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View Full Version : Author Jack Vance's stories: "Planet of Adventure" or "Demon Princes"


Bryan Y
03-25-2008, 08:32 PM
Hello Everyone,

This thread is about a collaborative project to create an animated short depicting a scene and setting from one of Jack Vance's works: either Planet of Adventure or Demon Princes. If you've read Jack Vance's four book series entitled Planet of Adventure or his five book series Demon Princes, then you know what I'm talking about. Otherwise, for reference, try these links:



Planet of Adventure (http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Adventure-Jack-Vance/dp/0312854889/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206472197&sr=1-1)
Demon Princes (http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Princes-Vol-Killing-Machine/dp/0312853025/ref=pd_sim_b_img_2)
Jack Vance is a science fiction and fantasy author, and his works are decidedly different. My goals here would be to capture the true spirit of his characters, dialogue, and settings. Any fan of his works would understand completely where I'm coming from.

As a CG hobbyist, I go back many years. Aside from a diverse set of 3D skills, my general skills include photography (film and digital) and programming and scripting. My programming skills include RenderMan Shading Language, MEL, C, Perl, Python, PHP and a few others. I am adept at 3d modeling, but not at a professional speed. I have also made the effort to study lighting and cinematography. I hold my work to an extremely high standard, and I always want to push the envelope in terms of quality and detail.

My choice of platform would be 3Delight for rendering (production level RenderMan compliant renderer) and Maya for animation, Shake for compositing.

I am currently developing sophisticated RenderMan shaders, a road network and city generator. I also have been developing some experimental methods for human head modeling and animation.

If you're interested in collaborating on this project, I would hope that at the very least, you've either read the books, or would do so. Roles to be filled include all the standard ones:


Script creation
Concept art
Storyboard creation
Modeling
Texturing
Rigging
Animation
Musical score
Sound effects
etc.
I would prefer to create something short and of the highest quality, rather than longer but of lower quality. All of this is very preliminary, but if you're interested, then chime in with your two cents.

Below are sample outputs from the road map generator of my city generation tool that I'm developing for use in this project. You can read more about it in this post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5082834&postcount=18).



http://www.equinealbum.com/scratch2/mov/streetmap_33.jpg



http://equinealbum.com/scratch2/mov/streetmap1.jpg

Bryan Y
03-27-2008, 01:45 AM
Further information:

The above mentioned Jack Vance novels are classic space opera.

I will discuss Demon Princes in a later post. Immediately below is some information on Planet of Adventure.

Planet of Adventure is wild, with lots of baroque style villages (think of old European villages) and a few alien spaceport cities. Typical weapons you might find in any given Planet of Adventure scenario include:


Knives, daggers, swords, rapiers, etc.
Energy pistols
futuristic grenades
Vehicles in Planet of Adventure include:

Sky cars (designed and built by a few different alien races)
Space boats
Watercraft including cogs, yachts and barges
Land vehicles including wagons, carts, and drays
Typical clothing might include any of the following:

Rough woven fabrics, simple pants and shirts
Elegant clothing suitable for vain fops, dandies and aristocrats
Capes
Wide brimmed hats
Turbans
Ear rings, bracelets, and jewels
Pantaloons
Aside from the futuristic alien spaceports, think of human settlements in Planet of Adventure as going back a long way and heavily rich with antiquity. Typical features of human settlements might be:

Stucco and stonework
Steep tiled roofs
Rough old world aesthetics, slightly off window placements
Inns, hostels, and outdoor markets are common
Dark alleyways, narrow streets are common
The alien spaceports in Planet of Adventure, depending on the alien race, might feature:

Tall gleaming towers
Old industrial areas
Warehouse districts
Space yards, including hangars
Characters in these novels are colorful, often vain, and typically of a less than reputable nature. Swindlers, scoundrels, knaves, cutthroats, thieves and con artists are the order of the day. There are priestesses and peasants, dandies and aristocrats, assassins and so forth, all looking to line their purses with your money or bloody their blade with your blood, while always professing to be nothing but the most honest and above board citizen.

Bryan Y
03-27-2008, 05:42 AM
Demon Princes is, in many parts, a detective story in a classic space opera setting. The protagonist hops from planet to planet in the galaxy seeking out five individuals (the Demon Princes). Jack Vance paints quite an interesting and diverse set of locales, cultures and characters along the way. Any one of these offers great potential for a mini-segment of the story.

Below, I've outlined in a similar fashion as I did for Planet of Adventure some of the components of the stories.

Typical weapons and gadgets you might find in any given Demon Princes scenario include:

Small concealed knives.
A Projac, which is a futuristic type of energy pistol
A number of different implements and vials to poison others
Sticktights: very tiny robotic tailing devices
Communication devices, large screen display devices
Vehicles in Demon Princes include:

Futuristic scooters, taxicabs and mass transport systems
Large spacecract, space yachts, and small spacecraft
Sky cars and hovercraft
Clothing ranges the full gamut representative of numerous cultures, most cultures being civilized and urban:

Several young women characters offer the potential for futuristic and sexy dress styles, with possibly bright saturated electric hued hair dyes
Depending on the male characters, they may be dressed as successful administrative types, foppish and somewhat ridiculous gentlemen, or utilitarian and casual
Some odd cultural types may be dressed in their native form of dress

The physical settings are a mix between indoors and outdoors.

Typical indoor settings include (mostly modern and futuristic, but some rustic):

Hotel lobbies and rooms
Restaraunt dining areas
Sophisticated university administrative offices and reception lobbies
Sophisticated private offices of a large-scale investigative agency
Offices and manufacturing areas of engineering firms
Typical outdoor settings include:

Futuristic cosmopolitan cities with high rising offices and apartment towers
Outdoor streetside cafes
Old rustic neighborhoods
Futuristic shoreline highways
An outdoor arena
A sandy desert
An dark alleyway outside the service entrance of an engineering firm
etc., etc. etc.; lots of possibilities
Some sample scenarios and visuals include:

Breaking and entering for the purpose of detecting
Motoring along a futuristic highway
Tense interviews and dialogues with suspicous characters who seem to have excellent poker faces
Fights, assasinations and kidnapping
A very interesting type of sanctioned arena style combat
etc., etc., etc.; lots of possibilities

Bryan Y
03-30-2008, 06:46 PM
Currently, there exists the opportunity for people to join in at the ground floor of this project. I know that to some, that's not a good thing, and to others, its a plus.

At this point, I'm building a proxy set of a village, and I'm going to create some animatic storyboards of a scene within the village to try and sell this project.

softdistortion
03-31-2008, 01:01 AM
Hey Bryan, it's a huge hill to climb, but I had to say you're doing the right thing starting to create assets (yourself if need be) to sell your idea and raise interest. Try to make it look as good as possible and people will start to take note. It's kind of the defacto method in here. :thumbsup:

jtype
03-31-2008, 06:04 AM
Well, Bryan Y.. If you need any music or sound fx, please don't hesitate to cantact me, I would be more than willing to help out on this project:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=73&t=610173

Please feel free to check out my portfolio, which is in my signature.

J Type

Bryan Y
03-31-2008, 10:18 PM
softdistortion:
Thanks for your input. You're right - I probably need to create some assets, and so I'm working on some stuff. But I put the whole idea out there to try and gather some interest, perhaps from those who might've already read the books in question. Time will tell.

jtype:
Check your private messages.

Bryan Y
04-03-2008, 04:57 AM
I finally got around to providing more information on the Demon Princes novels and the possibilities they offer. It is the third post of this thread: scroll up or click here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5044122&postcount=3).

So, if one or more modelers/riggers/animators/generalists join up, we could jointly make a decision on which scenario/segment to pursue from either Planet of Advneture or Demon Princes. In the meantine, I am working on an animatic storyboard of one possible scene to energize this project, as well as RenderMan shaders and rendering tools.

Bryan Y
04-05-2008, 08:04 PM
Let me go out on a limb here and speculate. Basically, what I'm speculating is this: Jack Vance has a hardcore set of readers of his fiction; enough so that many of them formed a group to republish all of his works in a special limited edition leatherbound set known as the Vance Integral Edition. This was done as a labor of love and is testimony to their appreciation of his works and unique style.

I have no doubt that there are many fans of his fiction who would be impressed by a quality short, if done correctly, and since many of those fans know Jack Vance (especially through doing the Vance Integral Edition), would probably be able to secure permission to build a feature length film.

All speculation of course, but still...

I submit the following sites about appreciation of Jack Vance's works:


Foreverness (http://www.integralarchive.org/)
A Few Words About Jack Vance (http://greatsfandf.com/AUTHORS/JackVance.php)

Jack Vance: Lord of Language (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/jvprofile.htm)
Jack Vance in the 25th Century (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/lyonesse.htm)
A Visit to Jack Vance (http://homepage.mac.com/joebergeron/jackvance.html)
The Jack Vance Information Page (http://www.massmedia.com/%7Emikeb/jvm/)
The Jack Vance Archive (http://www.jackvance.com/)
Jack Vance Bio on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Vance)
Jack Vance Book Covers (English editions) (http://www.jackvance.com/dbase/imagesall.php?lang=1)
An article about Jack Vance's works at zone-sf. (http://www.zone-sf.com/jackvance.html)
Jack Vance, an appreciation (http://www.ulujain.org/vance/vance.shtml)
Another author's take on Jack Vance's style (http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2007/11/18/jack-vances-dying-earth/)
Really good description of Vance's style (http://www.keithpurtell.com/kthings/body_vance.htm)


I'll add more items to the above list as I find them. I recall some other interesting ones that I've seen in the past, but I'll have to find them again.

dy031101
04-05-2008, 09:01 PM
Would there be opportunities to model the spacecraft and the likes? (A slight majority of my interest lies in modelling vehicles. :) )

Guess a trip to the Central Library is in order......

Oh, first time poster here. Nice to meet you.

Tasp
04-05-2008, 09:24 PM
I haven't read any Jack Vance but as a fan of Sci-Fi I think I'll check it out.

And good luck with the project and asset building Bryan, I look forward to seeing what you're putting together.

Bryan Y
04-06-2008, 02:11 AM
I haven't read any Jack Vance but as a fan of Sci-Fi I think I'll check it out.Initially you won't know what to expect, and you'll feel compelled to compare him to other stuff, but as you read, you'll realize he's a master of language and satire, and once you get into the rhythm and flow of his words and descriptions, you'll undergo a shift in your appreciation of the way he crafts his stories. Have a dictionary handy, for fun. You'll see what I mean.

Bryan Y
04-07-2008, 02:46 AM
I've been scouring through existing 3D artwork (mostly from this site) to find art that captures the mood, lighting, architecture and overall feel of how I visualize a lot of the material in Vance's works. The images below are, I think, evocative of the imagery created by these novels.

Naturally, I wouldn't want to directly copy any of the images below, but instead, take inspiration from them. I've listed imagery which seems to work for Planet of Adventure first, and then Demon Princes second. There might be some overlap between the two here and there.

This list is a work in progress! Expect to see new additions and maybe a deletion every now and then.

Planet of Adventure



Human Settlements



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=605796
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=449062
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=615095
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=605955
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=616985
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=604799
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=607739
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=603731
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=610141
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=201834
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=366876
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=308066
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=615943
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=167429
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=603853
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=215184
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=600976
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=596243
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=592255

Female Characters



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=594845

Male Characters



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=597962

Alien Races



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=607521
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=282203

Industrial Settings



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=608658

Baroque Sculptures, Baubles, Artwork, Antiquities, etc.



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=608859
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=617698
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=604558
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=604278

Planet Landscape



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=609396
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=614925
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=617117
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=605304
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=592545

Alien Cities



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=613931
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=189093
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=609512
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=613432
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=211298
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=615838
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=591564
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=472031

Alien Beasts



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=615267
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=611122

Weapons



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=592666

Demon Princes



Space craft

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=607655
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=609885
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=211306
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=211300


Futuristic Vehicles



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=610164
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=161608

Female Characters



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=616946
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=365918
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=254850

Male characters



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=596145
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=597962

Modern Interiors



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=607945
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=607925
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=608743
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=616260
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=617641
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=604282
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=603765
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=599485
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=593997

Sprawling Futuristic Cities



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=211289


http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=613432

Rustic Areas



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=615943
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=180425
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=167797
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=600403

Planet Landscapes


http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=617117
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=121&t=481064

Abstract



http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=598119

Bryan Y
04-07-2008, 04:22 AM
Really good sample of Jack Vance's writing available below...

