Ice Dragon Art WIP's

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  • They are quite the pair.  XD  Fantastic posing on them and I can't wait to see what the postworked version is going to look like!

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432
    edited June 2017

    Thanks! I cant take too much credit for the poses they are from the Romance and Rescue poses by i13.  Although I did do some tweaking.  Here is the second version, you can see their faces better.  Not totally happy with either version but I think I can merge them in photo shop and get the look I want. I will mask off most of the background on version two since its darker and just blend the lighter parts of the faces into the other one.  And go from there lol. The lighting was driving me nuts

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432
    edited November 2016

    Stolen Moment

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  • That's an interesting couple.  :)  Nice image.

  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,287

    So much better with the light and addition of the golden color.  I like the way you brightened up the ring stone so it stands out.

    The story is fabulous.

    I know you said the lighting was giving you fits, but I have some suggestions. 

    They are still slightly flat because of the shadows.  My husband was having a hard time seeing the characters as separate individuals - their limbs are mixing up in the dark.  Instead of bringing up the overall lighting, how about a couple spotlights without shadows to accent/brighten up the characters.  I see that the top of his right bicep is slightly lighter - so add a spotlight on the upper right to add to it.  The light can be warm, but keep the color vary pale, just a tint of yellow.  Add the second one to add a little light to her face from the opposite direction, and use a very pale pink.  These lights should be very subtle, because you don't want it to look like a separate light source, just an enhancement to bring in depth to contrast with the shadows.

    It just needs a few more tweaks to become a great render. 

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Thank you KM and thank you Dracorn I will give that a try!

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Sonja,  Very kewl render.  May I ask where you got the outdoor background... Bryce, Carrara or elsewhere?

    BTW, Most of the poses I buy are from i13... very good at putting pose bundes/options together. I check out "Romance and Rescue" but sadly it is for Gensis3... not only my loss but i13's and DAZ's also.

    Regarding "tweaking poses"... I either read in a thread or watched a video... the person stated that it was easier to create the pose from scratch rather than try to adjust the posed figure.  I wonder how true that is... I've tweaked a few myself in DS and Carrara and haven't found it to be that hard to do.

  • I agree- a few tweaks with the lighting and this will really stand out. Well done!

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Sonja,  dracorn is very right with those lighting ideas.

    I prefer to start with a 3 light setup, Key light which will cast shadows, Fill light set very low... usuallaly from the opposite direction to fill in any dark areas created by too much shadow... with cast shadows off and then a Back light to set low behind the char(s) and pointing upward onto them and out of the scene with cast shadows On... this can create an outline of the char(s) and make them "pop".  I don't hesitate to add additional very low level lights to brighten up other areas that are too dark.

    I will go an additional step and create Target helpers for most lights to that I can reposition where each light points at... easier for me than adjusting the light rotation itsetf... if the light don't hit just right I just move the target helper... call me lazy. :)  I also do this for the camera.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432
    edited November 2016

    Thanks everyone.  Lighting is an area I still really struggle with.  Each time is a learning process.  Most times I end up pretty frustrated BUT I usually learn something. Might not be much but something lol.

    wgdjohn the environment is Wasteland and the background and lights and sky are from the Iray Super Dome .  I do have a linear point light by their faces but everything else I tried to light things gently just did not mesh with the rest of the lighting.  It either made it too garish or lit too much.  Will give the above suggestions a try though. I really like that set so I need to figure out some good lighting for that shelter lol.

    Making my own backgrounds for scenes in Bryce and Carrara is on my list of things to work on.  My very very long list lol.  I'm slowly getting there though.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432
    edited November 2016

    Test render V4 Hillary with DK Hair and Helen dress.  Straight out of the box converted to Iray with Uber shader.  I am going to go in and redo all the materials in the dress and jewelry and see what it looks like then.

     

     

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Sonja,  I've looked again at the couple.  I would have to experiment with the lighting for them in some very strange places. She is lit well except for her right arm which appears to be the same color as him and not that noticeable. He on the other hand appears to be all one color with not very apparent shadows at all.

