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MattGyver
10-29-2004, 12:47 AM
Matthew Mobley has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/grandspaceopera/view_entries.php?challenger=4918)

Latest Update: Final Image: "... that others may see another day."
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105591962_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105591962_large.jpg)

The members of Squadron 49 (otherwise known as the Polar Knights) were given orders to fall back from disputed space. This order would leave a new colony comprised of primarily farmers no time to retreat from an incoming fleet of alien ships. Colonal James Marsden refused this direct order and gave his squadron the choice of standing against this enemy in an attempt to give the colonists time to evacuate or leave. All 8 of the squadron members stayed to fight. All of the colonists safely retreated. Only 2 squadron members returned to Earth. The colonists were outraged to learn that the people who had saved their lives were now on trial for treason rather than being held as the heros they were. After only a week of protests, the government decided that what the squadron did was right and constructed this memorial to them including a quote from Colonal Marsden which seemed to embody the reasons for doing what they did. One of the surviving fighters is on display at the memorial with it's battle damage still intact and engines powered up to signify readiness to always protect the defenselss and innocent, no matter the cost.

MattGyver
10-29-2004, 06:53 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099072384_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099072384_large.jpg)

Why does life always get in the way of art? Oh well. I finally got some time to get my rough sketches scanned. This is a monument to Col. James Marsden. An enemy fleet was approching an Earth colony on a distant planet and his superior officer ordered him to get his squadron out of there and let the civilians fend for themselves. Col. Marsden disobeyed this order and convinced his squadron to volunteer to distract the enemy fleet long enough for the civilians to evacuate. The quote on the wall says "The purpose of a hero is not fame or glory, but to inspire others to greatness." Part of Marsden's speech to his squadron. There will be a small girl looking up to the statue, and inspired by his bravery, she will eventually enter the military.

I'm still playing around with the composition and camera angle. Well, back to work. Good luck to everybody and I can't wait to see what everybody ends up with!

MattGyver
11-01-2004, 01:11 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099271494_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099271494_large.jpg)

This is the original sketch of the monument. the end result will most likely end up somewhere between the two.

MattGyver
11-03-2004, 05:44 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099503890_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099503890_large.jpg)

This is the "final" design of the wall. Modeling has begun. I'd appreciate any input anybody has.

MattGyver
11-04-2004, 01:56 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099533378_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099533378_large.jpg)

Well, the flu and nature have conspired to keep me indoors today. We're up to about a foot and a half of snow now (it's amazing how entertaining it can be watching cars and school busses slide down the street). But it gave me time to get the memorial wall almost completely built. Tried to get the quote on there, but I wasn't happy with it, so it'll wait until I'm awake again. I'm still wondering about the colors.

nobrain
11-04-2004, 05:26 AM
good sketch. i like this pilot style hero ur going for. classic.

vrhead
11-05-2004, 11:49 PM
Hah.. thats a great pic idea... perhaps a 40's bomber style jacket on him ;)

MattGyver
11-08-2004, 05:54 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099893238_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1099893238_large.jpg)

When you begin to dream in wireframes, that's a sign you're staring at a computer screen too much, right? Finally got the quote on the wall. I wanted to do an engraving for it, but it didn't look right. So I compromised and got the raised text. Going to stop on the wall and move onto other parts.

cgchris
11-08-2004, 09:23 AM
The concept sketch of the figure shows some really nice foreshortening of the figure. Maybe you could apply some distorted perspective to the final shot by altering the camera lens, which might make the composition appear more dramatic.

Also, I think you're going to get some great colour combinations with the grey rock and the blue and orange sky you seem to be going for.

Best of luck.

MattGyver
11-08-2004, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the ideas about the lens. I've been messing around with the layout of the whole area and think I've finally gotten a good land setup that will give me a good camera angle on the statue and wall as a whole. Now we'll just have to wait until I get the whole thing done to see if it works or not. :arteest:

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 04:43 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100061786_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100061786_large.jpg)

I've finally figured trees out. Now I wish to never ever ever do them again. :) It's not exactly the cleanest mesh ever made, but I think it looks good when you're not looking too deeply.

