Carrara Challenge #40 NOIR WIP - A warm welcome to our PA sponsor, Fenric

UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
edited June 2018 in Carrara Discussion

 

Welcome to the Noir Challenge!  This month we get a little thuggish and explore the smoke-filled (originally B&W) vision of crime and corruption made famous by Hollywood in the 1940's and 50's.  In this Challenge, you can choose from three different categories, and enter up to three renders. 

Postwork is permitted.  But this is a Carrara Challenge, so working as much as possible in Carrara is encouraged.

 

The Skinny

 

You can enter renders in three categories.

Category 1:  Render a black & white image in the Noir style.  The subject matter can be anything, from any time period, but the idea is to apply lighting, poses and props in a way that creates a "Noir mood."  Such a mood is easier to grasp by actually seeing  examples, so check out the post below.  And keep reading, as some elements of the style are discussed in this post as well.

In this category, there is a specific Carrara function requirement.  The image must include the use of a light gel. (Cripeman gel tutorial here)  In the light gel drop down menu, the choices are Blinds, Formula, Gradient, or Map.  These different light gel variations allow you to create venetian blinds or other interesting high contrast shadows which commonly give structure to a Noir image.  A parallel in the  traditional art world is the style is known as Chiaroscuro, which means "pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color."

 

Category 2:  Create a classic Film Noir character portrait or pinup.  Choices include the cynical Private Eye, the Detective, the Femme Fatale, the Crime Boss, the Gangster's Moll, the Goon,  and so on.  There is no specific Carrara function requirement; B&W and color are both OK.

 

Category 3:  Make an homage to a famous Film Noir movie or hardboiled detective novel.   This can include recreating a specific movie scene, a book or magazine cover, or a movie poster.  Or, you can create an homage to the Noir/detective genre in general, and make up your own image.

There is no specific Carrara function requirement; B&W and color are both OK.

 

The Big Scheme

 

The term "Noir", which is French, has a variety of meanings.  For this Challenge, it is connected to "Film Noir," which means "dark film."  In 1946, a French film critic coined the term to describe the hardboiled Hollywood crime melodramas made at the time, but the term wasn't adopted by other critics until decades later.

In a Noir movie, the hero is cynical, the women are of questionable virtue, and greed + jealousy + murder are all typically central to the plot.

The 1940's defined the Noir style, with movies like The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, all filmed in glorious black and white.  However, many elements of the Noir style - dark mood, high contrast dramatic lighting, archetypal poses  - can be found in later decades as well, with color films like Farewell My Lovely, Mulholland Drive, and Chinatown.  And further, the Noir style has spread across many genres, including science fiction (Blade Runner).  These later films are often referred to as Neo-Noir.

 

But what, you may ask, does all of this have to do with "dreams" in the title of this Challenge?   For those who may be unfamiliar with classic Noir movies, click on the video clip below from The Maltese Falcon.  (Spoiler alert if you've never seen it!)

 

 

The dream quote is a variation of a line in Shakespeare's  play The Tempest:  "We are such stuff / as dreams are made on."

 

By the way - if you are curious whatever happened to that black bird, the story is here:

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/02/mystery-of-the-maltese-falcon

 

The Law

 

General rules.

1.  Up to 3 renders can be entered.  However, if you enter more than 2 renders, at least one of them must use the Carrara light gel effect..

2.  Images must be new (previously unpublished).

3.  Images must be "mostly" set up in Carrara.

4.  Where postwork is allowed, it must not be the dominant part of the image.  Posting images of before and after postwork is encouraged.

5.  At least one WIP (work in progress) image of the final Carrara setup must be posted to the WIP thread

6.  The winner of the "Best Participation" category becomes the next Carrara Challenge host, and sets the rules for the next competition.  But should the winner decline this honor, the winner of the next category (Best B&W image) will then get the opportunity to step forward and fill the role.

 

The Geetus

 

smileysmileysmileysmiley

Once again Daz will generously sponsor the monthly Challenge.

Fenric is the PA sponsor.

