Show Us Your Bryce Renders! Part 7

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  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,368
    edited December 1969

    Yup... Looks like Dufus is going to run for a while yet. :-)

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  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    @Dave: Latest Dufus images are great. Only I think the second one needs a fire extinguisher somewhere in the scene. ;-)

  • HoroHoro Posts: 7,074
    edited December 1969

    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: Latest Dufus images are great.
    Totally agree.

    Only I think the second one needs a fire extinguisher somewhere in the scene. ;-)


    Disagree. Dragons are fire experts, Dufus is no exception.
  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,368
    edited December 1969

    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: Latest Dufus images are great. Only I think the second one needs a fire extinguisher somewhere in the scene. ;-)

    Thanks Guss (and Horo).
    As Horo points out, Dragons love fire, it's no problem for them as in later life, they are most likely to be in very close proximity to it.
    But to be fair Dufus isn't actually aware of his ability to breathe fire yet, so that's why he's rather sensibly placed a dish of water close by. :cheese:

    I've been revisiting David's "Hot Coals" tutorial which gives some indication of the the next few renders I'll be doing, but for today, Dufus is confused by the concept of product placement. :lol:

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  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,368
    edited December 1969

    And today's Dufus render...

    The fire still needs some work but I'm pleased with the way it's turning out so far. :-)

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  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 32,230
    edited December 1969

    It's so nice to see someone using this little fellow again. I almost forgot I had him. He was always a fave of mine.

  • dana365dana365 Posts: 131
    edited December 1969

    alright here is the scene with the mist, and trees, I tried playing around with the lighting, but ultimately came back to the settings I started with. maybe something will catch my eye, with some more experimenting.

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  • fictionalbookshelffictionalbookshelf Posts: 798
    edited December 1969

    I hope it's okay that I post an image here.

    I wanted to test to see how well Bryce could handle an imported item with Look At My Hair on an object. It didn't go over so well. So I rendered just the object in Daz (the wild boar), saved as png, then imported it into Bryce as a flat 2D item and compiled the rest of the image.

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  • franontheedgefranontheedge Posts: 342
    edited December 1969

    @David,
    I recently saw your vid on rigging a door in DS, I look at everything about rigging these days – but do tell us when you get around to rigging in Blender, we could do with your kind of explanations for Blender too.
    You were wondering about weighting, well I find it easier to grasp if you think of it as 'influence' rather than 'weight' – if you want to move a door you don't want the bone to influence the door's frame as well as the door, or else the door and the frame will move, or worse, part of the frame, thus distorting it...

    Here's how bad that can be if you get the weighting wrong:
    Bad Weighting

    And here's the same thing with the weighting corrected:
    Good Weighting

    @Dave

    Love Dufus, is he rigged? Or how else are you posing him?

    @Dana
    This is looking awsome now, once you fix the water you could do some lovely "flying over the scenery" animations, just like the opening footage of a big film or a wildlife documentary. Great work.

    @fictionalromance,
    Nice flora in that image - the boar is a little hard to see, maybe lighten him up a bit?

    @Hansmar,
    Couldn't see your 2nd spooky image, too dark for me. Liked the first one.

    @weibinx,
    What's slow? Interesting skin texture you have there - I presume that's what you are showing us, although you don't say. The shoulders look a bit blocky to me, it looks to me as if the model could do with some smoothing. Nice face.

    @Dave,
    Wow, huge swoopy dragon! Reminds me of The Desolation of Smaug, a bit. Wouldn't like to live there.
    2nd render (with the 2 dragons) makes me think more of Loch Ness. Nice lighting in both of those. That 1st one of Dufus, is it me or is his tale broken in that render? love the gooey egg residue. Gak!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here's a little thing I've been playing with recently:
    Needs some sort of background though, but I'm not sure what...

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  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    @Dave, wonderful stuff as ever. Another range of cards is this?