For those who are not familiar with Jack Vance, but want to get feel for the flavor of his stuff, to better gauge this project, then as an excellent sampling, you might want to read the first few pages of The Magnificent Showboats of the Lower Vissel River, Lune XXIII South, Big Planet, more commonly known as Showboat World.

Read the initial Handbook section if you want, but if you really just want to sample the essence of Vance, and his characters, then read pages 3 through 6. The stuff just gets better the more you read it, and then you begin to savor the subtleties of the dialogue and the images he conjures in your head.

Here is the link to the PDF file (http://www.integralarchive.org/files/showboat.pdf).

Bryan Y
04-12-2008, 04:42 AM
Update:

Basically, I'm doing three things:



Previsualizing a potential scene to do: specifically one related to the three protagonists in Planet of Adventure taking shelter in the city of Maust while being hunted by an alien race and meeting up with Issam the Thang.
Developing RenderMan shaders.
Waiting for some enthusiasm to build for this project, and hoping someone else who has either read the books or is willing to read the books, so that they may offer input on the scene, or suggest an alternative scene.
Let me detail each in turn:


Previsualization:

I've looked at some of the animatic storyboards that Pixar does. Basically, it appears that they produce very simple geometry (boxes for buildings, cardboard cutouts for people and props) and then texture these elements with quickly sketched artwork. These simple props are animated if necessary. Most importantly, the camera movements are animated, to help visualize the camera dynamics and framing of each shot. As an aside, here is a PDF file (http://cloud.cs.berkeley.edu/%7Ecnm/lectures/01/L01-RN-DesigningAPixarFilm.pdf) which describes at a high level the process by which Pixar creates a movie.

Using Maya, I've built some simple proxy geometry of several alleyways and a main street, with buildings on each side. This represents an idea of how a part of the village Maust would appear in the third volume of Planet of Adventure. It's where our three protagonists furtively skulk about, avoiding being detected, considering the loot they're carrying. Ultimately, it's where they'll meet Issam the Thang.

For this scene, I visualize the alien sky cars floating overhead, looking for the protagonists as they try and gain shelter for the night. There are a number of detail elements that I've been toying with to add atmosphere. I've enumerated some below:

As the camera pans down from viewing an alien sky car flying overhead, a small lizard scurries across the stucco of a wall.
The camera pans from a rooftop as three sky cars race by, and at the end of the shot, the camera settles on a monkey like beast which has been sitting on the rooftop. The monkey lets out a sceram as he watches the sky cars race by.
Our three protagonists are hiding in an alley, waiting for the street to clear.
A sky car hovers overhead, and the camera looks into the residence of a middle aged woman, whom slams the window's shutters shut.
The hinged hanging sign of a butcher shop creaks gently. The shop's proprieter steps outside to see what the fuss is all about.
Our protagonists hiding in the alley wait for him to go back inside...
RenderMan shaders:

I want a very realistic appearance. I want to push the envelope on realisim.

I'm a big fan of RenderMan. If RenderMan is good enough for King Kong, The Lord of the Rings, all the Pirates movies, All the Spiderman movies, all the Harry Potter movies, all Pixar movies, etc., then it's good enough for me. As a programmer, I prefer the RenderMan hackability, customizability, and full control it offers.

I'm using 3Delight as the RenderMan compliant renderer. It's production stable, and a proven workhorse in the cinematic effects industry.

I'm working on a planetary atmosphere shader, various stonework shaders, various stucco shaders, and others. The atmosphere shader is a volume shader. The stonework shaders feature nonlinear displacements, which means you get displaced details on the sides of your displacements. The stucco shaders feature cracks and dust on the tops of the mortar globs. These are very sophisticated shaders. They are still in development though, and I'll post renders as soon as I'm able.

Join Up:

Obviously this project is in the incubation stages, and nothing is engraved in stone with regard to the scene to do, etc. I'd like to get some interested people to join up, hopefully read either of the books, and provide input on what scene exactly to do.

jtype
04-12-2008, 02:31 PM
I think that the amount of info and updates that you have provided already, are an excellent sign of the level of professionalism on this project!

The forum links that you provided give me a good sense of the type of visuals and atmosphere you want to create. Also, the link to the passage from one of Jack Vance's books, was well worth the read. I have to say I was really drawn in by his writing style and his descriptions. I am actually very tempted to go out and buy Planet of Adventure now..

This project definitely is having the right foundations laid down!

Bryan Y
04-12-2008, 05:25 PM
dy031101:
I totally missed your message here in this thread until now. Sorry for not responding. Check your Personal Messages. I've posted some questions for you there.

jtype:
Thanks for your continued interest. I really do recommend reading either of the suggested books, especially if you were drawn into the posted sample.

Bryan Y
04-13-2008, 03:35 AM
City Generation

For this project, I'm in the process of developing a number of tools, scripts, shaders, etc. to hopefully facilitate the production of highly complex realistic outdoor scenes. The intention is to use them for this project.

Below is a vector display showing some sample output of the road map generator I'm developing for cities and villages. By changing parameters, different road map patterns can be generated, to depict old world style roads, either chaotic or radial/concentric or more modern industrial grid like roads. Also, the roads can be built around existing features such as parks, lakes, etc.

The image below only shows one possible road system from an infinitely large set, and the image includes no city details. From such a road map, the program would then go on to subdivide city blocks, map zones to them, create sidewalks, buildings, public infrastructure, etc. Also, traffic paths are defined, to facilitate crowd movement.

The idea is to allow great panoramic aerial shots, which could conceivably fly down to street level.

http://equinealbum.com/scratch2/mov/streetmap1.jpg

Sample road map generated by a Python script I'm developing

Mauritius
04-15-2008, 05:29 PM
For this project, I'm in the process of developing a number of tools, scripts, shaders, etc. to hopefully facilitate the production of highly complex realistic outdoor scenes. The intention is to use them for this project.
Why not apply for beta of this (http://www.procedural.com/) instead?

.mm

Bryan Y
04-15-2008, 07:43 PM
Why not apply for beta of this (http://www.procedural.com/) instead?Their original paper which talked about generating road networks using Environmental L-systems was the inspiration for the city generator I've been developing. I've been following that project, but I didn't know there was a beta release available.

I'll look into it! Thanks.

(Although I am starting to become fond of the workflow and special features I'm incorporating into my processes).

jtype
04-15-2008, 09:02 PM
Well, if you can create a tool to do exactly what you want, why not? No one knows the features that are important to you, better than you do. I think it's an excellent idea.

Having said that, taking a look at the beta of Procedural might give you some good ideas..

Bryan Y
04-16-2008, 06:51 AM
The road map image I posted displays uniformity, which means that everywhere it displays the same style of road interconnectivity. That's good and bad. It's good for regions, but it's bad for a whole city. A whole city will have differing styles (defined by block size, road density, intersection angles, etc.), and the regions in question will define that: old vs. new, industrial, residential, rural, and so on.

My code as it stands is ready to take those modifications I just described. So I'm looking forward to building some new test road networks.

I've also started working on an architecture generator. For the longest time I had only a vague idea how to do it, but it appears that I worked out a pretty good method tonight. Basically, given a plot of land, any zoning laws and general style, a general footprint of exterior walls are created. Then, by evaluating a set of rules which state what is required, what is optional, and so on, the program goes through a set of steps where an item (such as a front door, balcony, window, etc.) is proposed, then evaluated for being in harmony with the rest of the building features, to see if it actually fits, and to see if it aligns well. If it passes these tests, it is inserted and the proposal process begins anew.

I'm also working on very precise and detailed RenderMan shaders which are designed to fit nicely with the architecture that will be generated.

Hopefully, I'll be generating large and small cities for this project soon!

sunit
04-16-2008, 02:55 PM
these guys are also blogging their implemention of city generation:

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/introversion/viewtopic.php?t=1132

the blog:

http://www.introversion.co.uk/blog/index.php

sunit

Bryan Y
04-17-2008, 04:14 AM
sunit:
Thanks for the link. It looks like they've been studying the same paper as well.

I'm actually getting pretty excited about the tools I'm developing.

To everyone:
With regard to the project, I'd really like to see some people read one or both of the books, so that we could discuss possible ideas/scenes and meld our vision and realize something awesome here.

I was working on an animatic storyboard, but I've since become productive on my procedural tools, so I figure, work where the momemtum is carrying you. I'm working on the following:



Terrain erosion generation, for creating a huge expanse of terrain with drainage networks (much more realistic than a straight fractal landscape).
The road network generator, which draws off of the terrain generator, defines zones such as farmland, industrial, commercial, etc.
The architecture generator, which draws off of the road generator and uses rulesets to generate different kinds of architecture.
RenderMan shaders which dovetail with the architecture generator to allow extreme closeups of the architecture.
RenderMan shaders for the atmosphere.

Bryan Y
04-19-2008, 05:52 AM
Alien Races


I found two illustrations done by Wayne Barlowe. The illustrations appear in the book Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature (http://www.amazon.com/Barlowes-Guide-Extraterrestrials-Science-Literature/dp/0894803247/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208580213&sr=1-6). The book features two alien races from Vance's Planet of Adventure.

Illustration #1 (http://www.umtoquedearte.com/silver/gtoextwb2/pages/Barlowe_Wayne-Pnume-D50.htm) is of the alien race known as the Pnume. The illustration captures the essence of the race, as you might envision them while reading the book. I might have left the points off of the hat's brim, but you get the idea.

Illustration #2 (http://www.umtoquedearte.com/diamond/gtoextwb1/pages/Barlowe_Wayne-Dirdir-D50.htm) is of the alien race known as the Dirdir. Again, I might have envisioned them just slightly differently, but still, it captures their essence.

If anyone is interested in modeling one or the other of these beings, I'd hope you'd read the book and go through a series of concept sketches and discussion. Any takers?


More City Generation

I've made some updates to my city generation program, and I'm happy with its progress. I can now specify a few simple rules and totally change the type of road networks that might be generated. The image below is one of a few different networks that it has been generating lately.

There's still room for improvement, and I'm working on those improvements now. For example, the light blue roadways seen below are generated off of one simple rule. If I add a few more similar (but not exactly similar) rules, neighborhoods that are similar to the light blue ones, but with slightly different character will also be generated in other areas of the city. More rules add more character and realism to each city.

I intend to add more rules and refine them, and then generate different cities and villages as the need arises.

http://www.equinealbum.com/scratch2/mov/streetmap_33.jpg

Geuse
04-28-2008, 09:19 PM
I guess I've understood you correctly, but just to clarify.
You want to recreate a couple of scenes from one or more of Jack Vance's books?
The chosen stories do not need to have anything in common and could come from all three of the books you mentioned and should merely be seen as stand alone stories. No continuity, right?

Are you thinking of short scenes like 2-3 minutes or a bit more massive short story, like squeezing some scenes together that make up a portion of the novel?

I find this interesting and as you so glorifying describes Jack Vance's work, I must check it out. Also I'd like to participate if I could find the time, for the experience of working with others and to benefit and grow as an artist. But that all depends on how fast you want to make this project.

I'm a modeler, sculptor, part rigger, part animator, but suck at all other things such as lighting, shaders, rendering.

Bryan Y
04-28-2008, 11:26 PM
I guess I've understood you correctly, but just to clarify.
You want to recreate a couple of scenes from one or more of Jack Vance's books?
The chosen stories do not need to have anything in common and could come from all three of the books you mentioned and should merely be seen as stand alone stories. No continuity, right?
My idea is adjustable, so nothing is engraved in stone. But to be precise, my original idea is to recreate one scene from either the four volume series entitled Planet of Adventure, or one scene from the five volume series entitled The Demon Princes. But as I said, my idea is adjustable - more important is to find agreeable people who are enthusiastic.

