end, as i've messaged other users today and it seemed to worked fine. Might want to get in touch with one of the admins.

    I did get your reply in my e-mail. Not sure why it indicated a send failure. Ah, I see now that the admins are on the job. Thanks Admins. I put your deviant arts page on my watch list. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

    Post edited by zmortis on
  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    Latest version. I turned down the reflection strength on all the gold coloured surfaces.

    Helmut_Reflection_20.jpg
    800 x 800 - 237K
  • TobiasGTobiasG Posts: 447
    edited December 1969

    Latest version. I turned down the reflection strength on all the gold coloured surfaces.

    To be honest, I preferred the visor with a lower/no opacity. If you can see the face, it's very difficult to make out what is the reflection and what's the face. A compromise would be a transitional opacity, so that we can see the eyes, but not the face. That would give you, perhaps, the best of both versions...

    You could try to add a Bump or Displacement of some scratches or irregularities to the gold; right now, it looks very smooth.

    Just a few ideas! :)

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    TobiasG said:
    Latest version. I turned down the reflection strength on all the gold coloured surfaces.

    To be honest, I preferred the visor with a lower/no opacity. If you can see the face, it's very difficult to make out what is the reflection and what's the face. A compromise would be a transitional opacity, so that we can see the eyes, but not the face. That would give you, perhaps, the best of both versions...

    You could try to add a Bump or Displacement of some scratches or irregularities to the gold; right now, it looks very smooth.

    Just a few ideas! :)

    Thank you Tobias. Your input is always appreciated. :)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,275
    edited December 1969

    TobiasG said:
    To be honest, I preferred the visor with a lower/no opacity. If you can see the face, it's very difficult to make out what is the reflection and what's the face.

    I think I agree with Tobias on this. While I still think a slightly lowered opacity might not be a bad thing, in this version the mouth is a distraction and the reflection doesn't look as good. But it was worth a shot... :) Feel free to keep playing with the opacity, or go back to the previous version if you don't feel lowered opacity is right for this image.
  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    TobiasG said:
    To be honest, I preferred the visor with a lower/no opacity. If you can see the face, it's very difficult to make out what is the reflection and what's the face.

    I think I agree with Tobias on this. While I still think a slightly lowered opacity might not be a bad thing, in this version the mouth is a distraction and the reflection doesn't look as good. But it was worth a shot... :) Feel free to keep playing with the opacity, or go back to the previous version if you don't feel lowered opacity is right for this image.

    Experimenting is necessary. That is how we usually end up with "happy accidents". ;-)

    To quote Thomas Edison "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

    Thanks Scott.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,275
    edited August 2014

    One of zmortis's renders reminded me of these DAZ Studio tricks...might be useful for those of you who would like a surreal or creepy element in your render.

    How to have something not cast a reflection:

    1. Select the object, go to the Surfaces pane, select the surfaces that you wish to not cast reflections.
    2. You'll need to use a surface shader with a Raytrace setting; for example, UberSurface. Here are instructions on how to apply the UberSurface shader.
    3. Find the Raytrace setting on the Surfaces pane and turn it off

    How to have something appear ONLY in reflections:

    1. Select the object, go to the Surfaces pane, select the surfaces that you want to see in the reflection.
    2. You'll need to use a surface shader with a Fantom setting; for example, UberSurface. Here are instructions on how to apply the UberSurface shader.
    3. Find the Fantom setting on the Surfaces pane and turn it on (make sure Raytrace is turned on too).

    So...if you want the reflection of something to look different from the object apparently casting the reflection, load two objects in the same space, and following the instructions above, set one to not cast reflections and the other to appear only in reflections.

    One more tip...visit the UberSurface tutorial thread linked above, and scroll down to Szark's post on reflection blur. Reflection blur is an often-neglected setting that can really improve the realism of surfaces that are meant to be reflective but not perfect mirrors.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited August 2014

    ... I think it might be effective if instead of a window the "Other Self" was being reflected in an actual mirror, like a mirror world. And maybe, if it's not too cliched, have the figures pressing their palm to the glass... I think it would work better if you shrunk down the window so it looked more like a mirror, but better still would be to have a freestanding mirror reflecting the room and composite a scene with the doppelganger behind the glass. That way it would look more like a portal than a window, and the reflection would illustrate the "barrier" between the two words...

    Ask and you shall eventually get to see the result.

    The large version of Other Self - revised.
    Small version of Other Self - distant.

