View Full Version : Spectacular 3D Entry: Matthew Mobley

09 September 2005, 05:57 PM
Matthew Mobley is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Fate of the Blind (

09 September 2005, 07:54 AM
Hey, hey, well look who's here... glad to see you Matthew, have fun on this :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 07:36 PM (

Never mix vanilla and orange ice cream! NEVER! Actually, it's a very detailed picture of the Yellowstone super volocano going off and the poor stupid person who didn't believe it. The little camera behind the car and person is where I'd actually like the camera placed.

09 September 2005, 08:21 PM
Hah, i was wondering if anyone was going to do this one! My geography teacher would flip out if he saw this...good pick!

09 September 2005, 08:26 PM
Well, it was the first thing I thought of, but I was trying to hold out for a better idea. Unfortunately, my brain's kind of on autopilot right now, so I'll go for it. I was also thinking about doing a sort of triptych kind of thing showing the eruption, ash fallout and subsequent ice age.

09 September 2005, 07:17 PM
Alrighty. As the idea has had time to sink in, I've made a change to it. Basically the same idea, but I think the setting needs to be changed. It will actually be in a suburban neighborhood with the man standing in the street staring at the oncoming eruption as his young daughter frantically pulls on his arm trying to get him to run. I think it's a bit more tense that way.

09 September 2005, 05:26 PM
Between the typical life stress and everything I haven't had a lot of time or ambition to use for this challenge. Luckily, I've sprained my ankle and need to stay off it for a while, so that should give me plenty of spare time. Hopefully I'll have some stuff up soon. :shrug:

09 September 2005, 03:45 AM (

After a while of researching houses (and learning how to model them) I've finally gotten some stuff to post. I've had a serious lack of motivation lately. Hopefully that'll change soon.

09 September 2005, 03:47 AM (

It's tedious, but that drill tool is a real time saver.

09 September 2005, 05:09 PM
Hey Matt......... great minds think alike...! Am looking forward to comparing notes on how to create the most spectacular volcano effects. Have been out of action for a while but hope to get back in the swing next week and progress my modeling. Have fun my friend. :bounce:

09 September 2005, 02:48 AM
I have no idea how you're gonna pull this off, but good luck to ya anyways! Houses look keen so far too! :D

09 September 2005, 02:52 AM
Heh. To be honest, until today I wasn't sure either. Boredom breeds creativity, I guess. I'm using lightwave, so I decided to render the hypervoxels for the eruption seperately then composite it in later to "save time." The rendering for the effect has been running all day and is getting relatively close to being done. Got my fingers crossed that it'll actually work the first time. (Riiiiiight.)

09 September 2005, 04:20 AM
if you can render hypervoxes you can render anything

09 September 2005, 03:17 PM (

Going a bit out of order, but I wanted to get this one out of the way so I can make sure the idea would work. 16 hours and 32 seconds of rendering, but I'm happy with the result. For now anyway. We'll see how I feel about it later. I think once it's in where it's supposed to be, it'll be either a lot more impressive or like a big glowing pile of ... stuff.

09 September 2005, 06:18 PM (

Thought I'd post a close-up of part of the eruption. Still not full size, but I think it's kind of cool.

09 September 2005, 06:40 PM
Hey Matt,

Yellowstone blowing up is quite the concept , would definitely be spectacular . The explosion looks okay but could use more colors I think. Good luck with this.

09 September 2005, 07:58 PM
I'll see what I can do about the colors if there's time. It's worth a try, but I think it'll be the last thing I do since that takes so long to render the full version. Thanks for the advice.

09 September 2005, 08:36 PM
Hi Matt, well as previously you've got an unordinary idea so that's great :thumbsup: . Eruption looks not bad, some tweaking would be nice, like add some glowing to fire, it will look more dramatical and natural. I'll be waiting for more... ...the little girl is trying to save her dad while he is looking at eruption.... damn why those kids are so clever in movies and etc?...

09 September 2005, 10:19 PM (

Various props to make the streets look like streets. I'm going for things that will make it look like a nice neighborhood, but not really ritzy up scale hoity toity stuff. Nice place to live kind of thing. Hmm ... need to change the pole on the mail box.

