The French Maid And The Mummy, Steven Stahlberg (3D)

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Old 03 March 2006   #61
ooo very sexy and funny idea too. Great job!
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Old 03 March 2006   #62
what a cutie

love it!
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Old 03 March 2006   #63
Fifi can be my maid anytime.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #64
Red face

wow , amazing work as usual .

Love the idea and ambiance of your work , your work always remind me Elvgren 's work that a admire so much for the style , but yours is even more seducing because there is always a context behind.

sooooooooo nice!!
 
Old 03 March 2006   #65
Oh man, how did I miss this one? I guess since I can no longer take it for granted that your stuff will be on the front page, I'll have to pay close attention to the galleries from now on to catch your stuff. I just saw more of your stuff that I hadn't seen too (the countess pieces). Looks like you'v been busy.

I think this piece could use more stylization--more of an exagerated, somewhat cartoony look. For example, give her a totally Jessica Rabbit figure with a dorky but cute look, give the mummy a really goofy grin..etc. Probably less realism overall and more of a cartoon feel. Or go the 50's pinup route and make a really cheesy. I guess you were heading in that direction, but because her face looks pretty serious/realistic, the tongue-in-cheek element is lost.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #66
oh my god

i just found this as well.. i dont know, made me LOL. i can see comments about going in a cartoony direction or whatever, but i think that'd be a whole different piece, this is what it is.. the facial expression on the girl is priceless and really captures that 1950s softcore porn style that also goes well with the mummy theme and the action being depicted and the fairly direct pseudo-realistic rendering style, and also the humor fits all those other elements. it all comes together really well for me. mind you, i think its amazingly kitschy, but then, given the sort of art i make myself, i cant say thats a bad thing its a shame they dont really do those detective novel covers like they used to, i would love to see your take on that theme.

as far as hardcore serious crits, if she's dusting, i agree with the other comment, its too clean. make it actually dusty, put some cobwebs around, dust bunnies on the floor, etc.

also i think the composition itself is a bit static. i hate to suggest this, but maybe more of a straight-on ass shot? or a bit lower angle? something. maybe more of a profile for that matter. this angle is kinda boring. certainly compared to some of your other renders its just not as strong of a composition somehow. maybe a shorter lens, this looks pretty telephoto but if you were actually shooting indoors it'd probably be a wider angle lens. that might help convey a cluttered basement/tomb feel more as well.

the hair shape is good but its a bit obviously opacity mapped planes that are all one piece. the shader has too broad a specular hightlight, or maybe not enough diffuse in the dark parts, the highlight goes right across and makes it obvious its not separate strands of hair right now. it could use even just a couple stray strands, maybe some paintfx via maya hair over top of this, or refine the map, that would really help sell it.. if you havent played with it, maya hair is actually pretty damn nice and user friendly way to do longish hair, i think opacity mapped planes are getting to the point of not being needed any more.

also, finally, the shadow edges seem way sharp for how soft the apparent light sources are, most noticably on the crates in the background.. what are you casting those with? it needs to have some softness to the shadow edge... like a raytraced area light would give, i'm not trying to tell you how to light your scene, just an example that came to mind

the mummy looks amazing though. i thought the smile was just right. subtle enough to miss at first glance, but plenty obvious. i mean, he COULD just happen to always look like that and its a coincidence that he appears to be smiling while the chick is dusting his bits.. thats the thing that validates the whole piece to me. its NOT because obviously this was made intentionally, but its POSSIBLE. and of course the girl, nobody needs to comment on your girls, you got it down.. in particular the white fluffy fabric, i have never before seen attempted in cg, and its perfect. also although all your girls are beautifull, i think this version is a bit less generic than some of them, i personally think shes one of your better ones.
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Last edited by yenvalmar : 03 March 2006 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #67
Well my opinion was stated earlier in the thread... it's just perfect to me.

As for not being stylised enough... i think it is very stylised. It has a great feel to it and if it was more cartoony i think it would lose its appeal almost completely. The thing that makes it most absurd and funny is the single fact that it is pretty real looking. Add to that the fact that she could have a more Jessica Rabbit build, i think that would be overkill, and the busty female and ridiculous hourglass figure is a majorly hackneyed CG thing. She has a perfect body and face, so overdoing it would, in my opinion, ruin the feel obtained by the final image as it is now.

This is simply one of my fave images! I love mummy's and i love women... what a great way to combine the two!!
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Old 03 March 2006   #68
Thanks everyone!
Thanks Lunatique, sorry I guess I should have just told you, I thought you might have noticed it on the Mods voting page... (or did you let your queue get so long it won't load at all anymore?)

Quote: maybe a shorter lens

Yes I agree, and also that it should be dirtier, and softer shadows (I was rushing to finish it for a book, and now I'm working on the Challenge, but I'll get back to this one too).
The hair, well I've tried Maya Hair and to me it just sucks... I mean I find it really difficult to work with. With a huge effort I can get within sight of my goal... but I can never reach my goal. so I'll probably just paint the hair from scratch next time.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #69
Holy crap, this is fantastic work! Love the contrast between the textures of the mummy and woman's skin. Amazing work as usual, Steven.

Cheers!
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Old 03 March 2006   #70
Great work Stahlberg - it's a really sexy picture, i like it a lot, great lighting, and i love Fifi, her stockings are really well made too.