    @Fran, thanks for the examples! And I do see what you mean. As for Blender. I can't see myself tackling any more new software at the moment. I have my hands full and then some.

    So, DAZ 3D invited me down to the London PA meeting and really looked after us very well indeed. But that was only a couple of days worth of time. In the mean time I've been on a mission to learn UV mapping in Wings 3D. Which I started before I went down, but then after meeting the other PA's and talking to them, I decided I really wanted to get to grips with the whole UV shenanigans. All other work has been put to one side, as much as possible, and I've been fully focused on Wings and UV's.

    What a headache!

    But I now know a lot more. If someone wants to propose a modest modeling project for Wings I will cover the making of the models and the corresponding UV maps and how to handle things internally withe Wings and then externally with the objects, because it really is quite a handful when you have multiple maps which you want to combine or maps you want to split or a part of an object you want to UV map independently from something else. There's a lot of "management" to the whole process. It would be a series of videos as I would aim to make it comprehensive. So if that's the sort of thing anyone's interested. Think of something you want to see modeled and mapped that has at least half a dozen components to it.

    Otherwise, I'm happy to get back into Bryce land. Horo's sent me over some fantastic terrains to play with.

    First image is a TA render with some experimental materials. Render time 30 minutes. Terrain resolution 4096x4096

    Second image is a IBL render with a few adjustments made to the vegetation. Render time 3 minutes. Terrain resolution 1024x1024

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  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 32,230
    edited May 2014

    Tis the first of May. Beltane, Calan Mai, May Day, whichever you call it

    http://www.daz3d.com/gallery/#images/27021

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    Post edited by Chohole on
  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,368
    edited May 2014

    @Dave

    Love Dufus, is he rigged? Or how else are you posing him?
    He is rigged, not for Bryce though. I pose him in Poser and export as .obj. Then as usual, I import into Bryce and Bryceify all the materials. :)
    He's not my model, I just bought him from the DAZ store, he's the Hatchling Dragon.

    @Dave,
    Wow, huge swoopy dragon! Reminds me of The Desolation of Smaug, a bit. Wouldn't like to live there.
    2nd render (with the 2 dragons) makes me think more of Loch Ness. Nice lighting in both of those. That 1st one of Dufus, is it me or is his tale broken in that render? love the gooey egg residue. Gak!

    Thanks and "no" his tail isn't isn't broken, it's just a bad angle as it bends back up towards the camera. :)

    Here's a little thing I've been playing with recently:
    Needs some sort of background though, but I'm not sure what...
    Nice insects. I'd either have them walking across a patio (so some stone paving stones) or a short cut lawn. :)

    @David: Great materials again and a nice crisp terrain from Horo.
    I suppose at this point I should remind everyone that without your materials, videos and guidance over the past few years, my renders wouldn't look so well as they do... So thanks for everything again.

    And "yes" I'm thinking that Dufus da Dwagon has more scope for all year round cards than Peter the Polar Bear does.
    Though I think I'd need to develop him a bit more to make him less like the "straight out of the box" model he is at the moment. :)


    Today's Dufus render, he's getting hungry and wonders what fire tastes like.

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    Post edited by Dave Savage on
  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    Cheers! Here's another one, this time using his 2048x2048 terrain, Premium rendering at 9rpp to get some soft shadows from the IBL and sun. Ten minutes to render. The material on the terrain uses some curvature, very tricky to set up as anyone who's tried will know.

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  • dana365dana365 Posts: 131
    edited May 2014

    franontheedge:
    Thank you!, I had a post talk with Jay, and I had thought a documentary style long sweep, and pans would work very well for the scene, and then I thought a long fly over the river and down the falls might be fun as well. if I could ask you to elaborate on any ideas for the water it would be appreciated, its tricky and any advice would help, specially with animation in mind. thanks again for the kind words.