 

As in all the Challenges I host, the prize format has categories, much like the Academy Awards (Oscars) and the prizes are all more-or-less equal.  An artist can win only one of the Daz prizes, but can win both a Daz prize and a PA prize.  Comments about this are again welcomed.  I explain the process in more detail in THIS THREAD.  Please read it if you have questions.

The four prize categories are:

Best Participation (cumulative images from a single artist)

Best B&W Image (Any subject, Noir style, B&W, Carrara light gel)

Best Noir Portrait or Pinup (private eyes, femme fatales, etc)

Best Noir Homage  (familiar Film Noir scenes, posters, books, or create your own!)

This translates into:

Most votes total for one artist: $50.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s)
Most votes B&W image:  $50.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s)
Most votes Portrait/Pinup:  $50.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s)
Most votes Film Noir homage:  $45.00 towards DAZ 3D owned item(s)

 

The Summons

 

Dates to Remember: 

All dates are Daz Utah Time http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/usa/salt-lake-city

WIP Thread Opens: Monday May 14, 2018

Entry Thread Opens: Monday May 28, 2018

Entry Thread Closes/Voting Begins: Friday June 15, 2018

Voting Ends: midnight Friday June 22, 2018

 

The Plug

 

I have added an Art Studio thread so you can share your entries with others outside of the Carrara forum.

Post edited by UnifiedBrain on
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Comments

  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
    edited May 2018

    Here are some image examples for the three categories:

     

    Category 1 - Noir style, B&W

     

     

     

    Category 2 - classic Noir character portrait/pinup

     

     

     

    Category 3 - Homage to famous Noir movie or detective novel, or create your own

     

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    Post edited by UnifiedBrain on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
    edited May 2018

    A Cripeman light gel tutorial:

     

    Post edited by UnifiedBrain on
  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    any video tutts on light gel?

    i have a few poser gel sets, would like to learn how to set them up in rarrara

     

  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
    edited May 2018

    Hey Misty, I added a Cripeman tutorial in the post above yours.

    In the "map" dropdown option, I know that you can add all sorts of thing, such as alpha maps from paintbrushes.  Phil used this example in his basic tutorial, a circular brush which had a kind of spider web appearance:

     

    I highly recommend his course to anyone.  It's the biggest reason I'm still in Carrara.

     

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    Post edited by UnifiedBrain on
  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    cripeman says the formula box can add color to the gel.  mebbe theres a rainbow formulaheart

  • Persona Non GrataPersona Non Grata Posts: 1,365
    edited March 16

    .

    Post edited by Persona Non Grata on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010

    Heh heh.  A smoking cue.  Very clever, Selina.  I've never used Primivol.  Looks like a great product.

    Looking forward to more of your contributions.yes

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,489
    edited May 2018

    Wow, thank you Selina. Very helpful way to start us off.

     

    As a classic movie fan, I enjoy film noir. If anyone is not familiar with the film genre, here is one top list by the "Csar of Noir," Eddie Muller.

    https://www.eddiemuller.com/top25noir.html

    Of course, as UB has pointed out above, the movement inspired more than just B/W movies. There is so much more.  (see next post)

    Looking forward to what people come up with.  No more from me for a few days, then I'm all in.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,489
    edited May 2018

    Here is a link to Noir Alley's essay by Eddie on what constitute's Noir.

    http://noiralley.tcm.com/noir-101

    here is an excerpt

    Eddie Muller said   ...The men and women of this sinister cinematic world are driven by greed, lust, jealousy, and revenge—which leads inexorably to existential torment, soul-crushing despair, and a few last gasping breaths in a rain-soaked gutter. But I'll be damned if these lost souls don't look sensational riding the Hades Express. If you're going straight to hell, you might as well travel with some style to burn.