09 September 2005, 10:31 PM
Hey Andrius.

Yeah, it's kind of annoying how kids always seem to know more than the adults. But mainly I think adults can be really stupid sometimes. This little girl, however, is simply scared out of her wits and dad's being no help what so ever. Meanwhile mom is over in the doorway of the house yelling at them both to get inside. (Mom's not too bright either if she's still around.) The story that takes place after this image isn't my greatest, but it's relatively interesting. Basically mom grabs the girl and runs back into the house. Dumbass dad stays outside and gets blown away. The mom uses all her strength to get out of the basement where she and the girl were hiding and collapses in the ash. The girl stays there crying until a survey team from the Army Corps of Engineers finds her and takes her off to a city on the edge of the ash laden area. Many years pass and she winds up with a group of "Diggers" who go into the ruined cities and salvage any electronics and jewelry they can find. They make a pretty good living at it because of the government's lax enforcement of the laws designed to keep people out of there. Then stuff happens and it goes on and more stuff happens then it ends. Basically it's the first in a trilogy that will probably go no further than this challenge. But it's fun.

09 September 2005, 06:02 AM
Hay Matt.......... as ever am loving the growing story line! Cool (or should that be hot) eruption too. Got to get going on mine. Scary! :eek:

10 October 2005, 07:50 PM (

It doesn't look like a whole lot here, but what you're looking at is a model of an actual section of a mountain range in Montana facing Yellowstone National Park. (USGS ROCKS!) As we speak, I'm rendering another test. I can't decide between a vertical or horizontal layout, so I'll do both and see which turns out better.

10 October 2005, 05:18 PM (

Okay. I've openly been pretty down on the "automatic terrain and foliage generators" but I figured since it came free with my lightwave upgrade, I'd give vue a shot. I think I'll change my mind now.

10 October 2005, 05:22 PM (

This is why I changed my mind about foliage generators. I was going to skip this layer because I didn't want to spend the rest of the challenge modeling trees. Now I'm free to concentrate on making everything else look good. I'm calling this one rendering because all I had to do was change a few options to get them to look how I liked.

10 October 2005, 07:53 PM (

I wanted to wait before doing this, but I couldn't and once it was together, I liked it so much that I had to share. This is the complete background of my image. It will probably change slightly, as far as elevations of the elements are concerned once I get the rest of the image done and composited, but it's definately fitting together well, I think.

10 October 2005, 08:02 PM
Hmmm ... the mountains need trees.

10 October 2005, 11:19 AM
:cool: Nice explosion on your background, is that HV?

The mountains and trees looks a bit flat... oh well, only wip now.

Good work!

10 October 2005, 03:36 PM
Yep. 95% HV, 5% photoshop goofing off. I'm taking a break from the background and going to focus on the houses and characters for a while. Then I'll come back to it and see if ideas for improvement come to me. Thanks for the feedback.

10 October 2005, 05:06 AM
havent had a chance to try vue.. but looks liek your off to a great start..

10 October 2005, 01:28 AM
lookin good matt...but, it would look better if you could add some more smoke, debris and most importantly, flowing gooey lava on the mountains.....and perhaps give the mountains a reddish tinge...theat will make 'em gel well

10 October 2005, 06:03 AM
Thanks. I definately agree that a reddish glow on the mountains would help a lot. Perhaps some trees and things being blown into the air would be cool. From the data I've been able to find, it's more of an ash volcano than a lava type, so I'm going to pass on the lava. At least for now. Also, the trees seem to be blending in with the mountains too much, so I'm working on that too. Lot of stuff to do. Good thing there's a lot of time left. Thanks for the advice. Now, back to work! :D

10 October 2005, 04:40 PM
Hey Buddy. Have been out of the loop of the challenge for some time so it's great to catch up and see what you've been up to. Looking great - the mountain and trees are starting to set the dimension of the image and I'm looking forward to swapping notes on the volcanic ash..... must start to work on mine soon. Catch up with you again soon. :bounce:

10 October 2005, 11:40 AM
Hey Matt, nice going, I like the firs, you have picked a natural color to them :thumbsup: keep up!