Are you thinking of short scenes like 2-3 minutes or a bit more massive short story, like squeezing some scenes together that make up a portion of the novel?I'm thinking quality over quantity with regard to minutes. Perhaps somewhere in the range of 2 or 3 minutes up to a max of probably 8 to 10 minutes. Because of the code I'm working on to generate procedural geometry (cities and so forth) - that buys us the opportunity to do aerial shots, grand opening shots, etc., which can provide some extra footage.

I find this interesting and as you so glorifying describes Jack Vance's work, I must check it out. Also I'd like to participate if I could find the time, for the experience of working with others and to benefit and grow as an artist. But that all depends on how fast you want to make this project.It's very important to me that interested parties (such as yourself) read and like the books mentioned (at least one series or another).

Let's say for example, that you read Planet of Adventure. Then being familiar with the story, characters, overall atmosphere, and so on, we could agree together on what would be an excellent scene to create. My timeline is both short and long. I am anxious to get some enthusiastic, willing and able people signed up right away so that we can start fleshing out some material. As for finishing, I am long term, as I would like to place quality first.

Jack Vance has written some excellent books. I have had some difficulty getting into a few other titles of his, but I absolutely loved The Demon Princes and Planet of Adventure. He has written some other highly praised works, but my recommendations are the The Demon Princes and Planet of Adventure.

I'm a modeler, sculptor, part rigger, part animator, but suck at all other things such as lighting, shaders, rendering.It sounds like your skills would be a perfect fit. I'm trying to take the lead on shaders and rendering. What are your tools of choice? Any sample work to show?

Geuse
04-29-2008, 01:28 PM
my website is the www.thedagnode.com (http://www.thedagnode.com)
hence my name is Dag =)


Haven't really updated in a while, but I can assure you I've made some progress =)
As far as the cartoony character goes I just love cartoony stuff, but I just want to assure you that I'm infact also able to create realistic ones as well so you don't need to be scared to end up with cartoony stuff =).

What kind of realism are you striving for?
Is it something stylistic like final "fantasy advent children" or more to the "lotr", "king kong"

I'm trying to put together my new reel at this very moment, but rendering, lighting and shading is bugging the hell out of me, but hopefully you'll se that I have other skills and I'd love to participate to learn more, but of course I will have to read up on Jack Vance first.

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 04:59 PM
What kind of realism are you striving for?
Is it something stylistic like final "fantasy advent children" or more to the "lotr", "king kong"Although I love cartoony stuff like Pixar's The Incredibles, I want realism for this project. I mean like LOTR or King Kong. I realize there is the uncanny valley to contend with, but I see it as a challenge. I hope that doesn't scare you off. I often see people ask "why bother, when you can just film real people?" Well, the answer is, you cannot, unless you have access to high end cameras, booms, cranes, dollies, tracks, steadicams, green screen studios, helicopters, crews of people, cooperative weather, gaffers, trucks, etc. I like the epic high end cinema look, and that really is only achievable either through cg work, or all of the infrastructure I just mentioned.

I'm adopting the following for the look and feel: strive with all your ability to acheive realism, and see what look evolves, and if it looks evocative, beautiful, etc., then go with it.

I believe the rendering problem for realistic humans has been solved. I don't believe animation for realistic humans has been solved, but through observation, I think I know what the last major problem is: I call it the bobble head look. Humans (and animals) don't slowly roll their head or hands around. They in fact remain nearly still (with tiny balancing movements in the range of a few millimeters still occurring). Then, when the need arises, or something has grabbed their attention, they rather quickly redirect the position of their head or hand to where it needs to be.

Case in point: consider someone giving their attention to a book or computer screen. Their head is mostly still. Then someone from the side asks a question. The person then begins to roll their eyes in that direction, and the head pivots at reasonable speed (not birdlike snapping speed, but the pivoting move happens in about 2/3 of a second), with the eyes arriving first, and the head rotating enough so that the eyes are slightly rolled to the side to focus on the person asking the question. The head stops quickly and then stays in that position, with only slight millimeter sized adjustments until the next move. The next move might be another move like described above, but to redirect their gaze upon another object while answering the question.

The point is, we all remain mostly still, until something catches our attention, and then we fairly quickly readjust our position and orientation, and again remain relatively still. I still see a fair amount of bobble head type animation in realistic human animation, and I think it's wrong and adds to the uncanny valley effect.

And then I've studied saccadic eye motion and eye focus. It's important that the character's eyes focus (both pupils pointed towards their object of attention) properly. However, the focus is constantly changing. This can to some extent be automated by scripts and then augmented with animator adjustments.

Here's how it is automated: You tell the script what the object of attention is. Let's say it's another person. Locators are embedded on all people and objects and labeled as to their look and function. On a person, locators are placed on the eyes, nose, lips, ears, any scars, any odd features, pimples, wounds, etc. The script is given the type of relationship between the two individuals: formal, just met, lovers, casual friends, etc. Based on the relationship, restraint is either in check or not. The less restraint is in check, the more the eyes are going to bounce from one feature to another, in rapid saccadic eye movement, and the eyes will linger on each feature for some random interval, again based on haptic eye studies. Certain features (repulsive wounds, etc.) evoke different emotional responses, such as disgust, etc. Again, due to restraint, the facial features might evoke the mildest response of say, disgust, hardly noticable, perhaps a millimeter twitch in the eyes and mouth. Other attributes which drive eye behavior are nervousness, fear, anger, rapture, etc. Different parameters can give different performances.

There are some key features to the above mentioned techniques: eyes are a biological mechanism, and their speed and movement generally conform to certain parameters, and often involuntary. I'm certain that fine tuning of scripts can give convincing performances, which might need fine tuning by an animator. I think the scripts could more consistently produce realism, except for those moments when the animator needs to put the character's eyes on some feature for a specified interval.

Also, automated scripts should handle pupil dilation, controlled by incoming light and emotional response, including fear, anger, interest of object being studied, etc.

Ultimately, the idea is "directable characters", which act to our direction. Yes, fine tuning will be required, I admit.

Like all good CG which astounds, I see this project as something to push the envelope, using custom built tool sets, experimenting, and not being afraid to push the limits with new ideas.

I'm trying to put together my new reel at this very moment, but rendering, lighting and shading is bugging the hell out of me, but hopefully you'll se that I have other skills and I'd love to participate to learn more, but of course I will have to read up on Jack Vance first.I see that you use Maya, which is perfect, and it integrates with my pipeline. Would you be interested in downloading and installing 3Delight and 3Delight for Maya (http://www.3delight.com/en/)? 3Delight is the RenderMan compliant renderer and my renderer of choice for this project. The first license is free. Subsequent licenses are $1,000 each.

Since your skills seem to be modeling and rigging with Maya, I'd be eager to see if you want to start trying to build some objects. Also, I see you're a competent sketch artist, so producing some concept art would be great as well.

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 05:19 PM
Further note: don't get me wrong; I'm not talking about automated animation, but allowing certain movements to be blocked through animation. Also, ask a script for recommend acceleration and decelartion of head movements, eye movements, etc. Let a script ask you for the desired end position, desired point of focus for the character's eyes, and the character's current mood, and then let the script block it for you with a suggested speed and final rotation.

Also, let the script give you several different sample saccadiceye performances, of which you can select one or none. depending on what you want. Also, if you want, tell the script you want a haptic eye movement from here to here, and let the script give you the proper accelerations and deceleration of the movement.

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 05:37 PM
Another point with regard to realistic human animation: blood flow. Beneath the epidermal layers, the quantity of blood flow is dictated by mood: anger, fear, embarrasment, health, and so on. Fear drains our blood away from our head. Anger flushes our face. These subsurface layers either increase or decrease their redness based on these parameters.

Some prior cg animated movies which attempted to leap over the uncanny valley did in fact ignore blood flow into the face, and it only increased the zombie look.

Geuse
04-29-2008, 06:01 PM
Wow, to begin with. Sincerely, thank you for your nice compliments. Not used to receive any. I know I lack experience, but I think this project could benefit me and that I could contribute, cause I know the programs and I have a feel for proportion. What I'd need is some guidance and input, and this seems to be a way to get there. All my characters are created without references...except a sketch by my side.

Oh, and yes. I use maya, sorry, forgot to mention earlier. Maya, Zbrush, Photshop are the main tools. but I'm having a hard time with zbrush from time to time, mostly cause I don't really know how to solve certain things.

About the projects and you're description. It all looks very cool what you're talking about - ultimate realism. However I'm a bit concerned as to what it'll take to get there, but I have total faith in you as you seem to be a professional and to know what you are talking about.

I'm really not a scripter either, but I enjoy rigging. I know how to manipulate easy forms of scripts to suit my own needs when rigging and automating tasks. But either way, I think you'd need more than a bunch of people to pull this project off. Also when talking about realism, you'd want muscle and fat jiggle, cloth, hair etc and I'm far from a master in those areas.
But if you want me onboard, I'm here.

I've heard of this renderer and it sounds cool (actually when thinking about it, I think I read it in your first post =) ). Anyway, I'd really like to learn it. Will have to check it out when I'm done with the reel.
But I'll look for one of Vance's books when I'm going to the library in a couple of days.

I just have some questions 'til then. Are the characters the same in these books you've mentiones. I mean if the books are forming a series i.e stories that takes place in the same universe like for instance Frank Herbert's DUNE epos or is it more like Philip.K Dick and Robert Heinlein. Where you merely explore this specific tale.

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 06:18 PM
About the projects and you're description. It all looks very cool what you're talking about - ultimate realism. However I'm a bit concerned as to what it'll take to get there, but I have total faith in you as you seem to be a professional and to know what you are talking about.Well, to set things straight, I don't get paid by anyone to do cg, so by that definition, I'm not a professional. What I am is someone who has been learning cg for over twenty years. There's still tons of stuff that I'm not an expert at, but I am the ultimate generalist, and I'm very observant, have an eye for beauty, and I've been programming forever.

I'm really not a scripter either, but I enjoy rigging. I know how to manipulate easy forms of scripts to suit my own needs when rigging and automating tasks. But either way, I think you'd need more than a bunch of people to pull this project off. Also when talking about realism, you'd want muscle and fat jiggle, cloth, hair etc and I'm far from a master in those areas.I write C code, Python code, Perl code, MEL code and whatever else is necessary. Don't underestimate what a small team can do if they have tools to generate a lot of material - i.e. city generators, procedural animation, etc. It's the journey that interests me - that is, the process of doing it.

But if you want me onboard, I'm here.Great! I know you haven't read any of the books yet, but would you be willing to try your hand at some concept sketches based upon some descriptions provided by me?

I just have some questions 'til then. Are the characters the same in these books you've mentiones. I mean if the books are forming a series i.e stories that takes place in the same universe like for instance Frank Herbert's DUNE epos or is it more like Philip.K Dick and Robert Heinlein. Where you merely explore this specific tale.More like Dune. Planet of Adventure is four novels detailing the plight of three characters attempting to fulfill a goal. The Demon Princes is a five novel story detailing the exploits of one man attempting to fulfill his goal. The imagery in both of these novels just begs for a cg animation.

Geuse
04-29-2008, 06:40 PM
Wow, that was a fast reply.
Well i'm not a professional either since I don't either get paid. unemployed =/
But have hopes of changing that soon.

Ok, supercool, then I know what I'm about to expect. Sounds great.
Yes I could give concept sketching a shot. Shock me with ideas and style and I'll try to come up with something!

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 06:49 PM
Ok, supercool, then I know what I'm about to expect. Sounds great.
Yes I could give concept sketching a shot. Shock me with ideas and style and I'll try to come up with something!Cool! Check for a reply/description in this thread within an hour or two (if I'm able to get to it within that time).