Excellent stuff
-Iest
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Old 03 March 2006   #71
the expression on the mummy's face had me loling too.. awesome job on this. Great pose n expression for the girl, cute outfit. I agree with an earlier comment about dust n cobwebs.. but I don't know about the cartoony thing. Is this the same head that was posted in your thread with the smile expression?
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Old 03 March 2006   #72
Yes, that's right, if you mean the one I posted fairly recently (2006).
Thanks!
 
Old 03 March 2006   #73
a tip for maya hair

Originally Posted by Stahlberg: Thanks everyone!
Yes I agree, and also that it should be dirtier, and softer shadows (I was rushing to finish it for a book, and now I'm working on the Challenge, but I'll get back to this one too).
The hair, well I've tried Maya Hair and to me it just sucks... I mean I find it really difficult to work with. With a huge effort I can get within sight of my goal... but I can never reach my goal. so I'll probably just paint the hair from scratch next time.



as far as maya hair, i dont know what exact problems you are having, but in general the problems i have had are that its impossible to style precisely, and the render quality is not always great, the workarounds i have found to these issues are:

if you put control curves of similar amount, shape, and size to how you would use opacity mapped planes, i find that much easier than attempting to style the maya hair via letting it automatically make the control curves that stick straight out and attempting to run a simulation untill it is coaxed into the shape you have in mind. that is definitely an exercise in frustration.. but if you model the curves to what you want the hair start position to be, and make them dynamic via the hair convert to hair curve option, you are in business pretty fast, or if its just for a still, screw it, dont make them dynamic at all, then you really have no excuses if its not right

also dont be afraid to use 2,3,4 different hair brushes in different areas of the head, for example hair around the edges of the forehead is usually finer than right on top and so on.. i mean the hair system isnt that sophisticated that it will do much automatically to get very realistic results, regardless of the marketing...

but the other thing of maya hair is it renders (at least its an option) using paintfx, which i think can give a more realistic hair than is possible with mapped planes, as each individual strand is shadowing geometry etc. so you could just use regular paintFX with hand modelled and positioned control curves to style it, as some people used to make hair before the maya hair feature.. and you can convert the pfx to poly before render time to do any shading you would do on any other polys, so you can put on any kind of crazy realistic shaders and shadowing and whatnot if you really feel its needed.

also i hope this isnt an insultingly basic tip, but rendering paintFX you should alway always always render it separately and composite, especially for anything thats supposed to halfway match realistic 3d, the lighting just never seems to quite work out the same on the pfx and the geometry but its tweakable in post.

i guess i would say, maya hair, despite the name, is just one tool in a workflow to make decent "realistic" (i.e. simulating every strand) hair, the fact that they call it "hair" is a bit optimistic.. but it does save a number of steps vs. previous workflows in maya and have a new dynamics that works pretty good. but regardless of how you do it, i think computers are fast enough now that hair on realistic characters, should have every strand, one way or another.. its noticeable, especially compared to how realistic say the lace is, or the detail of the mummy.
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Last edited by yenvalmar : 03 March 2006 at 06:42 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #74
Sounds like very good advice, thanks. I shall try it sometimes.
Acutally, I have tried converting PaintFX to geometry to render it in MR, and it ran out of memory. But I'll try it again sometime.
I've also tried the compositing approach, but it's much more work than straight rendering, especially when you want the interactive shadows to look good - from the hair to the body, and from the body and other objects onto the hair. Each pass becomes almost as slow as rendering the whole thing together, plus all that work to set up the two passes, and comp it.
And trying to render the hair in Maya and the body in MR is even more difficult I think. Maybe there's a quick, easy and good-looking way to get a good final comp out of that, but I haven't found it yet.

edit:
Of course if all I want is a still I might save some effort, for instance by painting shadows... it seems a shame to go through all that R&D effort though and not be able to use it for animation... but it's one solution to still image 3d hair.

Last edited by Stahlberg : 03 March 2006 at 05:35 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2006   #75
no, you are right about all this :)

[QUOTE=Stahlberg]Sounds like very good advice, thanks. I shall try it sometimes.
Acutally, I have tried converting PaintFX to geometry to render it in MR, and it ran out of memory. But I'll try it again sometime.
I've also tried the compositing approach, but it's much more work than straight rendering, especially when you want the interactive shadows to look good - from the hair to the body, and from the body and other objects onto the hair. Each pass becomes almost as slow as rendering the whole thing together, plus all that work to set up the two passes, and comp it.
And trying to render the hair in Maya and the body in MR is even more difficult I think. Maybe there's a quick, easy and good-looking way to get a good final comp out of that, but I haven't found it yet.

PFX to polys does create quite a few polys in the output, again i think compositing workflows become required to handle the complexity, vs. rendering it all at one pop. i've rendered scenes with cumulatively millions of polys, but not all in one render pass so no matter what, if you want really realistic hair, i think at this stage of technology progress you are stuck into compositing and a lot more work, but on the other hand the results are absolutely acheivable and there are many examples right here on cg talk. so its a question of if the results are worth the time it takes, like everything else with CG, heh. given the quality of the rest of your image, i think it'd be worth the extra effort, but thats obviously just imo

the maya render layers actually work pretty good now, you can set them up to create a shadowed geo image and a separate hair only image from a single batch render.. for that matter i think one could use MR and one maya software. it still might take awhile to render but at least its painless to launch it.

i agree that having to composite stuff is a workaround in this case, not a time/effort saver.. but i do find that once i have bothered to set up comps i usually wind up appreciating the increased flexibility at some point and saying, geez, good thing i am compositing this or i'd be crying at having to re render all of X because of Y tiny defect. especially if you are considering animating it.
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Last edited by yenvalmar : 03 March 2006 at 08:54 PM.
 
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