    Here is what I would try, notice I said try,... since most of the light is streaming in from the outside... I'd consider placing a 2nd key light to shine on him brightening up his skin at right bicep at top and perhaps some of his chest so that those aren't the same shade as the rest of his body... this would have his lower bicep and some of his side fall into more shadow.

    A different approach would be to ignore, for the most part, the light from outside and create a 2nd light source, perhaps a torch or lantern, from inside the structure/room where they are... as you did for her face/arm. In fact you could pitch all the lights except for one... experiment with positioning it anywhere... shining up from the floor or down from above and back towards the camera or towards the sunset a bit or very close to them... once you get a good effect then add a fill light or 2 for anywhere that is too dark... just be sure it/they-is/are set *very* low, I usually start at 25% and go up or down from there.

    Whatever you choose save to a different filename... then go make the lighting adjustments whether they be minor or extreme.

    I really like your render a lot. Pay no attention to me rambling on about lighting.

    BTW:  I have Bryce but only cranked it up once... need to get back to it since it's terrains can be used in Carrara also.

     

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Thank you wgdjohn!  Please, always feel free to give your thoughts on any given subject.  Its one of the reasons I have this thread.  I need all the help I can get!  Hopefully between you and Dracorn I can come up with something that will work.  Have to work on my project for the newbie contest and my carrara render for the its raining men challenge as well.  I saved the post worked layers in photoshop so I should just be able to drop the revised version in under the dirt and grime layers.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Sonja,  You're very welcome... just hope some of my suggestions work out for you.  I must admit that I've not had good luck with IRay lighting... I would set up my light rig in 3Delight, so I could get a quick render, then change to IRay for a final render making sure that all my values looked ok, to me... Key brighter... Fill lower but I apparently don't understand all the settings... for some reason my lights became reversed creating shadows from the wrong direction.  I did come up with a very good portrait closeup which a friend that I run renders by for his critique said it looked quite real... he doesn't hesitate to let me know what doesn't look quite right... he is not into 3D/2D art at all but has a very good eye for detail. I go with him and another friend to watch some of the latest movies with cool CG SFX in them.

    To see some good examples of lighting and shadows check out Carrara Challenge #27: “Carrara 9, Give us a Sign” Entry Thread: Winners Announced!  Most all of them show some good uses of lights... the best overall scenes IMO were by PhilW, diomede, DustRider to mention a few. Note that PhilW knows how to make the most from lighting, posing and telling a story from his scenes, IMO.

    Thanks for putting up with my wacky ideas.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Thank you!  I keep reminding myself of how lost I was when I first started studio and how much better (relatively speaking anyway) I am a little more than a year later.  So I will continue to work on it and hopefully, things will start to make more sense as I go.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Okay.  So this is really a horrible render BUT i am still pretty proud of it as I managed to do several things. 

    Figured out that if I load a landscape, my characters are going to load as itty bitty specs that I have to track down.  Need to figure out to size the landscape down instead of scaleing the figures up?

    Fixed the mats on M5 so his torso and arms and legs matched and changed his eye color.

    Found and applied the diffuse and bump maps for his clothing (not as easy as it sounds until you know where they are lol)

    Made a terrain. As awful as it looks right now, I did manage to figure out how to generate the terrain and add a different color to it.  Am really going to have to explore this further as clearly I am not utilizing this well in any way shape and form, but at least I know where it is and kind of what it does.  Need to figure out how to make the ground look like sand, grass etc.  I know there is a grass and a snow option but didn't see any for sand.  Also need to figure out how to separete the mesa's from the ground colors.  The landscape tool feels a lot like Bryce so that should help a little bit.

    Added trees and a prop and getting more comfortable moving things around and scaling things.

    Kind of sort of figured out how to get lights in the scene but need to try out the suggestion above for adding a sky/skylight into the scene as the this lighting totally sucks.  But at least I managed to get it on the front side of the characers lol. And his eyes don't have any light at all which makes him look a bit odd.

