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View Full Version : PROJECT PHOENIX: FORUM LEADER'S Q&A


Vizfizz
02-08-2006, 04:33 PM
I'm creating this thread as a place for folks to ask any specific questions about the competition and for me to make general comments on the contest. Since I don't want to play any favorites, I won't be providing specific advice on your threads until the end. Turn to your peers and they will help you. I and the other judges must be impartial.

One thing that I would like to clarify. Even though it is quite acceptable to integrate the EIAS logo into your design, it is certainly not mandatory. I've received a couple of private messages asking me this question.

Thanks

buggsy
02-20-2006, 10:33 PM
Brian,

Can we use our own photography for scenery elements, backgrounds etc, composited in 2D with the rendering in photoshop.

Buggsy :shrug:

Vizfizz
02-21-2006, 12:52 AM
Brian,

Can we use our own photography for scenery elements, backgrounds etc, composited in 2D with the rendering in photoshop.

Buggsy :shrug:

Ok.. let me clarify this. My biggest concern are indivduals using photoshop to touch up mistakes or to add/remove things that can't be done in EIAS. Compositing layers together is permissable because some users have slower machines and lesser amounts of RAM and they need to composite their work together in stages. As long as you are not painting, using a special non-EIAS plugin, or any other tool that modifies the pixels (outside of compositing) you're good. Using transfer modes between layers like add, lighten, darken, inverse, etc.. are acceptable because they exist in EIAS. Masking is only acceptable if the mask was generated through EIAS as an alpha channel.

As for digital photography, I'll accept it because its a common practice to bring photographic digital files into a 3D application particularly for texture and matte purposes, however, be warned. As a judge, if your image is highly dependant on 2D photography, the less impressed I'm going to be. The competition not only highlights your skills, but it highlights the package's capabilities as well. Don't let the photography become the center of attention.

mike33
02-21-2006, 05:30 PM
So I can use texture maps to get the look I want without being penalized as long as any work with photoshop/traditional media is done on the texture prior to rendering in Camera?

Example, I was thinking of creating my sky with water colors, modified in photoshop, and using the texture map on a large dome within the scene. In theory I think this will work, haven't done a texture mapped sky before.

[My EIAS/digital 3D skills have taken a back seat for quite awhile and I'm using this project to help roll back into it.]

Thanks,

~Mike

Vizfizz
02-21-2006, 06:12 PM
Hey Mike,

My main concern for your application is you are creating a "look" outside of EIAS' normal capabilities. (Whether internally or with 3rd party plugins). I don't want contestants using photoshop as their main creative tool and making this a 2D project with a few 3D elements. The final rendered image must come directly out of Camera. The winning project's scene file may be evaluated if this comes into question. Compositing is permitted for the sake of users with slower machines and less RAM.

The usage of photoshop is obviously necessary for the purpose of generating texture maps which can be utilized by EIAS. Whether it be decals for an F111 aircraft, or a water color sky texture map, I can't say that one is permitted over the other. So, you are permitted to generate your custom sky. However, as I mentioned to Buggsy, be careful about making your final image too 2D dependant. It is a 3D competition afterall. :)

mike33
02-21-2006, 07:29 PM
I understand what your saying. I'll have to ponder my options and do some sky exploration and water reflection exploration soon...

Back to the day job...

Thanks,

Mike

Vizfizz
02-21-2006, 07:40 PM
Well I also realize that not everybody has fancy plugins for sky and cloud generation. However, here's something to consider. If your watercolor sky is considerably "unique", any attempts to match your 3D rendered elements to that watercolor look will be well received. NPR or cartoon shaders might be helpful.

tbenesch
02-22-2006, 08:00 PM
What are the thoughts on using Poser to create a general human shape and then take it into Silo or another modeler and modify it a lot to fit the look the artist is going for?

bronco
02-26-2006, 07:59 PM
two little questions:

do we have to use the templates all the time? or just for the final presentation?
and
has anybody the required font for windows? (is it free or commercial?)

uwe

Vizfizz
02-26-2006, 08:27 PM
What are the thoughts on using Poser to create a general human shape and then take it into Silo or another modeler and modify it a lot to fit the look the artist is going for?


I don't want to discriminate against packages like Poser, however, parametric or stock models aren't really "your" work. Its someone elses work that you're using. I can consider using them as secondary or background objects...but never as the main subject.

