Carrara Challenge VIII - "The Great Race" or "Don't Fence Me In" - WIP Thread is Open

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,631
    edited December 1969

    Push, man... Hurry!!!

  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited April 2014

    OK, I am late for this, very late in fact. But hopefully I still have enough time to create an entry. My time is tight, so I am not sure I'll be able to actually finish my entry before the deadline, but I will at least start the image.

    I will be working on the "Don't Fence Me In" theme and the idea for it is something that my friend saw in a dream. She told me the dream and asked whether I could make an image out of it. And it seemed to me like the most perfect idea for this challenge theme. I am not sure I like the concept itself though... But anyway, in my friend's dream this was actually a painting which depicted a man struggling to get out some vines which were covering his torso. Among the vines there were 2 other human heads - one female and one - child's. Quite a nightmarish scene...

    My idea is to make the "frame" part of the image - the physical square constraining the man. I am also trying to go with a square composition. Square compositions are very difficult to balance, but I am hoping that it might actually work for me in this case, as I want the main character to be intensely, visibly and visually uncomfortable.

    So far I modelled and UV-mapped the frame. (That's why it's covered in the rectangles shader - I was checking the UVs) And posed/morphed the main character. There is still a whole lot of things to do. This is basically an equivalent of the initial sketch. I will have some experiments to conduct for the incorporation of the second required item (surface replicator or terrain). The image is fairly minimalistic, so I haven't figured out how to incorporate the second element yet.

    I am not sure I'd be able to participate in the thread much, as the time is really a big issue for me right now. And I don't think I can catch up on the existing 17 pages of conversation. But I went through the pages and am very impressed with the work people are doing here.

    Image removed please see this thread http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/3279_98/

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,631
    edited December 1969

    Very, Very cool, Antara!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited April 2014

    Image removed please see this thread http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/3279_98/

    Well, it looks like some fencing in is inevitable. I thought the frame was a frame to represent a fence, not a "black bar to conceal nudity," but it is not my call. Hopefully, you can make a slight adjustment because it is a cool concept, well executed.

    Regarding the terrain/replicator requirement, may I recommend that you use the terrain modeler as a modeler, instead of trying to think of ways to add a replicator or a landscape that you don't really want? That is, since you just want a relatively simple shape for the frame, why not use the terrain modeler to create it? The nice thing is that in this case the elevation map would also serve as a shader mask. With a little effort, the texture could be improved or you could convert it to a vertex model then uvmap it.

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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited December 1969

    Ha, i didn't think that qualified as nudity at all.. Hmmm... Strange. Anyway, hopefully this time it won't be a problem.

    I felt the frame was easy enough to just model with polygons. I want to try the terrain modeller for the vines. I don't trust myself to come up with a good set of those on my own.

    So here is a quick sketch testing out this method. This is just a test, as I still need to get the other 2 heads into the composition before I start positioning the vines.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:
    Ha, i didn't think that qualified as nudity at all.. Hmmm... Strange. Anyway, hopefully this time it won't be a problem.

    I felt the frame was easy enough to just model with polygons. I want to try the terrain modeller for the vines. I don't trust myself to come up with a good set of those on my own.

    So here is a quick sketch testing out this method. This is just a test, as I still need to get the other 2 heads into the composition before I start positioning the vines.

    Oh yeah! Forget everything I said about using the terrain modeler for the frame. You've got a good plan for the vines and I can't wait to see the final execution. I just thought you might be trying to force the use of something you didn't want just to comply with the rules. I should have known better. You have a very creative use of the terrain modeler already in the works. Well played! :cheese:

  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited December 1969

    OK, I tried the terrain-to-mesh-morph approach and I am less than thrilled with the results so far. I am going to try a few more things.
    One option I want to try is Ivy-Generator on top of the mesh generated from the terrain, which in turn would be created from the depth pass of my scene. Messed up, I know. But my question is: would this count as the use of terrain in my image?

    Also I need some critique of the current
    - scene
    - composition
    - humans and frame shaders
    - lighting.

    The vines are not there yet by far. And the render here is a test straight out of Carrara, no editing whatsoever.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,004
    edited December 1969

    It may be creepy for the heads to share the same coloration as the vines.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:

    One option I want to try is Ivy-Generator on top of the mesh generated from the terrain, which in turn would be created from the depth pass of my scene. Messed up, I know. But my question is: would this count as the use of terrain in my image?