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 04:46 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100062008_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100062008_large.jpg)

After the tree, I needed a break from modeling, so I started experimenting with the materials. After I got these on there, I'm not sure I like them at all. So tweaking will follow. Definately changing the upper part. I'd like a more artificial look to it. Any suggestions?

nuclearman
11-10-2004, 05:13 AM
Matt, the trees look good! What was the key?

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 05:50 AM
Dumb luck was a major factor in making my tree. Since I'm using Lightwave, I hope the description makes sense in other programs. Essentially what I did was extrude a disc for the main trunk and subdivide certain areas to get it kind of bendy and bulgy (gotta love technical terms.) Then for the branches, I actually used triangular polygons and extruded them trying to simulate the bends in the trees outside my window. Luckily my computer is sitting right in front of a window with trees right outside, so that helped a lot. The real trick is to subpatch the entire thing. That turned all the triangular extrusions and everything into tapering cylinders and suddenly the tree was complete. I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out, but I'm sure there's an easier way. The bark is from a photo I took of one of the afore mentioned trees outside the window. Not quite as thrilled with how that turned out, but it's getting there. Hope this helps a bit.

nuclearman
11-10-2004, 05:58 AM
Thanks, Matt! I'll try that approach in XSI. Never thought to use anything other than standard polygons, which probably accounts for why I was never happy with the result. Anyway, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to explain your solution. I know I'm not the only one who will benefit from this.

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 06:03 AM
You're very welcome. I hope it works for you and I'd like to see how yours turns out. :bounce:

vrhead
11-10-2004, 07:24 AM
looking good man... yea those trees are a pain.. thats wy there are plug ins for trees

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 04:47 PM
Yes, but plug-ins for trees cost money and money doesn't grow on trees. Of course with the plug-ins you could make it look like money grows on trees and then you could sell maps to money trees and make money for the plug-in. But I need to get the plug-in first. Drat. It's a vicious cycle of twists and turns that even a hyper ferret on a moped couldn't navigate successfully. I need more sleep.

Claireabella
11-10-2004, 10:04 PM
Hiya Matt. how are you getting on with your money making trees? Think I also just saw a hyper ferret on a moped go past my window........! Pic is looking good and I really like the inscription. Are you planning to put anything in the far background? Just checking! :D Claireabella

MattGyver
11-10-2004, 11:42 PM
So that's where my ferret got to. Did it look like he had been eating sugar again? I told him to lay off the sugar. Besides, his drivers license has been revoked. He shouldn't even be on the moped. :D I'm not so sure about the background yet. Primarily because I'm not sure how much of the background is actually going to be seen in the final composition. Right now I'm trying to get the stuff that goes in front of the wall done and then we'll see. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
P.S. The money trees still remain elusive. Perhaps genetic engineering is the way to go. Hmmmm ....

Claireabella
11-11-2004, 08:38 PM
Hiya Matt. How are you getting on today? OK I hope. Have been checking out everyones work - there's some good stuff going on! Scary. Hope you are not too cold over there. It was quite wintery here today. Hate to say it but think the ferret got squashed down our lane...... boo, poor ferret, but he shouldn't have been going so fast!! Hope you're having fun. :thumbsup: Claireabella



So that's where my ferret got to. Did it look like he had been eating sugar again? I told him to lay off the sugar. Besides, his drivers license has been revoked. He shouldn't even be on the moped. :D I'm not so sure about the background yet. Primarily because I'm not sure how much of the background is actually going to be seen in the final composition. Right now I'm trying to get the stuff that goes in front of the wall done and then we'll see. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
P.S. The money trees still remain elusive. Perhaps genetic engineering is the way to go. Hmmmm ....

Nikus
11-11-2004, 08:53 PM
Hello Matthew
I checked your sketches, very nice idea (classic as someone said)
I know that modeling in lightwave is a really time consuming process because I also will do it in it. You know, I think you should check better your composition and camera angle, so that you dont have to model things that will not be seen.
Anyway, you are doing a good job...keep it up
Nicolas
PD: Its funny, I have also suffered the Wireframe effect from too much modeling.