    "Ladybirds17" for some reason it looks to me like they are going to work, I don't know if that spawns any ideas, but just what I got right away. maybe working their way to a picnic basket.

    quick question, do you find many uses for Blender? I have been using it to extrude svg.'s into 3ds shapes I find that very helpful.

    fictionalromance:
    that scene is very cool, I agree with Fran, that the bore is a little dark, maybe another light source, would allow you to illuminate him.


    David:
    super glad your tackling U.V mapping. In your box tut. you mention going to cover more complicated shapes, and this would be most valuable. looking forward to what ever you are about to cover!
    wicked terrains! I still have sooo much to learn .

    chohole:
    another awesome scene, since working with vegetation, I have an all new respect for your mad skills at populating a scene with so diverse and perfectly placed vegetation. Do you remember Wayne E Clarke, we talked about earlier this year? he is back from the Philippines and is getting geared up to do some more covers, I will make sure to show your latest work to him, and hopefully he has some ideas that match your style and one or more of his covers.

    TheSavage:
    its almost like story boarding with Dufas, I feel like I am watching him grow up, he is getting very comfortable with fire, awesome.

    Post edited by dana365 on
  • Electro-ElvisElectro-Elvis Posts: 625
    edited May 2014

    Sun Rise In The Far North

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  • fictionalbookshelffictionalbookshelf Posts: 798
    edited December 1969

    Cheers! Here's another one, this time using his 2048x2048 terrain, Premium rendering at 9rpp to get some soft shadows from the IBL and sun. Ten minutes to render. The material on the terrain uses some curvature, very tricky to set up as anyone who's tried will know.

    Love this image.

    Are you still up to making something in Wings as you mentioned in your post before this one? What about a simple old shack with spaces in between the wooden planks and a crooked door?

  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    Cheers! Here's another one, this time using his 2048x2048 terrain, Premium rendering at 9rpp to get some soft shadows from the IBL and sun. Ten minutes to render. The material on the terrain uses some curvature, very tricky to set up as anyone who's tried will know.

    Love this image.

    Are you still up to making something in Wings as you mentioned in your post before this one? What about a simple old shack with spaces in between the wooden planks and a crooked door?

    Well, I am up to something... But you might want to start simpler than that. We can build up to a simple old shack... But really, think smaller and simpler. Perhaps, if we are going to run with idea. I'll start us off with a door hinge. It has two components. Which is good - or potentially more if you consider the screws... And an complex enough shame to induce some UV mapping trauma. The rigging... well... I've got to get to grips with that aspect myself. One part of the hinge will want to be rigged with the hypothetical door. And the other with the body of the shack. Given that the door will have two hinges, then this will also open up the implications of duplicating geometry and what happens to the UV maps. For example, you have two choices here, duplicate the hinges and UV map them after that, or UV map one hinge and then duplicate it afterwards and have two UV maps and them, if you want, combine the hinges into one object and split up the maps so you can have unique UV's for each hinge but have them contained in one map. It's... up to you... but probably there are easy choices and their are good choices and like many things, the easy choices are unlikely to the be the good ones. So a lot depends on if you want to make life easy for yourself in the future and take the trouble to start with or if you want to press on and deal with the problems as they arise later on.

    So... when I get the chance, I'll start with a hinge.

  • franontheedgefranontheedge Posts: 342
    edited December 1969

    @David,

    @Fran, thanks for the examples! And I do see what you mean. As for Blender. I can’t see myself tackling any more new software at the moment. I have my hands full and then some.

    That's a shame – I could do with some of your kind of in depth help.

    snip/// In the mean time I’ve been on a mission to learn UV mapping in Wings 3D. snip/// All other work has been put to one side, as much as possible, and I’ve been fully focused on Wings and UV’s.
    /// If someone wants to propose a modest modeling project for Wings I will cover the making of the models and the corresponding UV maps and how to handle things internally withe Wings and then externally with the objects, because it really is quite a handful when you have multiple maps which you want to combine or maps you want to split or a part of an object you want to UV map independently from something else. There’s a lot of “management” to the whole process. It would be a series of videos as I would aim to make it comprehensive. So if that’s the sort of thing anyone’s interested. Think of something you want to see modeled and mapped that has at least half a dozen components to it.

