face_off January '05 Merchant of the Month!

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face_off January '05 Merchant of the Month!
How did you get started in 3D Graphics?

I got into Poser when I was involved in an open-source 3d rendering engine (www.ogre3d.org). The original plan was to write a rockclimbing game using Ogre, using imported Poser characters. So I wrote a lot of code for rendering Poser figures in Ogre, and also did a lot of rag-doll physics work. But my interest in writing the game didn’t hold, and I got hooked on Poser.

How long have you been working with 3D Graphics?

I’ve been dabbling with 3d software since uni (back in the mid-80’s). But only really taken a more serious interest with 3D graphics in the past couple of years, when I purchased Poser, and had an opportunity to use some of the highend 3d graphics packages through work. 9 months ago I decided to take a sabbatical from work (after 18 years in the IT industry), so that meant I had more time to really delve into 3d.

Do you have any formal training?

No formal 3d training, but a degree in computer science and mathematics.

What software do you use for product development?

I use Poser5 and a text editor for the python scripts. I get lots of ideas for achieving realism in Poser from other software packages – like blender, XSI and Maya. The higher-end packages have complex shaders that are used for realism (ie. subsurface scattering shaders), and these can sometimes be simulated in the Poser5 mat room.

How much time is required for product development?

For the RealSkinShader, I starting playing in the Mat room in July 2004. By early August I had a lot of it done, although there was still something missing. It took another 6 weeks (off and on) of experimenting before I finally came up with the Incidence Effect (which was the basis for the “Real Skin Shader” image in my gallery). It took another month or so to build the python script to layout the node setup to support the maths involved. Then after a lot of fine-tuning, in early December it was robust enough to let someone else do some testing. So all up, the RealSkinShader took around 4-5 months. Although a lot of that time was R&D.

Can you give a brief overview of your development cycle for a new product?

For developing the RealSkinShader and for the products currently in the pipeline, I start with a posed character, setup some basic lighting, build a starting node system in the material room and then start rendering, tweaking the mat room, rendering, tweaking, rendering, etc. Once the render looks ok, I try the node setup under some different light setups, and tweak some more. Once the node setup works for a range of lighting, I build a python script to setup that node system. Then it’s more testing and fine-tuning.

Where does your inspiration come from when developing new products?

I see a photo of someone, and want to replicate that image in Poser without postwork. So the tools I’ve developed for myself assist in that goal. Originally, skin tone was the least realistic element of a Poser render – so that’s where I started. Because of the overwhelming response to the RealSkinShader, I’ve started on the new generation skin system, which uses a specific textureset (which Morris is putting together). I think with that system we will have very realistic skin, and then other parts of the image will need work (like eye’s, teeth, etc). There have also been a lot of emails with other suggestions (like “when can we have a Mac version?”), so there is no shortage of ideas…..

Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?

It seems to me that there is a lot of competition out there, and a lot of very talented and creative developers who already have a great name in the market. So you need to come up with something different. Find something that hasn’t been tried before, and get a niche market. Also, be prepared for a lot of questions via emails and IM’s – and provide quick responses.

How has Renderosity's on-line community played a role in regards to your products, friendships and learning?

As a recent new merchant, I found the Renderosity Marketplace was simple to use…and works! It enables people to offer their products and tools to a wide audience, with a low cost of entry. Through the community I’ve met people who have given feedback on my images, tested scripts, provided ideas and given advice. So the whole experience has been very positive.

Do you have any final words?

I’d like to thank the large number of people who left fantastic Product Reviews and sent me emails and IM’s on the RealSkinShader. It’s also great to see so many gallery images using the script – and to see how people have used it to get different effects.
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Member Opinions:
By: DarkAngel_ZERO on 1/1/05
It really shows how good a product is when it's the only one you have, and it gets you MoM...

I love the Real Skin Shader...it just does so much to enhance renders on Poser 5.

Congrats man!