Vizfizz
02-26-2006, 08:36 PM
two little questions:

do we have to use the templates all the time? or just for the final presentation?
and
has anybody the required font for windows? (is it free or commercial?)

uwe

Anytime you highlight a rendering or screen shot from EIAS, I'd like to use the template. This is mainly a "marketing" decision to help promote EIAS. So many times we see screenshots and renderings and we never really know the details on what is going in the scene. So please include them.

As for a screen font for PC...the font is Futura. If you don't have futura, I am fine with using a substitute for PC users as long as its san serif and looks reasonably similar. Can anyone offer a suggestion for a replacement font?

Whatever font you use on the template, just make it all the same.

mike33
02-28-2006, 11:25 AM
Hi,

I'm trying to create my wing using Net Surfaces and Nurb Curves in EIAS Modeler 5. It's very much a learning process.

Question: Does the amount of control points and knots on the Nurb Curve affect the Net Surface?

As my wing goes from the taller side to the shorter end I am eliminating the amount of points on the NURB curve. I'm not sure if this affects the final surface.

[sorry if this is answered in the Manual/eias books, trying to do a lot of stuff at the same time and may have missed it]

Thanks,

Mike

buggsy
03-08-2006, 10:52 AM
I just got a sick feeling in my stomach. I realized that I haven't been using the template. I have fixed this (please say its all better Brian) by fixing the 2 links of my rendered images to show the correct template.

Brian could you please tell me if I have put myseif out of the running with my failure to post the images originally with the template.

"All images must be placed into this template and all informational fields must be filled out. Failure to do so can cause disqualification."

Please tell me I can ask for grace because "CAN" is in this sentence and not "WILL".

Buggsy :sad:

Vizfizz
03-08-2006, 04:21 PM
I'm mainly interested in using the template for all hero shots that lack identification or information. All images for stage 4 definitely need to be in the template. So many times we see images online that do not highlight any information about the rendering at all.

Screenshots of the interface within EIAS would be nice to be in the template, but not required. Screenshots from other modeling programs are not required to be in the template. Just be sure to place any new EIAS hero renderings into the template. Ok?

Reuben5150
03-08-2006, 11:57 PM
Hi,

I'm trying to create my wing using Net Surfaces and Nurb Curves in EIAS Modeler 5. It's very much a learning process.

Question: Does the amount of control points and knots on the Nurb Curve affect the Net Surface?

Mike

Not 100% sure but yes i think it does, more important though is the export tessellation settings, you'll need to experiment to get a smooth surface, been a long time since i used EIM, but "max edge length" is one to watch.


Reuben

mike33
03-09-2006, 03:44 AM
Not 100% sure but yes i think it does, more important though is the export tessellation settings, you'll need to experiment to get a smooth surface, been a long time since i used EIM, but "max edge length" is one to watch.


Reuben

Thanks Reuben, I had to drop the Net Surfaces and used Knives on a Solid instead.
May not be pretty, but the model is 99% done. I need to spend more time playing with nurbs and nurb surfaces so I can understand how EI modeler works with them.

As far as Tessellation goes, I keep hearing people talk about it, but again I need to work with it more to understand it better.

My experience with 3d is geared mainly to sketch, extrude, revolve, subtract or add on
packaging/component type models using Unigraphics and ProE .

Thanks,

~Mike

bronco
03-13-2006, 12:34 AM
i have another question.

has the modeling stage to be completed on the 15th?
only texture and lighting work allowed after that point?

Vizfizz
03-13-2006, 04:58 AM
i have another question.

has the modeling stage to be completed on the 15th?
only texture and lighting work allowed after that point?

Answer: No. Modeling additions are still permitted to continue upto the night of the deadline, but only a final rendered image will qualify as a finished work on the 22nd. Contestants are required to submit WIPs in 3D by the 15th as a sort of milestone. Part of the judging criteria includes the involvement of the contestant in the contest community in addition to the final image. This contest also serves as a form of education for the community.