    Oh, man... I have to make another rules interpretation. >:( I'm not sure I am following you, so here is my initial thought and you can assess how it applies to your scene. But, I want others to get a more general idea of how I am thinking about the Carrara function requirement, so this discussion will go beyond just Antara's scene. To the point, if I understand correctly, what Antara suggests meets the requirements, subject to description below.

    First, the requirement is two custom Carrara objects. The most obvious way to satisfy this is to use one of the modeling rooms (spline, vertex, metaball), but it is not the only way. Customizing is not limited to modeling, but also includes covering an item in hair, or custom uvmapping something and applying a new texture, or applying modifiers, or morphing an existing object to direct it to a new purpose... There is an illustrative list of examples on the first page that I copied from a previous challenge - but this is not an exhaustive list.

    Second (and this goes to Antara's question), one of the two objects must be a custom use of EITHER the terrain modeler OR the replicator function (not required to use both). If someone chooses to satisfy this with a terrain, then the object must be of the type that results from using INSERT: TERRAIN. To satisfy the custom requirement, it is not enough to be a terrain preset with default textures and default settings. It must be customized in some way, for example by creating a custom heightmap in photoshop, or using the terrain map editor, filter function, erosions, etc. But it could also be customized by using the list in the first paragraph (remapping / applying hair /converting to another modeler and morphing / ...). If someone creates a terrain in another program, converts it to an obj in the other program, then imports it into Carrara as an obj - then it is NOT an object that results from using Carrara's INSERT : TERRAIN. It is, however, still a custom object. Since using BRYCE to create a terrain is encouraged (or DCG's Ground Control), such a terrain could have plants replicated on it and meet the challenge rules that way. Or, a Carrara terrain could be inserted in the background. or,...

    ** For Antara's question about use of the depth pass, if i understand, you are creating a custom heightmap by using the image that results from a depth pass render. That seems to satisfy the requirement for custom use of the terrain modeler by creating a custom heightmap because you will still be loading a heightmap into CARRARA's terrain modeler. Or, maybe I didn't understand. Note - people do not have to load a custom heightmap. You can insert a generic Carrara terrain and then use the terrain editor tools. **

    Third, if someone chooses to satisfy the custom requirement with a replicator then it can't just be a default replication of a primitive on a default plane. It has to be customized in some way. Examples include using a map to restrict the distribution of the replicated objects, or replicating feathers over an entire wing to make a bird,... The first page has examples.

    Hope that helps clear things up.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Or, you could use the terrain modeler to make the frame. :cheese:

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited December 1969

    :) Here is what I am doing:
    - I rendered the image using the depth path.
    - Then I made some changes to the depth pass in Photoshop (mainly to blur it a bit and add connections from the heads to the torso of the man),
    - Then I opened Carrara, inserted a terrain and loaded my image in the terrain editor. See the attached image
    - Then I adjusted a bunch of parameters to reduce the sampling so I end up with a fairly simple mesh when I export the terrain as an *.obj
    - Then I went back to the assembly room and exported the terrain.
    - I then loaded the terrain object into the Ivy Generator and started growing ivy on it. We'll see how well it looks when I import it back...

    Stay tuned :)

    ElevationTerrainForIvy.JPG
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:
    :)

    - Then I opened Carrara, inserted a terrain and loaded my image in the terrain editor. See the attached image

    Yes, this satisfies the rule to use a customized Carrara terrain.

    Very creative approach.

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,916
    edited December 1969

    Superb work Antara !

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,631
    edited December 1969

    Yeah... really cool stuff!

  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited April 2014

    Here we are with the vines added. Getting the Ivy Generator to do what I needed it to do (even remotely) was not as easy as I hoped. The inability to zoom in and the weird scaling it applies to imported objects made the process almost trial and error, and I ended up giving up on some of the branches and just morphed them in Carrara when they got too far out of place.