    I'm finding that there are several things I like a LOT about Carrara and I think that this will be an excellant additional tool. Obviously, the modelling room is going to be a really great tool ( Is it possible to put a figure in the modelling room and then model something like jewelry directly on the figure?  Trying to understand how to make things that go on or around other things and have them fit right)

    Really struggled with the posing, and have a feeling I will be relying heavily on premade poses for awhile as I am totally not comfortable with the whole body moving when I move a toe lol.  Will be giving Dartanbecks suggestions a try for this.

    All in all, it took me about 4-5 hours last night to get this far with a couple breaks for pie and conversation lol.

    Thank you wdgjohn for all of the helpful tips and links.  I still have a lot to go over and put into practice but all in all, for the second render ever in Carrara, I am happy with what I learned from it.

     

     

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Sonja,  Very good for a 2nd project so far. I'm incredibly slow and it can take me 4-5hrs or more just to get shaders like I want them.

    For loading characters you should start with a medium size scene.  Small is for very detailed work and Large is for huge terrains... you likely know that already.  Note that you can combine terrains for some interesting effects... you can use 2 terrains and flip one upside down to create a cave.

    What I find helpful is to use the Top view and not Camera after loading chars/items into a scene.  First I'll find where on the landscape I want to place things then I just add a Sphere and color it brightly in order to easily see it and place it there.This gives me an xyz location for where I want the chars... so when anything loads at 0,0,0, I just go into it's Motion tab, next to General so that it can easily be matched to where I placed the sphere. You can cut and past one coord at a time so I remember one and copy/paste the other. The main thing is to place something where you want to be used as a reference. I will later tick "visible" so that things like the sphere are no longer seen but still there for ref. Make sense?

    When Carrara starts up it defaults to Camera 1 so what I do is create a copy of it... naming it "Camera POSING" or "Camera Render" before zooming with Camera 1. Note that the Director's Camera can't be used to render a scene. When I find that perfect angle I will go to the camera menu and choose other cameras and use "Set Position To" so that I always have a backup of where it is pointing and zoomed to.

    Posing... I'll turn "constraints' off in some circumstances, 4th icon at top of scene window. By default it is the first one that is highlighted "white" to indicate it is on.

    Eyes to dark... this is likely due to the texture map(s) used for them. The outer layer of the eyes needs to be transparent and have reflectivity.  I'm working on, learning this myself. I'll often pitch out the tmaps and use Carrara settings in place of them. They also need something to reflect such as an hdri or tmap. I'd think that even other bright and different colored objects behind camera would effect them... don't quote me on that. Wish I knew what video mentioned making them better. I believe that it is likely both one or more by Phil Wilkes and one by Dartanbeck.

    This is my latest adventure... I couldn't improve the eyes much if at all, it uses 3D Universe Toon Turkey sold at DAZ...  My current WIP.

    I was thinking about your layers in Photoshop for the dirt effects earlier... You might find this interesting... Carrara 3D Paint... it is just a tiny sample of what can be done.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Love the toon turkey!  He's cute!  LOVE the cave idea, would never have thought to do that. And putting a helper object in to get a position is genius!                              

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Toon Turkey is by 3D Universe and sold at DAZ... I corrected my error.  I think that the cave idea is from Dartanbeck in Building Carrara Terrains Intro in which there is a lot of good examples and suggestions for building terrains in Carrara.

    Note that Toon Turkey comes with some poses... I did tweak one a bit just to be different. Also on posing I find it much easier to use the Rotate tool. I'll use the Move tool mostly for just positioning chars and objs.

    I forgot to mention to be aware that the Palm Tree is the only Carrara tree which is very rigid... it has no bones or morphs so a Wind force will not affect it... so will not blow in the breeze as all others do.  I did grab another from ShareCG and there is one available at Rendo which is fully rigged.

    For my scene I used  Howie Farkes' Stoney Creek "fall" which takes awhile to render... what I did to get around that when working on the shaders was to place a vertical plane behind the turkey and hide entirely Stoney Creek... renders very quick for spot or full renders.