MattGyver
11-11-2004, 09:35 PM
Thanks, Nikus. Happy to hear I'm not the only one suffering from wireframe overload. :eek: The camera angle in my lastest pictures has just been to get a good view of what's been done already. The final composition will be much different. But this way it looks like I've gotten more done than I actually have. :)

MattGyver
11-15-2004, 07:09 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100545766_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1100545766_large.jpg)

Hi everybody. I'm back from an unscheduled break from the challange. The good news is that gravity still works even when you're about 5 feet above a concrete floor. The bad news is that gravity still works even when you're about 5 feet above a concrete floor. But all is getting back to normal now, so here's a quick sketch of the new direction this thing is headed in. I've added a glass structure around the memorial and a fighter sunk into the floor and under a large pane of glass. The monoliths around the fighter will have the names of the squadron members on them as well as an engraving (time permitting) of each one with the wall at the end. As always, C&C are more than welcome.

Nikus
11-15-2004, 09:34 PM
Ok, that looks more balanced as an image, and has more interest than just a plain monument. You could include some people walking over there, like turists maybe...but anyway you are working very well

DGEbel
11-15-2004, 10:28 PM
Good job on the trees - I'll have to try it (some time) too.

Just remember to give the lettering on the monument some depth - looks painted on at the moment. Its also a bit hard to read - maybe lighten up the dark parts of the marble if you can't get good enough definition with engraving the letters.

MattGyver
11-15-2004, 11:37 PM
Hey guys. Thanks for the input. I did end up raising the letters on the wall a bit more and it looks better now. It's surprising how taking a few days off from this thing and then looking back at it can give you a fresh look at it and inspire a new direction. Either that, or falling off a ladder. Either way, it worked. :D This sketch was done in just a few minutes on my break at work and used the scanner we have here which is old and fairly cruddy. but it worked, so I'm not complaining.
DGEbel: I hope the trees work for you. They're a pain in the hind end, but worth it when they actually work right. :)

Claireabella
11-18-2004, 02:16 PM
Hi Matt. The new sketch and idea looks as if it will be very evocative and having the monoliths etc. with the squadron members names etc. engraved should work really well with the depth of the image. Bouncing off concrete floors obviously suits your creative side....!!! Hope you're ok though. Looking forward to seeing further postings for this new dimension. :) Claireabella

MattGyver
11-18-2004, 04:49 PM
Hey. I ran into a bit of a setback last night. All I did was replace my old cd-burner with a DVD-burner and suddenly windows says "The hardware on your computer has changed significantly since you installed windows" and won't let me re-activate it. I didn't know swapping out a drive was considered a "significant change" but there you go. So until this gets fixed, I probably won't have anything new to show. My fingers are officially crossed that customer service will actually live up to their name for once.

mmoir
11-19-2004, 03:03 AM
Matthew,
Your scene is coming along nicely, I really like your tree too. Looking forward to any updates.
Mike
My GSO entry
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=180886&page=6&pp=15

Nikus
11-19-2004, 05:01 PM
Hey Matt!
I have the solution for your windows problem: change to MAC!!!
hehe, but try using Maya or lightwave for 3d...theres no 3DMax... :sad:

Crin
11-19-2004, 05:16 PM
I like your concept buddy.


As a critique the stone texture looks nice but is slightly too glossy.

Stop by my thread I NEED critique :)

Walrusmann
11-19-2004, 05:24 PM
i like the saying you put on the wall, makes the whole thing seem just enough modern day to be realistic. im also liking the story behind your hero its very cool. Classics are always cool keep it up.:thumbsup:

MattGyver
11-19-2004, 05:24 PM
Nikus: I'm very VERY tempted to switch to a mac. And I would be more inclined to do so had I not just shelled out a butt load of money on building a new PC. It sounds bad, and I don't mean it the way it sounds, but the anti-piracy thing is really taking the fun out of computers. Gone are the days of simply re-installing windows when the computer gets sluggish. But I don't want to get off on a rant here. Or do I? ... ... ... No. Not now. But the Max thing doesn't bug me all that much. I learned on Max, but for the way I work, Lightwave fits my brain better. :) Crin: I'll be sure to stop by your thread soon. I agree about the stone. It was an experiment that didn't work quite as I had hoped. But there's plenty of time to get it right. :thumbsup:

MattGyver
11-19-2004, 06:28 PM
Oh, and Walrusmann: Thanks. When I was thinking about the story, I was trying to think about "what would this guy be able to say to convince me to go out there?" And that's what popped into my head. I agree that classics can be a good way to go and can always be given new twists to make them cool.