    Ivy Generator notes:
    - If the object is too big (default on import), there is no way to create wide vines (and I wanted them to be wide at the bottom), so I had to add a polygon far away from my exported object so that when the entire thing got imported into the Ivy Generator, the area I actually wanted to work on was small enough.
    - But that meant that the ivy grew really fast on it. Really fast, so most of the time I was double-clicking on the grow button to get small enough branches which would not grow to cover the heads.
    - In the IG the object imports and exports flipped (no, it has nothing to do With Carrara's Y as Z export/import) - it looks weird in IG but imports back shaped correctly. Took me a few trials to figure that out... :roll:

    Now I want to add some leaves to the whole thing. This is becoming a really messed up, pessimistic and depressing allegory for life.. Hm. Why, again, am I doing this?...

    ...Anyway... Here come the replicators... :-)

    I still need some critique. Lighting, shaders, overall look and feel?

    (EP, I thought about making the heads vine-textured, but they would just get lost and I want them to be part of the human element. Semantically they are also affected by 'it' - whatever the vines represent, - even if they are more content with it and don't struggle against it.)

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    Post edited by Antara on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,004
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:

    (EP, I thought about making the heads vine-textured, but they would just get lost and I want them to be part of the human element. Semantically they are also affected by 'it' - whatever the vines represent, - even if they are more content with it and don't struggle against it.)

    The way they fit into the vines looks great. The first image they looked out f place and less creepy. The way it looks now is much better. Great job!

  • AntaraAntara Posts: 444
    edited December 1969

    Added leaves. The leaf is a custom mesh derived from one of the basic Carrara leaves. The leaves sit on 2 surface replicators, which have 3 of the vines as bases and custom gradient shaders are applied to the replicator distribution to limit the placement of the leaves (I didn't want many big leaves on the branch tips. and didn't want many leaves clustered all the way at the bottom when the vines meet).

    What do you think? Is it ready for the big render and post?

    Test7.jpg
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  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,916
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:

    What do you think? Is it ready for the big render and post?

    Yes, ...and it is ready to win too!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Antara said:

    What do you think? Is it ready for the big render and post?

    Yes, ...and it is ready to win too!

    I agree. It looks fantastic. I wish I had constructive criticism for you, but it is already better than anything I could conceive of.

    Here is a WIP for my don't fence me in entry. I'm getting closer, but I don't like the mane or the tail of the horse (Daz Horse 2). I will end up growing hair for each and making the meshes invisible.

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  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited April 2014

    Apologies diomede64 for not being around. I must say you are doing a great job. I just re read the first post - well thought out and superbly written. Some of the images on the thread are magnificent ;) ! I've been learning corel painter so I tried to get that into my work flow. So far I have this.... still have to blend that mid ground robot's feet and put a sparkle in the hair's eye (hare's eye)

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    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 4,747
    edited December 1969

    my money is on the clunker at the back.. they always end up winning!

    Great image as usual Mr head wax ;-)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited April 2014

    @Headwax - great render as always. Vibrant and painterly. I have a version of Corel Paint somewhere that came with a peripheral I had purchased. Somehow, I don't think I would get as good results as you do. :-)

    Although the entry thread has opened, I want to remind everyone that this WIP thread remains open through the 21st.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited December 1969

    thanks Stezza and Diomede :) Iv'e just been mucking around with corel painter for about nine days, they give you a 30 day trial which is pretty good. Twouble is, nuffin's simple ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,631
    edited December 1969

    Stezza said:
    my money is on the clunker at the back.. they always end up winning!

    Great image as usual Mr head wax ;-)

    but... but... the Turtle....
    Yeah Mr. HeadWax... really nice as always! Also, I hope you let me know your thoughts about Painter vs Dogwaffle... if there's even a comparison(?). I've first discovered Painter when I bought PaintShop Pro. I must admit, it took me a little bit to get my head around becoming somewhat proficient in Howler, but now I doubt that I could live without it ;)
  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited April 2014

    thanks Dart :)

    Dogwaffle is great for what it is, but I was looking for a more hands on approach to fake a painterly look. Ie one I had more brushtroke and brush control with. So Painter x3 looks like it is the weapon of choice in that particular regard. (dogwaffle wins in other areas of course ;) ).

    Mind you I have sat through hours of tuts on painter and I didn't do that with dogwaffle so I diodn't give dogwaffle the same chance. Of course Painter is pretty expensive so there;s that to consider as well.