    Since you are working with Genesis you might give Eye Surface for Genesis which is a bundle for Carrara and DAZ Studio. Philw has an earlier version for Generation 4 figures.

    Figure shaders... for quick skin shaders for G2 check out DP Genesis 2 Females Carrara Shaders Collection by RingoMonfort... they can be bought separately for different figures but I waited for a sale and bought the collection... haven't used them yet... I still like adjusting everything but with these it would save a bit of time and I could still tweak them for an even different look.  Awhile back there was a sale on all G2 DAZ figures... I have all but 1 or 2. They all have been updated to have IRay settings now... cool if using DS.

    "Genius"... [blush],  I just struggle along... don't have to look far to find many who are smarter than I.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    There is a bunch of stuff for Carrara on sale today. Going shopping lol.  80% off is a pretty good sale.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Thanks for the heads up.  I purchased too many things... my wallet is weeping. Grabbed a number of Carrara and Carrara/Bryce things... some Genesis 6 Bundles for a fraction of their usual price... and of course 1 featured new item, not really wanted, that was required to get the huge savings.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Ya me too. I swore I was done.  But there was some really good Carrara stuff on sale. I don't need another thing for Studio that's for sure

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Hah... I thought to be done last night after buying a few items from Rendo... little did I know.

    One of the many items I grabbed was Carrara Portrait Studio  by PhilW... If you didn't get it you must add it to your wishlist... 3 point lighting, lighting effects, a barstool model, shaders and more... poses for V4 which might help but I'll use Genesis 2 instead and pose myself.  Of course I stocked up on other PhilW and HowieFarkes things I didn't have as well as a few other PA's who were on sale.

    Afterwards I modeled a metal sign/fence post which I'll show in my modeling thread. I had modeled a Stop sign with cylindrical post for the Animation Club for Carrara current project so now I have a different post and an improved stop sign. Speaking of the Animation Club latest project... I animated the into text, modeled a trash can... made like a drum, a soda/beer can with morphs, some crayons and the stop sign... I'm on overdrive. :)

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    I looked at the portrait studio but ended up getting the shaders for the Genesis 2 gals, and some underwater stuff as well as a couple other lighting sets that have a huge amount of stuff.  As well as the starry nights.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    This is Amaya for Girl 7 with the Sirena Dress and Anjou Hair - Had to change some things on the hair to get it to be truly black and not mostly gray.  I don't usually do toon style stuff but she is a pretty character and not too far into tooniness. And she has beautiful skin and some fun make up options (her eyelids are leapord print lol)

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  • Yeah, I havn't really gotten into Carrara much yet, but it was hard to resist some of the Carrara stuff in the sale.  I even ended up with that animated pins thing and I haven't the slightest idea how to use it or what I'm going to do with it, but it looks downright cool!  I got a few other Carrara goodies I hope to learn how to use very soon.  :)

  • SaphirewildSaphirewild Posts: 5,516

    I think your doing great so far Sonja.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    Yeah, I havn't really gotten into Carrara much yet, but it was hard to resist some of the Carrara stuff in the sale.  I even ended up with that animated pins thing and I haven't the slightest idea how to use it or what I'm going to do with it, but it looks downright cool!  I got a few other Carrara goodies I hope to learn how to use very soon.  :)

    When you decide to dig in come over to the Carrara threads they are chock full of excellent information and lots of helpful folks.

     

    I think your doing great so far Sonja.

    Thanks Saphire!  I'm having fun anyway lol.

  • I lurk over there a good bit, but haven't posted much yet.  I'm hoping to really get into Carrara again once things settle down with current projects.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was the second time I opened it up lol.  The last time was 5 or 6 months ago and it made no sense at all.  Now, its making a lot more sense and there are some things I really really like about the interface.  And the landscape and terrain tool is fairly similar to Bryce, so not as intimidating as it was before.  I think Carrara has a huge amount of potential, they are doing some seriously impressive things with it over in that part of the forums. Although I don't really have any desire to do animations I may eventually venture there as well.

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