    O-kay... (thinks)
    Well there are a couple of things I'd like a really good explanation of. For instance, suppose you have a model and for reasons of rigging you have to use 'combine' (you can't rig a model if parts of it are still separate, as with the bad weighting video, bits of it get left behind.) so in some cases the model's individual object parts have already been UV Mapped before I get to this part (ready to export).
    However, sometimes I have a model made up of separate objects, but they are not combined because I need to be able to easily move the separate parts – (like opening a door in a wall) even after they are UVMapped and exported.
    What you get in this instance are separate UV mapping windows for each bit. But what if you want those currently separate maps, all on the same map? How do you do that?

    I have done this once before so I know it's possible, but the explanation wasn't very easy to follow, I think perhaps the person doing it wasn't too sure of it either, so some of the explanation wasn't quite correct and you needed to figure this out and correct for that... makes it hard to remember the correct procedure at a later date when people post videos without correcting or editing out the mistakes - confusing.

    Also what if you manage to forget a small piece of the model, a face that has the wrong texture, (it has a different texture currently assigned to it) and instead you want to include it with an already UVMapped set of faces?

    I'd also like a good explanation of how to have all the various parts of a wall (one with a window in it) on one map and the transparency of the actual glass in the window able to put a simple glass mat onto it. Currently I do 'extract' on the window and then extrude that extracted face or faces so that it has depth and thus I have one object for the wall, and one for the window. Is there a way to get it all on one map?

    So 2 things:
    1) I think a character model done completely in Wings3d; with hair and/or hat, body, legs, arms, clothes, or (for instance if the character is a fruit or vegetable character) the curled back sweetcorn leaves, hairlike silk strands, scale-like sweetcorn niblets etc etc or an alien character with bug-like antennae and arms with strange joints, or 3 legs, and something in their hand, like a gun, walking stick, mobile phone, bullwhip...

    2) And the other thing: an environment model, like a corridor, spaceship, livingroom, village shop, something that the character would be inside.

    3) And one last thing, I'd like a comprehensive explanation of your opinion of the right sort of resolution of textures to be using on all of this, so that you can either swap out small textures for bigger ones when you intend to be doing close ups, and can show the whole environment in a long shot without having the huge close up textures crash bryce... so some sort of detailed /definitive idea of when to make high res (2048, or 4096?) textures, when to make low res, (512?) ditto medium (1024?) and how to change from one to the other easily in Bryce. And of course creating them in Wings3d & PhotoShop (or Paintshop)... well you did ask...

    I mean, do you save a different version of the character with manky low res textures, and another version with medium res textures and another version with high res textures, or do you just swap out the textures on each little individual part of the character model, in Bryce (or whatever prog you are using?)?

    Otherwise, I’m happy to get back into Bryce land. Horo’s sent me over some fantastic terrains to play with.
    First image is a TA render with some experimental materials. Render time 30 minutes. Terrain resolution 4096x4096
    Second image is a IBL render with a few adjustments made to the vegetation. Render time 3 minutes. Terrain resolution 1024x1024

    @Pam,
    That image does have a very rich intense look to it, which somehow seems to evoke a depth of eon old myth. Very nice indeed.

    @Dave,
    Oh I see! I thought you were incredibly fast at reposing him if you had to change a model in Wings3d, a pre-rigged Poser model explains the speed. What where you thinking of when you talked of making him more individual? Adjusting the textures? The model's shape in wings3d? adding acoutrements?... what?

    Insects marching across a patio? I hadn't thought of that, thanks.

    @David,
    What do you mean 'the material on the terrain has some curvature'?

    @Dana,

    It's a little hard to say what to do about the water, without the model in Brcye in front of me, I can't tell what you have to cause it to look so repetitive at the moment.

    It might be the frequency of the material scalling, it might be inherant in that particular water material, some are more repetitive than others.