    I've been mainly using the quick clone feature - pretty easy once you figure out the brush work flow - very big to medium little- and the brushes to use. It's like all amazing programs - you are spoilt for choice so you can easily sink into the so many choices so litle time mire .

    You know in the days when you were learning carrara dn you would accidentally parent one figure to the other and spend three days trying to figure what was going on? - well it's not that bad :)

    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,004
    edited December 1969

    Stezza said:
    my money is on the clunker at the back.. they always end up winning!

    Great image as usual Mr head wax ;-)

    but... but... the Turtle....
    Yeah Mr. HeadWax... really nice as always! Also, I hope you let me know your thoughts about Painter vs Dogwaffle... if there's even a comparison(?). I've first discovered Painter when I bought PaintShop Pro. I must admit, it took me a little bit to get my head around becoming somewhat proficient in Howler, but now I doubt that I could live without it ;)

    Painter is more for stills than animation I think. As with most digital arts software these days, I'm sure there is some cross-over.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited April 2014

    ah yes only stills for me - they have an onion skin thingy for hand drawn animation,
    they also have this which would be handy to have in carrara _ http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4950071&cid=catalog20038&segid=8600019&storeKey=us&languageCode=en

    better get back to the topic ... sorry for derailing it

    i forgot to say anything about the image I posted

    for my workflow in that image (and others) I've found that a fragment coverage pass is really handy for post work as it's much quicker than other methods for isolating single objects and figures .(that said I did a render with only the turtle as I lost his back leg behind a flower)

    the pass gives you outlines of the objects only - it just doesnt work very well with hair etc, but it means you can isolate objects from your scene and give them more popl with the levels command in ps or just paint in dust etc behind them to get them to stand out from the back ground

    also an object index (think this is what is called) pass is handy for isolating different parts of objects

    and if you render a shadow pass and blur it in post you can almost fake soft shadows that will ground objects better in the picture plane using the multiply parameter in ps

    diffuse ambient pass (from memory) placed in your ps as a new layer with a colour parameter as the layer descriptor can sometimes give interesting effects

    and lastly, if you name the render before you render it it will save you a lot of typing later when you are saving these layers ;)

    edit here is my untarnished render and the tarnished one

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    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,018
    edited April 2014

    A late entry for the challenge but, AFAIK, I'm still on time.

    I wanted a desert scene and I had a clear idea of what I wanted.
    I couldn't make it in one terrain and, so, I ended up with five :-)
    There is the front terrain, a back terrain (dunes) and the mesas.

    For the mesas, I've been unable to reach the idea I had. The difficult part was the erosion, which gave either too much or not enough effect.
    Eventually, I decided to stack 3 mesas on top of each other, so they could mix and give the required effect.

    The pictures are :
    - the final background that will be used for the scene, no postwork.
    - Terrain distribution
    - 3 different settings for the mesas

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    Post edited by Philemo_Carrara on
  • d-j-od-j-o Posts: 344
    edited December 1969

    Philemo said:
    A late entry for the challenge but, AFAIK, I'm still on time.

    I wanted a desert scene and I had a clear idea of what I wanted.
    I couldn't make it in one terrain and, so, I ended up with five :-)
    There is the front terrain, a back terrain (dunes) and the mesas.

    For the mesas, I've been unable to reach the idea I had. The difficult part was the erosion, which gave either too much or not enough effect.
    Eventually, I decided to stack 3 mesas on top of each other, so they could mix and give the required effect.

    The pictures are :
    - the final background that will be used for the scene, no postwork.
    - Terrain distribution
    - 3 different settings for the mesas

    Cool idea, stacking them, looks great, i bet they would look good with Dart's barren landscape and those textures too

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,575
    edited December 1969

    Philemo said:

    For the mesas, I've been unable to reach the idea I had. The difficult part was the erosion, which gave either too much or not enough effect.
    Eventually, I decided to stack 3 mesas on top of each other, so they could mix and give the required effect.

    Wonderful solution. It reminds me of stretches of New Mexico that I drove through on a summer trip, including the lack of a gas station. I just like writing "including the lack" because it seems contradictory.

    Not only are you not late, but there is still time for a second entry! :cheese:

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