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 07:36 PM
Some objects/characters in need of concept art sketches:

Planet of Adventure: Characters


Adam Reith: Earthman, stranded on an alien planet. He is between thirty and thirty-five years of age and caucasian. He has fair skin, but tanned/burned from sun exposure. He is lean and athletic, neither super muscled, nor out of shape. He is perhaps about six feet tall. He is ruggedly handsome, but not extremely handsome. He has dark hair. He has been roughing it so to speak on this planet, and his hair is probably a bit messy, perhaps a little rough around the ears. Naturally he has stubble from time to time. His clothing consists of the original spaceman underclothing which he wore upon arrival, and simple roughly woven shirts and pants which he has procured locally. He probably keeps his energy pistol holstered and keeps a knife as well.

Ankhe at Afram Anacho: He is tall and lean, nearly six and half feet tall. Perhaps about forty years of age. Completely bald. Caucasian, but tanned skin darker than Adam Reith's. His clothing is a mix of local rough garments procured while living as a fugitive, but his dress also includes some remnants of his former culture, which I can provide no specifics, but suffice to say, would have its own peculiar styles, influenced heavily by an alien race's sense of aesthetics, mostly arsitocratic and sophisticated. He is somewhat vain, but a practical man as well.

Zap 210: Caucasian female, exquisitiely beautiful and fine featured. She is about twenty years of age, is slender, dark haired, and her skin is very pale, due to lack of outdoor exposure. Due to blockage of her hormones, she is somewhat underdeveloped, but nonetheless obviously female. She might be typically dressed in a black cloak and wide brimmed black hat.

Ylin Ylan, the Flower of Cath: Bronze skinned exotic female beauty, about twenty to twenty-four years of age. Haughty, aristocratic, and used to being provided for. Dark brown hair.

Dordolio: Caucasian male, late twenties. Blonde hair, tan skin, athletic. Very handsome. Unfortunately, he is vain, and considers himself to be important, hailing from an aristocratic background. He dresses like a dandy, in expensive flamboyant clothing if possible, with a rapier at his side.

Aila Woudiver: Caucasian man, about forty-five years of age. Obese, with a double, maybe even triple chin. Brown hair. He is malicious and does not project a friendly image. He is vain, but not handsome. Nonetheless, he considers himself a sophisticated gentleman. He has money, and dresses to match. He might be wearing a black cape clasped at the neck with a fancy emblem, a narrow brimmed hat worn at a slight angle, a golden dress shirt, black pants, and pointy toed shiny black shoes.

Planet of Adventure: Props


Energy Pistol: Compact pistol sized gun which shoots beams of energy. It is man made, perhaps about 200 or 300 years in our future. It should be ergonomically designed, perhaps with anodized metal surfaces and a textured grip. It should not be a crazy ridiculous game like super uber monster pistol. It should be understated, futuristic looking and of quality manufacture. Perhaps it has a control dial for dialing in beam intensity and a safety. Also, perhaps it has some type of subtle manufacturer logo, serial plate, etc. It might also have a recharge port for recharging, or a way to plug in a new energy cartridge.

Scanscope: An electronic type of binocular. It is man made, compact but powerful, and undoubteldy has some form of image stabilization. Somewhere accessible to a finger while being held would be a dial for changing its zoom level. It is sensitive enough to light to allow viewing during low light or at night. This is a high grade precision instrument, designed to take some abuse if necessary. Like the pistol, it probably has some type of manufacturer identification and perhaps a serial encoding on it.

Look for more additions to this list as I add them...

Bryan Y
04-29-2008, 08:05 PM
Alternatively, here are some objects/characters in need of concept art, if The Demon Princes is pursued instead.

The Demon Princes: Characters


Hildemar Dasce: Male, gaunt, thin, about six feet tall. Red hair, and a large jutting chin. Facial skin is artificially tinted red. One would be inclined to steer clear of this fellow. His nose has undergone less than attractive surgical modifications. He wears a device to aid in moisture to his eyes, as he cannot blink. He is also known as Beauty Dasce.

Pallis Atwrode: Caucasian female, about twenty-three years of age. She is a receptionist for some university administrators, and lives in our future perhaps 1,500 years from now. She is not exotic, but quite beautiful nonetheless. Imagine futuristic dress styles and makeup techniques. Her hair is unlikely to be longer than shoulder length, nor is it likely to be cropped short. Perhaps her hair is colored an electric blue or pink.

Krokinole Imp: A human race hailing from the Highlands of Krokinole. Men are less than five feet tall, with round faces, pointy ears, large eyes, large noses and proturbant mouths. In this case, imagine such a man, about fifty years of age, dressed conservatively.

The Demon Princes: Props


Scooter: This is a futuristic one man powered vehicle for urban use. It is not a motorcycle. It may have two, three, or four wheels. Alternatively, it may have no wheels, because perhaps it floats instead. It is up to the artist to interpret his vision. It should not be clunky, but rather sleek. But likewise, it is not an expensive or fancy vehicle, but one built for the masses. It should look like it has been engineered, that is to say, functionally it looks like a believable piece of machinery.

Computer Screen/Monitor: This is the far future, but still, people employ desktop display devices. What can you do, but embellish the device based upon what we have today, giving it a sleek appearance, with futuristic materials.

Projac: A small, concealable hand gun, which outputs an adjustable beam of energy. It should have a rotary dial for adjusting the output. Like other devices, it probably should have a manufacturer logo or engraving, and be made of high quality durable materials. And in this case, the projac should be light, not bulky.

Various Instruments of Combat and Death: In particular, concealable throwing daggers, knives, and stars. Small pin prickers which you can wear on a fingertip and will inject a poison. Various vials to store poisons.

Stick-tight: Various robotic flying probes ranging in size from an insect to a bird which track and follow subjects (people) for purposes of spying.

More to come...

Bryan Y
04-30-2008, 04:26 AM
I've been updating the above two posts with descriptions of characters and props. The list is still quite incomplete, and it all depends on which scene is chosen. I've tried to minimize spoiling any plots with my descriptions.

Geuse
04-30-2008, 03:57 PM
Just want to let you know I've been very busy these past days with my reel and finally when I'm soon to be done I need to take a little break. Visit my fiancée etc, but I'll be sketching in the meantime and hopefully be able to post in the beginning of next week. Just want to assure you I'm not bailing out, but that I'll be away for some days.

PS.
I really like the description you provided, and I find especially the "planet of adventure" very appealing. So I'm gonna start off with some sketches on that.

Take care!

Bryan Y
04-30-2008, 04:40 PM
...but I'll be sketching in the meantime and hopefully be able to post in the beginning of next week. Just want to assure you I'm not bailing out, but that I'll be away for some days.I'm looking forward to seeing what you produce. It is true that people will say they are enthusiastic and then disappear, but that's the way of Internet projects - especially ones in their beginning stages.

I really like the description you provided, and I find especially the "planet of adventure" very appealing. So I'm gonna start off with some sketches on that.I'm glad you find the material appealing. I especially hope that you are able to read the novels all the way through as well. I also think you'll find The Demon Princes appealing - I just haven't provided a fair sampling of the material for those novels yet.

Bryan Y
05-02-2008, 11:56 PM
So, among the people who have expressed interest, can I get some feedback on continued interest, where one stands with regard to modeling, and so forth?

I am working on a general codebase comprised mostly of C code for 3d work, for the following jobs:

Road network generation and parceling of land from simple rules.
Architecture generation for building massive cities from simple rules.
Large landscape generation including terrain erosion.
A realistic atmospheric shader.
Integration of the architecture with RenderMan shaders and RenderMan LOD techniques.
A procedural method of generating saccadic eye movements which conform to statistical studies as well as meeting artist needs.

I know that all of the above combined sound like a tall order, but the codebase I'm developing is allowing me to be rather efficient. The fact that these are for the most part command line driven tools frees up my coding energy to focus on the guts rather than the fluff.

jtype
05-03-2008, 01:52 AM
I have to say, although I haven't commented much recently, I have been following this thread from the beginning and my interest has only grown as it has progressed/developed.

The project looks ambitious, yet achievable; challenging, yet fun. I am definitely still interested in offering my skills, when and wherever they may be needed. Also, since I last contacted you, Brian, I have been developing and expanding my asset library, gearing alot of my sounds to the atmosphere I have imagined for the Planet of Adventure series.

I realise that at the moment you are looking more for modellers, riggers, animators etc. than Composers/Sound designers, but I thought I should let you know that I haven't forgotten about the project anyways.

J

Bryan Y
05-03-2008, 05:38 PM
I realise that at the moment you are looking more for modellers, riggers, animators etc. than Composers/Sound designers, but I thought I should let you know that I haven't forgotten about the project anyways.I'm glad to hear it. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware, it'll probably be several months (or more) at the very least before there's any real opportunity to utilize sound effects. But as long as your interest remains, then that time will come. If you get a chance to read the book(s) in the meantime, that would be good. :)

I wish I had more stuff to show at the moment, but I doubt anyone wants to look at code in progress. But I'm confident that I will have some interesting stuff to show soon. I think at that point, more people will start to get serious about joining up. Nothing sells like imagery.

Bryan Y
05-05-2008, 05:46 AM
Head and Eye Motion


I've been studying several papers on the behavior of one's eyes and how people interact. I have to admit, it's been very enlightening. The good news is that a lot of data has been quantified, and it can be used to create statistically realistic motion. One of the books in the field is Gaze and Mutual Gaze, but I've consulted some papers as well.

Here are some examples of the types of information available:


Mutual gaze is defined to be when two interacting individuals are making eye contact.
Gaze away is defined to be when one individual looks away. Note that one individual could be looking at the other, while the other is looking away, in which case, this is not considered to be mutual gaze.
Parameters are available which define the percentage of time that speakers engage in mutual gaze and gaze away, as well as when shifts from one type of gaze to another occur, for example at the ending of utterances.
Saccades are the rapid eye movements that occur as the eye shifts its focal point from one thing to another. They are typically under 15 degrees and achieve maximum velocities of up to 400 degrees per second. Saccadic movements less than a certain threshold do not in general cause associated head movement, but saccadic movements greater than a certain threshold cause head movement, and that head movement is regulated by a maximum velocity.
With regard to eye saccades, the velocity and magnitude (the total angle the eye rotates) is available under different circumstances: whether one is talking or listening, and whether one is engaged in mutual gaze or gazing away.
Also with regard to saccades, there is a value called the inter-saccadic interval, which is the elapsed time between saccades. These intervals are defined for both mutual gaze and gaze away.
Also, there are different distributions for diagonal eye saccades vs. horizontal or vertical saccades.
Eye blinks occur with a certain stochastic frequency, have a certain duration, and their frequency can increase or decrease during certain emotional states.
Mutual gaze and gaze away, as well as statistics for saccadic eye movements take on slightly different statistical values depending on if the two involved parties are both male, both female, or male and female. Other influencing factors are the proximity of the two individuals, whether there are objects of interest nearby or objects nearby which are being discussed.
I'm imagining a system (which can be supressed by the animator) which, given the dynamic between characters, and locators indicating positions on each of the character's faces, as well as locators indicating the positions of relevant and interesting objects, and the timing of utterances made by the characters, can compute realistic saccadic eye movements with realistic velocity, duration and magnitude, and mutual gaze and gaze away times, and ensure that all of these conform to the statistical variation allowed.

At anytime, the animator should be able to suppress any of the following: saccadic eye movement, blinks, and head turning starting from any frame and continuing to any frame. The animator can then manually perform those animations.

I'm trying to put together a MEL script that captures all of the above, and I'm eager to see what kind of performance it can give. Maybe it won't work, but maybe it will.

Geuse
05-06-2008, 02:09 PM
Ok, I'm back.
Been sketching some and atm 'm trying to make it look better in photoshop, but I'm not that good at using my wacom in photoshop so It may take a while longer, but I post as soon as I feel it looks decent

Bryan Y
05-06-2008, 05:26 PM
...but I post as soon as I feel it looks decentI'm looking forward to seeing what you post!

Geuse
05-06-2008, 09:01 PM
Meant to ask earlier, but forgot. By underclothing(for Adam Reith) you mean something t-shirt and boxers so I wouldn't need to adress that in this stage or are you referring to some kind of spaceman jumpsuit underneath his pants and shirt?