    Here are a few views of some water mats I've tried:

    This first one uses DeepBlue and the 2nd shows the Mat Lab settings for it:


    Insects going to work? I did have something along those lines in mind, but I was thinking that the ants were being a bit slave driving to the poor ladybirds.

    3rd image shows Bryce render with shadows from bryce plus object mask Photoshopped over the forest floor photo.

    @electro-elvis,
    That's a nice angle you've chosen for this, I'm not too sure about the depth of field you've got in that image though, there's rather too much that's out of focus for me. Maybe try putting the point of focus somewhere else?

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  • franontheedgefranontheedge Posts: 342
    edited December 1969

    Here are some more water images:
    DeepBlue again, same setting in the Mat Lab just the camera/view is zoomed out:
    DeepBlue2


    Then still zoomed out but with the frequency of the material increased in the MatLab:
    DeepBlue3
    DeepBlue3MatLab

    The DeepBlue4 is still at the high frequency, but zoomed in again.

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  • franontheedgefranontheedge Posts: 342
    edited May 2014

    @Dana,
    In all these water images I've used a water slab for the water and put a Seriously Real desert material on the plane which is positioned just below it, the same Seriously Real desert mat is used on the island/s.

    Oh and you asked about uses for Blender?
    I'm trying to learn rigging in there at the moment, but I've also discovered a useful fact: I don't know if you've come across this, but sometimes when people make models and offer them for free they can just import and be all exploded, they are made of many individual parts and the parts seem to have scattered all over the place just like a bomb exploded inside.

    Makes the models pretty darned useless and unusable.

    BUT!!! I've recently found out that these models can be imported into Blender: they arrive with all their parts in the right place and when exported the parts remain in the right places... yippeee! models I can use! some of these were .obj's and some were .3ds models.

    I had a lovely Bugatti Veyron and an old Rolls Royce that I thought were useless but using Blender I have useable models instead of rubbish!

    Oh...
    @David,
    I've just seen what you posted, sorry - just ignore what I said.

    Post edited by franontheedge on
  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited May 2014


    @David,
    I've just seen what you posted, sorry - just ignore what I said.

    Actually, considering all the options and combinations, I may just start with a cube. For example, you could have a UV for the entire object, a UV for each face, UV folded, UV projection, Or UV folded for five faces and UV projection for one face. And so on... with different scales which in turn could lead to different texture resolution options. It can be a bit overwhelming at first I know, I'm still overwhelmed myself!

    As for figures. That's not an area I intend to get into. But props and rigging props, yeah, I'll see what I can do. And materials, well, again it is on the fringes of what I've looked at so far, but my main aim is to show how to make good geometry that in turn can be turn be UV mapped and turn out decent UV templates.

    But bear in mind, I am not an expert in this field, I've just learnt it in Wings over the last fortnight by trial and error (and most of that was error).

    Edit: oh, curvature... that means I've included curvature filters/blending in the DTE so that the material can dynamically adapt itself to the geometry of the shape. Some engines call these dirt shaders (Octane for example) Bryce calls them curvature filters.

    Edit: Here is one of Horo's amazing high resolution terrains generated as an 1.5 million poly adaptive mesh (that is the detail is focused where the mesh changes the most) rendered in Octane with a dirt shader filter applied to the diffuse channel on the default grey material.

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    Post edited by David Brinnen on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 7,074
    edited December 1969

    @Dave - Dufus looks really bewildered with the smarties and gets warmth from the fire. The facial expressions fit.

    @dana365 - just great how the trees are posed.

    @fictionalromance - nice scene. The 2D boar is nicely placed but seems a bit dark to me.

    @franontheedge - beetles look great. Remember real water is transparent and has no colour, except there are algae or sediments in the water. Water is not reflective as such, this is provided by refraction (index 1.33 or 133 in Bryce). Reflection occurs depending on the viewing angle: straight down transparent, shallow over it reflective. The sum of transparency and reflection should not exceed 100. Unless, of course, you go for special effects.

