Rick's Blog

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

The Image Of The Month (IOTM) for January was based on the painting by Robert Finale, Home For Christmas.  It seemed like a good idea on January 1st.  In retrospect, I could have started with a month or three of paintings not quite as complex.  However, the good thing about challenging yourself is that even if you only get halfway there, you are still making progress.

Original Painting
Original Painting
b2ap3_thumbnail_WIP_week1_render_20150209-231953_1.pngI started by roughing in and placing the bridge, the church and the near house.  That allowed me to position and size all the other assets relative to them without having to re-invent camera position, lens size, etc.  I quickly decided that creating and clothing the people in the scene was much more than I could handle within the one-month time limit.  I cheated and used billboards from the painting for all the people.  Luckily, there were still plenty of challenges to occupy my time. 
The first, and possibly the biggest, challenge was matching the camera position and lens type to the painting.  In the end, I settled at settings that kept the feel of the painting, but the objects in the rendered scene do not overlay the originals.
Originally, I intended to model for week 1, texture during week 2, preliminary lighting during week 3 and spend week 4 tweaking and correcting.  I kept to that schedule up until week 2.  I started texturing before I had finished all the detail modeling and that caused some re-work later.
The snow material evolved through a lot of trial and error, but I am relatively happy with the final result.  I was very happy with the icy river material.  I doesn't exactly match the painting, but it seems believable, at least to me. :)
In addition to the material, modeling the snow was a challenge.  Previously, I had not spent much time with Blender's sculpting tools.  The snow gave me plenty of quality time experimenting with those.  The snow on the roofs was another opportunity to excel.  I ended up duplicating the roof surfaces, separating them and extruding them in the z-direction to simulate about a foot of snow.  Then I used the subdivision modifier and more sculpting to squish the 'snow' object and in some places pushing it beneath the roof surfaces.  The overall effect is not horrible.  I used a similar approach to model the snow on the pine trees.  It is a good thing they are not the focus of this painting.  The snow on the bushes was a battle and I ended up running out of time before I found a good solution.  So, I chose to ignore it.b2ap3_thumbnail_WIP_week2_overview3.png
I saved a lot of time on the background by creating several snowy pine tree images, importing them as planes and creating a particle system to re-forest the background hills.
I initially tried to model the clouds, but could not come up with a realistic look.  Eventually, I created a noise/cloud texture on a plane.  I provided an input to the displacement node of the material.  I think it created some subtle lighting changes, but I wouldn't argue that those are the result of wishful thinking.
The final version is below.  This was a fun challenge, but created plenty of Lessons Learned:
  • The artist's eye will never perfectly match a camera lens; that's what makes art interesting.  Getting the camera 'close-enough' is success; don't waste time in pursuit of perfection.
  • Despite what the schedule says, modeling takes as long as modeling takes.  Don't start texturing early in an attempt to save time; it doesn't.
  • Part of the up-front planning should be the plan for Render Layers.  I spent a lot of time re-rendering things that didn't need to be re-rendered.  I thought I was helping myself out by planning to render the scene all at once, but that was definitely not true.
  • Progressive refinement applies to practically every step of the process.  I frequently found myself adding too much detail before it was ready and having to re-work something.
  • I did not have a daily (nightly) rendering plan which caused me to spend time during the day waiting for a 'quick' render.  Just the discipline of not allowing myself to render during the day in the middle of work would have saved me quite a bit of time. 

As always, comments are appreciated!

b2ap3_thumbnail_IOTM_Jan_Final.png

MakeHuman Installation
MOTW-19Jan2015-Air Stair

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Comments

Guest (website) on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:25

This is the greatest thing that I've ever seen!!

This is the greatest thing that I've ever seen!!
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, 29 March 2020

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Rick's Blog

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

The Image Of The Month (IOTM) for January was based on the painting by Robert Finale, Home For Christmas.  It seemed like a good idea on January 1st.  In retrospect, I could have started with a month or three of paintings not quite as complex.  However, the good thing about challenging yourself is that even if you only get halfway there, you are still making progress.

Original Painting
Original Painting
b2ap3_thumbnail_WIP_week1_render_20150209-231953_1.pngI started by roughing in and placing the bridge, the church and the near house.  That allowed me to position and size all the other assets relative to them without having to re-invent camera position, lens size, etc.  I quickly decided that creating and clothing the people in the scene was much more than I could handle within the one-month time limit.  I cheated and used billboards from the painting for all the people.  Luckily, there were still plenty of challenges to occupy my time. 
The first, and possibly the biggest, challenge was matching the camera position and lens type to the painting.  In the end, I settled at settings that kept the feel of the painting, but the objects in the rendered scene do not overlay the originals.
Originally, I intended to model for week 1, texture during week 2, preliminary lighting during week 3 and spend week 4 tweaking and correcting.  I kept to that schedule up until week 2.  I started texturing before I had finished all the detail modeling and that caused some re-work later.
The snow material evolved through a lot of trial and error, but I am relatively happy with the final result.  I was very happy with the icy river material.  I doesn't exactly match the painting, but it seems believable, at least to me. :)
In addition to the material, modeling the snow was a challenge.  Previously, I had not spent much time with Blender's sculpting tools.  The snow gave me plenty of quality time experimenting with those.  The snow on the roofs was another opportunity to excel.  I ended up duplicating the roof surfaces, separating them and extruding them in the z-direction to simulate about a foot of snow.  Then I used the subdivision modifier and more sculpting to squish the 'snow' object and in some places pushing it beneath the roof surfaces.  The overall effect is not horrible.  I used a similar approach to model the snow on the pine trees.  It is a good thing they are not the focus of this painting.  The snow on the bushes was a battle and I ended up running out of time before I found a good solution.  So, I chose to ignore it.b2ap3_thumbnail_WIP_week2_overview3.png
I saved a lot of time on the background by creating several snowy pine tree images, importing them as planes and creating a particle system to re-forest the background hills.
I initially tried to model the clouds, but could not come up with a realistic look.  Eventually, I created a noise/cloud texture on a plane.  I provided an input to the displacement node of the material.  I think it created some subtle lighting changes, but I wouldn't argue that those are the result of wishful thinking.
The final version is below.  This was a fun challenge, but created plenty of Lessons Learned:
  • The artist's eye will never perfectly match a camera lens; that's what makes art interesting.  Getting the camera 'close-enough' is success; don't waste time in pursuit of perfection.
  • Despite what the schedule says, modeling takes as long as modeling takes.  Don't start texturing early in an attempt to save time; it doesn't.
  • Part of the up-front planning should be the plan for Render Layers.  I spent a lot of time re-rendering things that didn't need to be re-rendered.  I thought I was helping myself out by planning to render the scene all at once, but that was definitely not true.
  • Progressive refinement applies to practically every step of the process.  I frequently found myself adding too much detail before it was ready and having to re-work something.
  • I did not have a daily (nightly) rendering plan which caused me to spend time during the day waiting for a 'quick' render.  Just the discipline of not allowing myself to render during the day in the middle of work would have saved me quite a bit of time. 

As always, comments are appreciated!

b2ap3_thumbnail_IOTM_Jan_Final.png

MakeHuman Installation
MOTW-19Jan2015-Air Stair

Related Posts

 

Comments

Guest (website) on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:25

This is the greatest thing that I've ever seen!!

This is the greatest thing that I've ever seen!!
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, 29 March 2020

Captcha Image