By: RnRWoman on 1/2/05
Congrats! That RealSkinShader python script is a very useful tool! Thank you again for releasing it! Looks like a lot of hard work went into that. And not to mention, your comments to people who use it are more than flattering. Thanks for taking your time to be so helpful to the people who have bought your product. Keep up the good work with P5 nodes. :) Hope you had a great Christmas! Have a great New Year! And God Bless!

By: karanta on 1/2/05
Congratulations :)

By: RandC on 1/2/05
Congrats...Face_off!
I cant do with out your Skin Shader!

By: kainxxx2000 on 1/2/05
WTG that skin shader is a wonderful tool a must have my thanks

By: pooba00 on 1/2/05
when can we have a Mac version? ;)

*seriously*

By: Tamela.J. on 1/2/05
Great interview! Congratulations!! ;o)

Tamela

By: ilumminati on 1/2/05
I can't imagine my work in Poser without Real Skin Shader anymore. Wonderful utility and I can't wait to see more stuff from you face_off!

By: PapaBlueMarlin on 1/2/05
The real skin shader is simply a must have for anyone with Poser 5. Thanks for providing an opportunity to take figures that only had one texture and give them new life.

By: Lisbeth on 1/2/05
Congratulation!! :o)

By: mathman on 1/2/05
Good for you, face_off !! ... well-deserved.
Your real skin shader has revolutionized my renders :)

By: richardson on 1/2/05
You got MOM???!!! Oh god...now it's Mr. face_off! LOL!!! Could not have happened to a better more caring guy. Have fun with what undoubtedly must follow...fame, fortune..can I get your autograph? Hat's_off!

By: DarkAngelGrafics on 1/3/05
Congratulations, Face_off :-))

By: mobius on 1/3/05
Congrats. Well deserved!

By: Morris on 1/5/05
I just knew it! A well deserved honour, I know how hard you work and how hard you push yourself, & I can't wait to see what the future holds as you push Poser to it's limits!
Congratulations!

By: Zarabanda on 1/5/05
I can't think of anyone who deserves this honor more than face_off. You have opened up an entirely new world in the quest for 3D photorealism. Your creation has breathed new life into the community, and for that I thank you.

By: onlyafterdark on 1/5/05
Congo-RATS! I love the skin shader. I can't render without it :)

By: Corranvh on 1/5/05
Well deserved honor, face_off. It's been a pleasure being one of the people IM'ing you constantly...:)

By: FantastArt on 1/5/05
Congratulation!

By: Aaronheart on 1/6/05
Congratulations - well deserved !!! :-)

By: umutov on 1/7/05
Congratulations M8. I am glad that you have proved the AUSSIE miracle and become MOM with 1 product. I wonder if this 1 product can get you MOY. Lol, just kidding!!! Work hard and keep making people happy. :) AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!!! :)

By: Mahna on 1/7/05
Congratulations, and I cannot wait to try your products! I have heard such great things about your work. :-)

By: Singular3D on 1/9/05
As said before. I am very curious about the things that come up. The Skin Shader is really excellent and you deserve to be MoM. Congratulations!

By: Jean-Luc_Ajrarn on 1/11/05
Thank you for your awesome skin shader, and congrats! :)

By: mstudios on 1/19/05
ok , so I'm alittle late...what can I say that hasn't been said,
...well done man!

Now get that mac Version working!!! only kidding I know the limitations right now.

Congrats on the Kudos, well deserved!

~m

By: el_shadow on 1/20/05
Congratulations!

By: Hawke on 1/27/05
Excellent choice for AOM, two of the best items I've bought that really push poser to the limit. Can't wait to see what you come up with next :D

By: Shardz on 2/28/05
My hat goes off to you and your great efforts to pioneer a revolutionary product for the Poser and 3D community. I see the images in the gallery, the results of your hard work and knowledge, and it compels me to create something different, as well. You are an inspriation to the community, and I wait to see future endeavors develop with you and fellow merchants. Congratulations on a job well done!


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