    @David - great materials.

    @Pam - very nice forest fairies.

    @electro-elvis - really great looking mountains.

  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,787
    edited May 2014

    The terrains look great, Horo/David.

    Some of the DEM bumpmaps I use aren't always straight-edged, and so as a result you get these ‘streamers’ (marked below), as I call them, the more you increase bumpiness.

    What sometimes works for me to get rid of them is to trim off a slight sliver on the material's outer edges all around having a black colour (I use black, as my skies are usually black space and stars...etc.,). If you can do this in some graphic’s software (Photoshop etc.,), you’re left with a thin, black-coloured ‘rim’ as the slivered-off part all around the initial material's outer edges. The bumpmap applied originally doesn’t have to be altered in anyway, but the effect, in the end, rids the ‘streamers’ a little if they are a distraction in the scene.

    Edit: Can't recall it, but isn't there a way of making these outer edges 'solid' - think I saw it one time in one of David's vids.

    Jay

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  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    Jamahoney said:
    The terrains look great, Horo/David.

    Some of the DEM bumpmaps I use aren't always straight-edged, and so as a result you get these ‘streamers’ (marked below), as I call them, the more you increase bumpiness.

    What sometimes works for me to get rid of them is to trim off a slight sliver on the material's outer edges all around having a black colour (I use black, as my skies are usually black space and stars...etc.,). If you can do this in some graphic’s software (Photoshop etc.,), you’re left with a thin, black-coloured ‘rim’ as the slivered-off part all around the initial material's outer edges. The bumpmap applied originally doesn’t have to be altered in anyway, but the effect, in the end, rids the ‘streamers’ a little if they are a distraction in the scene.

    Edit: Can't recall it, but isn't there a way of making these outer edges 'solid' - think I saw it one time in one of David's vids.

    Jay

    Those are my doing, the exporter could not resolve the edge as it was without creating bad geometry so I dropped the edge. The streams are a result of the dirt shader in Octane dealing with the tall edge polys I created in order to get acceptable geometry out of the exporter. In this example there is no bump. However your comment is both interesting and welcome, since it might be a problem if it comes to a projection map. Although with terrains I would rather use procedural materials which are not subject to this issue.

  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,787
    edited May 2014

    Ah yes, David...see what you mean. I should have included an example in the last post (left below shows how it originally is, right, corrected). Some of the bumpmaps and the material terrain are misssing data spots, so I have to do this - it kinda cleans it up a bit.

    Thanks, again
    Jay

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    Post edited by Jamahoney on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 7,074
    edited December 1969

    @Jamahoney - thanks for that, Jay.

    @David - I have only one terrain generated as a block: Highland. The others are not. I can add or remove frames, just tell us.

  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    Horo said:
    @Jamahoney - thanks for that, Jay.

    @David - I have only one terrain generated as a block: Highland. The others are not. I can add or remove frames, just tell us.

    Thanks, yes well I'm just in the experimental stages at the moment.

    Speaking of which, here's a rough and ready start to UV mapping in Wings3D. The last video is still being processed, but it should be done by the time anyone has got around to watching the first two.

    Wings 3D - UV mapping primer part 1 - by David Brinnen

    Wings 3D - UV mapping primer part 2 - by David Brinnen

    Wings 3D - UV mapping primer part 3 - by David Brinnen

    I'll do more when I have the opportunity. Feedback is welcome.

  • fictionalbookshelffictionalbookshelf Posts: 798
    edited December 1969

    @ Horo, I agree the boar is dark. I had issues with getting the lighting just right with this render for some reason. I may try it again and lighten the 2D boar png before I import it in Bryce.

    @ David Brinnen is Wings easy to work with? I use Hexagon and Silo. I finally got decent results in Silo and Hexagon when uv mapping but it took me a while to figure it out. Before I did figure it out I would have a really nice prop built but because I couldn't get the uv mapping figured out I would pitch them into the trash. Now I wish I hadn't.