So otherwise it's just a simple pants and shirt. Can you give me some guidlines for the style you want perhaps? Towards the Blade Runner clothing Ford wears or some other more futuristic style? I'd appreciate some examples, but I'll try to make several versions on these

Any other stuffs, what kind of shoes is he wearing, any special gadget except his gun?
thanks. i've found a

Bryan Y
05-06-2008, 09:40 PM
Meant to ask earlier, but forgot. By underclothing(for Adam Reith) you mean something t-shirt and boxers so I wouldn't need to adress that in this stage or are you referring to some kind of spaceman jumpsuit underneath his pants and shirt?

So otherwise it's just a simple pants and shirt. Can you give me some guidlines for the style you want perhaps? Towards the Blade Runner clothing Ford wears or some other more futuristic style? I'd appreciate some examples, but I'll try to make several versions on these

Any other stuffs, what kind of shoes is he wearing, any special gadget except his gun?
thanks. i've found aFor Reith's clothing, I imagine it like this: he was dressed in a space suit (or at least the futuristic underclothing that one would wear underneath a space suit, such as a wicking microfiber undershirt) when he became stranded on the planet. He might have kept the shirt, and probably the boots (if they weren't clunky), and probably discarded the rest. Thus, he would procure locally, pants and perhaps a second shirt. Depending on what part of the novel one is depicting, his wardrobe gets upgraded over time, as he intermingles with different and often more sophisticed cultures, and as he gains money.

So, initially, his wardrobe would be a combination of the space suit undershirt and boots and a fairly rough woven simple pair of pants and a shirt/vest procured locally from fairly primitive people by our standards (think 5th century, perhaps).

Later, all of these would likely be discarded, as he procures finer and better garments from more sophisticated cultures. However, most of the cultures he procures from are baroque cultures, which means sort of fanciful and harking to the Renaissance. But keep in mind, Reith is very practical and not vain at all, so he would opt for simpler and functional clothing - but by the same token, he wants to blend in and be comfortable.

So, interpret it as you will.

He likely holsters his pistol, conceals a knife, possibly carries a pouch at his waist, and a small knapsack on his back.

Post any stuff you have, even if you think it's wrong. We can annotate and discuss, and evolve the images over time.

Bryan Y
05-06-2008, 09:46 PM
Further note: try not to create something that looks like contemporary western clothing (i.e. jeans or cargo pants). Think more in terms of very foreign clothing, historical clothing, simple rough clothing, fanciful dressy ornate clothing, and just plain different clothing not of our time and age.

For the simple clothing of the simpler cultures, I keep thinking of the type of clothing you might see Pakistani or Nepalese peasants or sherpas wearing. Other examples might come from the Mongolian plains, Tibet, or Afghanistan.

For the fanciful clothing, go all out: draw from the Rennaissance, futuristic themes, sci fi themes, fantasy themes, etc.

P.S: I hope you can read the book.

Geuse
05-06-2008, 09:57 PM
man, you post fast replies!!

ok, I think I see what u have in mind or maybe I just don't, but I'll try to finish a sketch for tomorrow and whether it is right or not I can't say cause I'm just trying to sort out what ur image is like so anyway we have something to talk about and dissect.

I found the book if this is the right one -
ISBN10: 0312854889
ISBN13: 9780312854881

I'm not clear if this is just the first book in a series of 3?

Bryan Y
05-06-2008, 10:08 PM
Both of those ISBNs are the four Planet of Adventure novels bundled into one book. Buy it!

Read my above post where I mention Pakistani, Nepalese peasant, etc. clothing styles.

Here are some samples:
http://plynx3.comfluent.net/images/mountainlight/121107_A/enlarged/GAR_100366.jpg
http://plynx3.comfluent.net/images/mountainlight/122707_A/enlarged/GAR102380.jpg

That's just a start. There could be embellishments. One type of wardrobe I envision is the simple rough fabric pants, a light loose rough spun shirt that is cream colored, and a tan colored vest with pockets. Just an idea.

Geuse
05-06-2008, 10:21 PM
ok, I'll give it a shot. something went wrong with my post above. didn't mean to give it a bad rating =)


What comes to mind is Luke's and Obi-Wan's jedi outfits from "a new hope". Seems like peasant and plain. I don't mean to copy it, but can that be used for reference or do you especially thinking of more garment swept around him. can it be sewn in a thoughtful manner or should it just be swept around.

EDIT: Just ordered the two books you linked to in your very first post which I guess it's the same ISBN I posted above. So they'll arrive next week. =)

Bryan Y
05-07-2008, 05:04 AM
What comes to mind is Luke's and Obi-Wan's jedi outfits from "a new hope". Seems like peasant and plain.If you must think in terms of Star Wars, I'd be more inclined to visualize Han Solo (http://www.blizzplanet.com/coppermine/albums/my-stuff/han-solo.jpg). Note the vest, pistol and simple shirt. But let's not copy Star Wars or even venture into that realm anymore. Not that there's anything wrong with Star Wars, but it's dangerous to start thinking in terms of existing visual media, as you often fall into a trench that channels your thinking. I would prefer that you try to draw examples from history, or existing cultures, or worst case, the visual medium of art, as opposed to film.

I don't mean to copy it, but can that be used for reference or do you especially thinking of more garment swept around him. can it be sewn in a thoughtful manner or should it just be swept around.Well, the thing is, I'm not thinking of any garment sweeping around the body at all. My examples were mostly to indicate fabric technology, material, etc. Just think of a simple shirt with buttons down the middle, and is fairly loose. Do something culturally interesting with the buttons, style, etc.

It's important to get into the mindset of the cultures, their technologies, materials, iconic symbols, themes that they reuse, etc. Nobody really knows these cultures. Just make something up that is plausible, detailed and consistent. Naturally, it'll help when you read the books, but even the books won't necessarily tell you about seams, stitching, fabric patterns, button engravings, and so on - although sometimes Vance does get very detailed in that respect. But whether the books describe X or Y or not, the concept artist has to come up with those details.

I've been working on ideas for the pistol, but nothing to post yet. But it's important that such objects appear to be designed, machined, manufactured, put together. What I mean, is it has to look as though each part could've been machined or cast. It has to look as though you could disassemble it, service it, repair it, and so on. It can't be like a cartoon device - it has to hold up to being plausible - and I would say even moreso than a lot of prior science fiction epic movies (CG or not). Some movies have done great things, others have created very cheesy props.

Greebles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble) are not allowed on important props. At best, they can be used for distant props. I can visualize several shots that could fill the frame with either the pistol, the scanscope, etc. And within those same shots might be buttons or stitching from clothing! That kind of stuff just has to be nailed to the nth degree of detail and plausibility.

Think of it like this: every frame is a masterpiece; an opportunity to dazzle the audience with beauty, detail, a visual feast to draw them into the world.

I hope I'm not scaring you away. I intend to produce (model in Maya) stuff like that. I hope that inspires you to push the envelope. Anyway, I get into these monologues where I must sound like I'm lecturing - but I'm just trying to articulate a vision, a way of doing things. I'm not indicating one way or another what your mindset is - I'm just trying to see if we're of the same mindset, or if you're ok with it.

Two people on this site (there are certainly many more that I'm not mentioning as well) that come to mind who seem to exercise my philosophy to the extreme (and I admire their work very much) are Denisa and DenkoM.

Check out Denisa's Draeni character (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=43&t=504542) (prepare to be stunned). Also, check out her Tx - Cyber (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=43&t=598831) Girl (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=43&t=598831) character.

And then check out DenkoM's Buggy Series (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=628248).

Really I think their stunning work comes down to a mindset to not allow the smallest detail to escape their attention.

EDIT: Just ordered the two books you linked to in your very first post which I guess it's the same ISBN I posted above. So they'll arrive next week. =)Awesome!

Geuse
05-07-2008, 02:26 PM
Ok, there you see. I'm a master of misinterpreting and misunderstanding =O

About the amount of details:
I'm NOT getting scared off, quite the opposite, I see the opportunities and challenge. I would love to learn how to model and rig these highly detailed creatures and props.


Yeah, to copy star wars or maybe even thinking in those terms do limit you so I'll try to stay away from that path. And I'll go easy on the greebles.

yeah looking forward to reading planet of adventure. read the first 5 pages on amazon. really like it so far

Geuse
05-07-2008, 04:24 PM
To start off with, this is just early, early, early wip. No fancy details or anything. Just some very simple sketches to get a grasp on what kind of style you had in mind. So when I get some feedback on how you intended etc, I can then go ahead and add more details and do it more appealing, but for now I wouldn't want to put to much effort in this. I hope I don't scare you off by these awful ones =), instead try to visualize the silhouette and how the proportions in the clothing relate to each other. If this is totally wrong, I beg your pardon =S and I'll come up with another style, but It's important I get some feedback.

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/12711103452.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8110402)

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/12711033897.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8110398)

Bryan Y
05-07-2008, 06:09 PM
Yeah, to copy star wars or maybe even thinking in those terms do limit you so I'll try to stay away from that path. And I'll go easy on the greebles.That's good. You're Adam Reith does look a little like Han Solo though, doesn't he? ;)

yeah looking forward to reading planet of adventure. read the first 5 pages on amazon. really like it so farI just read that on Amazon. Be sure that when you get the book, you start from the beginning, because that excerpt does not include the prologue. You missed about three somewhat important pages.

About the sketches. They're fine for what they are. I realize you don't want to commit to large detailed sketches until you get more feedback. Your sense of proportion on human figures is very good, and your face sketch has very nice proportions. I like it! I think his pants would probably not be tucked into his boots. Maybe the top of the boots would be much lower, more like a high tech shoe.

For some reason, I visualize Reith's head, profile and hair like these photos: photo #1 (http://www.mtv.com/shared/promoimages/movies/s/shoot_em_up/owen_clive/281x211.jpg), photo #2 (http://movies.radiofree.com/photos/sin_city_15100.jpg), photo #3 (http://www.filmweb.no/bilder/multimedia/archive/00099/Clive_Owen_som_Dalto_99101o.jpg). (It's Clive Owen). Mainly the facial features and profile. The hair on your guy looks pretty good.

The thing about the holster is, one has to assume it's either from his original equipment, or it's jury rigged from native equipment.

Among the pistols. I definitely lean towards #5 or #6. I've been thinking about pistol features, and here's what I've come up with:



Dark gray graphite in color.
A stainless steel bezel around the bottom of the grip.
Where the hammer would be on a revolver, there would be a tube coming back about 60mm, and recessed deep into the tube is a digital display indicating exactly what the pistol is pointing at. This tube is inline with the barrel.
On the top of the barrel near the end is a very tiny camera lens sensor (no bigger than 4mm in diameter) which feeds the image to the digital display.
Near where your thumb would naturally fall is a rotary thumb wheel that allows you to adjust beam intensity.
Perhaps underneath the trigger guard, where the index finger might rest is another rotary wheel allowing one to adjust the zoom level of the digital display.
Just above the digital display are indicator lights. These are angled at 45 degrees so that you can see them if the gun is held at eye level or waist level. One indicator light is colored according to beam intensity. Another light is colored according to remaining charge level. Both go into blink mode for 'kill' and 'low charge'. These display lights are mounted into a stainless steel bezel.
At the base of the grip a hinged lid opens up to allow replacement of the energy cell.
The grip, barrel, display tube and main body are probably four separate machined pieces, and I visualize each of them interlocking together, and attached together via recessed stainless steel Torx screws (the screws are roundheads, but recessed because the machined parts have recessed holes where the screws are).
None of those details were described in the books, but nonetheless, I figure if you're going to visualize the pistol, then you pretty much have to design it into a plausible device. With regard to the stainless steel bezel at the grip's base, I was visualizing something like the stainless steel bezel at the bottom of this tool (http://irtools.com/_imgLibrary/complete/GS25-b_l.jpg) (forget about what the rest of the tool looks like). I think it adds a sense of quality and high grade machined sense to it).

These are just my ideas. If you want to improve upon them or disagree with them, I'd like to hear your ideas.

