Having Fun with TheDigiVault!!!

DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
edited April 11 in Art Studio

I recently bought The Silent City, by TheDigiVault, and was just overwhelmed by the efficiency and complete awesomeness of the kit.

I use Carrara exclusively for my scene rendering needs. I love how it loads in DAZ 3D and Poser items as if they're native, and then I can work with them in the same way, and much, much more. The biggest issue is that Materials behave differently, so we need to 'Optimize' shaders for our content once in Carrara - and this is something I enjoy immensely. Product makers give us everything we need to do this with their included Texture Maps, with only very few exceptions which, instead, use Poser MC6 material files using colors instead of maps. Anyway...

Optimizing The Silent City was a real blast! Set up for Iray, it's really easy and utilize the various included maps to create many different types of look, which then makes lighting a real breeze.

The Silent City opens up the imagination for taking my characters into various environments driven by the story, which is really cool. By 'Efficiency' I mean really well-constructed 3D models, using texture maps to get the most of the mesh, while not using up unnecessary amounts of resources. Beyond that, it's multi-level setup allows for many different types of shot within the same environment, offering entirely different action points, moods, etc.,

So to help utilize some of this idea of being able to delve into many different action sets, I grabbed up his "The Underside" inner environment next, as soon as I could. Wow! This thing has parking garage-like exterior windows - windows without glass, and then an expansive exterior outside of the confines of this environment, again, leading us to a lot more options for story or even just background motion.

Once again, I found myself loving the texture maps and setting up my Carrara shaders and lighting. I dealt with the exterior scenery exclusive to the interior. Again, very efficient. We don't actually interact with that exterior environment. It enlarges the set space to give the illusion of a much larger world, without going overboard on the resources... genius! I had a lot of fun making animated glows for the various neon signs - some of which I've set up to have seen much better days in the past!

For both of these amazing kits, I had a lot of fun with Carrara's volumetric lighting, as I always do, for a lot of added drama. To help add a lot of extra (free) distance to the extent of both scenes, I used Carrara's realistic sky editor to add atmosphere, even though I'm not using the actual realistic sky for its appearance.

My workstation is dying, so I haven't been rendering animations. But it is staying stable long enough (most of the time, at least) to allow me to set up the shaders, set up lighting, cameras, etc., and save to my Carrara browser. Very soon I'll be getting some delicious renders to help illustrate what I'm talking about here ;)  Soon!?!

Post edited by Richard Haseltine on

Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 4

    Here we get a Top-Down view of The Underside

    We can see on the left, wraping around on the top and bottom of the image, the Exterior portions of the scene. It's really ingeniously set up to be efficient, yet very realistic and complete. Support struts, neon lights, wires, buildings... these things look great yet have a very small footprint on RAM!

    Furthermore, the stairway column is tall, with real slats on the top for assisting in really fun illumination options.

    Just the right amount of litter and extra props to make the scene believeable without overdoing it!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 4

    Here we see the Top-Down view of The Silent City

    I was a little nervous at first, though I consider myself to be fairly good at reducing the 'weight' (RAM) of a scene, I try not to have to spend too much time doing this - especially if I'm already paying for the assets. I'll never be nervous about buying anything from TheDigiVault again!

    Look at this layout. It works really well for actually creating the illusion of shooting from totally different parts of the city, all from within a single scene.

    This thing is HUGE!

    If we look closely at the above image, where we see the boundaries of the individual buildings, this is actually separate, high-efficiency building meshes, so if we want we can try our hand at using these individual building assets to creat new scenery. It's really well laid out.

    Now, this shot (below) is taken from the upper level of the set, which as we can see from the image above, wraps through the entire set. It renders really well, and pretty darned fast - and it's freaking HUGE!

    The main promo shot is taken from the lower level. My Carrara-optimized set includes animated water that I can raise, lower, or hide, so I can turn this whole lower level into a sewer, river, whatever.

    I can't wait to show off my own renders of these amazing environments! These promo shots are Frakkin' Awesome! TheDigiVault knows how to render a mean promo!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Today, my Rosie let me buy another cool model... so I (finally!!!) grabbed the amazing Sci Fi Cruiser!

    Have I mentioned TheDigiVault's amazing efficiency? Yeah... I have. 

    ...and this awesome ship is no exception to that! What a blast setting this thing up for use in my animated renders in Carrara! Yikes!

    I was also pleasantly surprised to see that it comes with an amazing Stardome 360 degree backing dome! What a Great Product! So Happy! :)

    Aside from the planetoid and the ships, this shot shows off the Stardome that comes with this ship

    After optimizing this cool Stardome and adding it to my Carrara browser for other scenes, I am excited to get my hands on his full product: DigiVault Stardomes which comes with a whole bunch of them!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    I'm gonna collect his entire store of products!