MattGyver
11-21-2004, 09:59 PM
Alrighty. I think I finally got all my computer problems worked out. Hopefully I'll have some good updates coming up soon. :shrug:

MattGyver
11-28-2004, 06:41 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1101624076_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1101624076_large.jpg)

Okay. Finally got the majority of my stuff re-installed and got to spend a little bit of time on this thing again. After going through about 13 designs of the building, I came up with this one which I like the best of all of them. Finishing the modeling and doing the texturing will come later. Probably tomorrow. Finger crossing process commencing.

overcontrast
11-28-2004, 09:12 AM
concepts looking good man.. keep up the good works... i'llb dropping by for more updates... :thumbsup:

Claireabella
11-28-2004, 10:02 PM
Hi Matt. The new building looks good and will presumably give you scope for some effective lighting etc. filtering in. Am looking forward to seeing the pic progress. hope the computer stands up to the pressure! :thumbsup: Claireabella

MattGyver
12-01-2004, 12:01 AM
Hey Overcontrast and Claire. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm running into an odd problem though. I've been using the free version of sasquatch that comes with lightwave to do my grass, but I've discovered that it won't render the grass through a transperent polygon (ie the glass window.) Anybody know a relatively easy way around that problem without spending $500 on the full version of the plugin? My 2 professions are artist and civil servant. Neither one of which has ever been known for having a lot of spare change. I feel like standing out on a street corner with a cardboard sign that says "Will work for plugins."

Claireabella
12-02-2004, 12:37 PM
Hi Matt. Not sure if you have sussed out your grass rendering problem but I think that Saslite is a post effect and it does not obey transparency. The bad news is that the full version will...!! But with Saslite, you would have to do it with compositing which many would think is a better solution anyway! A suggestion is that you render a clean plate with just the grass and no glass in place. You then need a beauty pass with the grass and the glass. You then apply 100% luminosity white to the glass object and set saslite to render completely black. This will give you a matte for the glass so you can composite the glass and grass....!! Hope that will give you something to work with. Confused... yes I am! Have fun! :scream: Claireabella

Lelantos
12-02-2004, 12:46 PM
Nice concepts i like that hero:thumbsup:
Modelling technic of the tree appreciated:beer:

You are doing a nice scene keep it up

MattGyver
12-02-2004, 04:54 PM
Claireabella: Why, yes. I am confused. But that usually means I'm on the right track. When the thinking stops, true genious begins. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try it out. Or, perhaps it's winter! Snow! Snow for everybody! The grass is there. Can't you see it? It's under the snow!
Lelantos: Thanks for the encouragement. At this phase, I think a lot of us could use a push forward. I hope the tree thing comes in handy for you. It was kind of a happy accident that it actually worked. Well, it's time to get back to work. I'll stop by your thread as soon as I get a chance. Thanks again everybody. :thumbsup: Later!

Claireabella
12-03-2004, 07:23 AM
Hi Matt........... snow is good.......... snow is very good!!! Actually when I was looking into the issues you were having with Saslite there were a couple of web discussions from people who were finding the same problem!! I guess spending the money for the full version is one way out of it.............. Keep up the good work though and I am looking forward to seeing which one wins........... grass or snow..........!! :) Claireabella

MattGyver
12-04-2004, 11:38 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102203485_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102203485_large.jpg)

This is a quick thing I threw together this morning before coming into work. I was mainly just playing around to see how the pieces I have done play against each other. So far, I like it. I definately need to get the wall quote more readable and change the camera angle. AND SOMEBODY STOLE MY WINDOWS! I know they're still there, but I can't see anything there any more. *sigh* So much to get done and so little time left. Good news is the computer is still healthy. Oops. Just jinxed it.