  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 3,132
    edited December 1969

    @ David Brinnen is Wings easy to work with?

    With software the ease of use is a combination of factors. Some of which are dependent on your own taste and previous experience. So it makes this question difficult if not impossible to answer. The best I can offer is that Wings 3D is a small program (in terms of memory footprint), will run on modest hardware and is free. This is all in its favor. I also consider it favorable that it does not try to do too much. One of the things that deters me from attempting Blender or Vue (for example) is that they do so many things. Where as, Octane standalone just renders. Wings does modeling and UV. I like software that is focused and not a multi-tool application. So again, personal taste. DS is another software that has outgrown its interface, one of many things I learned at the PA summit was just how powerful DS was in the hands of an their resident DS wizard Allen Rentfeldt, seeing him work with DS was impressive, but also slightly daunting.

    So anyway, don't throw you models away, just keep UV mapping them till you get maps that work. That's what I want to get across in my UV mapping videos. You can just use Wings for UV mapping if you like an model in something else. Incidentally Allen recommended UV layout for UVing but it is beyond what I can afford at the moment and I will plod along with Wings for the time being.

  • dana365dana365 Posts: 131
    edited May 2014

    Franontheedge:
    Thank you for such an in depth response.
    I had neglected to place a terrain under some of the water bodies, this is a great tip, and makes sense that if the water is transparent then that terrain needs to be there, this also adds to the more random look.
    I have tried the deep blue water, it is very reactive to depth, and angle so the most bottom body looked a little to pristien, more like a tropical water might, and the higher ones have a very dark blue that looks a little cartoony, due to the angle of the light and the depth of my terrains under those bodies
    I think I picked up on what your saying about the repetitive look of my original water, and will play around with those adjustments in scale, also I have a terrain under all water bodies now that should reflect the light, I think I will transition from the granite to your desert terrain under the largest water body. I will also keep in mind Horo's idea (The sum of transparency and reflection should not exceed 100).
    when I look at the reference photos, I realize that the water is very murky, understandably due to the flow, and sediment, so I hope the magic is in the scaling, frequency and transparency of the water, which I will experiment with until I get it closer.

    I have some of the reference photos for that murky water, going to try and get close to that next round

    Great news that blender can handle certain models and objects better, I just might start trusting some more of the models from Share C.G now that I know that, I had a few bust apart, or were incomplete, and I had all but given up on some of the extensions being offered.
    never would have thought to try them in blender, awesome work around!

    Your masked image and Photoshoped back ground worked out really well, the perspective is perfect. I know this is difficult to attain.

    thanks again I will post the new versions soon, and hope to get your opinion again.

    Horo:
    got your tip (The sum of transparency and reflection should not exceed 100) and will keep it in mind.
    I am really happy with the tree placement. I found the instancing lab to work well, once you catch some of its quirkiness and read thru Rashad's explanations on some of the weird that can happen, and Dave had some good tips as well.
    I think I will tackle my first HDRI today, I have read the material and just have a couple of questions now.
    1st,
    I have seen that some if not most people use low resolution image for a background to save processing, but does that effect the reflections on the object? it looks like depth of field, but if I want to place a small object on my work bench, the backdrop should be relatively in focus. is this the wrong way of thinking about HDRI images? trying to match a proper D.O.F look, might be difficult
    2nd
    I think I understand that a panoramic shot needs to be a certain size to make the shot work, I thought I read it needs to be a least 2/3 larger than the scene framed (going by memory on that number), is there an ideal size the panoramic image should be relative to the framed scene? when is to big just extra weight?

    Rashad Carter:
    thank you so much for explaining instancing lab so thoroughly, it is a quirky one, but I got it to work pretty much as I needed.

    David:
    That's fantastic! looking forward to U.V mapping, now that you have done all the heavy lifting, thanks so much in advanced.

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