View Full Version : Scary Toys

12 December 2003, 11:50 PM
Hey All,

I'm workin on this scene that will end up being an animation, and could use some feedback.

It's dark because it's set at night. Any thoughts or crits are very welcome.


Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 12:47 AM
It's looking good so far. Here are a few crits. Take them for whatever they're worth:

The alphabet blocks do not look square. I'm guessing this is due to a pixel aspect ratio issue as it appears you're working in a D1 format. But if it's not, you might want to check that out.

The lighting is too even, and would benefit from a little more drama. Allow the back to drop off into almost complete darkness (about half as bright as it is now) and make sure to add an extra rim light to offset the box from the background.

Decrease the camera's zoom factor and move the camera closer to the box to create a more exaggerated perspective. This will heighten the spooky and mysterious factor.

Adjust the surface properties of the train object. It's blending in with the floor to a point where it gets lost.

If it won't go against the theme of your animation, consider adding a little ground fog in. Not too much, but just enough to add a subtle mist.

And finally, SHOW US WHAT'S IN THE BOX!!! :D The suspense is killing me and I can't take it anymore!!



12 December 2003, 04:27 AM
Hey Steve,

Thanks for the fedback, good stuff!

Here is an update. Let me know how it looks on yer monitor. On my 3D system it looks fine, but on my internet machine, it's really dark. So how's it look?

12 December 2003, 04:41 AM
looks very dark

12 December 2003, 05:00 AM
Looks good but it's a bit low on contrasts and a bit too dark now. My suggestion is that you have moonlight coming through a window to cast some light streaks over the scene. Best way to do it would be with a projection map on a spotlight.

12 December 2003, 05:04 AM
The second image was not run through Photoshop....I need to calibrate my monitor on my 3D looks lighter on that one.....pain in the a**

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 05:15 AM
Much better, but like everyone else, I think it's a little too dark. The train looks great and the camera angle is much better. You might want to push that a bit further, though, by bringing the camera down closer to the floor and angling it up at the box. This will increase the presence of the box and make it more ominous, but it will also give it an almost larger than life feel, so only do this if it fits your purposes. I think Carl's suggestion of moonlight is a good one. You should also put a small spot light with a narrow cone angle above and behind the box pointing down. Set it so that it lights the back edge of the box and sets it off from the darker background.

Keep up the good work!


12 December 2003, 05:55 AM
Here is a quick update.....

I'm havin a major problem here. My 3D system's monitor is much lighter and I can't seem to get it to match my internet/2D machine. So when I render out these test renders they look fine...then I'm bring them over here and they are way to dark. Any suggestions?

BTW, this will be an animation so the camera angle will change over time and the "Thing" will spring out of the box at some point....more on that later

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 06:05 AM
Sweet!! It's looking much better! :thumbsup: The dark background is really helping to make the box stand out. You might want to try giving the box a little bit of luminosity to push it slightly over the top. But I'm really excited to see how this turns out. :)



12 December 2003, 10:17 AM
Thanks Evreyone!

Steve, I took your advice and added a bit on luminosity to the box to make stand out a little more.

Here is an update....

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 03:02 PM
Oh, yeah! Looking good! :thumbsup: So when do we get to see what's in the box? :)



12 December 2003, 06:14 PM
I'd brighten up that light coming from the window and use it to provide light from the back towards the Jack in the box. You could get a nice rim-light like thing happening.

Check out the nighttime scenes in Monsters Inc. :)

12 December 2003, 08:42 PM
Hey Guys!

I really appreciate all the feedback, thanks! Keep it comin.

Steve, you'll just have to wait a little bit to see what's in the box. It's still in the conceptual stage....don't worry, you'll see....soon.

Here's an update.

12 December 2003, 09:07 PM
.....and here's one with a little DOF

12 December 2003, 09:19 PM
wow, that added a lot, especially the clothes thingy....

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 09:25 PM
DOF = Good! You might also want to add a slight glow to the box. The luminosity helped, but the glow might be even better. And if you're looking for a new free plugin to tinker with, consider AfterGlow ( It will allow you to set your glow color separate from your object's surface color.

Keep up the great work!


12 December 2003, 09:26 PM

That image is great!


Rei Ayanami
12 December 2003, 10:40 PM
Looks good, nice idea (i hate scary stuff!)

have you tryied adding a negative light in the back to make it less light (wow, enlish rulz), it should make the background blackness easy to handle.

12 December 2003, 11:06 PM
Steve, thanks for the link to that Afterglow plug. I will check that out!

AndrewE, thanks for the comments.

Rei Ayanami, the problem I'm having with the background darkness is that I'm using two different computers here. One is my 3D system and my renders look great but when I bring them over to my 2D/Internet machine, the renders are way to dark. I can't seem to get my monitors to look the same. So I have to over compensate for the light on the 3D system so it won't be to dark on this one.....tough job....kicking my ass! :eek:

Thanks for the kind words anyway, I appreciate it.

I will have more updates soon...keep the feedback comin.

12 December 2003, 11:19 PM
why don't you calibrate your screens or tweak the video driver settings.

BTW, excellent work ;)

12 December 2003, 11:31 PM
Hey telamon,

I've been trying to calibrate my monitors....really, I have. For some reason I can't seem to calibrate my 3D system monitor to better match my 2D system monitor....major pain. Everything I render looks fine on my monitor, but ends up being to dark on the other and on TV....any suggestions?


12 December 2003, 11:57 PM
It is often the same problem. And it is often worse when you swap to a macintosh screen. I think the overlay function in the driver settings (you know, the tab which opens a popup :D ) could help but I have never played with that :shrug:

good luck ;)

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 12:22 AM
Depending on your graphics card, you may be able to set this in your system properties. If you're on a PC, check the advanced tab of the Display Properties window (right click on the Desktop and hit Properties). Then see if you have any options for color management or gamma control. Also, you might want to see if your monitor has a reset for its color settings. You I've got a 21" monitor at home and a 21" monitor at work. My home monitor was horribly dark compared to my work monitor. Then I found the reset button and presto! everything matched.

Hope this helps,


12 December 2003, 01:26 AM
OK after tweeking my calibration and gamma settings on my 3D is a render tht has not been altered in Photoshop....still to dark? Looks ok on my monitor.

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 02:34 PM
ThreeDBFX, this is your best render yet. Everything you've implemented, the DOF, the dark backdrop, the extra object, the moonlight and windowframe shadow... They all really add to the scene.

Now.... Time to see what's in the box! ;)

Keep up the great work!


12 December 2003, 03:35 PM
Looking good. The DOF really adds to the realism and drama. Just one crit.

Are you dead-set on the graphic for the box? The type-treatment and atom thinging in the back take away from the image. Anyway to refine the design of the graphic?

Like everyone else...I can't wait to see what's in the box. Keep us posted.

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