Claireabella
12-05-2004, 07:03 AM
Hi Matt. Good test to see what's what with your scene. Yes, definitely need to make the quote clearer. What about putting the memorial in the mid foreground and the rest of the chamber then recedes back to those windows of yours (when you find them)! That way the ground will mostly be hidden too to solve the great grass/snow debate! Keep smiling. :) Claireabella

MattGyver
12-11-2004, 02:51 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102733485_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102733485_large.jpg)

Well, getting closer. I've thrown everything together again to see how it looks. The lighting is still preliminary and there's a lot of stuff still missing, but it's continually moving in the right direction. I had to cut the glass floor with the fighter under it (luckily before the fighter was modeled) because it looked like everything was floating in mid air. To make a long story short, it was much easier and better to just leave it out. So far, so good with much much more to fix and do and fix again. What a frustrating thing we love to do. :)

MattGyver
12-11-2004, 06:02 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102744926_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102744926_large.jpg)

In a way, you could say this is a modeling, texturing and lighting milestone all in one. It's a simple theatrical style light to illuminate the main wall and the individual monoliths. (They are comming. I promise.) I went with that style because the flaps would keep passersby from being blinded by the lights or trying to touch the hot bulbs.

Claireabella
12-11-2004, 10:50 PM
Hi Matt. Great to see your next posting. Neat trick you've used with the bushes to sidestep the issue of grass/snow!!! I don't know if you've definitely decided to use blue as the writing on the memorial but have you tried it in gold? The blue looks "cold" and is not particularly clear to read. I may be jumping the gun on this but just thought I'd mention it. Am sorry the glass floor and buried fighter didn't seem to work - that was a cool thought. Great work so far though. :thumbsup: Claireabella

MattGyver
12-11-2004, 11:01 PM
Hi Claireabella. I haven't set my heart on any real color schemes yet. I'm really just going until it either looks perfect, or I run out of time. :) I haven't really spent a lot of time on that because I've been trying to tweak the rest of the textures. As you can see, I'm having a bit of trouble with the walls. I'll have to end up doing each one individually. And the floor texture is going to go. It's just a matter of getting it all to fit together. I'll see about posting some other color variations on the wall soon.

MattGyver
12-11-2004, 11:48 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102808880_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1102808880_large.jpg)

Here's two variations of the gold text. I think I like the brighter gold better because it stands out more and seems easier to read. Thanks for the thinking Claire. :)

Claireabella
12-12-2004, 09:19 AM
Hi Matt. No probs. Yes, the lighter one is definitely easier to read although the darker one somehow seems to sit better. What about a half way compromise? :shrug: Claireabella

MattGyver
12-12-2004, 08:06 PM
I could try a half way compromise on the text. Good thing I wrote down the settings for once. :D

vrhead
12-13-2004, 07:09 AM
sweet awsome work on the trees and plants

MattGyver
12-15-2004, 12:57 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1103072261_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1103072261_large.jpg)

Did up some new textures for the walls and floor. I like these a lot better and looks like we're getting closer.

Claireabella
12-15-2004, 08:29 PM
Hi Matt. Floor and walls are looking good! :thumbsup: Claireabella

vrhead
12-19-2004, 10:14 PM
textures are coming along .... my only comment would be you need to add some detail to the surfice of your models they are very sharp and 100% angular.. round up the edges... unless your going for the laser crafted look.. then nm =)

MattGyver
12-26-2004, 03:07 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1104030436_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1104030436_large.jpg)

Things seemed to have calmed down for the time being, so I'm taking advantage of the quiet time to get some stuff done with this thing. I'm hoping to get it done, but I guess we'll see if that happens. I like these textures a lot better than the others.

MattGyver
12-26-2004, 03:14 AM
vrhead: Yeah. They do look awfully angular. It's on my list of things to do, but it keeps slipping down to the bottom of the list. I guess I ought to just force myself to get it done so I can stop thinking about it. But that would be convenient and well thought out, and we can't have that. :D

MattGyver
12-27-2004, 07:22 PM
Now if only Lightwave would stop crashing on me at the end of every render I'd be in business. :banghead:

Claireabella
12-28-2004, 12:25 PM
Hi Matt. Textures are looking good! Are you intending to put anything in the rear of the room/chamber? Just checking! I like the lights too by the way. Hope you've managed to get Lightwave to behave. Not many days left now........ very scary! :eek: Claireabella