Geuse
05-07-2008, 08:08 PM
Thanks for your feedback. And evidently I never came far enough away from the star wars path =/
I just find it hard dealing with the vest, shirt and holster without thinking of Han Solo :O
Yes, I agree with Clive Owen, he has some honest and manly features. I'll try bringing some of him to the character. What would be cool though(maybe not) is to model Clive Owen for this part, like they did ben Affleck for Final Fantasy =)

What would you think of him dressed in his spaceboots and spacepants, which has a holster for his gun attached to it. So he keeps hanging on to those for the sake of convenience. some pouches and extra gears perhaps, but have discarded his jacket or maybe he didn't wore it or it's been destroyed in the crash. I don't know, will have to read the books first =)

That's funny you mention number 6, which is more or less a rip-off of Han Solo's gun ;)
But yeah, you are more than welcome to take on the gun, I'm not that confident doing mechanical stuff. So post what you have also!
keep it up!

Bryan Y
05-07-2008, 08:44 PM
Thanks for your feedback. And evidently I never came far enough away from the star wars path =/
I just find it hard dealing with the vest, shirt and holster without thinking of Han Solo :O
Yes, I agree with Clive Owen, he has some honest and manly features. I'll try bringing some of him to the character. What would be cool though(maybe not) is to model Clive Owen for this part, like they did ben Affleck for Final Fantasy =)Just bring the essence of him into the face - no need to duplicate him. Try not to think of existing science fiction movies - hopefully when you get the book, you can fully immerse yourself in that world, and remove your train of thought from Star Wars or anything else. In fact, when you read the book, try not to even think too much about what my interpretration is.

What would you think of him dressed in his spaceboots and spacepants, which has a holster for his gun attached to it. So he keeps hanging on to those for the sake of convenience. some pouches and extra gears perhaps, but have discarded his jacket or maybe he didn't wore it or it's been destroyed in the crash. I don't know, will have to read the books first =)It's tough to say. The thing is, depending on what scene we do, it could be further along, and by that time, he's completely shed any remnants of his former wardrobe.

That's funny you mention number 6, which is more or less a rip-off of Han Solo's gun ;) But yeah, you are more than welcome to take on the gun, I'm not that confident doing mechanical stuff. So post what you have also!I've got to hook up my scanner...

Guns 1 through 4 are just too boxy or bulky in my opinion. That's why I gravitated towards the lighter gun models. I'll have a go at the gun concept art.

Keithtron
05-08-2008, 05:43 PM
My plate is starting to fill up with other projects, but when you're at the point where you need some rigging done, I might be able to help out. It all depends on my workload at the time and how interesting the model is and if it's the type of rig I need practice with.

But yeah, when you get there, drop me an email at contact-at-keithdigital.com and let me know!

Good luck with it.
:-)

Bryan Y
05-08-2008, 06:41 PM
My plate is starting to fill up with other projects, but when you're at the point where you need some rigging done, I might be able to help out. It all depends on my workload at the time and how interesting the model is and if it's the type of rig I need practice with.That's awesome! The project is slow to get going, so it could be awhile. But it's not quite as slow as it looks. I'm developing a lot of code behind the scenes right now. I looked at your site. Looks good! And it appears you use Maya.

Bryan Y
05-09-2008, 04:24 AM
Keithtron,
Check your email. Tell me if you're interested in the camera rigging.

Bryan Y
05-09-2008, 05:10 AM
I was going back and rereading some sections in Planet of Adventure, and in addition to a few other interesting gadgets that Reith has, he picks up a rapier fairly early on in the novel, and not long after that, he exchanges his original clothing for the following:

"... loose trousers of brown gray canvas, a shirt of rough white homespun, a black short sleeve vest."

The funny thing is, I don't really recall that description, and my earlier description regarding Reith's clothing was just from a general feeling of what he was wearing. Kind of odd.

Anyway, a rapier must be added to his inventory. It should be a fine weapon, and elegant, with a scabbard as well.

Geuse
05-09-2008, 02:29 PM
tell me if this is closer to how you visualize him.

ignore the poor quality if you can. =)

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/12909243286.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8120074)

Bryan Y
05-09-2008, 07:10 PM
That's looking really good! The components that are near perfect, in my opinion, are:

Head and hair
Shirt sleeves
Pant cuffs
Colors
The components that I think could be changed are:

The vest could be a little longer, down to about three inches above the waistline.
The rapier could be on the other side, as if he would do a cross draw with his right hand.
I think the shirt should button down the front, with the top 5 inches or so unbuttoned.
I think the pants should probably not have what appears to be an elastic waistband, but instead should be cinched via an external cinch cord that goes through simple belt loops.

Geuse
05-09-2008, 08:26 PM
wawa-wewa!
That's a relief in some way, cause I'd been looking on picture after picture on google and deviantart to get some inspiration =)
I must say I don't know what the hell I was thinking doing a rip-off of Han Solo =D. Wasn't meant to be like that ;) just came to me.

But now when I more know more of what way to go I'll go ahead and do some finer detailing and trying some different stuffs and we'll see where it leads. :)


Really good to see what you don't like aswell, and don't worry I'll skip the elastic waistband, just needed something for the moment.

Bryan Y
05-09-2008, 09:23 PM
I must say I don't know what the hell I was thinking doing a rip-off of Han Solo =D. Wasn't meant to be like that ;) just came to me.I think the key that makes this project so interesting is that these Vance books are not a rip-off of anything - his style, his worlds are truly his own, nobody else's, and you'll see that when you start reading his stuff.

Planet of Adventure was written in 1968 and 1969, The Demon Princes series was started around 1964 or so. Many subsequent big time science fiction writers have been inspired by Vance.

Anyway, the stuff is looking good. I hope you can show more stuff (characters and so on), up the detail a little bit, and maybe up the resolution a little bit on the sketches. Thanks. And trust me, I'm working hard on code and pipeline stuff - nothing that I can really show, but I am doing stuff.

Geuse
05-09-2008, 09:37 PM
I really trust you and the things you explained so far about the programming procedures seems kick-ass. Hope you don't worry about that :) I have total faith in you.
As for the concept art, I'm not used to it, but I enjoy it and I'm trying to get better at it in all aspects so I'll definetly make them look alot nicer now that I realise what style we are aiming for.

Bryan Y
05-10-2008, 06:10 AM
So, when are you going to have a go at the others? Zap 210 maybe? Or Anacho? Woudiver? Dordolio?

Not to confound you or anything, but be aware that Zap 210 hails from an entirely different culture and set of circumstances, so throw out everything we've been talking about with regard to clothing.

As for Woudiver, well, he also is different.

I haven't even mentioned Traz. Or Zarfo. Or Helsse. Or Issam the Thang. Or Deine Zarre...

Variety is good.

Geuse
05-13-2008, 03:33 AM
Since last time, I've been busy practising and learning coloring and shading, and I'm really not good at it, but hopefully I'll get better.Haven't really never gotten into it. So I guess it's about time, but I hope you are not to be scared off by my attempts :)

This is what I've come up with so far. Just fire away and tell me if this is the way they are supposed to look like or not.

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13222203815.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8139706)

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13222203843.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8139705)

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 04:03 AM
I think those are pretty darn good sketch/renderings! And I like the initiative you're taking on applying your own interpretation on things. I like the stuff and I think it stands on its own as very interesting work.

But I don't think the sketches capture quite how I imagine those two characters, which is no fault of yours and not due to any lack of talent on your part. I think it's mostly that you haven't yet read Planet of Adventure, more than anything. But let me stress that I'd rather see stuff coming down the pipeline such as the above two drawings, rather than nothing for fear of it being wrong. I love the idea that you're creating these sketches. I check everyday to see if there is something new.

With regard to Ylin Ylan: She was rather slight, with skin the color of dune sand. Dark hair brushed her shoulders, her eyes were the clear brown-gold of topaz.

Mainly, she needs dark hair. And I visualize her hair as mostly straight. It's hard to get a feel for her clothing, since she's not wearing any. However, a nude sketch of her is good to get a feel for her general build, which I think is about right. I think her breasts could be a little larger, maybe about a C cup. The ones we're seeing there are probably more in line with Zap 210's, although Zap's could probably be a little smaller even.

Now, regarding Woudiver. I think his weight is about right. I visualize him with straight brown hair parted on one side and appearing rather unappealing, as though he's some fifty year old business type man. His clothing would probaby be designed to try and hide his weight, and yes, depending on the event, he may wear a cape. Despite me visualizing his hair as rather unflattering, remember, he is a vain man, and fancies himself as sophisticated. Just play with ideas I guess.

By the way, I'm really looking forward to seeing how you interpret Zap 210. I love the stuff you're doing. I can't wait until you start reading the books and then start imagining these characters. And I think the shading is looking good.

Geuse
05-13-2008, 04:18 AM
Dang, you must be sitting there all the time, hitting F5 on your computer, non stop =)


Yes, thank you. I really can't get a grasp on what they are like, although your explanations are great. I think I might just have to see for myself. Will be receiving the books tomorrow, I think, so I got a lot of reading ahead :)

And it's nice you like the art I'm doing, so thanks!

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 04:23 AM
Dang, you must be sitting there all the time, hitting F5 on your computer, non stop =)Sometimes, like now. But not really. I hardly had a chance to check most of the day. I was glad to see you posted something when I came home.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your sketches. I'm working on my architecture generation code right now. Hopefully I'll have something soon, relatively speaking.

And I'm also working out scripts to do the eye animation. I'm pretty excited about that as well.

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 04:26 AM
One more thing: please don't read the books as though they were just references for the artwork. I hope you just relax and read the books to enjoy the story. There's lots of subtle stuff in there - the way the characters talk, the societies, etc.

Geuse
05-13-2008, 04:45 AM
Just joking =)

yes, going to be cool to see your code in action later. the eye-scripting seems really cool.

and I'll do my best trying to relax as I read =)
here's another really quick sketch, of Ylin perhaps? don't know if the cocky attitude suits her or if she's going to be a snotty aristocrat which was my first thought with the wip above.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13223432671.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8139865)

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 05:09 AM
I'm not sure the last sketch you did captures the essence of Ylin Ylan. She's more elegant, I guess is the right word. It's a pretty cool sketch though, for a quicky. Why don't you have a go at Zap 210, with the broad brimmed black hat and black cloak? I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with there.

Geuse
05-13-2008, 05:17 AM
is zap supposed to be tall or short?

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 05:30 AM
Probably average, maybe a little tall, let's say 5' 6" or so? And she's slight, frail, skinny, but not grossly so. Delicate would be a good word. Beautiful fine featured face. Dark hair - not too long. Very pale skin.

Geuse
05-13-2008, 05:55 AM
ok, quicke of zap
http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13300532458.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8139919)

proportion, attitude?
and then a cloak = coat?
and a hat. what kind of hat?

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 08:10 PM
You've captured her thinness, but other than that, the image is too simple to draw any further conclusions. Don't worry too much about attitude, I guess.

Here are some ideas for cloaks:
http://magicksupplies.co.uk/images/cloakmirror.jpg
http://jamesbrantley.net/5.4%20o'keeffe%20in%20black%20cloak.jpg
http://www.elysiumgates.com/~nimrodel/cloakfront.jpg
http://blogs.nypost.com/tempo/photos/porres.jpg
http://www.half-bloodprince.org/images/clothing/black_cloak.jpg

Not the one below, but I'm putting it in here, because it might be useful as a reference for another thing later on:
http://www.medieval-fightclub.com/images/black-cloak-stiched-braiding.jpg

Here's a broad brimmed hat, but don't do this material or color:
http://www.style.com/images/shopping/itemoftheweek/071704/main.jpg

Here are broad brimmed black hats:
http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/3293409.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=C06051C8BA2A5A2C0E719FB9412B12B9A55A1E4F32AD3138
http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/2377505.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=E778E7CB450F31BEE04377CE191B9F76A55A1E4F32AD3138
http://www.parfaitole.com/ted_norman/Images/Mrs_Cats_Black_Hat400.jpg

The brim below is not broad enough:
http://www.karenfoulkes.ca/images/black_hat_altered.jpg

Geuse
05-13-2008, 08:44 PM
ok, great. thanks for all these refs!