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 30,885

    ...I love the Star Cruiser,  reminds me a bit of the Earthforce ships from Babylon5.

  • SorelSorel Posts: 1,199

    I think I only own one thing from Digivault, but not because I dont like their stuff, I've spent most my money on figues and am unfortunately lacking a variety of environments and props, which I've been trying to accumulate more of lately. Here are a few renders I've done with biohazard 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    kyoto kid said:

    ...I love the Star Cruiser,  reminds me a bit of the Earthforce ships from Babylon5.

    Thing is really cool to play with in a scene! Love this awesome Stardome too!

    Sorel said:

    I think I only own one thing from Digivault, but not because I dont like their stuff, I've spent most my money on figues and am unfortunately lacking a variety of environments and props, which I've been trying to accumulate more of lately. Here are a few renders I've done with biohazard 

    Very cool renders! Yeah... Biohazard is in my wishlist. Well... I put his whole store in there! :)  Wow... Very cool renders!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Oh holy craps... I got it... I mean... my Beautiful, Wonderful Wife bought it for me... OMG!!!

    The Outpost

    Just got it... didn't even get a chance to download it yet. Can't wait!!! Oh... So Happy! 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Okay, as I may have mentioned about working in Carrara, the one thing that we do want to do manually after loading in "Content" is to build or optimize the materials, which I think is easy and fun!

    That said, I really love how TheDigiVault names his texture maps. Everything has a clear title - most artists I shop from here do - but he also uses a numerical prefix, making loading maps into shader channels a real breeze! Very cool!

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 4,323
    edited April 6

    I have The Outpost, The Silent City and Underside and I love ALL of them. Very cool, very useful, very, very good looking. This vendor is one of my top choices for scifi stuff, right up there with Stonemason.

    Edit: FWIW, the Destroyed Mall is quite awesome as well ;)

    Laurie

    Post edited by AllenArt on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Destroyed Mall is one of the very next things I want to get my hands on!

    So here is The Outpost the way I've set it up as a base scene in Carrara using Carrara's Realistic Sky and atmosphere. I left the sky bleak on purpose, but it's super easy to add interest via clouds, etc.,

    ...and with the T2000 Police Patrol Unit, sporting a custom asymmetrical shader set made in Carrara

    I'm really loving these kits!

    My darned Carrara machine is now six years old and I blew some chips on the motherboard, so it's not very alive these days - when I get a new one built, I'll be sharing a LOT more renders! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Oooo... I WANT THIS!!! :)

    Cold Fusion

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 4,323

    You and me both! LOL This is slated for Friday and then it WILL be mine ;).

    Cool stuff :)

    Laurie

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    AllenArt said:

    You and me both! LOL This is slated for Friday and then it WILL be mine ;).

    Cool stuff :)

    Laurie

    yes !!!

  • The DigiVaultThe DigiVault Posts: 413

    Great renders Dartanbeck!!! Really shows of the set!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Great renders Dartanbeck!!! Really shows of the set!

    Thanks! Oh... Oh... I just grabbed up the new Cold Fusion! Gonna be away playing for a bit! smiley

  • ed3Ded3D Posts: 570

    Great renders _  

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 10
    ed3D said:

    Great renders _  

    Yes! TheDigivault does some Amazing promo renders! It just helps to show his dire love of all of this!

    Here is a preliminary render from me of his new Cold Fusion set. It's in Carrara, where I've done my initial shader work and some quick, initial lighting which I normally do to help me 'see' what I really want to do to bring things to life. I must say... this new kit doesn't disappoint! I love this! Plenty to explore!

    The volumetric light effects that I have in here lead me to believe that something Bad already has, or is about to happen....

    What do you think... have I overdone it a bit? I have to go to work on practicing my drum parts for tomorrow before I can take this further. I still have a LOT I will be doing to the rest of this set. This is just the main entry into the chamber (Section 1). There are still two more such exits, the main chamber, and some fun other little spots within that I have to finish - plus this was just my priliminary work on the shaders. This thing is SO COOL!!!

    Thanks for making this, TheDigiVault!

    Cold Fusion C101a.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 870K
    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 4,323

    Hehehe...looks like the reactor is letting loose some poison gas ;). I like it!

    Laurie

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 11

    I didn't have much time tonight, so I dropped my new Sci Fi Cruiser into my Starry Sky product with a nebula, and for good measure, dropped Dartanbeck and Rosie in there to stare in awe out the bridge window

    SciFi Cruiser 01a.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 719K
    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 11

    I'm going to work a lot more on Cold Fusion - more... my lighting of it.