MattGyver
12-28-2004, 04:19 PM
Hi Claire. I'm glad you like the new textures. I think they'll stay now. :) As for the end of the room, I'm not sure. Originally the wall was down there, but it was way too far away to make out any detail. So I moved it up to the front. I kind of like the way it feels open with the large windows there giving you a nice view of the hills. I'm thinking of adding people walking on the lawn outside there to make it seem like it's actually accessable. Maybe a family having a picnic on the grass. :D Anyway, I think I'll leave it unblocked. Hopefully today I'll get the monoliths pretty much completed and in place. As for my rendering problem, it seems random. It'll go smoothly for a while then start crashing for no reason. Hopefully they'll get that fixed in the upcomming 8.2 update. Anyway, as always, thanks for the input. Later. :thumbsup:

Claireabella
12-30-2004, 12:01 PM
Hi Matt. Have been thinking about your picture this morning and wondered whether you'd tried making the "outside" view one at dusk/sunset/night. I just thought this might also make a difference to your inside lights as to the effect with the shafts of light highlighting the monument and walls etc. Just a thought.....! Hope you're battling on ok. :bounce: Claireabella

MattGyver
12-30-2004, 03:43 PM
The time of day has been a hotly debated subject among my friends for some reason. My original plan was to make it at sunset, but then half of my friends said it looked better as day and half liked the sunset. I think I'm going to go for the sunset/sunrise because it's more symbolic no matter how you look at it and adds a bit more dimention in my oppinion. I just hadn't gotten around to thinking about it until now. Thanks. :) As for my crashing problem, I think I got that fixed. I updated my video card drivers and suddenly the problem stopped. That doesn't explain why it started in the first place, but whatever works. I'm not complaining.

MattGyver
01-09-2005, 01:09 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105232943_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105232943_large.jpg)

Coming down to the wire (obviously) but I'll do my best to complete the image. Unfortunately with all the computer/family issues that have come up, I've had to scale this project way back from what I had originally intended, but at this point, I just want to get it done to say I did in fact complete it.

Claireabella
01-09-2005, 09:43 PM
Hay Matt, looking good my friend! The dusky background and the lighting have completely changed the mood. Keep going buddy! :thumbsup: Claireabella

MattGyver
01-10-2005, 07:16 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105341362_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105341362_large.jpg)

Well, testing the render here. It's definately not what I had hoped to get done by this point, but it's something. And the main thing is, I've learned so much more than I knew before. So that's great and I'll be much better prepared for the next challange. If anybody has any suggestions, now's the time to get them in. :)

Claireabella
01-10-2005, 12:15 PM
Hi Matt,

Looking good! The sunset landscape is looking much better now and the trees are wholly believable.

But I'm wondering about your shadows, particularly from the monument, which seem both to be too sharp and defined and not to have an obvious light source (not that you necessarily need to see it!). I was thinking that perhaps that shadow should be alot softer. Also, on the subject of shadows, the shadows of the blocks cast by those spotlights perhaps need to be a little clearer, in the sense of which light is casting which shadow...........of course, it may just be the state of my brain.....let's not talk about that!!!

Good luck though - glad you're going for the finish!

All the Best,

Julian.

JulesB
01-10-2005, 12:21 PM
Sorry Matt.......I see The Ageing Blonde left the internet box logged in with her name when I typed a note! Just thought I'd clear that one up!!

Julian.

DGEbel
01-10-2005, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the 'welcome back' - your picture's coming along well too.

One suggesting I do have - I think you really need to pump up the contrast, unless you're going for a highly muted look or trying to cut down on the render times for now :-)

For example, having a lot more, brighter lights shining on the walls, etc, would get more definition and with deeper shadows, then the dynamic range would be doubled and much more photorealistic if that's your goal. Not sure if a light dome would help but I'd give it a try.

Also chrome and other shiny always looks good - lots of stuff has reflections.

MattGyver
01-10-2005, 06:34 PM
Julian: Thanks. I was a bit confused and starting to wonder if she had multiple personalities or something. :) The shadows have been bugging me as well. I'll work on them tonight if I get a chance. If not, I think it's just something I'll have to live with.

DGEbel: The contrast definately needs upping and there's some other tweaking left to be done. I'm attempting to use a similar color scheme as the ones used by the people who built the monuments and buildings in Washington D.C. I'll try your suggestions. Thanks. :thumbsup:

Matt

JulesB
01-10-2005, 07:35 PM
Well, I guess the ultimate trick with shadows (many would say the only trick) is to deal with them one at a time, or at least similar groups at a time, in a scene perhaps specifically built and textured for shadow rendering. I'm sure you know all this anyway......I'm only mentioning it with the benefit of hindsight, on projects I've done where rendering shadows with everything else is so very difficult, and only gets you what you want after hours of tweaking, assuming it gets you there at all!