    Other_Self_13.jpg
    800 x 800 - 374K
    Other_Self_12.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 1M
    Post edited by zmortis on
  • XangthXangth Posts: 127
    edited December 1969

    Here are a couple of ideas I'm trying to work through for the Aug contest.
    I have some others but am still working on them all.

    heavy_metal_tempa2l.jpg
    800 x 800 - 64K
    dancers2.jpg
    800 x 800 - 79K
  • Atticus BonesAtticus Bones Posts: 364
    edited December 1969

    @zmortis Love it! The "freestanding mirror" is vast improvement in my opinion.

    Welcome, @Xangth! Second render looks particularly interesting, although i'm struggling to make out what exactly is going on at this stage.

  • XangthXangth Posts: 127
    edited August 2014

    Thanks, the first idea was a dancer in a dance studio. The second idea is a scene from an old animated movie (Heavy Metal). Many people may not have seen or ever heard of it so I might not use it. I have something else that I am thinking of entering but the work is still in a work process.

    beach_comber.jpg
    800 x 800 - 96K
    Post edited by Xangth on
  • TobiasGTobiasG Posts: 447
    edited December 1969

    Xangth said:
    Thanks, the first idea was a dancer in a dance studio. The second idea is a scene from an old animated movie (Heavy Metal). Many people may not have seen or ever heard of it so I might not use it. I have something else that I am thinking of entering but the work is still in a work process.

    That's pretty good. How did you create the water, and the wet sand?

  • XangthXangth Posts: 127
    edited August 2014

    This was done in Bryce. The sand is an overlay of the land height field with he first layer is a sand texture with a second layer of a water texture that creates the wet sand look and with the water overlay also has the reflections and transparency. The second height field of the land is placed very close to the first. The waves are multiple height fields that are overlapped with Bryce standard water textures. The basket and shells were originally created in a different program and imported in and textured with the standard Bryce texturing lab. Hope this helps.

    Post edited by Xangth on
  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    Xangth said:
    Thanks, the first idea was a dancer in a dance studio. The second idea is a scene from an old animated movie (Heavy Metal). Many people may not have seen or ever heard of it so I might not use it. I have something else that I am thinking of entering but the work is still in a work process.

    The "Tarna" bathing sequence. I remember the scene. One of my favorite sequences in Heavy Metal.

  • XangthXangth Posts: 127
    edited December 1969

    Kind of, it was the scene when the chosen Araken defender went to the hidden temple inside a refinery to retrieve the sacred sword and outfit, she swims across the lake to the temple.

  • wflakswflaks Posts: 45
    edited December 1969

    Who let the dogs out
    all in DAZ 4.6,name and resize in GIMP2

    who_let_the_dogs_out.jpg
    725 x 725 - 399K
  • zmortiszmortis Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    Xangth said:
    Kind of, it was the scene when the chosen Araken defender went to the hidden temple inside a refinery to retrieve the sacred sword and outfit, she swims across the lake to the temple.
    Same scene, just a different description of it. Tarna was the name of the Araken defender if I remember correctly.
  • StargazeyStargazey Posts: 118
    edited December 1969

    I'd be pleased for any comments. Called "Here he comes", it was done in DS, with a little post work in PS.

    Mirrorball_02(s).jpg
    800 x 564 - 147K
  • Bunyip02Bunyip02 Posts: 1,416
    edited December 1969

    Kung-Fu Frog - Very much a Work-In-Progress. Still working on the character, lighting, minor post work done on splashes.
    After a better ripple effect with reflections.
    Comments and advice are very welcome.

    Kung-Fu_Frog_WIP-1a_x1000.jpg
    1000 x 730 - 171K
  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    wflaks said:
    Who let the dogs out
    all in DAZ 4.6,name and resize in GIMP2

    great image wflaks

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    stargazey said:
    I'd be pleased for any comments. Called "Here he comes", it was done in DS, with a little post work in PS.

    This has a nice feel to it stargazey. The only quibble I have is the flame light on the candle. It looks too round and symmetrical. Did you use a point light? If so, did you say no to visible in render?

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,338
    edited December 1969

    Bunyip02 said:
    Kung-Fu Frog - Very much a Work-In-Progress. Still working on the character, lighting, minor post work done on splashes.
    After a better ripple effect with reflections.
    Comments and advice are very welcome.

    Your water should have some ripples. There is a tutuorial on ShareCG on how to make ripples using the DForm in DS. ( I am assuming here that you are using DAZ Studio. If not, please ignore. )

    http://www.sharecg.com/v/71562/browse/3/PDF-Tutorial/Creating-ripples-in-Daz-Studio

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