Individuals not submitting at least one test render or modeling wireframe by midnight March 15th PST will be disqualified.

halfworld
03-17-2006, 09:21 AM
Yo B,

Two questions:

1. Is occlusion allowed? - I don't think I'm going to use it, but I'm curious....
2. Is scaling down to size allowed?

Cheerio,
Ian :)

Vizfizz
03-17-2006, 04:11 PM
Yo B,

Two questions:

1. Is occlusion allowed? - I don't think I'm going to use it, but I'm curious....
2. Is scaling down to size allowed?

Cheerio,
Ian :)

1. Yes occlusion is allowed when its generated through EIAS. Compositing the occlusion in AE is also permitted.

2. Render to the size you desire, but don't go below the templates. If the templates are too small you may modify them to match your resolution. I made the templates a specific size in order to make them uploadable to CGTalk as attachments. If you have an outside source to store your pictures you may increase the size. Just keep the templates' look and data information intact.

mike33
03-17-2006, 06:59 PM
Answer: No. Modeling additions are still permitted to continue upto the night of the deadline, but only a final rendered image will qualify as a finished work on the 22nd. Contestants are required to submit WIPs in 3D by the 15th as a sort of milestone. Part of the judging criteria includes the involvement of the contestant in the contest community in addition to the final image. This contest also serves as a form of education for the community.

Individuals not submitting at least one test render or modeling wireframe by midnight March 15th PST will be disqualified.

Didn't see this, I miss read the instructions and I thought I needed all my models done.

Oh well... it's been a crazy week anyway...now I can explore the EI Modeler/EIAS tools I was trying to use on this piece without the rush...

well back to the day job...

Mike

halfworld
03-18-2006, 02:38 PM
Sorry Brian, I didn't make myself clear, what I meant to say was:

I'm having FoV anti-alias woes, can I render large and scale down rather then render at a higher anti-alias setting and send my render time into orbit (I have 10x multi-frame blur at the moment). So, in effect: Does scaling equate to manipulation?

Bon weekend!
Ian

Vizfizz
03-18-2006, 07:12 PM
Sorry Brian, I didn't make myself clear, what I meant to say was:

I'm having FoV anti-alias woes, can I render large and scale down rather then render at a higher anti-alias setting and send my render time into orbit (I have 10x multi-frame blur at the moment). So, in effect: Does scaling equate to manipulation?

Bon weekend!
Ian

As long as the original high resolution output was generated within EI I'm fine with you scaling something down. It would be a kin to scaling down a high resolution texture map for better optimization.

yhloon
03-22-2006, 06:20 AM
Ok.. let me clarify this. My biggest concern are indivduals using photoshop to touch up mistakes or to add/remove things that can't be done in EIAS. Compositing layers together is permissable because some users have slower machines and lesser amounts of RAM and they need to composite their work together in stages. As long as you are not painting, using a special non-EIAS plugin, or any other tool that modifies the pixels (outside of compositing) you're good. Using transfer modes between layers like add, lighten, darken, inverse, etc.. are acceptable because they exist in EIAS. Masking is only acceptable if the mask was generated through EIAS as an alpha channel.

Hi Brian,

I've created some clouds from Dante and Dante-clouds shader, to generate the normal maps, but i've brighten the alpha channel (which is generate from EI) a bit just to make the clouds looks thicker, (I've do a lot of test on EI but couldn't get the result I want, thats why I go for PS to brighten the alpha cahnnel...)

but from the message above... it seems that only alpha channel direct from EI is permitted...

am I disqualify from this contest...

anyway I'm still try to finish it before the deadline....


regards,
Loon

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c336/yhloon/CGT_Phoneix/sampleCloudConvert.jpg

Vizfizz
03-22-2006, 07:09 AM
1. The mask was originally generated in EI, so that qualifies.

2. The resulting alpha channel was then modified in a paint package by altering the levels to make the mask more opaque. The resulting image was then reutilized in EIAS. No direct painting manipulation was involved. Altering the histogram of an EI rendering is available within Electric Image through Northern Lights AG_Utilities shaders. Therefore it "could" be done in EIAS. If you possess those shaders, and failed to use them, I would disqualify you, but if you do not, I will permit your manipulation.

You may proceed to the final round provided you do not possess these shaders.

Vizfizz
03-22-2006, 07:26 AM
Additionally..

Creating alpha channels is a common, required technique, for proper texture placement and construction. Normal map construction, I believe falls into that catagory. Since you were using the result to produce a normal map to reuse in EI, I can not see how you could not avoid using levels to obtain the proper results.

Northern Lights AG_Utlities aside... proceed to the finals.

yhloon
03-22-2006, 07:50 AM
I don't have AG utilities (I don purchase any 3 party shader yet, except the free download), I just drop into NL web site, just curious... how frequent do we use these shader? since we can modify the end result with Photoshop or AfterEffect...


regards,
Loon

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