Bryan Y
05-13-2008, 08:49 PM
Apparently some of the above links aren't working. Let's try these:

http://www.lindaanderson.com/Item--i-537706--u-24--a-y.html
http://palazzodiva.com/Images/po@71%20640x480.jpg
http://www.sunprotectionhats.com/images/catdescr/belle.jpg
http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=3399729&text=wide+brimmed+black+hat
http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=2377505&text=broad+brimmed+black+hat
http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=3293409&text=broad+brim+hat

Bryan Y
05-16-2008, 06:00 AM
I was hoping Zap 210 was going to make an appearance...

Geuse
05-16-2008, 07:34 PM
Hi there. been visiting my girlfriend and attending a recruitment expo for the game industry so I've been a bit busy, and also I've mostly just been practicing shading and coloring as it is new to me, but here is a test. don't know if this is what she'd look like. but either way I need the practice.

take care.

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13614304055.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8154173)

Also, I received the books today so I'll begin reading planet of adventure tonight.

Bryan Y
05-17-2008, 05:51 AM
It's good to practice. But I think the sketching style is a little too stylistic for reference purposes. Some of your stuff is nearly spot on though, like the Adam Reith sketch. If you could do slightly more detailed and crisp sketching, that would be great.

I was Googling for women that might look like I envision Zap 210, and a I came up with some singer named Sophie Bextor (never heard of her before). Anyway, she looks like Zap 210. Check out these images:

http://www.fotoshd.com/data/media/162/Sophie%20Ellis%20Bextor%20-%20Monsoon%20photoshoot%2011.jpg
http://img.blogcu.com/uploads/oguzpayne_SophieEllisBextor001.jpg
http://www.wallpaperbase.com/wallpapers/celebs/sophieellisbextor/sophie_ellis_bextor_1.jpg
http://wallpapers.celebrityfun.info/wallpapers/Sophie_Ellis_Bextor/Sophie_Ellis_BextorHonP.jpg
http://www.fotosdefamosas.com.br/Celebrities/Sophie-Ellis-Bextor/Sophie-Ellis-Bextor-12.JPG

Her hair could be a little looser and down into her eyes, but still...

I'm glad you received the books. I hope you enjoy them! And don't read them just to become familiar with this project. I keep thinking you're going to skim through them, which I hope you don't do.

So, what was the other book? You said you got two. Did you also get The Demon Princes?

Bryan Y
05-17-2008, 06:33 AM
The first link in the post above doesn't always work (the server must try and prohibit linking), so try this link as an alternate for the image: (it's one of the best shots)

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fotoshd.com/data/media/162/Sophie%2520Ellis%2520Bextor%2520-%2520Monsoon%2520photoshoot%252011.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fotoshd.com/Musica-y-Espectaculos-Sophie-Ellis-Bextor-1979-i927.html&h=2100&w=1520&sz=260&hl=en&start=3&tbnid=BwE9d_V_oWpvYM:&tbnh=150&tbnw=109&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsophie%2Bellis%2Bbextor%2Bsite:fotoshd.com%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG

Geuse
05-18-2008, 07:51 PM
Hi again. been practicing some more and feel I'm making some progress even if it's slow.
So here's another take on zap. Tried to take the references into account, so tell me what you think.

http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13814471144.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8161065)

Bryan Y
05-18-2008, 08:32 PM
She looks too sci-fi, in a way. She's too futuristic. And the cloak really should be covering her in the front, as though you drop it over your head, maybe down to about knee length. The shoes should probably be small black form fitting slippers that barely cover her ankles, if at all. Her legs should be bare.

And I have to emphasize the broad brimmed black hat, which is the most important thing of all. And the cloak should be black. Fairly simple and black.

Getting frustrated yet? I can imagine it's tough to envision what I describe. Sometimes things that are obvious to me I probably leave out - like the shoes or bare legs.

But the black hat! I want to see the black hat. Without the black hat, she's nothing.

How are the books? Have you started reading them.

Geuse
05-18-2008, 10:11 PM
Ugh! =)
Ok, I'll make the cape black and get rid of the centerpiece. Should I also shorten it?
Reason to why I had it open is to show the cape and her clothing underneath or what was going to be the clothing underneath. It's just white for now just to establish an idea and get some input from you. What about the hood, keep or get rid off? You really want this hat, then I'll add it.
So I'll be adding slippers and bare legs. what is she wearing udnerneath her cloak?
Underpants perhaps and some kind of women's undershirt?
weapons or gears? utility belt?


I have a vision of the World Jack Vance describes, but since they were written long ago I felt like making some modifications to the clothing and character designs while still being true to the story and the races, but if you solely prefer to make it as true to the words of Jack Vance as possible that is fine.

Yes I've started reading, but there are alot of words I don't understand as the dictionary I use doesn't contain them.

but as far as I've understood, he's fled from the dirdir men with the young boy,Traz and then come to a caravan moving through the landscape. He then encountered Ylin-Ylan which he set free, but later was brought back to her former masters(some ugly manly females?). So anyway they've been resting at an inn, inside a small city with chasch men surronding them.

I'm afraid I'm having problems separating the different races from each other, but so far I like the book.

Bryan Y
05-18-2008, 10:58 PM
The thing about the black hat: if you really understood where she comes from, you'd understand the black hat. It's not really something subject to much interpretation. She wears a broad brimmed black hat due to cultural requirements.

With regard to the human inhabitants of Tschai, they really aren't futuristic or contemporary at all - yes, they are familiar with modern technologies because they exist with regard to the alien cultures, but that is all.

With regard to some difficult words - are you referring to words such as: bellicose, perfunctory, punctilio, peremptory, concordance, obstreperous, avarice, adjudicate, and words like that? These are the bread and butter of Vance novels - there are actually a few books written on the subject of Vance's writing style.

Everyone except the main (good) characters in a Vance novel are knaves, scoundrels, thieves, cutthroats, murderers, swindlers and con-artists. And even a peasant on the steppes might say something like "Perhaps we could arrive at some type of concordance" after he openly tries to rob you and stick a knife through you. Notice how indifferent the caravan driver is to the crimes which occur outside of his caravan? He is entirely self serving - he could care less who robs whom, so long as it does not cause him any inconvenience.

There really should be minimal modernization to Vance's world. If you want modern worlds, read The Demon Princes.

Traz and Adam fled from the Emblem Men, not the Dirdirmen. There really were no Dirdermen, except for Anacho, who is hanging out with Traz and Adam. However, in the very beginning of the novel. there were Dirdir, an alien race inspecting Reith's spacecraft.

There are Blue and Green Chasch, as well as Old Chasch. That's three alien races of similar descent. There are Dirdir, which are another alien race. There are Dirdirmen, of which Anacho is one, but he is now a fugitive. There are Pnume, an alien race native to Tschai, and Phung, an alien race native to Tschai, and they are similar to Pnume. There are Pnumekin, men who are subservient to Pnume as Dirdirmen are subservient to Dirdir. There are also Chaschmen, and they are subservient to Chasch. There are Wankh and Wankhmen, and some Brits take offense at that, as it sounds like wank, which of course is contemporary British slang, and to some extent, American slang as well. I never gave the term a second thought when reading the books, but some have. In a special reprint, Vance felt compelled to rename the Wankh to Wannek after being pestered by a some people.

You should've already encountered a Phung, as one tried attacking Anacho. Go back and carefully read the last paragraph on page 52. It should describe the Phung. Read closely what he is wearing. Read the next paragraph on page 53 where Reith examines him in his scanscope. This is a frightful creature. There is a lot of imagery here. And his wardrobe is very iconic and original for an alien species. Bottomline: you cannot tinker too much with Vance's imagination - it is unique and because of that, it makes for original material. You do not want to change these characters into the cliched science fiction stuff we see today.

Anyway, the Phung then throws pebbles at Anacho! This creature is mischievious. This is classic Vance.

Try dictionary.com for word definitions. It enriches the reading experience for Vance novels.

Bryan Y
05-18-2008, 11:09 PM
I guess what I'm saying is you really need to savor what Vance his writing. Go back and reread your favorite scenes. His novels don't need updating. To update them would be to destroy the distinct flavor that these novels have. This project is worth doing precisely because of the nature of Vance's characters, imagery and the worlds they inhabit.

Also, now that you're starting to read, I'd love to hear your take on some of the favorite scenes you've encountered so far. Of what you've read so far, I've mentioned one of mine - the Phung.

Also, earlier I mentioned how everyone is a swindler, cheat or murderer. You've seen that in the caravan driver, the priestesses, and you also saw it in the Emblem men shamans and the Emblem man Reith fought.

And even the good guys - look at Traz, he's basically good, and yet the culture of Tschai dictates to him that the simple solution was to simply kill Anacho rather than deal with him before they befriended him.

Pay close attention to how the characters negotiate and bargain - you'll notice how it's standard to try and rip everyone off.

If you want, post the weird words you encounter here - I'll define them if I can.

Geuse
05-18-2008, 11:44 PM
ok, thanks alot! =)
I see your point. It's just seems hard, but I'll try my best continuing the concept art.
What are your thoughts of Zap 210 of what I wrote in my last post?

I need all details you have on these characters. Maybe you could also try to sketch yourself or maybe trying to find some images like you already have been doing to describe more of this characters features etc. Cause I find it extremely hard to get a full grasp of what you envision, but I'll continue reading.

The sword the emblem men use for instance, my interpretation is that it looks like close to this but with the form of a stingray's tail as it's blade.

http://www.omegamanenterprises.com/images/liteimages/liteimages/J-2000%20SHORT%20SWORD.JPG
http://www.julianrocks.net/sharks/elasmopics/raypics/convexTip2541.jpg

And of course yes, they were tribesmen/emblem men. and anacho's of course a dirdir man.

One word I recall by others, is "dray". Don't remember in what sentence but it had to do with the caravan or the wagons I think.

Bryan Y
05-19-2008, 04:50 AM
I wouldn't worry right now about what she's wearing underneath because you can't see what's underneath. The cloak alone covers her from neck to knee, front and back. She has no weapons, no gadgets.

You might want to read this: Jack Vance: Lord of Language (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/jvprofile.htm).

Here's a comic book (http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-471-BD-Cycle-de-Tschai-%28Le%29.html) of Planet of Adventure.

On the cover of this book we see someone's interpretation of a Pnume (http://www.workman.com/products/covers/9780894803246.jpg).

Here is the artwork (http://www.jackvance.com/dbase/publisher.php?lang=1&pub=Underwood-Miller) for the Underwood Miller publications of Vance's works.

Here is more artwork (http://membres.lycos.fr/jackvance/jvintro.html).

More Tschai artwork (http://www.fantascienza.com/magazine/libri/8128).

And more (http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/v/jack-vance/planet-of-adventure.htm).

And the artwork (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/planetofadventure/img/cover_lg.jpg) for a role playing game based on Planet of Adventure.

Somebody's interpretation of Green Chasch (http://jfjacobs.com/Gallery/albums/SciFi-06/0uro0127_philippe_caza_le_chasch.jpg).

A dray (http://www.jackvance.com/vance/covers/english/jpg/chash-daw1979.jpg) out on the Dead Steppes of Tschai (obviously a montage, since we know the Chasch are human sized).

An elegant vessel (http://www.jackvance.com/vance/covers/english/jpg/showboat.jpg) in Showboat World.

A Pnume and Zap (http://www.jackvance.com/vance/covers/english/jpg/pnume-daw1979.jpg) (again, obviously a montage, since we know Pnume are human sized).

Here is some really really awesome artwork (http://www.jackvance.com/vance/covers/english/jpg/nightlamp-harpercollins1997.jpg) depicting settings that are typical of Vance's world. Although Night Lamp doesn't have anything to do with Tschai, the image really captures the spirit of some of the cities you might later visit on Tschai.

Of course, all of this stuff is open to interpretation, but there are details in Vance's prose that should be followed. Try not to let too much of the above linked artwork to influence your own imagination and vision.