    Ever since the term "film noir" was first coined by French critics in the aftermath of World War II, there's been a debate about whether noir is defined by its content or its style. Is it a particular type of story, or is it the way the story is told, its look and feel, that makes a film "noir?" As a writer of crime fiction myself, I favor the former definition. To me, a truly noir tale is one in which the protagonist, acting out of desperate desire, does something he (or she) knows is wrong, but they do it anyway … and reap the dire consequences. The fatal mistake is typically criminal in nature—so it follows that most films noir fit snugly into the "crime" genre. The essence of great noir is that it makes you empathize, and often sympathize, with these doomed denizens.

    When most people think of film noir, however, it's the inimitable style they are considering: the sensuous and secretive shadows, the gleam of street lights on a '48 Packard, the whispering rustle of Rita Hayworth's Jean Louis gowns. This iconography now flows in the cultural bloodstream, absorbed and endlessly imitated in movies, television, art, fashion, advertising … everything.

     - more at the link - 

     

     

     

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    seeing the blinds option under gel smiley

  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,400
    edited May 2018

    Cool theme... plenty of diff'rent approaches for this challenge....

    I have some gels I bought a long time ago and have never even used them... forget I had them TBH...

    Wacked them in my Objects Browser and plenty there to use.... wow... silly me!

    Knocked this one up today as a practice run

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    Post edited by Stezza on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,993
    edited May 2018

    ha ha blink and yeah shall mith it! 

    always kills me the talent here

    here's an experiment with sand filter 

    the first is rendered at default size (640px?)  - then blown up to 2000 px wide

    the second is rendered at 9000 px wide - then taken down to 2000 in photoshop

    third one rendered at 9000 and the one spotlight is set at 2000 perfcent

    fourth one is a combo of ist image and third image 

    the fifth is blown out lighting with sand filter but saved as a grey scale tiff  (9000 pixel render - would be better to render this one at 4500 wide?)

    very interesting - I could see a happy medium beteen the first two but that ink dot effect in example one is calling like a siren

     

    Great challenge UB - you rock (Ps real life is screaming at me at moment so if I dissappear you'll know why)

     

    edit this kind of scene is becoming a Noir Cliche I tink (overhead shot with long shadow in streetscape)

     

    rendering the sand fiklter and using indirect light gave a great result too one to work with

     

     

     

     

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    Post edited by Headwax on
  • Persona Non GrataPersona Non Grata Posts: 1,365
    edited March 16

    .

    Post edited by Persona Non Grata on
  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 31,097

    you could probably do that with lights too

     

  • Persona Non GrataPersona Non Grata Posts: 1,365
    edited March 16

    .

    Post edited by Persona Non Grata on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,400
    edited June 2018

    Thanks Selina.... always welcome to see good stuff to do... Head Wax.... wow

    some more playing around....

    Rendered two images .. one G2 decked out as Inspector Gadget, modelled his prop

    and another image using Phil W city blocks .... then playing around in PSE

     

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  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495
    Stezza said:

    Thanks Selina.... always welcome to see good stuff to do... Head Wax.... wow

    some more playing around....

    Rendered two images .. one G2 decked out as Inspector Gadget, modelled his prop

    and another image using Phil W city blocks .... then playing around in PSE

     

    That's awesome @Stezza!

  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495

    @Selina - as an avid pool player (I'm just going to pretend it's pool and not snooker laugh) I love that smoking cue image! Any tips you're willing to share on how you got that great smoke effect with Pimovol? I've had it for years and have never been able to get good results from it, but the smoke in your image looks fantastic.

  • Persona Non GrataPersona Non Grata Posts: 1,365
    edited March 16

    .

    Post edited by Persona Non Grata on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
    head wax said:
    the fifth is blown out lighting with sand filter but saved as a grey scale tiff  (9000 pixel render - would be better to render this one at 4500 wide?)

    The grey scale tiff render is inverted, like a photo negative.  Not sure why it was designed that way.

    head wax said:

    very interesting - I could see a happy medium beteen the first two but that ink dot effect in example one is calling like a siren

    Totally get the "calling" part. :)

    head wax said:

    Great challenge UB - you rock (Ps real life is screaming at me at moment so if I dissappear you'll know why)

    Thanks.  We all know your deal, and understand.

    head wax said:

    edit this kind of scene is becoming a Noir Cliche I tink (overhead shot with long shadow in streetscape)

    Love that cliche!  This Challenge is built for cliches. :)

  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010
    Stezza said:

     

    Very creative, Stezza!  Definitely category 3.  Possibly category 2.

