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 Subject: Rescue: a work (not) in progress

EnglishBob opened this issue on Apr 08, 2011 · 24 posts

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  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 10:11AM Fri, 08 April 2011 

This forum doesn't look very well frequented, but it does seem to have knowledgeable people in it so I'll give this a try.

Here's something I've been working on, but I've now ground to a halt. It's supposed to be dramatic and exciting, but to me it just looks flat no matter what I do. I think I need to step away from it and let others look at the work with fresh eyes.

I used Stonemason's Urban Ruins, but placed behind the figures - I found I couldn't have a free choice of camera angles when they were placed within the ruins. The flames are by pewter7, and were added during postwork. I'll attach a non-postworked version to the next post.

Any comments are welcome, really - from "it's perfect as it is, I can't see what you're worrying about" to "give it up, it will never work." :)

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 10:12AM Fri, 08 April 2011  · @3784800

Here's the render without postwork (the original is a PNG with transparency so I can add a background).

  DapperMan    ( ) ( posted at 12:25AM Mon, 11 April 2011  · @3785592

Hmm, maybe it's the lighting?  At least in movies, when fire is all around, there are multiple sources of lighting and shadow.  Or maybe there are a few very, very strong lights.  The figures look great, like they are caught in mid-action.  Although the right hand seems oddly relaxed somehow.

As for the camera, there was a thread about a lens created by bagginsbill that would let you place the camera anywhere in a room and adjust it to appear to zoom in or out without distortion.  It would look like you had moved the camera without actually moving it.  Didn't save the link though, and you'll have to search; sorry.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 8:40AM Mon, 11 April 2011  · @3785647

Attached Link: http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/showthread.php?message_id=3534407&ebot_calc_page#message_3534407

Thanks for the helpful comments.

I think the lighting is a big factor in the picture's "wrong-ness", at least. They're supposed to be fleeing the fire, so I have a whopping big orange-red light behind them; but of course that doesn't light up the figures very well (or anything very much, if you look at the second image). I placed white light in front of them, trying to simulate lights from a rescue crew or something like that, and it's probably that part which isn't convincing enough.

His right hand should be creasing up the back of her dress due to her weight, yes. That's probably something to put in during postwork, since I doubt I can get an accurate cloth simulation.

The post about the perspective zoom lens is at the link. I may try that to give me more flexibility in where I place the ruins, although I don't think the scenery is too bad at the moment. I probably need to fiddle with the lighting first.

  DapperMan    ( ) ( posted at 9:51AM Mon, 11 April 2011  · @3785688

For the fire lighting, you could try to cheat it and add a close spotlight to the figures, acting as a rim light.  Probably at 200% intensity or so.  I figured the glow was from the fire, but even if it is accurate, the color reminds me more of lava or molten metal.  Okay, I couldn't tell what the front lighting source was.  Kind of thought it was subtle outdoor lighting.

The hand just looked like it wasn't quite supporting the weight of a person, like he's just touching her with his fingertips.

Glad you found that thread, and I'll bookmark it this time.  Hope that helps a bit. 

  BionicRooster    ( ) ( posted at 1:52PM Sat, 16 April 2011  · @3787211

And you said you wanted it to look dramatic? How about adding a flaming ceiling beam that just "dropped" in front of them, blocking escape?

I think it might add depth to the image as well.

Just a thought.


Poser 10

Octane Render

Wings 3D

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:27PM Sat, 16 April 2011  · @3787248

That's a good thought. I was reluctant to put flames in front of them, since he wouldn't deliberately walk that way if it was blocked; but a sudden collapse is quite plausible. It means the flames will also light them from the front and may solve some of my unconvincing lighting headaches. I think it might improve the composition as well.

I don't have much time to work on this right now but I'll definitely explore your suggestion when I do. Thanks!

  thundering1    ( ) ( posted at 10:23PM Wed, 20 April 2011  · @3788566

Okay, yeah, lighting seems to be your big issue here. This image has a LOT of dramatic potential, and sorry to say on MY end, I'm limited in my knowledge of Poser's lighting abilities.

Hopefully what I describe, you can figure out how to do and give it a shot in Poser, and it'll give you ideas for different versions, or more.

