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Old 03-10-2004, 08:18 AM   #16
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Default Front Gate

Added a gothic looking frontgate. It has lots of intricate little detail and I wanted to find out two things.

1) If the best approach would be to use a texture with alpha mask rather than modelling it.

2) If I model the gate would it look better and reflect light better?

It took long enough to paint out and modelling it is probably nightmarish alone. So, at this point the front gate is just a planar polygon with a frontgate texture on it ie question 1).
If I have time I will investigate question 2) further hehe.

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Old 03-10-2004, 08:19 AM   #17
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Default Quick scene test

And here's a scentest with the gate in place. Unfortunatly it doesn't show much if the light is being reflected on the gate even though it's just a polygon plane with a texture. Planning to add lanterns on the frontgate posts, but whoops. Out of time again.
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Old 03-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #18
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Default Gatelight thesis

Good news I think. I made two placeholder lanterns.

It seems to me that the polygon plane with the alpha masked frontgate texture recieves as much light as the fence left and right of the gate which are geometry with mass.
Didn't know this and I'm well pleased to not having to model the gate hehe.

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(Sorry for high quality jpg, but I want to show the light as well as possible.)
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Old 03-10-2004, 01:36 PM   #19
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your moving along at a nice clip.. looks good. I would model the gate. but depends on what all your going to do with it..
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Old 04-10-2004, 08:28 AM   #20
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Spent 5 hours on a front porch heh. I think I know now how to not make a porch.

The fence around the porch consists of 32 boards. Perfect task for some automated stuff or some intelligent duplicate with transform. I realized I could look into this, but chose not too. Maybe I was scared (+dumb), but I also wanted it to look more homebuilt. Automated tasks in all honour, but irregularity is important too. Especially in 3D I think where it often becomes too clean, too perfect. Now what a waste of time for so much detail on something that's barely visible in the scene. Well, I've got a front porch now hehe. Hopefully it's reuseable.

I discovered the wedge tool that made the foundation, of what will become a balcony, with a couple of mouse clicks. Will play around with Wedge lots more on this project as I think it might be nice for arching windows and little detail like that. I encourage you too look up Wedge Faces in the manual. What I found wasn't very clear, but soon enough fell into place, was that you need to mark the faces you want to wedge, and select by edge and mark the edge. Two selection methods, adding to the selection holding down shift.

Another constant time-eater is struggling with proportions, heights, widths, relations, distances. It's not an easy task, but I guess we all improve ourselves each passing day.

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the result. It's got this cool Psycho-esque look and will make more sense when the balcony and half octagon behind it all is in place. Best of all I had tons of fun making it.

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Old 04-10-2004, 08:36 AM   #21
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And here's the mansion with the front bay/porch. It's more clear here that something odd is going on where I drive a continous cube (the rooftop) through the balcony. Splitting the geometry into two parts might help. I've checked for verts out of place, but that doesn't seem to be the cause. Could be a case of normals soften/harden. The balcony is softened to 90. Anyway.. Minor problem as there are tons of stuff in the scene to fix, add, change

As you can see the porch "disappears" almost completely, but now I can do close-ups and it does add to the picture. It will also be easier to see what is what once some proper shaders/textures are in place.

One problem that becomes obvious is that too much is going on in the middle. Bad for the focal point. The lantern placeholders, the front gate, the porch, and the bay with the highest tower. Hmmm. Gonna play around with widths of gate and porch. Needs some thought this...

Sorry it's so dark.
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Old 07-10-2004, 03:04 AM   #22
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are you putting a ghost or some menacing shadow inside that window? just a suggestion, looking good too!... I bet start making mine...
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:54 PM   #23
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Looking amazing so far dude!!! Keep going!
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Old 07-10-2004, 05:42 PM   #24
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Attempted some texturing, more light, and fog but I am not happy with either yet. Really struggling with the fog to get that nice thick transylvanian feel to it. Will need to dedicate the weekend to play around with volumetric materials.

Experimenting with a red sky to give it a more evil look. Come all the nice, warm and welcoming light at the front door and ruin it all hehe. Next on the agenda is to redo light and fog, and I'll fix the proportions and positioning of the ingredients I hope.

The lightning bolt is added in post just for fun.
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:06 PM   #25
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I think the lighting was better in the previous renders!!! I like the red sky but the moon seems too bright and... non-moonlike...
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:32 PM   #26
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http://www.gccafe.com/previews/marlo...%20mansion.jpg
thats a good example of lighting.. what style of scene are you going for though ? add mapping to different channels
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:28 PM   #27
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Thanks a lot for the input.

That's good lighting indeed, and quite close to what I want to achieve on the frontgate posts. Perhaps a little less vivid. There are just lantern placeholders there now.

Add mapping to different channels? What is that, how and what do I look up to read more about it?
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:21 PM   #28
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wow alpha man your steaming ahead,
looks cool, gate really stands out
maybe you could do something with the moon to give it more realism
keep it up
best of luck
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:11 AM   #29
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Spent many hours today looking into light. How they work, how they behave. The more I've read and experimented the less I understand. I promise I will never ever laugh again when someone introduces themselves as light designers. Of course I've only met the decorator types

I spent extra time on trying to grasp the basics of the Hollywood way of doing lighting. The three-point lights (Key, front and backlight). It's a great concept if you want to look into this further. Well worth reading up on.

To make a short story long: I've been struggling with the fog and how to light it. So far everything has looked like there's a big police helicopter in the air chasing zombies on the ground with their search spotlight. Terrible.

Anyways, I closed Maya feeling very discouraged and intimidated by light, and it felt like the score between Matt vs Lighting: 1 - 10.
Went to play some Quake 3 to let off some 'steam' and booom: This idea came to me. What if I connect a 3D cloud texture to the color input of the volume shader. Woaaah instant mass and volume, and I can control the contrast and transparency with the 3D cloud. Here's the result:

Next on the todo list is look into render layers and passes, so I can tweak the fog without having to wait 5-7 minutes for my slow comp to re-render it all. 37 degrees celsius in the morning, had a good day
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Old 10-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #30
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oh... thats rather cool. (scratching head, mumbles something about needing to learn more my self then. ) wouldn't have thought of this way... eek.

really good work. happy to see you have more reson's to feel you come out more ahead.

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