    The textures do turn out like that when loaded into Carrara Shaders. I dimmed the lights way down to 6 to make it darker, then put those volumetric in for the main illumination. For this, I'm going to take a different approach.

     I want to make a version without all of the volumetric lighting to show off the wonderful textures... more like the job TheDigiVault did on his amazing promos!

    All of those wonderful emissives he has in there! All nicely mapped... makes the Carrara shader work a real treat!

    Damn, he does a nice render!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 54,199

    Moved to Art Studio forum.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 12

    I haven't had a whole lot of time... but here's where I am so far with this amazing Cold Fusion

    Cold Fusion C102h.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 864K
    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    As for the magnificent Sci Fi Cruiser, I looked back at my previous render and... well... yeah. That's what can happen when one has no time. One can create a rather boring image. Don't get me wrong... the ship is a wonderful thing. That's my point. It deserves a much better render than that. I'm just so excited to have these awesome kits in my collection now.

    As I think I may have mentioned, My good rendering PC blew a chip at the very least, which also ended up frying two of the four RAM slots and the chips that were in them. It blue-screens constantly. I wouldn't use it at all, but even in it's crippled state it blows away this ultra slow laptop. Working towards getting something new - and I'm just trying to keep my sanity in the meantime with at least some art going on - but it's painful. 

    Anyway, that's why these renders are so minimalist. Low amounts of RAM greatly reduces what one can do compared to the days when one had plenty of RAM! LOL

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited April 12

    That said, I have pulled off a couple more shots of the Sci Fi Cruiser with the really cool Stardome that TheDigiVault includes with the product, even though he also sells a Stardome collection. Very cool! And it has me wanting to get my hands on that collection. It WILL be mine!!! In fact, I love everything I own from TheDigiVault and plan to collect his entire works!

    So, in that earlier boring render, I forgot to mention that I used RavnHeart/ToxicAngel's really nice Sci Fi Ship Construction Kit to add some extra living/working space to the Cruiser, as well as to give it some wings, extra reinforcement supports and a few exterior lights. I do enjoy a good mix n' match ;)

    These renders show those additions a bit better, and also show a fraction of the Stardome

    SciFi CruiserYW02a.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 1M
    SciFi CruiserYW03a.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 1M
    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    It's really cool how many different views we can get from this single Stardome. A little rotation here, perhaps some panning in one direction or more... whole new piece of space. 

    One thing I like to do in Carrara with something like his entire Stardome collection is to load in a single instance of the actual dome, and then make interchangeable shaders for the rest of the collection within that same scene, which gives me a simple, ready-to-render solution of incredible environments. This will be the first one I have for Outer Space scenes.

    In Carrara we can set the dome (Sphere, in this case) to NOT cast or recieve shadows, and tell any of the lights in the scene to ignore it. Then we add the main texture map to the "Glow" channel, so it's an illuminated fully surrounding scene that can be used on the fly.

    We also have Photoshop-style 'Layers' in the various shader (material) channels that can benefit from them, so we can get really complex mixing and matching texture maps with other texture maps and/or any of the bazillion cool shader functions included with Carrara, or added via plugin. It's really powerful. 

    Another ultra-powerful thing I love about Carrara is that we can use video files as Texture maps, and Carrara can render out many different multi-pass options, like Object Normals (producing a Normal Map), Object index (very useful in post for being able to accurately select any indivdual object from a rendered image, even though it's already 2D baked), Depth Pass, Diffuse, Volumetrics, etc., etc.,  a whole slew of options - and these can also be video files rendered from an animation. Since they're each Multi-pass renders of a main render, they match perfectly, so can be quite handy for using as textures for objects or effects, for example.

  • Sven DullahSven Dullah Posts: 3,997

    Very nice stuff in heresmiley. Yeah I have the stardomes collection, very versatile set indeed:) I'm rendering in 3Delight with scripted pathtracing, would be interesting to see some of your rendertimes...Are those bloom effects native or postworked? Look gorgeous=)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606

    Very nice stuff in heresmiley. Yeah I have the stardomes collection, very versatile set indeed:) I'm rendering in 3Delight with scripted pathtracing, would be interesting to see some of your rendertimes...Are those bloom effects native or postworked? Look gorgeous=)

    Thanks!

    Carrara's "Aura" effect does most of the bloom, then I enhance it in Howler - color grading and a bit of lens flare.

    Before my PC broke, most of my scenes took between 45 seconds and 3 minutes, depending on how close I get the camera to intense details. But I'm rendering for animation. I could go for much higher quality stills that could take many times that.

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