I'd say at the very least, but only if possible, have another look at that foreground shadow from the monument. Otherwise overall I'd go with the suggestion on contrast, and pools of light and gloom, perhaps even in that case ditching shadows.

Not sure about the rendering hit, but are you experimenting with negative lights as well?

Julian.

MattGyver
01-10-2005, 09:01 PM
Knowing something doesn't matter. The catch is remembering it when it's needed. :) Lighting has always been one of my weak points. It's definately something that needs work. Practice practice practice.

JulesB
01-10-2005, 09:13 PM
True enough :)

I also find lighting difficult, which is why I am happier now (time permitting) building lighting effects in pieces then comping a shot........getting shadows right is my worst nightmare!

But I am also being hyper-critical - the effect is already good, but the more I look at your image, the more I think those ideas of gloomy corners will work well.

Julian.

MattGyver
01-12-2005, 02:38 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105497525_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105497525_large.jpg)

Comparisons between the raw render and adjustments made in Photoshop. It's pretty obvious which one is better.

MattGyver
01-13-2005, 04:52 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105591962_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/4918/4918_1105591962_large.jpg)

The members of Squadron 49 (otherwise known as the Polar Knights) were given orders to fall back from disputed space. This order would leave a new colony comprised of primarily farmers no time to retreat from an incoming fleet of alien ships. Colonal James Marsden refused this direct order and gave his squadron the choice of standing against this enemy in an attempt to give the colonists time to evacuate or leave. All 8 of the squadron members stayed to fight. All of the colonists safely retreated. Only 2 squadron members returned to Earth. The colonists were outraged to learn that the people who had saved their lives were now on trial for treason rather than being held as the heros they were. After only a week of protests, the government decided that what the squadron did was right and constructed this memorial to them including a quote from Colonal Marsden which seemed to embody the reasons for doing what they did. One of the surviving fighters is on display at the memorial with it's battle damage still intact and engines powered up to signify readiness to always protect the defenselss and innocent, no matter the cost.

With all the war imagry that was possible in this challenge and with all the war that's been going on in the world, I wanted to create an image that was positive and gave hope for the future. Something that stands for what is noble and good in all of us. Good luck to everybody and see you in the next challenge!

Claireabella
01-13-2005, 07:37 AM
Well Matt, that's one hell of a good push you've done there to pull your final image together. I really like it and am especially moved by the story too! I know it's not as you had first envisaged it but sometimes the stumbling blocks we encounter in life and lead us onto better paths. I think it's true to say that you are not a veteran 3D user so congratulations in taking on this challenge and completing it. A personal journey that I am sure you well deserve the credit for undertaking. Here's to this years challenge and again, well done. :applause: Claireabella

JulesB
01-13-2005, 11:17 PM
Hi Matt,

That lighting is much better, and the receding gloom towards the windows is very good!

Overall looks very good indeed.

Congratulations for the image and for finishing, and good luck!

All the Best,

Julian.

MattGyver
01-13-2005, 11:27 PM
Thanks Claire and Julian. I really appreciate getting input and especially positive feedback. :) And, Julian, I hope you get a chance to participate in the next challenge. After seeing the stuff on your website, I'd love to see what you come up with for these things.

JulesB
01-14-2005, 10:26 PM
Thanks Matt - I appreciate that. I'm going to go ahead and develop my idea anyway, and take it further, but yes, I'm hoping I can do something for the next challenge!

Julian.

A3DLover
01-16-2005, 06:27 AM
Thanks,
For the C&C's their always welcome, this entry for this challenge is light years ahead of my last entry at cgnet th macflesh challenge, its really hard to say what these guys want out of us(cgnetworks and prize sponsers)

My site:
www.a3dlover.com (http://www.a3dlover.com)

Good Luck

DGEbel
01-20-2005, 11:51 PM
Good job Matt. Glad you got yours done in time. I didn't make it, but if you're curious about the progress, see my thread for a link to the picture as it stands now.

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