Regarding the Emblem Men, I think of them as barbaric warriors from the past history of some country like Turkey. I definitely know that Reith's rapier comes from an Emblem Men though, and rapiers are not that barbaric - being a more modern sword from the Rennaissance era.

Since you are reading the books now, I'd love to engage in further discussion with you on how you visualize the material.

Bryan Y
05-19-2008, 05:06 AM
The Vance Integral Edition has some 19th century style illustrations (one illustration per Vance volume). Here are some:

From Throy (http://www.integralarchive.org/base1.htm). From Ecce and Old Earth (http://www.integralarchive.org/base2.htm). From The Blue World (http://www.integralarchive.org/base3.htm). From The Star King (http://www.integralarchive.org/samp-chap.htm) (first volume of The Demon Princes. From The Killing Machine (http://www.integralarchive.org/totality.htm) (second volume of The Demon Princes. By the way, that last image is from a scene in The Demon Princes that I was thinking of doing. From Cugel the Clever (http://www.integralarchive.org/message_board.htm). From Trullion (http://www.integralarchive.org/irle.htm). From Ports of Call (http://www.integralarchive.org/cls.htm). From Emphyrio (http://www.integralarchive.org/links.htm).

All those above linked images of course are very stylistic. They're fun to look at though.

Here are the book covers (http://www.editionandreasirle.de/VIE.htm) to the Vance Integral edition. Some assorted artwork (http://www.integralarchive.org/vie-books.htm) from said volumes.

Geuse
05-19-2008, 12:58 PM
Ok, so here's the latest update with your adjustments in mind.
http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/13907560297.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8165389)
Feel free to do any paint over on these sketches. Makes it easier for me to see what you have in mind, or maybe if you find the time to cut and paste from photos to build a general image of zap or any of the other. Cause when describing in written, it seems I constantly misinterpret your intensions, so I think it's easier this way, when discussing features, clothing etc.

As for the pictures you linked to. To me, the comics seem a little to futuristic in it's style than I feel you had in mind, or is this truly what you had in mind?


ps. You forgot to explain the word "DRAY".

Bryan Y
05-19-2008, 11:33 PM
I think that's pretty good. To further refine it, I think the cloak needs sleeves, probably down to about mid forearm. The shoes are pretty good. The hat brim could be a little more floppy and/or curved.

Definition of dray (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dray) at dictionary.com.

Also, one of the links about two posts back shows a cover to the book with a dray on the front.

If I get a chance to do some sketches, annotations, etc. I will. Thanks for what you're doing. Now that you're reading the book though, I think you can focus on stuff that you've already read. Tell me your thoughts on what scenes you like, or what objects/characters you might be interested in developing.

Are you sure the comics look more futuristic that what I've been talking about? Look at the pictures of Reith in that first comic image. It's almost exactly like your sketch - and you did the sketch before I even saw the comics!

Geuse
05-20-2008, 12:47 AM
it was more the style of the characters and garments which struck me as more futuristic than I think you intended, or maybe it's just me, but it's good to have seen that comic so I know how others interpret the world.

I probalby do something more to her flip-flops etc, but you want the forms to be very simple, right?
Not too much detailing like patterns in garments or extra accessories.


On chosing a scene
I like the beginning when the explorator II is destroyed and they fly in, in their smaller space shuttle, to when his partner is executed, and he is left alone hanging in the trees. But this might be a bit to massive. Otherwise I like when they encounter the dirdir man and the pnume attacks them(if that's a scene you intended).

Bryan Y
05-20-2008, 01:08 AM
With regard to all clothing for all characters, there is the almost certain possibility that there could be patterns in the garments, details on the buttons, etc. These might be monotone patterns though. In other words, Reith's vest or Zap's cloak stay the color they are, but there might be some embroidery or something of the same color.

There might be embroidery, pockets, fabric strips sewn up the sides, ruffles, pleats, etc. Once we get the basic shape down, we can work on closeup drawings for the clothing details.

The buttons - they might be wooden, stone, copper, bronze, steel, silver, brass, gold, etc.

If wooden or stone, they would have holes for the threads to loop through for connecting to the garment. If metal, they could either have holes or metal loops cast into the back. If cast from metal, they might have cast sculptured patterns on the front. Buttons might also be dowel type shapes which turn 90 degrees when slipped through a slot in the fabric. Buttons might be discs, squares, diamonds, triangles, ellipses, etc.

I think it's these details which would really add to the overall production. For example, I think Reith's shirt should have buttons down the front. Taking into account that he bought the shirt from locals out on the Steppes, what kind of patterns might there be on the buttons?

Regarding your general question about simplicity - I haven't stated that I want simplicity. I want plausible realism with fine detail as opposed to large scale overdone outfits.

Bryan Y
05-20-2008, 01:13 AM
Just to clarify - it wasn't a Pnume which attacked him. It was a Phung. I really like that scene.

I think the initial scene of the spacecraft orbiting the planet and the incoming torpedo would be great, but I think the whole hanging in the trees scene requires jungle modeling, which sounds like too much.

I'm not scared of architecture, because I'm working on my city generator. But jungles and marshes - I don't want to go there... yet.

Keep reading, and keep thinking about what you like. It sounds like you're well into the first book, which ends on page 152. So maybe you'll be starting the second one soon. I really like the second one, and there are tons of awesome scenes in that one. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the second book.

Geuse
05-20-2008, 01:38 AM
Great, that's valuable solid information and ideas.
Yes, pnume, phung. Having a hard time separating them all, but I'll get there.

I just liked the whole jungle sequence, but I agree that it is probalby too demanding. At least for the moment, but depending on how many people who'll join in the future, I want to leave it open for discussion. But the phung scene is settled then? And of course I can tell you have a very nice idea for your city generator, so that'll be cool, but don't reveal anything =)

Bryan Y
05-20-2008, 01:47 AM
But the phung scene is settled then?No! :) It's a possibility that we'll leave open. You need to get through at least the second book because there are some great scenes in that book.

But if you want to draw a Phung and post the sketch that would be really cool.

Geuse
05-20-2008, 02:05 PM
time for a little update
regarding the phung, i'm not sure what it's features are, have to re-read it.
http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/5/14009032785.jpg (http://www.putfile.com/pic/8171485)

Bryan Y
05-20-2008, 05:40 PM
She looks good, but she also looks very fashionable now, which is just a little bit in the wrong direction. The sleeves are good, nearly perfect. The cloak as it stands though, it almost looks like a high fashion coat, which isn't quite right.

I'd probably drop the front of the hat's brim a little bit - let it droop down in the front just a little. The good things about the cloak are it's length and how it now form fits her body a little bit better, to show her slenderness.

But anyway, why don't you give Zap a rest for a moment? Now that you're reading the books, let's focus on stuff that you've read. Keep me posted on where you are in the books so I know what you've thus far been exposed to.

There is one absolute certain no matter what scene we choose: We're going to need a model of Adam Reith, his gadgets and his clothing.

Also, if you're interested, we can start working on pipelines and Maya assets if you want. It might be interesting to start doing some modeling in Maya for proof-of-concept objects, even if they aren't the final things used.

What platform are you on? Windows XP? Vista? Mac OSX? Linux? Would you be willing to get 3Delight and 3Delight for Maya installed? If we could get you setup there, then we could sync our shader and rendering output and get you up to speed in that area.

Then, maybe we could start working on some rough models of Reith's head. And maybe as experiemnts, we could work on some garment accessories for him, such as buttons, belts, etc. and put together high quality renderings of the small accessories, just to refine the rendering and shading look, color tones, shadowing methods, illumination methods, etc. If we can get you synced with 3Delight, we can start sharing and evaluating the methods for lighting in outdoor scenes.

Also, (I don't know if he's reading this), but Keithtron (see this post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5137907&postcount=59)) has, through some email correspondence with me, has taken an interest in some rigging, and he and I are hopefully going to be putting together a sort of uber-camera rig, wtih dolly tracks, boom, and fully rigged onscreen controls, simultaneous pane viewing, a resolution gate, etc. The final result should hopefully be way better than any type of camera animation controls currently available in Maya (at least to my knowledge). The theory is that the camera should be treated equally as a rigged character in terms of control and interaction.

What are your thoughts? 3Delight is pretty easy to install. You just have to get the license server setup properly.

Bryan Y
05-21-2008, 07:20 AM
There might be some inspiration to be found at this site (http://www.mertbutton.com/english.html) for things like buttons, buckles, etc.

Here is an example (http://www.mertbutton.com/adgroup/AD-388.jpg). And another example (http://www.mertbutton.com/adgroup/AD-339.jpg).

Bryan Y
05-22-2008, 07:42 PM
I was thinking it might be interesting to do some preliminary work of the Phung scene - maybe some storyboarding.

Also, here are some givens: We need an Adam Reith model, and I think we can start working on that. Also, if we could pull together some various models of props, etc. we could perhaps start refining the rendering pipeline.

I would like to start developing some shaders, perhaps for Reith's clothing, skin, hair, and so on. Also, if we could get Reith's head model built, we could start developing his hair, and general hair workflow techniques, etc. I don't see hair as being easy, nor do I want to do it poorly, so I see it as being a long process of experimentation and devlopment, but I don't mind - I just want to get started.

Bryan Y
05-31-2008, 06:13 AM
Update: I'm translating my road network generator to C code, and working on my architecture generator code. Both are coming along nicely, but nothing to show at the moment. Geuse and I are working on some wardrobe and accessory items for the main character, and discussing possible scenarios to animate.

Naturally, I'm still open to others who would like to participate. Roles to fill include modeling, rigging, concept art and character animation.

Although there isn't much to see yet, I think those who might have there doubts will be surprised over the next few months (could be longer though) by incoming models and renders.

I'd really like to encourage any interested people to read the books and to join in. Reading the books is important, and I don't know of any people who have read the books and not truly thought of them as masterful works.

Some bigtime fans of his books include George R. R. Martin (author of A Game of Thrones), Dan Simmons (author of Hyperion), Frank Herbert (author of Dune), and Gary Gygax (creator of D & D, and admitted that Vance's The Dying Earth was his inspiration for the D & D game). There are others.

Read the books. And then I think many will realize how original and non-derivative his stuff is. The imagery he paints with his words is iconic and lasting.

Bryan Y
06-12-2008, 04:45 AM
Update: Awesome stuff in the pipeline! We have no renders or models to show yet, because we want to impress, so we're holding back until our stuff is really refined. And we do think everyone will be impressed!

We're building the main character right now, as well as accessories for some of the characters, and rigging tools for the pipeline.

Everything in the above post applies as well. Read it if you haven't already. We're still looking for enthusiastic people to fill most roles.

softdistortion
06-12-2008, 04:17 PM
............

Bryan Y
06-15-2008, 04:52 AM
I have now configured a Trac/Wiki system integrated with Subversion for assigning and tracking all tasks associated with the project and change control and archive of all assets.

It's working out quite well. Participating members have access.

mwgriffin
07-12-2008, 10:19 AM
wow man! Coun't me in. I haven't had the chance to read either of those novels but within the next few days i plan on going out and getting them read so i have a better idea of what the project is trying to accomplish. You've already given a plethora of material on which to base the calaborative proccess and i plan to post some pictures of what i have recently been working on which seem to be along the same lines as the ones you've laid out. I have only been modeling and working with maya for the past five months in my spare time but i have progressed fast and i am an avid learner and would love this chance to help out with what seems to be an awesome project. Thanks!

Bryan Y
07-12-2008, 07:39 PM
mwgriffin,
I'm looking forward to further discussion with you! I will PM you later today when I have more time so we can better establish what things you want to do and so on. Aside from myself, there are two other individuals working on the project. We're engaged in a lot of separate tasks, but we hope to build momentum and interest as more people join.

If you want, you can PM me (send a Private Message), detailing your skillset and and describing in more detail what you want to do. Or look for my PM, but it will be later when I have more time. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Sid Barnhoorn
08-10-2008, 09:53 AM
Sounds interested. If you are looking for a composer to compose an original score, let me know. If you are interested, here is my website with some of my work:

www.sidbarnhoorn.com

I wish you all the best for this and future projects.

Best regards,

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