10 October 2005, 05:02 PM (

I'm currently waiting for the mountain changes to render so I decided to see what it would look like with a second eruption in the distance. The sky will also be different when I'm done with it and the scene be a bit darker to signify that there's more ash in the air starting to block out the light. After this change on the mountains and the foreground trees are done, I'm going to get back to the houses and people.

10 October 2005, 05:08 PM (

I think I'm going to go with the vertical version. It really lets me expand on the size of the event and will let me draw a bit more attention to the people who are going to be in the scene. Now that I put the mock-up of the houses on there, it strikes me that the closest layer of trees don't look right. And the ones on the mountains are bugging me. It looks perfectly fine in the preview, but as soon as the render finishes, it looks like big green cotton balls glued to it.

10 October 2005, 07:45 AM
wowow Matty. Your mountains look cool now. There's just one hitch...Your explosion ain't cloudy enough. Check out this following link:

Hope that helps. Keep up the good work.

10 October 2005, 05:04 PM
Thanks. You're right about the eruption being not quite right. I'm a total noob when it comes to hypervoxels and things like that. But every challenge I try to put something in that I haven't done before, and that was it this time. The current plan is to finish up the rest of the stuff and use whatever time is left to work on the eruptions. I think I also got the trees on the mountains to look better. In my full size previews it looks like it got rid of the big green cotton ball problem, so we'll see what it looks like when it's done rendering. :bounce: (That's me being impatient.)

11 November 2005, 09:03 PM
Hi Matthew, nice mountain update, but trees looks like fuzzy balls, maybe you could scale them a bit in hight, the explosion looks intresting but it needs some "touches" to look more natural, like motion blur small fractal flames, glowing and things like that, the second far explosion looks better for me, anyway good luck, I'll drop by later... :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 08:56 PM
Yeah. I'm really not happy with how it's turned out so far. It's okay. Just not great. And with the time left, I'll be lucky to finish it, let alone trying to make the trees and eruptions better. The second eruption is actually just the first eruption mirrored and modified in photoshop. Hopefully within the next few days I can have another update posted and we'll see how it's coming along.

11 November 2005, 12:20 AM
looks like your moving forward pretty good... how did you make the trees on the mountain?

11 November 2005, 12:56 AM
Vue has a really cool thing they call a "solid growth" system for creating plant life. It's very useful and gets really great results. However, I'm kind of kicking myself. This whole time I've been using the tree models and I've had 47 -68 hour renders on the full resolution background because there's so many polys. Just the other day I realized I could have saved massive amounts of time simply using 2D tree images and using the billboards feature to populate the mountains. :banghead: So, that wasted time rendering was time I could have spent making everything else look good. Oh well. I learned something and that's what I do this stuff for. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 10:33 PM
sucks to be you man... hehehehe :surprised:

11 November 2005, 11:20 PM
Yeah. I don't know why, but I've been doing that kind of thing a lot lately. It's quite frustrating and not very efficient.

11 November 2005, 08:57 PM
After getting my 64-bit version of Lightwave running correctly, I semi re-did the HV eruption for the close one. The preview looks good but we'll have to wait to see how the big version turns out. I'm hoping it'll be done rendering by the time I get home. :rolleyes:

11 November 2005, 04:53 PM
Just the other day I realized I could have saved massive amounts of time simply using 2D tree images and using the billboards feature to populate the mountains. :banghead: So, that wasted time rendering was time I could have spent making everything else look good. Oh well. I learned something and that's what I do this stuff for. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :thumbsup:

That's the most enjoyable thing about making something, THE LEARNING EFFECT. Congratulation ! you've just learned how to create better and more productive foliage :D Btw if those rendered trees were real polys and you've managed to render them then I feel a respect for you for beeing so patient :argh: :thumbsup: Good luck, hope you will make it in time, as I hope for myself too

11 November 2005, 05:31 PM (

Getting ever closer here. The people are extremely low poly made with simple box modeling. Nothing special there. I still need to get curtains in the windows so you can't see there's nothing to the houses and there's texturing left to do. I'm a lot happier with the new eruption than the old one. I actually did very little to it. Just opened it with the 64-bit lightwave and tweaked a couple settings. Time to stop goofing off and get to business, I think. P.S. I call this one lighting because that's the part that's giving me the most trouble, surprisingly.