1 - your main source of faked illumination - it's currently a hard light with hard shadows. It's also white, which inherently looks fake - ALL light has a color of some variation, even though it's subtle. I'd lower the power output, make it as soft as Poser can make it, and a little blue-ish. Like he's running out into the night kinda thing.

2 - The flames closest to them - add a small point light (flames give out light in ALL directions, so use a point and not a spotlight), and make it a light amber to outright orange. ALSO make it fairly soft. Not mushy-soft, but have a soft shadow in general - no hard lines, basically.

Now here's the trick - is it POSSIBLE in Poser to have falloff for the light - it's only going to affect objects within "x-amount of distance" basically? IF this is possible, make the falloff for #2 to the top of their heads. Bright at their waists, black by the time you get to the top of their hair.

3 - Point light (again, amber colored) at the base of the far wall, illuminating the corner and some of the surface brick. ALSO make it have a falloff if you can, and gone by the top of the windows we see. This should not be very strong - just a low wash of light.

4 - Point light behind/through the door/opening he just ran through. I'd make this one brighter, more on the YELLOW side to make it a little different (since I'm guessing the main blaze is through there anyway, it would be brighter) hitting their backs, adding a RIM of light around their left sides, and I'd be temopted to make it have a harder shadow than the rest. Not a REALLY hard one, just a little softness and it should have a good kick to it and make them stand out. And since it's shining heavily though, I wouldn't bother with a falloff. Let it kick whatever it sees with a rim of light.

I like the idea of a foreground object. Even if it's as simple as an out of focus flame between the camera and the subject more to the front low right in the image (in front of the post) - it'll give it a little dimensional quality.

As you're playing wth this, you're bound to get more ideas.

I hope this helps, and I think I speak for all os us when I say I can't wait to see your progress!


  Apple_UK    ( ) ( posted at 8:16PM Sat, 07 May 2011  · @3794185

Perhaps some smoke effects Bob ? Ther's movement in it so maybe a bit less sharp on the people?

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:43PM Sun, 08 May 2011  · @3794372

Again, thanks both of you for your suggestions. I have too much Real Life and too little art time right now, but I'm taking note of all this for when the ratio returns to the correct proportions.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 7:44AM Mon, 30 May 2011  · @3801614

I fiddled with the lighting, and also added layers of smoke (which involved rendering the scene in three parts so I could have different levels of opacity). You can see I've added a burning beam in the foreground, of course.

This is getting more like the levels of drama I was after now, but I'll let it sit around for a while before I post to the gallery.

How does it look to you folks now?

  thundering1    ( ) ( posted at 9:05AM Mon, 30 May 2011  · @3801647

NICE!! Overall he lighting is MUCH better! I like the filling in with light.

My only thouht now is make them soft lights - otherwise you've got a good Michael Bay moment going on now. Nice update!


  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 10:05AM Mon, 30 May 2011  · @3801679

Thanks! I may tinker with the smole a little more. It should be redder (or orangey-er, if that's a word), because it's illuminated by the fire, and maybe darker too. "Should be" doesn't always translate into a better picture, though.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 4:45AM Wed, 01 June 2011  · @3802291

Attached Link: Rescue (Renderosity Gallery)

I took the plunge and went public.

I made the layer of smoke between the figures and the ruins darker and more brown in colour, but left the layer in front of the figures fairly light. I also softened the bright light on Steph's dress which made it look as if her backside was on fire. :D

  Pouchy    ( ) ( posted at 11:55PM Fri, 03 June 2011  · @3803333

Attached Link: Bill aka Pouchy

firstly let me say... Wonderful overall piece, the composition works for me, you did a much better job in the second round of lighting and I think his expression is just great!

Also, there were some very good suggestions given and I couldn't be more impressed with the willingness of this community to help:)

Although I'm late on this, I would love to give a few tips as well, if I may.

1.  Debris - with all that burning material, there will be "stuff" in the air.  Personally, I would create it in Photoshop, but that's my own experience leading "me" down a path.

2.  His right hand, specifically the fingers.  She isn't an egg... he would be squeezing her.   Maybe even folds from the dress wrinkled between his fingers.  His left pinky and palm appear to be "inside" the womans leg.  With postwork in photoshop that can be very effective, hard to get around without postwork.

