Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kitty


To keep myself interested while rendering out all the thumbnails and promo images for the Hat, I assigned a hat to 7 individual Poser characters. Tiger Eye was easy--it went to Addy's Kitty, an add-on figure for Victoria4. She looks amazing, partly because about 4 years ago someone, I think it was BagginsBill,(Ted Czotter) figured out how to get Poser to mimic the light scattering under skin (subsurface scattering) and the difference in realism in renders is pretty astonishing. That feature is now built into Poser. Here's Kitty getting her close-up:

Since the hat doesn't have scattering, it's invisible while the computer calculates how the light would work on Kitty's head. Once the computer has figured it out, it goes back and adds the rest of the objects, in this case the Tiger Eye hat.

(The light spots are reflections from the lights in the room). I don't always use the scattering, because it takes several additional minutes, and I have a lot of older characters who don't have the special maps for it--though I would like to make some for a couple of old favorites... in my free time...eventually. One of the things that I really like about Poser is that it renders really fast compared to every other 3d application I have used, partly because I know how to set things up to keep the computer happy. Poser does not like glass, transparency, refraction or multiple lights because of the calculation load of those things, though it will render them out if you are willing to let it run all night. I did that once and found the end result not usable because hairs had poked through something that I hadn't seen on the preview, so I have never done that again. It also gets pissy if you have too many morphs on top of too many shader nodes and too many texture maps, so it will start to "forget" morphs, and dump out your bump and specularity maps. Finally it will just sigh, tell you that it's "out of memory" and you had better save what you have before it has a lie-down.

You would think that with today's huge calculating capacity that this would never happen, but people keep coding right up to the limits of the machines. Certainly the renders are getting closer and closer to photography--check out the images on this character "Bast" being sold on RuntimeDNA. You would swear those were photos, but no, it is plain old Victoria 4 all gussied up and rendered in a good rendering package. (And compared to Iplehouse's doll Isis, she is..20 dollars. As a fullset. And she takes up no room and never needs to be strung.)

Anyway, every now and then I get up from the computer to do yard work--we have leaves everywhere, but it's been so warm that we have had tomatoes..and look! On November 4th, in Chicago--a rose!

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