11 November 2005, 07:58 PM
Hey Matthew,

Real nice progression on the background of your scene and the explosion looks great.:thumbsup: Somehow more color variation on the mountains would be nice but things are looking good.

11 November 2005, 06:38 PM (

Alrighty. Over the weekend I started messing around with the trees on the mountain and ended up with this. The trees are photos of real trees done on alpha planes which dramatically reduced the poly count and render time. It went from several days to several hours. I'd call that an improvement. Plus it looks better. I also did away with the tree line because I was never really happy with how that looked. There's a halo effect on the top of the trees that I'll have to get rid of in post. I'm not sure where that came from. It's not because of the maps and alpha channels or light reflecting off the edges.

11 November 2005, 06:44 PM
Mike: Thanks. There's definately a lot of room for improvement, but it's not bad. It doesn't help that for several weeks I couldn't do anything on it. I had the time, but I ran into that wall that just wouldn't let me get anything productive done. So now I'm rushing as usual.

CH: On the one hand, it's great knowing my computer can handle something so large. On the other hand I feel really dumb for not realizing what I was doing. I know better than that. Oh well. Live and learn, right?

12 December 2005, 08:04 PM (

Scientists estimate that the magma chamber below Yellowstone National Park will become active anywhere between the year 2012 and 100,000 years from now. The question is not if, but when it will happen. June 27, 2013 the inevitable happened. The magma chamber began moving, causing earthquakes increasing in magnitude with every event. The gyser, Old Faithful, stopped erupting. The area around the park fell deathly silent as all the animals had left.

Ignoring the government's warnings to evacuate, this man, his wife and daugheter stayed in their home. As a strange vibration and rumbling sound grew, passing through the house, he and his daughter walked outside to see what was happening. Over the mountains, in the direction of the park, they saw huge plumes of ash and fire rising far above the horizon. The sky was all ready filling with ash and smoke. He froze, not believing what he was seeing. This simply can't happen. As his wife screams frantically for them to get back in the house, his daughter pulls on him trying to run back to safety, but he won't move. She let go of him, running to her mother's arms and they hide in the crawlspace under the house. She never saw her father again.

After the eruptions stopped, The girl's mother covered her with an old blanket and started trying to dig her way out of the crawlspace through the ash. As she dug, the ash she inhaled turned to sludge in her lungs. When she reached the surface, she simply collapsed.

Following a tip from friends of the family, a group from the Army Corps of Engineers began inspecting the neighborhood, looking for any survivors or anything that could be used to help the refugees. They came across a house that had partially collapsed under the weight of the ash and heard faint crying coming from inside. When they entered the house, they found the girl with her head wrapped in a blanket, huddled over her mother's lifeless body.

This event changed the world for everybody and every thing. But for one little girl, the world had just ended.

12 December 2005, 08:16 AM
Hi Matt. A fab image - I really like it and the storyline too.......... see, you should listen to Government warnings after all.........! :bounce:

12 December 2005, 05:14 PM
Hi Matt! congrats on final, damn I see you made a progress since the M&S. :D Good job! the environment looks awesome, good luck, have nice christmas and see you next time :beer:

12 December 2005, 05:46 PM
Claire: Thanks. You're right. You should listen to the Government warnings. I work for them and can tell you from first hand experience that we do, on occasion, know what we're talking about. :)

CH: Thanks, my friend. In addition to the technical stuff, I'm trying to learn how to not limit myself. No limits = better picture. It was actually pretty fun because this is the first time I've rendered in 2 different programs and composited the pieces together. Or 4 if we get technical. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you too!


Sky, mountains & trees: Vue Infinite 5
Houses, people, distant eruption: Lightwave 8.5 (32-bit)
Close eruption: Lightwave 8.5 (64-bit)
Hazy cloudy layer between the trees and mountains: Photoshop 7

That haze is the first time I've EVER found a practical use for Photoshop's cloud filter.

12 December 2005, 06:09 PM
Hey Matthew,

The new trees look alot better than the previous ones :thumbsup: and the image looks very good. You have captured a spectacular moment here, great job and good luck.

01 January 2006, 11:34 PM
Turns out I was kind of foreshadowing local events. We have a volcano (albeit a much smaller one) getting cranky on us up here. Check it out. (

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