Thanks for the chance to really critique your work, Bob:)  Keep 'em comin! 

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 4:14AM Mon, 06 June 2011  · @3803940

Thanks Bill. I agree with your points.

Whenever there's a fire, there's always bits of charred paper etc. floating about. I'd probably try to do this in 3D somehow since my digital painting skills are limited. I can do conventional drawing, but so far have failed to master the art of drawing with a tablet.

The hero's hands interacting with her legs and dress is another matter: difficult to fix in 3D as you say, at least without proper soft body physics. I live in hope that one day, clothes and other external objects will be able to interact with flesh in the same way that flesh can now interact with clothing (hopefully better!). For now, the solution is postwork; see my comments above...

In the end, I wanted to give what I had an airing and move on. Not that that decision means I can't revise later if I feel like it. The picture is still a little flat, to my mind.

  johnbriner    ( ) ( posted at 1:36AM Fri, 10 June 2011  · @3805374

Quote - I fiddled with the lighting, and also added layers of smoke (which involved rendering the scene in three parts so I could have different levels of opacity). You can see I've added a burning beam in the foreground, of course.

This is getting more like the levels of drama I was after now, but I'll let it sit around for a while before I post to the gallery.

How does it look to you folks now?


Hi Bob! Perfect output! I'm glad it turned it very good! Better lighting, he smoke, the fire, all of them are perfect. Now it's very dramatic! I like it! Keep it up!

[url="http://johnbriner.wordpress.com"]John Briner Art[/url]

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 4:46AM Fri, 10 June 2011  · @3805418

Thanks John! I can't agree about it being perfect, but glad you liked it. :)

  Thalek    ( ) ( posted at 2:05AM Fri, 14 October 2011  · @3850218

With help from BagginsBill and English Bob and Believable3D, I've gotten this far.

I try to work strictly within Poser with no post-work . . .

  alan42    ( ) ( posted at 10:37PM Tue, 25 October 2011  · @3854721

Hi Thalek

I'd first look at your composition.  I'd swing the camera around (nearer to the building) so that she's on the left of the saucer thing and her glance would be more directed towards what's chasing her; at the moment she looks like she's looking away from it.  Perhaps fill the frame more with the character  -there's a lot of empty space at the moment.

Second I'd look at how to make the scene more dramatic.  A really colourful/interesting sky would help and then you could take your light colours from that.  Get some strong colours and shadows happening - some green light cast from the saucer to light up the building perhaps?  Some orange from the explosion?  Some light cast from the windows (if its a night scene)?  Go crazy!

Good luck!


  Thalek    ( ) ( posted at 12:30AM Wed, 26 October 2011  · @3854765

Good points all, Alan.  I may just remove that smoke from the crater; it's not intended to be an explosion from the ray at all.  Alternatively, I can see if I can direct the ray at the base of the smoke and give her a good reason to be looking to the left . . .

I've been involved with selling my home, so I haven't even looked at this in nearly two weeks.  This is good, as I see it with fresher eyes, instead of the just-rendered-at-three-in-the-morning eyes I used to make it.

  thundering1    ( ) ( posted at 7:36AM Wed, 26 October 2011  · @3854852

I agree with Alan42 - there's a lot of blank unused space (particularly on the left side). Either tighten the shot or think of what you can add to tell more of a story - buildings, wreckage, bodies, or all of the above and more.

If you squint and just see simple colors, there are a lot of flat open planes of single color - no details.

Ask yourself, where is she in the world, who else would be there, what has happened so far - literally, as in they blew up the building behind her, she's running to get behind an overturned car or bus, people are exploding behind her, there's a spaceship on her tail and a few more behind looking at other things.

Think of it as a scene from a movie and go from there.

Good luck and we'll see you soon-

-Lew ;-)

  Thalek    ( ) ( posted at 11:35AM Wed, 26 October 2011  · @3854916

Good point:  it is rather sparse.  I had an appointment re-schedule on me today, so perhaps I can get to this later, along with Alan's suggestions.

  Thalek    ( ) ( posted at 3:01AM Sun, 06 November 2011  · @3858740

I don't think I quite took everything you advised into consideration, but here's a rendering of the current version.

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