     

  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,010

    Hey Selina, I learned something new in your post about the filter.  But for me, the last step was a little vague.  I get making a plane, setting transparancy to 100%, and adding the absorption color.   Do you need to add a separate plane for each color absorbed?  And which combination yields B&W?  Does it depend on the color of objects being rendered?

    Sorry, I'm definitely not an old dog, at least in Carrara years. :)

  • Persona Non GrataPersona Non Grata Posts: 1,365
    edited March 16

    .

    Post edited by Persona Non Grata on
  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495
    edited May 2018
    Selina said:

    UnifiedBrain
    If you absorb all the colours all you'll see is black because white is a combination of Red, Green and Blue. My little experiment will let you render the RGB channels as separates or combinations RG, GB, BR. You can then use these as a starting point for desaturation in your favourite raster graphics program. It's a bit like the old BW photography where a coloured filter added to the lens would help enhance the final print. (see BHP article on BW as an example)

    I didn't find a way to do in the short time I devoted to experimenting - sorry for the confusion sad


    Selina

    That is seriously cool. It would never have occurred to me to use absobtion this way. You could create some really cool effects this way.

    Here's the same image rendered with no absorbtionplane and then with the plane visible and absorbtion set to kind of a randomly selected pinkish color.

    The one with the absorbtion looks a little bit softer because I forgot to set the color to black or none on the plane.

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    Post edited by Mythic3D on
  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    how yoo set the blinds gel not so dark?

    isnt so much a shadow as inky dark

  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495
    edited May 2018
    Mistara said:

    how yoo set the blinds gel not so dark?

    isnt so much a shadow as inky dark

    1. Duplicate the light you have the blinds gel set for
    2. Don't move the duplicate
    3. On the duplicate, set the gel to none and turn the light brightness to 30%
    4. On the original light, set the brightness to 70%
    5. Group the two lights so you can move and rotate them together
    6. Adjust the proportion of the two intensities to taste

    Or you could create your own blinds light gel in a paint program, using just alternating lines of white and grey. The grey will let some light through, as opposed to black which will block it all.

    One light at 100% brightness using blinds gel:

    Two lights, one at 70% with a blinds gel, one at 30% with no gel:

    OneLight.jpg
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    TwoLights.jpg
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    Post edited by Mythic3D on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,400
    edited May 2018

    Hi Misty...

    I adjust the lighting to suit... here is an example using one distant light behind Dawn and the spotlight with blinds gel targeted to her head in front.. I adjusted the light strength on each render.. more lights can be used to adjust to your liking.. hope this helps

     

     

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    Post edited by Stezza on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,400

    @MDO2010 yes

     

    thanks smiley

     

    MDO2010 said:
    Stezza said:

    Thanks Selina.... always welcome to see good stuff to do... Head Wax.... wow

    some more playing around....

    Rendered two images .. one G2 decked out as Inspector Gadget, modelled his prop

    and another image using Phil W city blocks .... then playing around in PSE

     

    That's awesome @Stezza!

     

  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495
    edited May 2018

    Here's an example rendered with just one light, using a map (just any image will do) instead of the blinds preset. I made the image I used for the gel (attached in case you want to download it and play around) in about 15 seconds in Photoshop. It's just white where I want light to pass through and shades or grey/black where I don't. Lighter grey lets more light through.

    Note that since I was making my own map to use, I also applied a little bit of blur to it to soften the edges some more.

    You can get pretty crazy with creating your own light gels like this. Attached are some quick renders using a mix of different light gels I either bought here or made myself.

    BlindsGel.jpg
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    Gel_MapRender.jpg
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    GelTest001.jpg
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    Post edited by Mythic3D on
  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    thanks yessmiley

    i was liking this inspiration

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