Going Boldly, Round 2 (2020-11-12)

Poser Weird posted on Oct 12, 2023
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Yes, it's an oldie. Again. Being the continuation of Going Boldly ... or Baldly? Quick reminder of where we'd got to... "What's missing, apart from the cigar obviously ? Giant piglets ? Dinosaurs ? Fish (he could be underwater) ? How about spaceships ? Stars ? Aliens ? A fireplace and a comfy chair perhaps ?" Personally I like the idea of fish (outside the bowl) and a comfy chair... and how about a curious hallway as a background ? Maybe With an environment leaking out of one of the rooms... I think I've got it - he's tiptoeing down this corridor towards us, and as he passed each room the alien occupant came out to watch him. Amended title would have to be something like "Going Boldly (on tiptoes)" Not sure whether I can be bothered to do it though, too much like hard work. I've got the picture in my head already, and hopefully you have too (although I bet yours is very different from mine), so what's the point ? :oD There isn't one - it's pointless, and it's quite a challenge. And there are no prizes. ... So I gave it a go, just to see if it's worth continuing along this curious route.... First problem: I never saved the scene with the environment leaking out of the room as I was just playing with ideas. So I'd have to remake it from scratch. Can I be bothered ? Don't think about it - just load the curious hall into the spaceman scene I'm working on and see what it looks like {exhibit 2}. The two aliens will make it difficult to see the corridor, so I deleted them {exhibit 3}(they weren't posed, so they're easy to put back later). Then I adjusted the camera a bit. I also felt a need to add a wavy water plane (just a diffuse colour so it'll render quickly) - realized a year later that it was a stand-in for the leaking environment. And an infinite/distant light so I could actually see the the corridor. Now the fun starts, playing with the lights and materials ! A point light for each candle in camera, and a simple shader with a bit of translucence for the wax candle. I'll leave the candle flames till later. A bit of depth-cue (Z-depth) atmosphere and a few aliens poking their heads out of the doors as a quick test. I also added a point light inside his helmet above his head to illuminate the little guy who might be sitting there looking behind. {exhibit 4} Well, nothing like the picture in my head (or yours probably). I think I prefer the first one I posted - something to do with the proximity of the aliens perhaps ? ... No ! I realized that it was simply too much illumination of the hallway around my space chappie - the point light I'd just added inside the helmet was illuminatimg the hallway. I deleted that, and also the light for the closest candle to him. That brought to mind the horror film corridor lights cliché, where the ligts start going off, starting with those furthnest away. But in reverse. With candles. Behind him. Also the depth-cue atmosphere wasn't doing it for me, so I turned that off. {exhibit 5} Now we're getting somewhere ! All the renders in this post have been incredibly quick, in the order of around a few tens of seconds. I wonder how longer a standard atmosphere will take (and whether it'll be worth the wait) ? {exhibit 6} With the atmosphere it took a few minutes. So what sci-fi cliché lighting/atmospheric interactions can we try to add ? (Probably worth noting - at this point I realized that the corridor in front of my space chappie is obviously an ordinary empty sci-fi corridor, so we need to see a bit of that. I also have a suspicion that if he turns around, all this will disappear) The green light didn't work quite as expected (t was intended to be a horizontal fan-type laser thingy) but I'm happy that this is worth pursuing. Not bad for a 5 minute render And Balok and the alien queen have their places reserved. {main exhibit} Ah ! It was the 5 minute render that was, indirectly, the problem. I had ray-tracing disabled, so ray-traced lights weren't casting shadows. So the green was simply a wide spotlight. Once I turned ray-tracing back on the render time shot up to a couple of hours. It's the combination of ray-tracing and atmosphere that does this (Poser remember - probbably similar in DS) - just ray-tracing or just atmosphere and it's usually just minute to a few tens of minutes. Anyway, with ray-tracing on the two big off-camera squares I use to limit the spot to a more or less horizontal line work as intended. A bit of playing around with the position and direction of the red and green lights, and a couple more aliens, and I now have this... {exhibit 7} But the scene is now getting too heavy for my poor old computer. Problem is I've only just started adding the aliens (note to the observant - Balok isn't in quite the same position as in the original picture, as he got an uneasy feeling standing there). Obvious thing to start with is to remove all the bits of the curious hallway that are out of shot - I don't have any lighting coming from that direction that they affect, and I'm not using IDL. I think I may have to resort to an old trick - do a scene with just the background and main foreground figures, all lights and atmosphere, and render that. Then do several versions of that scene but each with a different extra background alien, placed so as not to overlap any other backgroun alien, spot render the area around that alien, and overlay all the background aliens on the main render using GIMP. So where are we ? We're at the point where I've just realized that the Mr Fishbowl Helmet is completely unaware that the ordinary sci-fi corridor in front of him is turning into a weird alien hotel corridor behind him. So we're at the point where I've just realized that we need to see a bit of what's in front of him. We're also at the point where I've remembered why I don't normally use ray-tracing and atmosphere together, and the point where I've remembered why my renders are usually very quick. And we're also also at the point where my decrepit old laptop is almost grinding to a halt trying to cope with what's in the scene. So start by removing all the bits of the corridor which aren't going to be in camera. And all the aliens except Balok. Adjust the camera (position and focal length) so everything in the scene stays more or less the same but we see a bit of what Mr Spaceman sees. Add the first sc-fi corridor I find, Add a big light just to help me see what I've got, and then do two very quick renders (no atmosphere, ray-tracing or shadows), one with just the sci-fi corridor {exhibit 8}, one with just the hotel corridor {exhibit 9}. Overlay them in GIMP {exhibit 10}and see whether it's worth going any further... You'll notice that I didn't manage to hide the curious hallway for the second test render, which was supposed to have just the scifi corridor. I started to, but in Poser this is tedious (in DS it's easy), so I simply didn't bother. Quite lucky really - I like the way bits of the curious hallway poke through the sci-fi corridor (or is it vice versa?). Mental note to do a Z-depth render of the sci-fi corridor to incorporate into a mask for blending the 'in-front' and 'behind' renders. Definitely worth continuing. {exhibits 11 & 12}Move the sci-fi corridor a bit. Turn off my big light, and repeat the two renders but with shadows and ray-tracing. Whoops! The 'in-front' part of the scifi corridor wasn't visible as I forgot to add a light for it {exhibit 14}. Remedy that, try again {exhibit 13}. Combine the versions with different corridors {exhibit 15} I'd intended to have the sci-fi corridor just continuing along the same line as the curious hallway, but when I loaded this one there was a passageway going off to his right. So maybe somebody should be hiding there. But who ? or what ? Darth Vader was my first thought, with his back against the wall, lghtsabre ready, and left hand covering his mouthpiece to block the schoolboy chuckle. Then I thought perhaps a Darth Vader puppet - Balok's body with a Darth Vader helmet. Or since all the aliens are going to be in the curious hallway part, then maybe a rightful denizen of the curious hallway...of course - the Mad Hatta (this one too) ! Now it's all beginning to make sense ! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ And that's as far as I ever got. My reference(s): 2020-11-12 - Space Dwarf (PZ3x9) Same old cra, page 11

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